Saint Brendan the Navigator Orthodox Church

Matushka Olga
Matushka Olga
Matushka Olga
An Icon Depicting Matushka Olga
An Icon Depicting Matushka Olga
An Icon Depicting Matushka Olga



The departed handmaiden of God, Matushka Olga Nicholai, a Yup'ik Eskimo from the village of  Kwethluk on the Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska, will be numbered among the Orthodox saints at a future Rite of Glorification at a yet to be determined date, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America announced November 9.  Her humility, her generosity, her piety, her patience and her selfless love for God and neighbor were well-known in the Kuskokwim villages during her earthly life.  Her care for comforting the suffering, the grieving as well as victims of sexual abuse has also been revealed after her life by grace-filled manifestations in which she has appeared to the faithful throughout not only Alaska, but all of North America. The first peoples of Alaska are convinced of her sainthood and the great efficacy of her prayers. The announcement from the Holy Synod of Bishops of The Orthodox Church in America went on to state that we "do hereby decide and decree that the ever-memorable Servant of God Matushka Olga be numbered among the saints.  With one mind and one heart, we also resolve that her  honorable remains be considered as holy relics; that a special service be composed in her honor; that her feast be celebrated on November 10 and the Feast of All Saints of North America, the Second Sunday after Pentecost; that holy icons be prepared to honor the newly-glorified saint; that her life be published for the edification of the Faithful; and that the date and location of the Rite of Glorification be communicated to the Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of our Church in due time." 

Glory to God, who is wondrous in His saints.

(Adapted from the Orthodox Church in America)

*Matushka is a title of honor accorded to the wife of a priest, and comes from Russian, literally meaning "mama."  It is said that this term, Matushka, is used more often in the diaspora than in the homeland. The Orthodox Faith entered North America in Alaska through the work of dedicated Russian monks,  and the Orthodox Church in America, to which Saint Brendan the Navigator Church pertains,  is the direct descendant and beneficiary of those Russian missionary efforts. The corresponding title for Matushka in jurisdictions with a Greek origin is Presvitera, and in Arabic ones, such as the Antiochian Orthodox Church, it is Khouria. Despite the different cultural expressions, the Orthodox Church is the same in every country. It is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple
Icon of the Entrance into the Temple
Icon of the Entrance into the Temple
Icon of the Entrance into the Temple


According to Holy Tradition, the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos* into the Temple took place in the following manner. The parents of the Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anna, praying for an end to their childlessness, vowed that if they were given a child, they would dedicate it to the service of God. When the Most Holy Virgin reached the age of three, the holy parents decided to fulfill their vow. They gathered together their relatives and acquaintances, and dressed the All-Pure Virgin in Her finest clothes. Singing sacred songs and with lighted candles in their hands, virgins escorted Her to the Temple (Ps. 44/45:14-15). There the High Priest and several priests met the handmaiden of God. In the Temple, fifteen high steps led to the sanctuary, which only the priests and High Priest could enter. (Because they recited a Psalm on each step, Psalms 120-134 are called “Psalms of Ascent.”) The child Mary, so it seemed, could not make it up this stairway. But just as they placed Her on the first step, strengthened by the power of God, She quickly went up the remaining steps and ascended to the highest one. Then the High Priest, through inspiration from above, led the Most Holy Virgin into the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest entered once a year to offer a purifying sacrifice of blood. Therefore, all those present were astonished at this most unusual occurrence.

After entrusting their child to the Heavenly Father, Joachim and Anna returned home. The All-Holy Virgin remained in the quarters for virgins near the Temple. 

(Adapted from the Orthodox Church in America)


Hymns of the Feast

Troparion — Tone 4

Today is the prelude of the good will of God, / of the preaching of the salvation of mankind. / The Virgin appears in the temple of God, / in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all. / Let us rejoice / and sing to her: / "Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."

Kontakion — Tone 4

The most pure Temple of the Savior; / the precious Chamber and Virgin; / the sacred Treasure of the glory of God, / is presented today to the house of the Lord. / She brings with her the grace of the Spirit, / therefore, the angels of God praise her: / “Truly this woman is the abode of heaven.”


*Theotokos.  Theotokos is a Greek word that means "Mother of God" and is used by all Orthodox jurisdictions, which slightly resemble denominations.  It is the most commonly used term for the Holy Virgin Mary at St Brendan's.  However, Theotokos is completely interchangeable with the terms Mother of God and with Holy Virgin Mary.

The Midfeast of Pentecost
Come Worship with Us
Wednesday, May 29
8:30am Festal Matins
Friday, May 31
8:30am Daily Matins
Saturday, June 1
4:00pm Choir Practice
5:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday, June 2
8:30am Matins
10:00am Divine Liturgy
Tuesday, June 4
10:00am Men's Breakfast
Regular Parish Schedule


Great Vespers Saturday 5pm—6pm

Festal Matins Sunday 8:30am—10am

Divine Liturgy Sunday 10—11:30am

Daily Matins Wednesday & Friday 8:30—10am

Choir Practice Saturday 4—5pm

Catechism Wednesday 7—8pm

Men's Breakfast (Monthly, 1st Tuesday) 10—11am

Women's Gathering (1st & 3rd Fridays) 10am—12pm

Parish Council (Monthly, 1st Saturday) 3—5pm

All Services in English


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Akathist of Thanksgiving, Glory to God for All Things

The Akathist of Thanksgiving, "Glory to God for All Things". The title of this service is taken from the last words uttered by St John Chrysostom, "glory to God for all things," as his life ebbed away in the presence of the Lord at the end of his forced journey of cruel exile in 407 AD. The akathist was written in Russian by Metropolitan Tryphon (Prince Boris Petrovich Turkestanov) shortly before his death in 1934 at the height of the Soviet persecution. Its radiant spirit of transcendent gratefulness quietly sustained Orthodox Christians suffering under that violent persecution of the Church. 

The manuscript of the akathist comes to us from Archpriest Grigoriy Petrov, imprisoned in a Soviet labor camp. It was found among his personal effects after his death in the gulag in 1940, or perhaps 1942, by which some assumed at first that he was the author. Nevertheless, even if he didn't compose it, Fr Grigoriy's transcendent joy in the midst of suffering is being transmitted to us through this akathist that he not only certainly covertly celebrated for the persecuted faithful, but also preserved for us who follow.  

This hymn asserts again and again an Orthodox view of man and the world, an optimistic anthropology and cosmology that contrasts starkly with the pessimism of the West. This theme of thankful praise, born in the midst of terrible sufferings, fills the akathist with the beauty and the joy found in everyday blessings by hearts attuned to gratefulness in God.

The power of the akathist lies in ascribing gratefulness to Christ for every event in every facet of life, in joy, in pain, in family, in friends, in work, in livestock and pets, in sufferings, in death. The format of the akathist, beginning with Ode 1 and Ikos 1, and then reversing that to end with Ikos 1 and Ode 1, collects our tears of joy and sorrow, and presents them again to God, offering them as in an inclusio between the bookends, between the parentheses, between the arms of our Everlasting King.


—St Brendan the Navigator Orthodox Church, Astoria, Oregon

(Adapted from St Basil Greek Orthodox Church, San Jose; Akathist of Thanksgiving adapted from St John the Baptist Cathedral (ROCOR) in Washington DC)

*An akathist is an Orthodox hymn composed in a particular style of alternating parts that are sung and chanted.  An akathist can be to God like this akathist, to a saint, to a holy event or to a Person of the Holy Trinity.  

A young buck peers into the fellowship hall in the basement of our historic church in the Alameda neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon.
A young buck peers into the fellowship hall in the basement of our historic church in the Alameda neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon.
A young buck peers into the fellowship hall in the basement of our historic church in the Alameda neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon.

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The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

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St. Brendan Orthodox Church is part of the Diocese of The West, which is presided over by The Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the West. Our mission is bringing the joy of Christ's resurrection to those who have never heard the Good News, and to strengthen and encourage the faithful who reside within Astoria and the local area. 

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The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

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Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

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Saint Brendan the Navigator Orthodox Church
820 Alameda Avenue (Mailing: PO Box 393)
Astoria, OR 97103

Phone: ‭(503) 467-8360‬