Akathist Hymn of Forgiveness Sunday

Kontakion 1

Hear our prayer, Gracious Father, for we seek purification of heart as we journey into the Lenten season.  We beseech You to grant us a disposition of meekness and loving-kindness.  Lead us in the asking of forgiveness, for we have committed offenses knowingly and unknowingly.  Guide us to release those who ask our pardon and those who ask not.  Creator and Lord of all, forgiveness comes only through You, and therefore we declare in unity:

 Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

 Ikos 1

Brethren, let us repent and rejoice on this amazing day known as Forgiveness Sunday, that we may forgive one another and find peace within our souls.  Let us prepare for the Kingdom that Christ has prepared for us, relying on the mercy of God and offering heartfelt supplications:

Forgive me, Holy Trinity, for disgracing Your divine purpose.

Forgive me, Heavenly Father, for disobeying Your sacred will.

Forgive me, Jesus Christ, for disrespecting Your innocent sacrifice.

Forgive me, Holy Spirit, for dishonoring Your pure temple.

Forgive me, Glorious Church, for distorting Your perfect teachings.

Forgive me, Wondrous Faith, for disrupting Your righteous people.

Forgive me, All-Sufficient God, for disregarding Your sovereign rule.

Forgive me, All-Merciful God, for disdaining Your helpless ones.

Forgive me, All-Knowing God, for discarding Your holy wisdom.

Forgive me, All-Seeing God, for disfiguring Your sublime beauty.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 2

In humility, we bow our heads before the God Who made us and then never forsook us in our sin.  We worship at the altar of this unfathomable and longsuffering God Whose love is never-ending and ever-outpouring.  Let us respond to the call of Forgiveness Sunday, a day set aside to re-awaken our spiritual sensibilities, and let everyone exclaim: Alleluia.

Ikos 2 

Our transgressions are legion, both the outrageous and the subtle: these our offenses committed before God and His holy saints.  Yet, with faith and hope, we turn to God today in recognition of our fallen condition and in supplication of His rich mercy:

Forgive me, for Your love is stronger than the hardness of my sin.

Forgive me, that I may always trust in Your goodness despite my unworthiness.

Forgive me, for Your compassion is deeper than the pit of my failure.

Forgive me, that I may always trust in Your goodness despite my unworthiness.

Forgive me, for Your wisdom is mightier than the force of my desolation.

Forgive me, that I may always trust in Your goodness despite my unworthiness.

Forgive me, for Your patience is greater than the tempest of my misgivings.

Forgive me, that I may always trust in Your goodness despite my unworthiness.

Forgive me, for Your consolation is wider than the chasm of my defilement.

Forgive me, that I may always trust in Your goodness despite my unworthiness.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 3

We know that the Theotokos wishes salvation to all mankind.  She intercedes dependably as the Mother of Christians.  Even while we slumber, she is ever-watchful and never-fading in her loving-kindness toward those who follow her Son, Jesus Christ.  On this Forgiveness Sunday, let us be mindful of our need for her aid as we say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3 

Let us hasten to the Theotokos and reveal our innermost thoughts and feelings, for she welcomes the repentant and the merciful.  It is not too late, rather the time is right, to bring earnest supplications to the Mother of God:

Forgive me, Ever-Virgin Mary, for my spirituality is pretentious.

Forgive me, Birthgiver of God, for I am driven by impurities.

Forgive me, Sovereign Lady, for my charity is filled with vainglory.

Forgive me, Queen of Heaven, for I am consumed with desires.

Forgive me, holy Protectress, for my worship is inattentive.

Forgive me, holy Directress, for I am unstable in my emotions.

Forgive me, Mother of Life, for my goodwill is flawed by pride.

Forgive me, Mother of Salvation, for I am enslaved to society.

Forgive me, Gracious Lady, for I implore your intervention.

Forgive me, God-pleasing Handmaid, for I entreat your mediation.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 4 

We see also that Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is a zealous helper of the human race.  Let us not be unthankful to the God Who has sent us His saints, and Who blesses us with healing and unity through forgiveness of sins.  We have been divinely forgiven, and therefore let us forgive one another and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 4 

Saint Nicholas is eager to help the destitute and guide the lost.  Since we are impoverished in every way, let us turn to this holy wonderworker for truth and charity.  In our travails and on our travels, we have recourse to this great pastor of souls on the road to Great Lent.  Therein, everyone may truly offer supplications:

Forgive me, Saint Nicholas, for my life is unholy.

Forgive me, for my demeanor is unchristian.

Forgive me, for my words are unpleasant.

Forgive me, for my deeds are unprofitable.

Forgive me, for my thoughts are unwise.

Forgive me, for my feelings are unsympathetic.

Forgive me, for my ways are unbecoming.

Forgive me, for my sins are unspeakable.

Forgive me, for my attitude is ungrateful.

Forgive me, for my life is unworthy.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 5

Heavenly Father, You have showered us with right-thinking and liberated us from false-living.  Through forgiveness of sins, You have released us from the bondage of hopelessness and the prison of our past darkness.  We give thanks to You, God the Father, for Your incomprehensible condescension and, of one mind and heart, we Your children cry out: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Brethren, the Sunday of Forgiveness is not a miserable burden but a bright moment on the journey to Great Lent.  Let us beg forgiveness now, that we may truly rejoice and say “Christ is Risen” on that glorious Feast of the Resurrection.  Let us crucify ourselves to worldly-mindedness and arise from our lethargy, appealing to God and to one another with supplications: 

Forgive me for my lack of honest repentance.

Forgive me, that I may know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

Forgive me for my resistance to sincere forgiving.

Forgive me, that I may know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

Forgive me for my absence of genuine charity.

Forgive me, that I may know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

Forgive me for my reluctance to cheerfully assist.

Forgive me, that I may know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

Forgive me for my withholding of loving-kindness.

Forgive me, that I may know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 6

Zacchaeus sought a glimpse of Christ, but Christ sought the salvation of Zacchaeus.  From the height of the sycamore tree, Zacchaeus came down and learned of the profound humility of the only Savior Who offers forgiveness of sins.  Then, Zacchaeus whole-heartedly repented and said: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Jesus Christ seeks our redemption, whether or not we are aware of His many mercies toward mankind.  Why else was He incarnated?  Why else did He suffer death on the Cross?  Why else did He rise from the dead?  Let us unreservedly accept Him Who reaches out to the entire universe, acknowledging our sins and bringing ardent supplications:

Forgive me, Jesus Christ, for I preferred not to see You.

Forgive me, Son of God, for I decided not to hear You.

Forgive me, Savior, for I sought after sin.

Forgive me, Messiah, for I surrendered to society.

Forgive me, Good Shepherd, for I pursued the high places.

Forgive me, Lamb of God, for I passed by the glad news.

Forgive me, Redeemer, for I excused my unholy habits.

Forgive me, Teacher, for I neglected my second chances.

Forgive me, Crucified Christ, for I trusted not in Your goodness.

Forgive me, Resurrected Christ, for I depended not on Your mercy.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 7

The Publican and the Pharisee show us two ways of life: whether to trust in our own righteousness or to trust in the mercy of God.  Although we may have lived our lives in service to the Holy Church, let us not boast in our works but humble ourselves before the Almighty and Perfect God, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

Since all Christians are imperfect, let us condemn ourselves that we might not be condemned by God.  However, let us deal with one another in patience and forbearance, with unceasing prayer to our Gracious Father, and with disclosure of all our weaknesses accompanied by supplications:

Forgive me, fathers, for misunderstanding you.

Forgive me, mothers, for underestimating you.

Forgive me, brothers, for I was not hospitable.

Forgive me, sisters, for I was not helpful.

Forgive me, children, for I was too busy.

Forgive me, neighbors, for not assisting with your burdens.

Forgive me, strangers, for not attending to your wounds.

Forgive me, that we may be reconciled in Christ.

Forgive me, that we may overcome the world through Christ.

Forgive me, for God forgives.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 8 

The Prodigal Son also teaches us divergent ways of life: whether to degenerate into recklessness or to thrive in obedience, and whether to spiral downward into ruin or to humbly return to the fatherland and repent.  What is worldly gain compared to a life of piety?  What is the satisfaction of carnality compared to the blessings of eternity?  May we no longer waste our time and talents, but glorify God with all our words and deeds, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

God is glorious and marvelous, ever-flowing in goodness and never-failing in mercy.  Notwithstanding, let us not tempt the God Who sacrificed His Only-Begotten Son for the salvation of us sinners.  Let us welcome the repentant brethren with open arms, and let us likewise seek forgiveness with true supplications:

Forgive me, Holy God, for I chose rags over Your majesty.

Forgive me, Holy Mighty, for I desired filth rather than Your glory.

Forgive me, Holy Immortal, for I set pleasure above Your blessings.

Forgive me, brethren, for I took everything and gave nothing.

Forgive me, royal priesthood, for I separated myself from holiness.

Forgive me, all living things, for I squandered my advantages.

Forgive me, earth and sky, for I polluted my existence.

Forgive me, friend, for I was absorbed in selfishness.

Forgive me, enemy, for I contributed to your downfall.

Forgive me, Heaven, for I am bankrupt of spiritual profit.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 9 

We pray fervently on Forgiveness Sunday, so that we might pray and forgive on every day and at every hour from this point forward.  In this way, we can ready ourselves for that final minute and breathe our last breath in peace.  Let us leave all judgment to the All-Sufficient God and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9 

Only with the help of God can we fulfill all forgiveness, since we can do nothing good of our own.  Let us not take pride in our spiritual progress, but give all thanks and glory to the God Who uplifted us and found us worthy though unworthy of His wondrous care.  We bow our heads, Holy God, and we offer earnest supplications: 

Forgive me for my arrogant intrusion into the Divine Mysteries.

Forgive me for my disgraceful ingratitude for Holy Communion.

Forgive me for my inexcusable repetition of wrongdoings.

Forgive me for my inexpressible attraction to worldly distractions.

Forgive me for my inclination toward faintheartedness.

Forgive me for my intolerance of others’ weaknesses.

Forgive me for my inconsiderate treatment of the clergy.

Forgive me for my injurious words against the congregation.

Forgive me for my insipid repentance.

Forgive me for my inordinate demands.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 10

It is a privilege to be of service to the Heavenly Father, and as we journey through Great Lent we can purify our purpose and renew our discipleship.  Let us put aside all conflict, rather let us rejoice if we are persecuted for His Namesake, so that we may forgive all: unnoticed by all except the True God to Whom we say: Alleluia.

Ikos 10 

Seek not the approval of men in your state of forgiving, or abuse the charitable pardons bestowed on you, but remain hidden in Christ with meekness and humility.  God knows the pure in heart, and He rewards each penitent who brings sincere supplications:

Forgive me, that my disposition may exalt Your holiness.

Forgive me and teach me the way that I should go.

Forgive me, that my words may impart Your mercy.

Forgive me and teach me the way that I should go.

Forgive me, that my deeds may reveal Your goodness.

Forgive me and teach me the way that I should go.

Forgive me, that my prayers may reflect Your sanctity.

Forgive me and teach me the way that I should go.

Forgive me, that my walk may magnify Your precepts.

Forgive me and teach me the way that I should go.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 11 

We see that the Archangel Michael is a swift and trustworthy helper in overcoming evil.  His courage is ever-vigilant and his valor is never-waning, and therefore we may continually beseech his aid throughout all our spiritual struggles.  We are never bereft of support on the road to Great Lent, but are enclosed within a heavenly army of saints and angels who enable us to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Our struggles should not be with one another, brethren, but with the powers of darkness which desire our captivity.  Let us be prudent in understanding the treachery of these evil forces, which the lives of the saints demonstrate so well, yet also be simple as children when we open our hearts to God with supplications: 

Forgive me, for You are my shield of protection.

Forgive me, for You are the sword of deliverance.

Forgive me, for You are my fortress of salvation.

Forgive me, for You are the habitation of righteousness.

Forgive me and accomplish a good work in me.

Forgive me and let me be of service to Your people.

Forgive me and gather me into Your household.

Forgive me and let me praise You to the end.

Forgive me, that I may know divine love.

Forgive me, that I may love Him Who first loved me.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 12 

Let us overcome all malice and temptation through forgiveness of one another and thanksgiving to God.  In this way, we shall not crucify Christ anew, nor shall we betray His Holy Resurrection, but we shall be faithful to the end.  Let us cheerfully repent, and let us be jubilant even now as we anticipate the conclusion of our Lenten journey.  God is faithful in His promises and in His plan of salvation, and therefore everyone may say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

The mercy of God is ever-streaming and far-reaching, such that all the weary may quench their thirst and strengthen their resolve.  Herein is our only joy: to worship God unceasingly.  Let us begin today by offering our supplications with humility:

Forgive me, that I may know the glory of Your ways.

Forgive me, that I may live in the peace of Your mercies.

Forgive me, that I may have no other gods but You.

Forgive me, that I may disown all my idols.

Forgive me, that I may become Your obedient child.

Forgive me, that I may bury my old self.

Forgive me, that I may rise with Christ.

Forgive me, that I may inherit the Kingdom.

Forgive me, that I may see Your image in others.

Forgive me, that I may be a blessing to all.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Kontakion 13

We give thanks to You, Holy God, for allowing us to receive the blessings of Forgiveness Sunday.  You have drawn us together in the indestructible and undivided Church.  Where the Church is, love is, and by this Your true people are recognized.  Forgive us in our trespasses and grant us the heart to forgive one another, so that Your goodness may triumph and endure forever as we say: Alleluia.  Alleluia.  Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated) 

Hear our prayer, Gracious Father, for we seek purification of heart as we journey into the Lenten season.  We beseech You to grant us a disposition of meekness and loving-kindness.  Lead us in the asking of forgiveness, for we have committed offenses knowingly and unknowingly.  Guide us to release those who ask our pardon and those who ask not.  Creator and Lord of all, forgiveness comes only through You, and therefore we declare in unity:

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

Ikos 1 (repeated) 

Brethren, let us repent and rejoice on this amazing day known as Forgiveness Sunday, that we may forgive one another and find peace within our souls.  Let us prepare for the Kingdom that Christ has prepared for us, relying on the mercy of God and offering heartfelt supplications:

Forgive me, Holy Trinity, for disgracing Your divine purpose.

Forgive me, Heavenly Father, for disobeying Your sacred will.

Forgive me, Jesus Christ, for disrespecting Your innocent sacrifice.

Forgive me, Holy Spirit, for dishonoring Your pure temple.

Forgive me, Glorious Church, for distorting Your perfect teachings.

Forgive me, Wondrous Faith, for disrupting Your righteous people.

Forgive me, All-Sufficient God, for disregarding Your sovereign rule.

Forgive me, All-Merciful God, for disdaining Your helpless ones.

Forgive me, All-Knowing God, for discarding Your holy wisdom.

Forgive me, All-Seeing God, for disfiguring Your sublime beauty.

Forgive me, Holy God, and create within me a clean heart.

Forgive me, Holy God, that I may praise You forevermore.

Glory to You, Holy God of Majesty and Mercy.

A Prayer

Father and Creator of all, we pray that You will form within us a pure heart and bring us together into the Holy Church.  Forgive us for our wrongs, and forgive those who have wronged us.  Heal the harm which we have caused others and renew their faith and vitality.  Establish us as Your true people, that none will be lost for whom Christ was crucified, and let us go forward into holiness of life. Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 36, Version 6

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

 

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