Akathist Hymn of Discipleship in Christ

Kontakion 1

Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, graciously attend to our desire to follow You and to be Your disciples.  We pray that we may continually learn about You and increasingly become like You.  Grant that we adhere to Your teachings with complete devotion, such that we glorify You with everything we say and do.  May the whole world know that we are believers and doers of the word as we say:

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Ikos 1

No disciple is superior to the teacher but, with suitable preparation, we seek to imitate You, our Lord Jesus, in truth and love.  Let us begin by removing the gross impurities from our own heart and not focus on our neighbor’s trivialities.  May we work out our own salvation as we humbly sing these praises:

Be merciful, for You are the True Teacher of the True Way.

Be merciful, for Satan is fixated on taking us for his own.

Be merciful, for at sunrise we set forth to walk with You.

Be merciful, for at sunset we thank You for letting us serve You.

Be merciful, for You summon us to prayer in the darkness of night.

Be merciful, for Satan devours those who are not watchful.

Be merciful, for we are Your disciples and You shield us with Your love.

Be merciful, for none is worthy but we trust and obey as instructed.

Be merciful, for the stubborn shall dig their heels into the pit of pride.

Be merciful, for the self-righteous shall fall into the vale of vanity.

Be merciful, for we cling to You like grapes to the Vine.

Be merciful, for we bow to You like wheat to the Sun.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 2

We leave behind every entrapment of the world to follow You, Lord Jesus. We disown whatever does not support Your divine purpose, whatever does not sustain the soul, and whatever does not spread the Kingdom. We desire only to do good, but we can do nothing good without You.  We therefore abide in You day and night: praying, studying, walking, and always saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

We deny ourselves as the center of all attention and activity.  We place You, Christ God, at the center of our lives. We direct all our efforts toward serving and exalting You and the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Even if the world misunderstands us and our family abandons us, and even if other Christians slander us, we know that all things work together for the good of those who bring praises to You:

Be merciful, Transfigured Teacher, for Peter, James, and John were commanded by God to listen to You.

Be merciful and shine Your knowledge and wisdom upon us.

Be merciful, Crucified Christ, for You brought together the Virgin Mary and the Theologian John into a holy household.

Be merciful and unite us into the Holy Church.

Be merciful, Resurrected Redeemer, for Mary Magdalene announced Your triumph over death.

Be merciful and make our comings and goings express Your victorious goodness.

Be merciful, for we keep the Commandments.

Be merciful, for we believe the Beatitudes.

Be merciful, for we venerate the patriarchs and prophets.

Be merciful, for we honor the holy apostles.

Be merciful, for we esteem the saints and martyrs.

Be merciful, for we long to become worthy disciples.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 3

Lord Jesus, teach us to say with the Prophet Isaiah, “Here I am, send me!” Send us to our spouses and to our children.  Send us to our neighbor and to the stranger.  Send us to the sick and to the lonely.  Send us to our enemy and to other Christians, that everyone might say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

We are ready to carry our cross, Christ God, into the desolate places and among the distracted people, so that Your love may become evident through our discipleship.  Let us witness of Your forgiveness by treating others with consideration for their needs, giving of our time and talents, and always depending upon Your strength and provision as we chant:

Be merciful, that we may appreciate and not abuse.

Be merciful, that we may be candles and not curses.

Be merciful, that we may find and not force.

Be merciful, that we may be temples and not tombs.

Be merciful, that we may pray and not provoke.

Be merciful, that we may be theologians and not thorns.

Be merciful, that we may invite and not insist.

Be merciful, that we may be bountiful and not burdens.

Be merciful, that we may contribute and not control.

Be merciful, that we may be penitents and not persecutors.

Be merciful, that we may bless and not blame.

Be merciful, that we may be treasures and not trespassers.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 4

You have cleansed us wholly with Your Precious Blood, Jesus, and we may thereby give our life wholly to You.  Closer to us than any friend are You, for You are with us every minute of every day.  You are nowhere absent and everywhere present.  Therefore, even among the ungodly and the unrepentant we may continue to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Let us remember Your disciples all over the world who are today persecuted for their fidelity to You, Jesus.  Christians are imprisoned and killed, their churches are burned to the ground, and some escape to other countries for safety and for the freedom to worship You in public.  Although the world cares not about martyred Christians and displaced persons, we rightfully offer these supplications:

Be merciful to the Christians suffering in faraway places.

Be merciful and reward them with heavenly crowns of righteousness.

Be merciful to Your disciples who are maltreated in our homeland.

Be merciful and cast out all fear from their heart.

Be merciful to those who are mocked in school and on the job.

Be merciful and bestow upon them the peace which the world cannot give.

Be merciful that we faint not.

Be merciful that we curse not.

Be merciful that we stray not.

Be merciful that we doubt not.

Be merciful, that we love.

Be merciful, that we forgive.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 5

The monasteries are filled with Your devoted disciples, the bells ringing and the monks and nuns singing. Where two or three are gathered in Your Name, Jesus, You are there in the midst.  While living apart from Your disciples in the world, for the purpose of unceasing prayer, the monks and nuns are able to bless the whole world as they say: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

We all need quiet moments, Jesus, to contemplate Your glorious ministry and to pray within the interior of our soul.  Let us therefore withdraw from the demands of society and praise you in this manner:

Be merciful, for we open the Bible and meditate.

Be merciful, for we rest by the fragrant cedars.

Be merciful, for we ponder the words of Your teachings.

Be merciful, for we pause by the rippling brooks.

Be merciful, for we nourish our soul by memorizing Scripture.

Be merciful, for we partake of manna from Heaven.

Be merciful, for there is no want in Your pastures.

Be merciful, for there is fruit in Your orchards.

Be merciful, for there is no lack in Your oceans.

Be merciful, for there are fish in your rivers.

Be merciful, for there is no deficiency in Your Church.

Be merciful, for there is unity among the monks and nuns and all the faithful throughout Christendom.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 6

We have a High Priest in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who knows the heart of each person and Who forgives sins.  The priests on earth serve as ordained disciples of Jesus Christ: guiding the people in truth and love, giving bread and not stones, walking in the steps of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and exclaiming with them: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

All disciples glorify God as one people, without divisions.  Saint Peter taught that Christians are a royal priesthood and a holy nation, “Who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” Every believer is to be an example of that mercy, and we beseech Christ to guide us in worthy conduct:

Be merciful, that we may fulfill and not forfeit.

Be merciful, that we may be shelters and not storms.

Be merciful, that we may understand and not undervalue.

Be merciful, that we be confessors and not conspirers.

Be merciful, that we may befriend and not betray.

Be merciful, that we may be fountains and not frauds.

Be merciful, that we may share and not shun.

Be merciful, that we may be havens and not hypocrites.

Be merciful, that we may forgive and not forsake.

Be merciful, that we may be gateways and not graves.

Be merciful, that we may help and not hinder.

Be merciful, that we may be myrhh and not manipulators.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 7

A true disciple rejoices in the virtues of others.  Let us praise God when others shine forth the goodness of Christ whether or not they have worked as much as we have, for no one deserves divine forgiveness.  Let us thank God when others obtain blessings whether or not they have suffered as much as we have, for no one has suffered as much as Christ. Let all true disciples be glad in the witness of others and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

A true disciple does not begrudge holiness to those who are different. Let everyone approach Christ: the affluent and the unfortunate, men and women, all nationalities, sinners of unspeakable sins, the teachers and the youngsters, the last and the least, the priest and the parolee, and all races and cultures.  Open the Church doors that everyone may come in and sing praises to the Lord Jesus:

Be merciful, for You came down from Heaven for us.

Be merciful, for You loved us when we were still unsaved.

Be merciful, for we were created to worship God.

Be merciful, for in this we find our true happiness.

Be merciful, for You commanded the apostles to make disciples.

Be merciful, for we desire to be the fruit of that command.

Be merciful, for we have put off the old self.

Be merciful, for we have put on a new robe of righteousness.

Be merciful, for we wish everyone to be saved.

Be merciful, for we wish not to be an obstruction.

Be merciful, for every life has a story.

Be merciful, for every soul has a place.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 8

The Theologian John taught about fellowship when he said, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” We likewise say in fellowship with the holy Apostle John: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Those who walk in the light and practice truth are in fellowship with Christ and with one another.  If any refuse to have fellowship, therefore, then they are still in the darkness of sin or have not confessed later sins and sought forgiveness.  Thus, if we must walk alone, we are never alone in spirit because we are with Christ and all His disciples throughout the ages who sang praises such as these:

Be merciful, our Truth and source of all knowledge and wisdom.

Be merciful, our Goodness and model of all virtues and conduct.

Be merciful, our Light and exposer of all falsehood and deception.

Be merciful, our Unity and revealer of all corruption and depravity.

Be merciful, for the hypocrites are daring.

Be merciful, for the devious are aggressive.

Be merciful, for the devil never sleeps.

Be merciful, for the demons are tricky.

Be merciful, for we walk a narrow path.

Be merciful, for we look straight ahead.

Be merciful, for some have fallen away.

Be merciful, for all need forgiveness.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 9

Lord Jesus, we have detached from the excesses and false security of the world to follow You. Things of this fallen world are intertwined with evil and, although we own possessions, our love for You surpasses our love for all material items.  Those who overvalue the world lose their spirituality, but those who witness of the Gospel inherit eternal life and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

The world opposes You, Lord Jesus, and it opposes Your disciples because it opposes You.  All Christians know, deep within their heart, whether they follow You completely or prefer convenient gratifications from worldly associations. Your true disciples, however, rejoice under all circumstances and sing these praises:

Be merciful, for the world recognizes its own.

Be merciful, because we choose prayer over popularity.

Be merciful, for the treasures of the world fade and rust.

Be merciful, because a kind deed shines forever.

Be merciful, for cities become ruins over time.

Be merciful, because a pure heart is everlasting.

Be merciful, for a friend today will betray us tomorrow.

Be merciful, because the Church is indestructible.

Be merciful, for the world does whatever it is expedient.

Be merciful, because only Your promises are true.

Be merciful, for wrong appears right in darkness of night.

Be merciful, because God cannot lie.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 10

Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who is beloved of God and beloved of the Theotokos, taught us about the spiritual life. Acquire the Holy Spirit, he said, acquire the Spirit of Peace, and a thousand souls around you can be saved. This gentle monk continues to guide many to true discipleship, and we therefore cry out together with him: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

Let us walk in the grace of God and in unity with Christ.  Let us use discernment in our relationships but persecute no one.  We extend our love to all people: through prayers and good deeds, through words of truth and wisdom, but we cannot endorse any misguided ways or be loyal to any errors in belief. May we maintain inward peace and always trust in Christ to use our life as is fitting, unceasingly thanking Him and beseeching His mercy upon us and upon the thousands around us:

Be merciful, that we may assemble and not alienate.

Be merciful, that we may be rocks and not rebels.

Be merciful, that we may counsel and not confuse.

Be merciful, that we may be paradise and not poison.

Be merciful, that we may encourage and not erode.

Be merciful, that we may be harbors and not hazards.

Be merciful, that we may overcome and not overlook.

Be merciful, that we may be channels and not chains.

Be merciful, that we may proclaim and not pressure.

Be merciful, that we may be companions and not complainers.

Be merciful, that we may cheer and not injure.

Be merciful, that we may be silent and not insolent.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 11

How do we stay on the straight path amid the pleasures of the world?  How do we perceive what is appropriate or harmful for a disciple of Christ? If it interferes with prayer, then it must be eliminated.  If it is contrary to the Christian virtues, then it must be rejected.  If it causes us to neglect those around us, then it must be abolished.  If it takes the place of Christ, then it must be relinquished. Whatever we do, we must be able to say in our heart and to everyone around us: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Christ God, You were born of the Virgin Mary and You know what it is like to be a human person.  You were tempted, but never sinned. Guide us, that we also may participate in life without blemish, and with continual recourse to Your forgiveness and reconciliation if we stumble or fall. In thanksgiving, we offer You these humble praises.

Be merciful, for the world is congested with choices.

Be merciful, for the Christian is beset with byways.

Be merciful, for we work in an atmosphere of hostility.

Be merciful, for we encounter many angry people.

Be merciful, for we resist the obvious.

Be merciful, for we then resent our resistance.

Be merciful, for we entertain the subtle.

Be merciful, for we then regret how easily we could have walked away.

Be merciful, for we need to be re-oriented in lifestyle.

Be merciful, for we need to be refreshed in spirit.

Be merciful, for we return to our only True Love.

Be merciful, for we thrive on Your lovingkindness.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 12

We follow You, Lord Jesus, because You cleansed us and saved us from the justified wrath of God.  We love You because You first loved us.  We look forward to the fulfillment of Your promises, to the rewards of life everlasting, and to the fullness of all joy.  You have told us not to let our hearts be troubled, and therefore in peace and purity we declare: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Finally, let us hold fast to our traditions, as Saint Paul instructed, and as we have learned in the creeds and homilies.  We have been transformed by the renewal of our mind, and now let us reinforce those truths again and again with a profession of faith:

Be merciful, for we believe in one God, the Father Almighty.

Be merciful, for He is the maker of Heaven and earth.

Be merciful, for He is the maker of all things visible and invisible.

Be merciful, for we believe in You, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be merciful, for You are the Only-Begotten Son of God.

Be merciful, for You are begotten of the Father before all ages.

Be merciful, for You are Light from Light.

Be merciful, for You are True God from True God.

Be merciful, for You are begotten, not made.

Be merciful, for You are of One Essence with the Father, through Whom all things were made.

Be merciful, for You came down from Heaven for us men, and for our salvation.

Be merciful, for You were incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Kontakion 13

Christ our God, we desire to be Your disciples, the fruits of and in continuation of the holy apostles and all the righteous men and women.  We understand the risks and sacrifices, and yet the holiness of your saints inspires us to follow You and to be like You.  There are no other ways for us, no looking back and no lapsing to the old self. We have seen the light of truth and love, and all else perishes before our eyes. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, graciously attend to our desire to follow You and to be Your disciples.  We pray that we may continually learn about You and increasingly become like You.  Grant that we adhere to Your teachings with complete devotion, such that we glorify You with everything we say and do.  May the whole world know that we are believers and doers of the Word as we say:

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

No disciple is superior to the teacher but, with suitable preparation, we seek to imitate You, our Lord Jesus, in truth and love.  Let us begin by removing the gross impurities from our own heart and not focus on our neighbor’s trivialities.  May we work out own salvation as we humbly sing these praises:

Be merciful, for You are the True Teacher of the True Way.

Be merciful, for Satan is fixated on taking us for his own.

Be merciful, for at sunrise we set forth to walk with You.

Be merciful, for at sunset we thank You for letting us serve You.

Be merciful, for You summon us to prayer in the darkness of night.

Be merciful, for Satan devours those who are not watchful.

Be merciful, for we are Your disciples and You shield us with Your love.

Be  merciful, for none is worthy but we trust and obey as instructed.

Be merciful, for the stubborn shall dig their heals into the pit of pride.

Be merciful, for the self-righteous shall fall into the vale of vanity.

Be merciful, for we cling to You like grapes to the Vine.

Be merciful, for we bow to You like wheat to the Sun.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ our Lord and King.

A Prayer

We pray for forgiveness and reconciliation, for grace and fortitude, for perception and discernment, for the overcoming of all pride and vanity, for the renunciation of all distraction and deception, for victory over evil, and for the capacity to love neighbor and enemy.  Bless Your disciples, Christ our God, and send us forth on the straight path and through the narrow gate. Equip us with a pure heart that loves the sinner, with eyes that see the truth, with feet that walk in humility, with hands that lift up the unsaved as well as the brethren, and with a mind renewed in the Gospel and in the teachings of the holy fathers and elders.  Provide us with everything we need for our journey, that we may reach the destination of Heaven with the saints, and that we may abide in You even now and never be alone and never fear.  Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 24, Version 3

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

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