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Akathist Hymn to Jesus Christ, Physician of Souls

Kontakion 1

Lord Jesus Christ, unto Thee do we sing praises of thanksgiving for Thine appearance on earth as the Greatest Physician of souls. Thou didst call the sick and suffering unto Thee, in obedience unto Thy merciful Father, for those who are righteous need not a physician. All who have sinned, who have gone astray, who have been deceived by the world, or who have been possessed of evil do exalt Thy marvelous ministry and exclaim:

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Ikos 1

The scribes and Pharisees did lay heavy burdens upon the shoulders of the people, and did sit in the uppermost rooms at feasts. Seeing such greed and hypocrisy, Thou didst call the heavy-laden unto Thee and didst give rest unto their souls. Thy yoke is easy, humble Master, for Thou openest the Kingdom of Heaven for those who cry unto Thee:

Have mercy, Jesus Christ, One of the Holy Trinity.

Have mercy, Saviour, Who becamest man and walkest among us with Thy mystical medicine.

Have mercy, innocent Son of the Queen of all.

Have mercy, Sovereign Physician of all who need the supreme powers of Thy Way.

Have mercy, Son of the Father Almighty, entrusted to restore creation.

Have mercy, Lord and King, sent to relieve the burdened.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst never sin.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost knock on the door of the sinner.

Have mercy, for we were born into iniquity.

Have mercy, for we are devastated and suffering.

Have mercy, for none is righteous but Thee.

Have mercy, for Thou wast obedient unto death.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 2

When Thou didst heal the mute man and didst cast out the devil from him, he spake and the crowd marveled, saying, “It was never so seen in Israel.” Thereupon the Pharisees accused Thee, Lord Jesus, of driving out demons by the prince of demons. They did not understand Thy merciful ministry or Thine obedience unto the God of Israel. We, however, cry unto Thee in praise of Thy victory over evil: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

The people brought a paralytic unto Thee, Lord Jesus, and Thou didst forgive him and then didst command him to arise and walk. The scribes did accuse Thee of blasphemy, but Thou didst detect their impurity. Those who oppose the healing of soul and body, also oppose the Father Almighty Who sent Thee to shew mercy upon sinners. Since Thou wast sent to save us, and since we have committed sins without number, we implore Thy glorious forgiveness and chant unto Thee:

Have mercy, Thou Who wast falsely accused by hypocrites.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost preserve the humble and lowly.

Have mercy and give peace unto our distraught souls.

Have mercy and hear our confession which Thou knowest beforehand.

Have mercy and heal our wounds according to Thy timeliness and wisdom.

Have mercy and guide us in prayer truly and unceasingly.

Have mercy and disperse our dark clouds of confusion and doubt.

Have mercy and pour out Thy golden rays of righteousness and blessings.

Have mercy and help us to carry our cross and renounce all worldliness.

Have mercy and enable us to discern the path which God hath divinely prepared for us.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost teach us to depend upon God for everything.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst shew even the lilies of the field to be under His tender care.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 3

The leper did fall down before Thee and beseech Thee, having faith in Thy righteousness and mercy. Thou wast filled with pity, Lord Jesus, and didst stretch out Thy hand and touch him with Thy cleansing power. Thou didst thereby abolish the isolation of those who are repulsive and horribly afflicted, and didst establish Thyself as True God from True God Who healest all sinners. Stretch forth Thy hand unto us also, that with the leper we may say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

The woman with an issue of blood did stretch forth her hand and touch the hem of Thy garment, in her longing for the healing of her grievous condition. Thou didst say unto her, “Daughter, be of good cheer, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Let us then, as sons and daughters, and as heirs of the Kingdom, come unto Thee with hope and trust. We cannot be cured by anyone but Thee, our Greatest Physician. Thou only hast the mercy, power, and knowledge to release us from sin, so that we may acceptably cry unto Thee:

Have mercy, Good Shepherd Who dost bear the emotional turmoil of the human heart.

Have mercy, Greatest Physician Who art able to make sinners pure and whole with a droplet of Thy Precious Blood.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst not forbid the suffering woman to touch Thy garment.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost accept the supplications of penitents before Thy Holy Cross.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst perform good works on the Sabbath because Thou lovest the people.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost supply every need and satisfy every heart.

Have mercy and restore us who are scarred by abuse.

Have mercy and renew us who are treated with contempt.

Have mercy and forgive us who have defiled others with our corrupt ways.

Have mercy and free us who have been compromised by Satan.

Have mercy and lift us up from the lies of the evil one.

Have mercy and liken us unto the saints who feared only God.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 4

Lord Jesus, Thou didst call forth Thy disciples to follow Thee in Thy merciful mission unto the sick and suffering. Peter and Andrew, James and John did leave their fishing nets and follow Thee unto the multitudes as Thou didst teach and heal. Those possessed by devils, those in severe pain, those with incurable diseases, and all the unfortunate ones did cry unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Thou didst also call forth the tax-collector, Matthew, who immediately embraced Thee as his Master. Thou didst accomplish the will of Thy Father among a diversity of people, and He did bestow a variety of gifts upon them. Whosoever believeth in Thee hath eternal life. Yea, all men, women, and children from all nations are called unto Baptism. Thou didst shew that all true followers are all united into one Church. It is therefore fitting that we confirm Thy tender mercies with praises such as these:

Have mercy, liberator of the possessed.

Have mercy, expeller of demons.

Have mercy, cleanser of lepers.

Have mercy, minister of lunatics.

Have mercy, healer of paralytics.

Have mercy, receiver of the defiled.

Have mercy, opener of blind eyes.

Have mercy, raiser of the dead.

Have mercy, visitor of prisoners.

Have mercy, welcomer of strangers.

Have mercy, Physician Who healest freely.

Have mercy, Saviour Who callest forth.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 5

The pure Virgin, who did give Thee birth, hath beckoned all the world to obtain healing of soul and body by Thy forgiveness. Through her, through Thee, the disciples would gather together, saying, “We have found the Messiah.” Because she did fully cooperate with God, the myrrhbearing women would proclaim Thy Resurrection, saying, “Christ is Risen.” Most blessed art thou, holy Theotokos, for thou didst truly say unto God: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Good Master, Thou didst teach the people that they, too, are blessed if they accept Thy divinity and follow Thy Way. Blessed are those who hear Thy words and who live according to Thy teachings. Blessed are those who confess their unworthiness and ask Thy forgiveness. Blessed are those who serve Thy Holy Church and endure persecution. Thou, Lord, wilt heal all wounds and wilt reward abundantly all who hasten to Thee and sing:

Have mercy, Thou Who wast born of the Virgin Mary.

Have mercy, Thou Who givest Thy holy Mother unto all the brokenhearted and motherless ones.

Have mercy, Thou Who wast raised in a God-loving home.

Have mercy, Thou Who gatherest the forsaken into Thy true family.

Have mercy and shew us the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Have mercy and be for us a constant source that we may love others in purity and totality.

Have mercy and shew us the star of Bethlehem and the skull of Golgotha.

Have mercy and be for us the light of love that overpowers malice and death.

Have mercy, Holy Physician Who didst not heal Thyself on the Cross but wast crucified to save mankind.

Have mercy, greatest healer of sicknesses that devastate the soul.

Have mercy, glorious King Who wast crowned with thorns.

Have mercy, Creator Who dost pull out the poisoned darts of wickedness from our heart.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 6

Greatest Physician of great multitudes, Thou didst not bypass Sychar, a town of Samaria, as Thou madest disciples of the people. Although the Samaritans were regarded as ritually unclean, Thou didst talk with the woman who came to fetch water from Jacob’s well. Thou didst shew her that Thou art greater than our forefather Jacob who gave water unto his children and unto his flocks. Thou, Lord, givest pure water unto the impure that they may never thirst again. It was therefore the great privilege of the Samaritan woman to say unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Everlasting life is given unto those who worship God in spirit and in truth. Grant us also that living water, Lord, so that we may become cleansed of sin. Let us lay aside the burden of fetching worldly things which do not satisfy the soul. Purify us that we may devote ourselves unto the interiour life of prayer. Then, in spirit and in truth, we may rest in Thy mercy and glorify Thee with truthful acclamations:

Have mercy, Thou Who wast sent by the Father to redeem the human race.

Have mercy, Thou Who thereby hast authority to be our Physician.

Have mercy upon the multitudes in the streets.

Have mercy upon the insignificant stranger in our midst.

Have mercy upon the crippled who strive on the straight path.

Have mercy upon the weak who struggle to witness of the Faith.

Have mercy upon the blind who long to behold Thee.

Have mercy upon the mute who wish to sing praises unto Thee.

Have mercy upon the infant carried in his mother’s arms.

Have mercy upon the helpless who have no means whatsoever.

Have mercy upon those exploited by the brethren.

Have mercy upon those mistreated by the world.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 7

All the guileless and simple ones have Thee, Gentle Master, as a caretaker of soul and body. Thou dost instruct us to become like children and abandon ourselves unto Thy loving watchfulness. Thou only art able to love the insignificant ones of the earth and lift them up unto Thy Father in Heaven. Thou only dost attend unto the humble and lowly as they say unto Thee with heartfelt gratitude: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

Although we live and work under the rulers of the kingdoms of the world, we do not depend upon rulers but only upon our Heavenly Father. We trust only in Thee, Jesus, the faithful Son of the True God, to provide and protect, to heal and make whole, and to lead us unto the Kingdom of Heaven. With confidence in Thy wondrous works, we fall down before Thee and offer praises:

Have mercy, Thou Who wast an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst unite all kinds of people around Thine innocent presence in this world.

Have mercy, Thou Who wast a royal child in the manger.

Have mercy, Thou Who callest even children to worship Thee.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost invite sinners to approach Thy plentiful table.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost forbid neither sinners nor children from entering Thy Holy Church.

Have mercy, Master, for Thou hast already purchased our souls.

Have mercy, Saviour, for all Thy creation stands to profit by Thy purchase.

Have mercy, Lamb of God, for Thy pure Mother did nurture Thee for this purpose.

Have mercy, Messiah, for Thy mission is unto those infected with maladies of the soul.

Have mercy, Good Shepherd, for the evil beast doth want to ambush Thy paid-for flock.

Have mercy, Teacher, for we are children learning of Thy Way in a world that hath hostility toward Thee.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 8

The mother of James and John did make a request of Thee: that her sons sit at Thy right and left hand in Thy Kingdom. The other disciples were indignant at the prospect, for they all lacked awareness of true greatness. Thou didst teach them, Lord Jesus, that Thou camest not to have worldly dominion over men but to minister unto the sick and suffering. He who desireth to be great must be a servant, even unto death. Thou didst transform the disciples’ worldly ambition into zeal for Thy Church, that they might all say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Our sure model of holiness is Jesus Christ who generously giveth unto all and patiently forgiveth numerous and deplorable sins. He sheweth the right Way of life, restoreth an hundredfold everything that was given up in His Name, and granteth eternal life unto those who worship Him with praises:

Have mercy, Thou Who camest not to rule the kingdoms of the earth, but to heal Thy people and make disciples of all nations.

Have mercy, Thou Who camest not to be served, but to serve the poor and the weak in their misery.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst not seek Thine own glory, but the glory of Thy Father in Heaven.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost not disdain sinners, but offerest deliverance from evil.

Have mercy, for we accept responsibility for our sins which separate us from the Kingdom.

Have mercy, for we yearn to be made worthy of Heaven.

Have mercy, for we reject the assurance of worldly riches.

Have mercy, for we desire the treasure of untarnished trust in Thee.

Have mercy, for we sorely repent of our unbelief.

Have mercy, for we have seen Thine acts of kindheartedness for mankind.

Have mercy, for in our pride and vanity we admired ourselves before a flattering mirror.

Have mercy, for in Thy chastisement we humbly recognize our need to be forgiven and healed.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 9

Lord Jesus, Thou didst give sight unto the man who was born blind through no fault of his own, that the works of God might be made visible. The Pharisees did not want to believe such healing had been granted, preferring to believe that Thou, Lord, wast sinful for not keeping the Sabbath. They regarded themselves as disciples of Moses, and agreed to expel anyone from the synagogue who confessed Thee to be Christ. Notwithstanding, Thou art the Lord of the Sabbath and the Light of the world, and the blind man therefore said: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

We who are spiritually blind, Christ God, beseech Thy healing upon our eyes, heart, and soul. Help us, who were born into sin and remain in sin, to know Thee as the Messiah. Help us, who are prone to put rules above mercy, to keep Thee at the center of our life. Let us bring unto Thee the gift of a pure heart at Thy Nativity, walk with Thee to Thy Crucifixion, and greet Thee at Thy Resurrection. Today, Lord, hear our prayers for mercy upon all the sick and suffering as we offer supplications:

Have mercy upon those enslaved to alcohol and drugs.

Have mercy upon those influenced by charlatans of the good news.

Have mercy upon those under an obscure cloud of emotional agitation.

Have mercy upon those whose eyes are unaccustomed to Thy light.

Have mercy upon those who were raised in ungodly homes.

Have mercy upon those who have strayed from the Faith.

Have mercy upon the young who are indoctrinated with falsehood.

Have mercy upon the old who carry a lifetime of sorrows.

Have mercy upon those swayed by the devil to do unthinkable things.

Have mercy upon those burdened with horrid family histories.

Have mercy upon us and deliver us from the devastation which we created.

Have mercy upon us that we may devote the rest of our life unto Thy service.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 10

Thou didst give a New Commandment, Christ God, for only God can give Commandments unto mankind. Thou didst illuminate the Christian life in this way, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” This is the love by which Christians are to be recognized by the world. Thou didst put forth love as a Commandment, not a personal bias, but an involvement of the whole heart, mind, and soul. Thy disciples did listen to Thy Commandment and did say: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

When Thou gavest the New Commandment, Thou didst thereby prohibit vengeance and retaliation in the Christian life.  Thou didst teach us to imitate Thee in Thy goodness and mercy.  All have sinned and only God knoweth the true character of any person. Since all are sick and suffering, and since Thou only canst cure the fallen human condition, we implore Thy healing that we may be counted among those who humbly sing unto Thee:

Have mercy, rebuker of Peter.

Have mercy, chastiser of James and John.

Have mercy, Just Judge of the scribes and Pharisees.

Have mercy, Giver of the New Commandment.

Have mercy, maker of disciples.

Have mercy, teacher of Martha and Mary.

Have mercy, receiver of prodigals.

Have mercy, exalter of publicans.

Have mercy, conscience of Zacchaeus.

Have mercy, wealth of the poor widow.

Have mercy, reward of Stephen.

Have mercy, conversion of Saul.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 11

The woman with the jar of ointment did approach Thee with much love and repentance. Just as Thou hadst healed and transformed her by Thy word, she did begin the preparation for Thy burial by anointing Thee. Accept us also, Holy Physician, who repent of wickedness and who desire only to follow in Thy footsteps and to do good works in Thy Name. We honour the repentant woman, for she did cry: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Who is without sin? Who hath not stumbled, and caused others likewise to stumble? Who hath not suffered the hardship of bad choices and the confusion of wrong ways? Who hath not been tempted of Satan and attracted to evil habits? Who hath not had a downfall from which there is no human rescue? We bring our brokenheartedness unto Thee, Lord Jesus, that Thou mightest heal all our infirmities and cause us to sing praises unto Thee:

Have mercy, Thou Who wast wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb.

Have mercy, Thou Who bestowest incorruptible life upon those dead in sin.

Have mercy, Thou Who makest the rain fall upon the good and the bad alike.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost dry the tears of the least important and the most disgraceful.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst call unto Thy Father from the Cross.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost call the brokenhearted unto the Faith.

Have mercy, Thou Who makest clean all who have offended Thee.

Have mercy, Thou Who hast compassion upon monks and nuns who cry unto Thee in the hours before daybreak.

Have mercy and make our sins white as snow.

Have mercy and change our unworthiness into thankfulness.

Have mercy and let us bury our guilt and shame today.

Have mercy and raise up our spirit from the tomb of our troubles.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 12

Peter, the Chief Apostle, did deny unto the people that he was one of Thy disciples. When he realized what he had done, he wept bitterly. Peter poured forth the pure tears of repentance which are acceptable unto Thee, Lord Jesus, and he proved his repentance by fulfilling his ministry as the rock of Thy Holy Church. He thereby did teach all to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

We see that Judas, that betrayer, unlike Peter, did not repent but was consumed with his sin. Let us therefore repent daily, Jesus, in the knowledge that Thy love is incomprehensibly greater than our sins. Thy strength is more powerful than the grip of our weaknesses, Thy light shineth through our darkness, Thy beauty calmeth our distress, Thy forgiveness offereth us second chances over and over, Thy Nativity filleth us with hope, thy Body and Blood unite us, and Thy Resurrection reneweth our spirit so that we may call unto Thee:

Have mercy, Only-Begotten Son of God.

Have mercy, only remedy for the malady of soul of Adam and Eve.

Have mercy, perfect Son of the Handmaiden of God.

Have mercy, Holy Physician Who dost carefully prescribe the right potion for every disease and disorder.

Have mercy, for we enjoyed worldly pleasures and wandered from the straight path.

Have mercy, for we despise our former ways and choose to follow the teachings of the Scriptures.

Have mercy, for we were tempted of Satan.

Have mercy, for we renounce sin and turn to Thee in prayer daily.

Have mercy, for we placed ourselves above others and then fell hard.

Have mercy, for we have experienced a change of heart through Thee and now we give alms to the needy.

Have mercy, for we neglected Thy blessed Mother.

Have mercy, for we repent and place ourselves under her Protecting Veil.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Kontakion 13

All the sick and suffering beseech Thee, all the forgiven thank and praise Thee, whereas the world doth try to discredit Thee and make Thee go away. Even when Thou dost knock on the door and call forth, not all follow Thee. Among those who do follow Thee, not all are true followers. We therefore ask of Thee, our Greatest Physician, especially to purify us from all pride and vanity, fortify us from all faintheartedness and waywardness, and guard us from the influence of all the falsehood and corruption of this world. Help us to become faithful Christians that we may always say: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. (Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Lord Jesus Christ, unto Thee do we sing praises of thanksgiving for Thine appearance on earth as the Greatest Physician of souls. Thou didst call the sick and suffering unto Thee, in obedience unto Thy merciful Father, for those who are righteous need not a physician. All who have sinned, who have gone astray, who have been deceived by the world, or who have been possessed of evil do exalt Thy marvelous ministry and exclaim:

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

The scribes and Pharisees did lay heavy burdens upon the shoulders of the people, and did sit in the uppermost rooms at feasts. Seeing such greed and hypocrisy, Thou didst call the heavy-laden unto Thee and didst give rest unto their souls. Thy yoke is easy, humble Master, for Thou openest the Kingdom of Heaven for those who cry unto Thee:

Have mercy, Jesus Christ, One of the Holy Trinity.

Have mercy, Saviour, Who becamest man and walkest among us with Thy mystical medicine.

Have mercy, innocent Son of the Queen of all.

Have mercy, Sovereign Physician of all who need the supreme powers of Thy Way.

Have mercy, Son of the Father Almighty, entrusted to restore creation.

Have mercy, Lord and King, sent to relieve the burdened.

Have mercy, Thou Who didst never sin.

Have mercy, Thou Who dost knock on the door of the sinner.

Have mercy, for we were born into inquity.

Have mercy, for we are devastated and suffering.

Have mercy, for none is righteous but Thee.

Have mercy, for Thou wast obedient unto death.

Glory to Thee, Jesus Christ, Greatest Physician of our souls.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ our God, we are not worthy to request anything from Thee, yet we are in urgent need of Thy divine forgiveness and restoration. Since Thou camest into the world to save sinners, we do not hesitate to fall down before Thee and ask for mercy. Thou didst cure all kinds of diseases, forgive all kinds of sins, and call forth all kinds of people unto Thy Holy Church. We therefore turn, from this day forward and with Thine aid and through the intercession of Thy holy Mother, onto the straight path. We resolve to love one another as Thou hast commanded, just as Thou dost love us daily and eternally and dost forgive us times without number. Accept our tears of repentance and reinstate us as Thou didst Peter. Restore our spiritual sight, and give that sight unto us who were born blind and never saw daylight. Let Thy divine light expose every demonic attraction and worldly influence. May our only desire be to please Thee and to serve Thy Holy Church. Our confidence is in Thee, Jesus, for we believe that Thou art the Son of God Who camest to save the sick and suffering. Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 24, Version 4

This material may be reprinted and redistributed for personal and non-profit uses only.

ADDENDUM #1: (June 24, 2017)

1) Regarding Ikos 10: some people might disagree with the use of the word imitate, on the grounds that the imitation of Christ is in conflict with the Eastern Orthodox concept of theosis. For a scholarly yet readable treatment on this subject, the reader might consider Fellow Workers with God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis, by Norman Russell, published in 2009 by St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press as a part of the Foundation Series.