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Akathist to the
Chinese Martyr Saints
of the Boxer Rebellion (+1900)

On the centennial of their
martyrdom in Christ

June 10/23, 2000

Composed by Rev Geoffrey Korz
with the blessing of

+ SERAPHIM, Bishop of Ottawa and Canada,
Archdiocese of Canada (OCA)


Third Tone

Let us the flock of Christ with love and piety * now glorify with hymns and truly joyous odes * the faithful Martyrs of the truth who suffered for Christ in China. * For having confessed the Faith, * they all bravely went unto death * as lambs which were sacrificed * for our Shepherd and Master Christ. * And therefore to the Martyrs we cry out: * Remember us all, who sing you praises.


Fourth Tone

The divine Metrophanes, * the martyred shepherd, * with his great and faithful flock, * have hallowed China with their blood; * wherefore we praise them with sacred hymns, * for they were faithful to Christ even unto death.

Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


Sixth Tone

Thy holy martyrs O Lord did not see earthly glory as a treasure to be held, * but facing the torments of men and the wisdom of demons* humbled themselves for Thy sake, even unto death. * Wherefore, O Righteous Father, * as through them Thou brought the priceless pearl to an unbaptized land, * grant us Thy Spirit and great mercy for our souls.

Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


As a new Herod the hand of the Boxers fell on the infants of the Church, writing on the doorpost of each soul the mark of the Lamb in the blood of the lambs, sealing them for the new Passover, that all might cry aloud:

Rejoice, ye righteous ones, tearing down the banner of worldliness.

     Rejoice, ye abandoners of the kingdom that passeth away.

Rejoice, ye resistors of the legions of Hades.

     Rejoice, ye swords in the Hand of the Righteous God.

Rejoice, ye lanterns of the Holy Spirit.

     Rejoice, ye who drench the demonic flame with the waters of baptism.

Rejoice, ye celebrants of the new Passover.

     Rejoice, ye children of the new Israel.

Rejoice, ye pearls of greatest price.

     Rejoice, ye jade diadems in the treasury of God.

Rejoice, ye jewelled gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.

     Rejoice, ye loyal subjects of the true Celestial court.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


Holy Isaiah didst foretell: A shoot shall come forth from the root of Jesse, and thereby the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Wherefore, O Lord, do we praise Thee, for Thou hast in truth kept the fullness of Thy word, filling the earth with knowledge of Thee that we may cry: Alleluia.


As the new Bethlehem in the land of Manchuria, not least among the rulers of the present world, while last in obtaining the baptism of remission of sins, art first in witness to the eastern lands, for out of you came forth a flock who would lay down their lives like their Shepherd, crying:

Rejoice, O heirs of the household of the blessed prince of Chan-Timur

     Rejoice, O blood brothers of the martyrs of K'ang Chi.

Rejoice, O spiritual descendents of Beijing's prisoners for Christ.

     Rejoice, O new tribe of the New Israel.

Rejoice, O least of all nations and last baptized.

     Rejoice, O great star of the eastern sky.

Rejoice, O children of the land of silken majesty robed in Majesty.

     Rejoice, O new Damascus road, illumination of the silk roads.

Rejoice, O light in the darkness which darkness cannot consume.

     Rejoice, O witnesses of the Light.

Rejoice, O voices of the eastern wilderness.

     Rejoice, O voices crying, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord".

Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


Our Lord Christ warned that the impious shall cast out the faithful, speaking of these things that we should not stumble; calling the faithful to the knowledge that the infidel shall think in his butchery he offers service to God. Wherefore, O Father, hearken to us in our struggle, and enlighten us with Thy Truth as we sing to Thee: Alleluia.


The prophets declared Thy suffering, O Christ, and Thou camest being incarnate of the Theotokos, reflecting the Image of God fully in the image of man, that we may grow to the fullness of Thy Likeness, wherefore as Thy martyrs do share in Thy sufferings, they too share in Thy Likeness that we may proclaim:

Rejoice, ye whom human might couldst not persuade.

     Rejoice, ye for whom the might of Christ was thy defense.

Rejoice, ye who overturned the censer of idolatry.

     Rejoice, ye who yearned for the incense of the Heavenly Realm.

Rejoice, ye who are trod underfoot by the legions of men.

     Rejoice, ye who lay down life for the sake of your Brother, Christ.

Rejoice, ye who scatter the lots of the idols of fortune.

     Rejoice, ye heirs of the Heavenly Fortune.

Rejoice, O ye merciful and meek of soul.

     Rejoice, O ye righteous and pure of heart.

Rejoice, ye who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.

     Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in the heavens.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


The Lord saith unto the scornful Jews: Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. And so hath the Lord done unto the temples of the bodies of His martyrs as He saith, that we might cry unto Him:



Together in an unbaptized land, you built a temple to God with holy hands, but when faced with the flames of the demon's host, you chose Life in the temple not made with hands, putting to death the things of the body, putting on life according to the Spirit that we may say:

Rejoice, O lambs of the eastern Zion.

     Rejoice, oblations of Christ's shrine in the east.

Rejoice, ye who preached the Word in a new tongue.

     Rejoice, ye whose holy books hallowed the pagans' fire.

Rejoice, ye who raised a Temple to Christ as new children of Solomon.

     Rejoice, ye sanctifiers of the pagan temple shrine.

Rejoice, thrice-blessed children of the holy fire.

     Rejoice, confessors who walk in the flame of death with the Flame of Life.

Rejoice, ye who repent in burning sackcloth and ashes.

     Rejoice, ye who are mingled with the ashes of Christ's holy temple.

Rejoice, O sacrifices who scorned sacrifice to the new Baal.

     Rejoice, O carriers of the Holy Flame.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


The priests of Baal doth conspire against the Lord's anointed, reveling in the strength of their throng, but doused in the waters of the Redeeming God, the wood of the sacrifice dost burst forth with holy flame, scattering the wicked hosts that we might praise the Lord our God, and sing unto Him: Alleluia.


Teacher and shepherd, our holy father Mitrophan, alone amongst his people as a priest of the Lord, called by the enemy to exceed the fire of their hate with the fire of faith, O thou who hallowest thy name Tsz Chung, unto thee do we cry:

Rejoice, ye of poor talent and little virtue whom God hath made great.

     Rejoice, ye disciple of Nicholas the Enlightener.

Rejoice, ye witness of Christ's crowning of thy native land.

     Rejoice, ye witness of the crowning in glory of thy wife and sons.

Rejoice, O pillar of faith amidst the blows of the faithless.

     Rejoice, O last-standing pillar of Christ's temple in Harbin.

Rejoice, O hallowed martyr of Christ who fell beneath the date tree.

     Rejoice, O hallowed martyr hung faithfully on the Tree of Life.

Rejoice, O lonely priest of God who sat beneath the broom tree, yetwithout despair.

     Rejoice, O Mitrophan, arise and eat the Bread of Life.

Rejoice, O wind, storm, and fire that touchest not God's holy one.

     Rejoice, O still small voice of the Spirit of God.

     Rejoice, O star of the Orient.


In the abasement of themselves with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes, the race of Ninevites didst turn back the wrath of God; and like unto them didst the kinsmen of Esther repent, trusting not in their own righteousness, but rather in the mercies of God towards those who honour Him, therefore let us sing to Him: Alleluia.


Esther beheld the plotting of the unrighteous Haman, and although his wicked schemes were set to destroy the sons of Israel, the children of the Lord humbled themselves before Him, granting them deliverance from certain death. Wherefore do we praise Tatiana, the Esther of the east, who by humility of martyrdom stole Life from the hand of death, that her soul might be saved and that we might cry:

Rejoice, O Li, who by meekness were exhalted.

     Rejoice, O Tatiana, name-bearer of her sister martyr in Christ.

Rejoice, O eastern Esther, loyal friend of thy people.

     Rejoice, O Tatiana, loyal wife of Mitrophan, and true daughter of Christ.

Rejoice, Precious mother of the flock at Harbin.

     Rejoice, Precious name in the prayers of the Mother of God.

Rejoice, Lovingkindness written in the red of thy blood.

     Rejoice, Christian witness written in the stripes of thy pain.

Rejoice, Blossom of strength, boast of womanhood.

     Rejoice, One in flesh with thy husband, one in witness with thy cross.

Rejoice, O mother-martyr of thy people.

     Rejoice, O daughter of Christ our God.

     Rejoice, O star of the Orient.


Righteous Gideon wondered at the word of the Lord, trusting with Israel in his own hand; but lessening their strength with the judgement of the water, the Lord made greater His victory in judgement over Midian. Let us now as the servants of God place all our hopes, in the Strength beyond strength and cry:



As a new-born Theodore, fresh from the waters of baptism as a gift of God, standing before thine emperor, called by thy rank to sacrifice, thou disdained the incense and instead washed clean thy land with the baptism of thy blood. Unto thee O soldier of Christ do we cry:

Rejoice, O brother of George, Demetrius, and Theodore.

     Rejoice, O soldier in the army of the righteous.

Rejoice, O defender of the maiden Mother of God.

     Rejoice, O victor of martyrdom.

Rejoice, O vanquisher of the wicked serpent of Death.

     Rejoice, O husbandman of the phoenix of Eternal Life.

Rejoice, O son of the proud and holy father.

     Rejoice, O child of the Joyful and All-Holy Spirit.

Rejoice, O champion of the Eternal Son.

     Rejoice, O pride of the land of the eastern sun.

Rejoice, O Isaiah, who hath borne grief and sorrows.

     Rejoice, O thou who by Christ's stripes hath been healed.

     Rejoice, O star of the Orient.


Declaring with courage her willingness to suffer all the abasement of her Saviour Christ, holy Maria was wounded thus on hand and foot, bearing the marks of Christ on her very body. So as she found true birth in baptism in the place named for the Mother of God, in a like fashion was she born unto Life by the prayers of the Theotokos, crying:



As the blessed Maria hurried to enter the house of her Lord, the very temple named for the Mother of her God, her heart leaped within her, and filled with the Spirit, she declared Christ with a loud cry, that we all might declare:

Rejoice, thou namesake of the Mother of God.

     Rejoice, thou whose heart leapt at the sound of the Name of thyLord.

Rejoice, thou chrysanthemum of the new Eden.

     Rejoice, thou lotus blossom that blossomed unto Life.

Rejoice, thou who camest early to declare the Risen Lord.

     Rejoice, thou who will share His empty tomb at the Last Day.

Rejoice, thou who seeketh Life in death.

     Rejoice, thou who declarest the Truth to those who would not believe.

Rejoice, thou who at once denied the idols of thy people.

     Rejoice, thou who thrice denied liberty from Eternal Liberty.

Rejoice, thou newly freeborn of an enslaved land.

     Rejoice, thou Maria of the eastern Egypt.

     Rejoice, O star of the Orient.


The Lord bestowed His Strength to Israel through the child David, and called Israel to humility through the mouth of the shepherd of Tekoa. As it was as a babe that Our Lord vanquished the legions of Death, let us recall with awe the mystery of the Lord's mightiness in Harbin, for here too doth the Lord manifest His strength in weakness, wherefore let us be instructed by the life of John as we sing:



The Lord called the Twelve together and declared: He who desirest to be first must be last of all. Then taking in His arms a faithful child, He called those assembled to receive one as this, for he who receiveth such receives not simply the Son, but the Father in Heaven Who sent Him. Wherefore we recall John, a child like unto this, who wast received unto the Lord with manly strength, that we who honour him should cry:

Rejoice, O child of God, the least of all.

     Rejoice, O innocent one, first in God's sight.

Rejoice, O meek one, reviled by demons as a demon.

     Rejoice, O small one, glorified by God as a champion of Christ.

Rejoice, O lamb, dishonoured by a thousand cuts.

     Rejoice, O lion, honoured by thousands in the heavenly throng.

Rejoice, O thirsting one, denied refreshment by thy neighbours.

     Rejoice, O little one, refreshed by the Water springing up unto salvation.

Rejoice, O young one, youngest of the martyrs of Harbin.

     Rejoice, O faithful one, who by grace feelest not pain.

Rejoice, O bold one, holy confessor of Christ.

     Rejoice, O victorious one, vanquisher of a thousand demons.

     Rejoice, O star of the Orient.


By God's grace Sarah begot many nations by Abraham, and Elizabeth and Zachariah bore the Forerunner of Christ. Let us also praise the Lord for righteous Ia and holy Paul, who begot eternal life by their martyrdom and prayers and let us sing:



Ananias and Sapphira testified their love for Mammon, wherefore they tasted the singular sting of death; but Christ was the testimony of holy Paul and righteous Ia, for he didst die with the Lord's name on his lips, and she didst suffer martyrdom a second time. So holy Peter declares to them, "How dost the Spirit of the Lord test you?"; and we the faithful do sing in solemn reply:

Rejoice, O blessed Paul, faithful martyr of Christ.

     Rejoice, twice-blessed Ia, faithful teacher of the flock.

Rejoice, goodly servant, ever-faithful unto death.

     Rejoice, noble sharer in the Passion of the Lord.

Rejoice, holy Paul, boast of all the Seraphim.

     Rejoice, righteous Ia, bright companion of the Cherubim.

Rejoice, humble servant, archetype of piety.

     Rejoice, noble teacher, instructor in the ways of purity.

Rejoice, friend of Stephen, O lamb led unto slaughter.

     Rejoice, friend of Catherine, outwitter of philosophers.

Rejoice, holy servant of the house of sacred martyrs.

     Rejoice, holy bride, exemplar of steadfastness.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


Thrice-holy is the cry of the multitude, the heavenly host around the Heavenly Throne, let us in hope therefore join the angels' song, and chant the thrice-holy:



The righteous Maccabees withstood with godly strength the threats of the pagan legions, and foresaw the Holy Cross as a balance testing the righteous, weighing the righteousness of God with the boasts of the world, offering the choice to all between life and Eternal Life. Wherefore do we sing to the martyrs of the east, who wisely chose the eternal prize:

Rejoice, O Kui-Kin, new Clement of Asia.

     Rejoice, O Hai Chuan, baptized in blood Matthew.

Rejoice, Holy Sergius, blessed son of Tsz Chung.

     Rejoice, Holy servant of the priesthood of Christ.

Rejoice, Holy Anna, friend of mothers and widows.

     Rejoice, Holy children, inheritors of a heavenly birthright.

Rejoice, Holy nameless one, known only unto God.

     Rejoice, ye unburied, buried with Christ that ye may rise.

Rejoice, ye defiled of pagans, washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb.

     Rejoice, ye suffering witnesses of numberless sufferings.

Rejoice, ye blessed, who escaping death held firm in faith.

     Rejoice, O ye martyrs of Christ in the east.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


The holy Apostle saw a great wonder: for it was in a vision, as if in a dream. Behold, here stands a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth are passing away. Wherefore, the Lord saith He shall make all things new. Let us therefore cry unto Him:



The Lord foresaw the tribulation of the martyrs, whom He said would be hated by all nations for His own sake, and exhorted that those who endured to the end that they would be saved. Wherefore let us preach unto all nations the gospel of the kingdom at the end of the age, that we the faithful might shout with joy with God's holy elect:

Rejoice, O dawn of the final days.

     Rejoice, O first fruits of the great age of martyrs.

Rejoice, O witnesses of Christ against idolatry.

     Rejoice, O confessors of the God-man in the age of godlessness.

Rejoice, O citizens of the Kingdom to come.

     Rejoice, O strangers in a strange land.

Rejoice, O confessors of Christ crucified.

     Rejoice, O declarers of foolishness to the Greeks.

Rejoice, O advocates who are stumbling blocks to Jews.

     Rejoice, O outwitters of the philosophers of the east.

Rejoice, O righteous company of saints.

     Rejoice, O blessed host of new martyrs of China.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.


The Lord saith: A little while and you will weep and mourn, yet the impious world shall rejoice. You the faithful will all be sorrowful, yet your sorrow shall be turned to rejoicing. Wherefore, O Righteous Father, let us rejoice in Thee as we cry:


This Kontakion is said thrice, then the first Oikos is recited once again:


As a new Herod the hand of the Boxers fell on the infants of the Church, writing on the doorpost of each soul the mark of the Lamb in the blood of the lambs, sealing them for the new Passover, that all might cry aloud:

Rejoice, ye righteous ones, tearing down the banner of worldliness.

     Rejoice, ye abandoners of the kingdom that passeth away.

Rejoice, ye resistors of the legions of Hades.

     Rejoice, ye swords in the Hand of the Righteous God.

Rejoice, ye lanterns of the Holy Spirit.

     Rejoice, ye who drench the demonic flame with the waters of baptism.

Rejoice, ye celebrants of the new Passover.

     Rejoice, ye children of the new Israel.

Rejoice, ye pearls of greatest price.

     Rejoice, ye jade diadems in the treasury of God.

Rejoice, ye jewelled gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.

     Rejoice, ye loyal subjects of the true Celestial court.

     Rejoice, O stars of the Orient.