Akathist Hymn to Saint Anthony of Egypt

Kontakion 1

O God of the apostles, God of the martyrs, God of the hermits who prayed in the deserts of old, we bow before You today and sing praises to Your faithful servant, Saint Anthony the Great of Egypt, whom You found pleasing in Your sight. Henceforth, with gladness we proclaim:

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Ikos 1

Saint Anthony, holy father of monks and nuns, you lived a profitable life of prayer in the parched land of Egypt, finding a wellspring of spirituality within the purity of your soul. You prayed unceasingly, and now you inspire all those who dedicate themselves to pleasing God only:

Rejoice, for your prayers brought light into the darkness.

Rejoice, for every word from your lips was sacred.

Rejoice, for your path  on earth was sanctified.

Rejoice, for every hardship you bore was for God.

Rejoice, for you hallowed the desert with goodwill.

Rejoice, for every pilgrim you received was nourished.

Rejoice, for your perseverance in prayer was honored.

Rejoice, for every demon you encountered was vanquished.

Rejoice, for your influence spread throughout the land.

Rejoice, for every soul you touched was encouraged.

Rejoice, for your solitude deepened the meaning of life.

Rejoice, for every breath you took was dedicated to Christ.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 2

You attained a life of blessedness and virtue in the inhospitable desert, counting all worldly loss as spiritual gain, exchanging bodily comfort for unceasing prayer, sacrificing even the good things of life in order to stay hidden in Christ and to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

Your love of virtue, Father Anthony, was greater than any love of pleasure. Your desire for prayer was stronger than any desire for trade and money. Your commitment to the Scriptures was so firm that even the most devious demons could not entice you, and therefore we praise you:

Rejoice, great disciple of Christ.

Rejoice, for you save us from falsehood.

Rejoice, strong rope of prayer.

Rejoice, for you rescue us from distraction.

Rejoice, ready helper of humankind.

Rejoice, for you uphold us in virtue.

Rejoice, patient adviser of monks and nuns.

Rejoice, for you fortify us in watchfulness.

Rejoice, abiding foundation of tranquility.

Rejoice, for you move us to forgive.

Rejoice, everlasting source of cheerfulness.

Rejoice, for you cause us to repent.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 3

As a holy monk, Saint Anthony, you embraced a lifestyle of deliberate martyrdom. You became one with the Cross of Christ and never came down from that Cross until your last breath on earth. You relinquished all personal wishes and opinions, only saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

You renounced all aspirations, including home and hearth, for the sake of unceasing prayer.  After the death of your parents, you sold and gave away all that you had, and you secured your sister in a holy convent. Then, both of you began acquiring treasures in Heaven while His servants on earth:

Rejoice, for you valued prayer more than worldly riches.

Rejoice, man of divine fortune.

Rejoice, for you cherished poverty more than earthly things.

Rejoice, monk of spiritual plenty.

Rejoice, for you prized simplicity above self-indulgence.

Rejoice, pure heart.

Rejoice, for you esteemed meekness above self-promotion.

Rejoice, singular eye.

Rejoice, for you preferred the Cross over material success.

Rejoice, brother to the least.

Rejoice, for you favored crucifixion over mortal acclaim.

Rejoice, father to the humble.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 4

Living in a little hut outside the village, you prayed unceasingly and did handwork, and you even gave alms to the poor. Saint Anthony, you were not negligent in any of the virtues. You never made excuses for yourself but humbly trusted in the mercy of God, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Nonetheless, since the devil especially hates monks and nuns, you were aggrieved by doubts and worries as the devil attacked your resolve. Satan also tried to destabilize you with carnal feelings and lustful desires, but you feared only the judgment of God and you remained true:

Rejoice, for you did not succumb to futile imaginings.

Rejoice, for all your true longings for love were fulfilled in God.

Rejoice, for you did not yield to abysmal depictions.

Rejoice, for all your fleshly cravings were extinguished in prayer.

Rejoice, for you resisted irrational worries.

Rejoice, for all your effort was focused into the day at hand.

Rejoice, for you rejected unfounded concerns.

Rejoice, for all your vanity was abolished at the Cross of Christ.

Rejoice, for you never tolerated nostalgia for the past.

Rejoice, for all your reflection was on the Scriptures.

Rejoice, for you never permitted regret over things renounced.

Rejoice, for all your contentment was in the virtues.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 5

You have shown us, Father Anthony, that God will sustain our path for us. Whether we are called to be monks and nuns in monasteries, or to pray as solitaries in the wasteland of the suburbs, or to arise early in the busy city and seek the Kingdom first, all Christians say with one mind: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Saint Anthony, our beloved father, guide us who pray sincerely and who worship truly, liberate us who are under attack by evil, deliver us who are troubled by impurities, release us who are in bondage to covetousness, so that everyone may bring you praises:

Rejoice, friend of the meek, downfall of the adversary.

Rejoice, aid of the lowly, defeat of the charlatan.

Rejoice, laborer for the Church,  vanquisher of heresy.

Rejoice, worker for the faithful, conqueror of iniquity.

Rejoice, refuge for monks, wall to Satan.

Rejoice, sanctuary for nuns, barricade to demons.

Rejoice, protector of purity, denouncer of carnality.

Rejoice, guardian of chastity, slayer of lust.

Rejoice, support of martyrdom, exposer of deviance.

Rejoice, shield of prayer, terminator of negligence.

Rejoice, crown of goodwill, overthrow of conceit.

Rejoice, jewel of generosity, doom of vainglory.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 6

You gained from other ascetics whom you visited from time to time, and there was one elder especially to whom you turned for guidance. You were otherwise uneducated, neither studying nor writing books, but always immersed in prayer and saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Your faith, Saint Anthony, was beyond the art of argumentation, for you were enlightened from within and you absorbed the words and works of Jesus Christ as we know in the Scriptures. It was purity of heart rather than intellectual prowess that made you knowledgeable:

Rejoice, transfigured disciple.

Rejoice, wholehearted believer.

Rejoice, fervent seeker.

Rejoice, grateful finder.

Rejoice, zealous learner.

Rejoice, eager listener.

Rejoice, illuminated expert.

Rejoice, enlightened authority.

Rejoice, astute witness.

Rejoice, wise observer.

Rejoice, accurate compass.

Rejoice, perfect direction.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 7

In pursuit of a more austere lifestyle, Father Anthony, you ventured into a cemetery and eventually settled in a tomb. This grim territory proved to be the solid rock on which you obtained further spiritual victories, for you overcame vicious demons and continued to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

The demons battled with your body and soul, but you persevered in prayer and the virtues. You never flinched in your faith, and God rewarded you according to His plan of salvation. God promised to make you known to all people, and that is why we offer you praises today:

Rejoice, for you engaged in spiritual warfare as a soldier of Christ.

Rejoice, for every supplication you raised was divinely answered.

Rejoice, for you wrestled with demonic forces as an image of God.

Rejoice, for every plea you uttered was sacredly honored.

Rejoice, for you planted the Life-Giving Cross in a dreary place.

Rejoice, for every quest you undertook was rewarded.

Rejoice, for you upheld the Cross of Christ before the spirits of darkness.

Rejoice, for every agony you endured was vindicated.

Rejoice, for you proceeded not by sight or sound.

Rejoice, for every word of the Scriptures invigorated you.

Rejoice, for you hungered not for temporary satisfaction.

Rejoice, for every promise of the Kingdom encouraged you.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 8

Saint Anthony, you had friends who attended to your needs after your warfare with the demons. Even though you preferred solitude, for the sake of uninterrupted prayer, you were nonetheless a likable and sociable man who attracted friends, and together everyone said: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Because you were so highly regarded, you feared conceit and vainglory would creep into your heart. You therefore wandered even deeper into the desert, finding a mountain where there was access to water and where you could pray for many years to come:

Rejoice, devout man of constant prayer.

Rejoice, for you beckon us to seek the Kingdom first.

Rejoice, desert hermit of simple means.

Rejoice, for you summon us to avoid excess.

Rejoice, admirable servant of Christ our Savior.

Rejoice, for you show us the path to redemption.

Rejoice, virtuous monk of divine wisdom.

Rejoice, for you teach us to adhere to the Scriptures.

Rejoice, steadfast friend of those who honor you.

Rejoice, for you revitalize us to carry the Cross.

Rejoice, true companion of those who venerate you.

Rejoice, for you point us to Heavenly inclusion.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 9

Friends pursued you, Saint Anthony, and you were sought by many others for your holy guidance. Communities eventually blossomed around you, and hence you became known as the Father of Monasticism. You were not the first monk, but the first to go far into the desert and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

We see that despite your shining piety, God directed you to another hermit even more brilliant. You found Saint Paul of Thebes in a cave where he had prayed for many years, living off bread brought to him daily by a bird. We therefore praise you for your humility and obedience:

Rejoice, for you obeyed God rather than worldly appetite.

Rejoice, profound serenity.

Rejoice, for you submitted to Christ rather than impure passions.

Rejoice, complete dignity.

Rejoice, for you acknowledged a man better than you.

Rejoice, happy attendant.

Rejoice, for you shared bread with a monk earlier than you.

Rejoice, blessed partaker.

Rejoice, for you chose reality over misconception.

Rejoice, son of truthfulness.

Rejoice, for you picked spirituality over status.

Rejoice, child of God.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 10

You have shown us, Father Anthony, that even a desert hermit must be hospitable and attentive to visitors. In order to alleviate the burden of those who brought you bread, you found a patch of good soil where you could grow grain and thereby bake bread, always saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

As it often happens, one thing leads to another. It was not enough to supply your own bread, for your many visitors were also hungry. You then began growing vegetables in order to maintain them physically. But most of all, you nourished them spiritually with words of truth and wisdom:

Rejoice, for you did not neglect to feed the sheep of Christ.

Rejoice, for all your labor was combined with prayer.

Rejoice, for you did not fail to build the Kingdom of God.

Rejoice, for all  your words were joined with compassion.

Rejoice, for you banned self-will from the desert.

Rejoice, for all your thoughts were holy.

Rejoice, for you forbad deviance from the Scriptures.

Rejoice, for all your ways were righteous.

Rejoice, for you never excluded the sinner who repented.

Rejoice, for all your hope was in salvation.

Rejoice, for you never refused the seeker who questioned.

Rejoice, for all your confidence was in Godliness.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 11

Saint Anthony, you were like our Lord Jesus Christ, as you cast out demons and healed people of diseases. Yea, you were a teacher of holiness and giver of bread, a lover of virtue and voice of prayer, as well as a holy  wonderworker to the possessed and the sick who thankfully said: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

We pray for healing and restoration, Father Anthony, and yet we know that nothing can separate us from God. We pray for purity of heart, that we may conquer evil with your aid and glorify God eternally. Help us who are weak, who are troubled, who are lost, and we shall always praise you:

Rejoice, worker of wonders, enemy of chaos.

Rejoice, healer of sicknesses, foe of desperation.

Rejoice, gatherer of beginners, obstacle to temptations.

Rejoice, harvester of monastics, hindrance to argumentation.

Rejoice, protector of purity, expulsion of decadence.

Rejoice, preserver of goodness, eviction of corruption.

Rejoice, resolve of monks, ruin of complacency.

Rejoice, devotion of nuns, end of lukewarmness.

Rejoice, example for hermits, inconceivable to criticizers.

Rejoice, passageway for solitaries, indescribable to scoffers.

Rejoice, honor of monasteries, poison to self-importance.

Rejoice, integrity of generations, deterrent to self-satisfaction.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 12

Toward the end of your life, you went to the city of Alexandria during a time of persecution. You wanted to become a martyr, but God called you to serve Him in other ways. You ministered to Christian prisoners, and you also publicly defended the Church against heresy, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Saint Anthony, you lived a life in which holy prayer and practical service were interwoven, for you prayed while you worked and your service was prayer in action. There were monks before you and many came after you, but you are the great Father of Monasticism who lights our way:

Rejoice, merciful aide.

Rejoice, tender consoler.

Rejoice, sacrificial preparedness.

Rejoice, loving totality.

Rejoice, courageous defender.

Rejoice, bold advocate.

Rejoice, contemplative laborer.

Rejoice, hardworking father.

Rejoice, inspired theologian.

Rejoice, forthright speaker.

Rejoice, sacred purpose.

Rejoice, holy impact.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Kontakion 13

You lived to the age of 105, healthy and fit until death, despite the toil of asceticism and attacks of demons. You were buried in the desert by your disciples, but the account of your life, Saint Anthony, was passed on that we might all arise to the call of holiness and say:  Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

O God of the apostles, God of the martyrs, God of the hermits who prayed in the deserts of old, we bow before You today and sing praises to Your faithful servant, Saint Anthony the Great of Egypt, whom You found pleasing in Your sight. Henceforth, with gladness we proclaim:

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

Saint Anthony, holy father of monks and nuns, you lived a profitable life of prayer in the parched land of Egypt, finding a wellspring of spirituality within the purity of your soul. You prayed unceasingly, and now you inspire all those who dedicate themselves to pleasing God only:

Rejoice, for your prayers brought light into the darkness.

Rejoice, for every word from your lips was sacred.

Rejoice, for your path  on earth was sanctified.

Rejoice, for every hardship you bore was for God.

Rejoice, for you hallowed the desert with goodwill.

Rejoice, for every pilgrim you received was nourished.

Rejoice, for your perseverance in prayer was honored.

Rejoice, for every demon you encountered was vanquished.

Rejoice, for your influence spread throughout the land.

Rejoice, for every soul you touched was encouraged.

Rejoice, for your solitude deepened the meaning of life.

Rejoice, for every breath you took was dedicated to Christ.

Rejoice, Saint Anthony, spiritual father to those who pray always.

A Prayer

Saint Anthony, have mercy upon us who honor your memory and appeal to your aid, for we endeavor to pray always and to be of service to Church and humankind. We implore you to strengthen us in times of tribulation and light the way forward to all truth and victory. Amen.

Copyright © 2017 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 517, Version 1

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

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