Akathist Hymn to Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd

Kontakion 1

Brothers and sisters, let us worship the Good and True Shepherd Who understands our helplessness, for we hear His Holy Voice calling out to us. Let us not hesitate to respond, though He never wearies of searching and calling, but let us seize the moment and proclaim with thanksgiving:

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Ikos 1

O Son of God, entrusted by the Heavenly Father to be the Good Shepherd of souls, born on earth to lead the lost to green pastures of spiritual nourishment, sent to mankind to gather us like sheep into the shelter of the True Church, we implore Your merciful aid and blessings:

Help us, for You call us out of the world.

Help us, for You beckon us to taste and see.

Help us, for we lack a sense of direction.

Help us, for we perish without Your words.

Help us, for You see the dangers around us.

Help us, for You save us from numerous hazards.

Help us, for we often encounter profane byroads.

Help us, for we sometimes incur wicked storms.

Help us, for You shield us from foes near and far.

Help us, for You guard us from theft and destruction.

Help us, for we flee to Your open arms.

Help us, for we hasten to the True Church.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 2

Lord Jesus Christ, there are many other shepherds in this world. That is, false shepherds who deny or distort the Holy Bible, impostors and pretenders who pose as spiritual fathers or experts, and those whose voices attempt to smother our rightful exclamations of: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

These false shepherds can be easily detected, if not for their manipulation, then for the fact that they turn away in times of trouble and do not lay down their lives for the sheep. They are takers and not givers of life, for only You, Jesus, are the Good Shepherd Who protects the helpless:

Help us, Son of God and glorious Head of the Church.

Help us, for You never sought after money or selfish gain.

Help us, Good Shepherd Who speaks with the Holy Voice of love.

Help us, for You never disobeyed the Heavenly Father.

Help us, giver of true words and healer of afflictions.

Help us, for You never feared evil but exposed hypocrisy.

Help us, seeker and finder of even one lost sheep.

Help us, for You never failed in Your ministry of salvation.

Help us, patient trainer of the ignorant and unaware.

Help us, for You never withheld Your sacred lifeblood.

Help us, divine embodiment of purity of disposition.

Help us, for You never defiled the path of prayer.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 3

We shall not lack anything, Lord Jesus, for all our hopes are fulfilled within Your heavenly wisdom, and all our needs are supplied from Your wondrous earth of plenty. We do not always know what we need, nor do we comprehend our own desires, and so we defer to You and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

O Son of God, Your words are sufficient to each day, Your sheep are abundant in but not of the world, Your sacrifice is total and final for all mankind, and Your all-embracing forgiveness is a marvel to everyone who responds to Your Holy Voice:

Help us and lead us to pure pastures of truth and love.

Help us, for You alone know what is good for us.

Help us and bring us to calm waters of hope and peace.

Help us, for You understand our emotional reactions.

Help us and include us in the flock of true believers.

Help us, for You know the secrets of our heart.

Help us and transform us into a faithful people.

Help us, for You discern our deepest longings.

Help us and prevent us from entertaining fantasies.

Help us, for You know the inner workings of our mind.

Help us and establish us as joyful participants.

Help us, for You prepare mansions in Heaven.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 4

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the perfect, incomparable, and unsurpassed Son of God and Son of Man, born of the Holy Spirit and the Ever-Virgin Mary. In like manner, You are the unique and wonderful Good and True Shepherd, and the only Holy Voice known by all true sheep who say: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Since there is only one God the Father and one Son, Jesus Christ, there is only one Good Shepherd and one Church. That is, there is only one flock of sheep tended by the Good Shepherd, only one unified flock across lands and time, and only one grateful flock responding with praises:

Help us, watchful Shepherd.

Help us, for we lift our voices unto the only Holy Voice.

Help us, vigilant Son of God.

Help us, for we have ears to hear Your calling forth.

Help us, attentive Son of Man.

Help us, for we have eyes to see Your glorious face.

Help us, He Who gives.

Help us, for we follow the only One Who loves us.

Help us, He Who never takes.

Help us, for we love the One Who first loved us.

Help us, He Who knows His sheep by name.

Help us, for we shall not perish if we listen to Your holy calling.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 5

 Brothers and sisters, let us listen to the words of Christ Himself. “I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own and My own know Me, as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Let His sheep fathom the meaning and live accordingly, and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

O Son of God, we wish to know You and to be known of You, as You and the Father are known of each other, distinct and yet one: eternally beholding divine truth and love, abundantly living in all holiness, as sheep who want for nothing but who live to worship You:

Help us, Life-Giving Trinity of divine unity.

Help us, Heavenly Father Who created man.

Help us, Only-Begotten Son Who came to save us.

Help us, Holy Spirit Who comforts us.

Help us, Mother of God and the first Christian.

Help us, Handmaid of God and blessed among women.

Help us, Theotokos who points to Christ.

Help us, Virgin Mary who intercedes for us.

Help us, Tender Shepherd, Jesus, Who knows us.

Help us,  Beloved Shepherd Who is known of His own.

Help us, Great Shepherd Who came not to be served but to serve us.

Help us, Faithful Shepherd Who saved not Himself but saved sinners.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 6

Lord Jesus Christ, not only are there false shepherds, but there are reckless sheep who do not gather together in Your Name but who pursue their own pleasures. Not only do they separate from truth, but they try to seduce the true sheep who righteously stand and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

We are not popular, we the sheep, for our very presence testifies of the genuine leadership of the Good Shepherd Who sacrificed His life for us. This, in turn, exposes the depravity and insubordination of those who refuse to respond to the Holy Voice. Let the true sheep therefore cry out:

Help us, for there are principalities working against mankind.

Help us, for even the elect would fall away if it were possible.

Help us, for numerous are the paths to perdition.

Help us, for singular is the path to the Kingdom.

Help us, for subtle are the temptations of self-promotion.

Help us, for bright is the cross of self-denial.

Help us, for there are factions which enshrine waywardness.

Help us, for even the experts accommodate destructive lies.

Help us, for complicated are the lifestyles of the disobedient.

Help us, for simple is the life of prayer.

Help us, for deceptive are the excesses of this world.

Help us, for redemptive is every word of the Gospel.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 7

Some of us need rescue from our own thoughts and feelings, for we are genetically predisposed to certain mental and physical afflictions. Some have had personality defects or inner emptiness since childhood, but praise be to the  Good Shepherd Who teaches everyone to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

O Son of God, we have inherited situations and conditions over which we had no control, except that the world is fallen and all mankind shares in the commonality of sinfulness. May those who come after us share in eternal blessedness, for we depend on You to nourish and heal Your sheep:

Help us, giver of mercy above all expectation.

Help us, giver of compassion beyond what we deserve.

Help us, for You sympathize with our inborn inadequacies.

Help us, for You understand our crippling insufficiencies.

Help us, giver of light in the darkness of our minds.

Help us, giver of nurture in the famine of our hearts.

Help us, for You enable lifelong sinners to partake of grace.

Help us, for You empower the feeble to do good works.

Help us, giver of fellowship to the outcasts.

Help us, giver of wholeness to the unclean.

Help us, for You shall gather the last one into the flock.

Help us, for You have never lost a sheep that was Yours.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 8

Lord Jesus Christ, You are loved by the Heavenly Father because of Your obedience to Him and the laying down of Your life for the sheep. Your life was not taken from You, but You laid it down freely for the salvation of all the sheep who say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Since You had the power to lay down Your life, You also had the power to take it up again. O Good Shepherd, You were not hired to do a job or coerced against Your wishes, but You loved the Father and You loved the sheep, and we love You for Your innocent sacrifice:

Help us, Jesus, untainted by greed.

Help us, Jesus, uncorrupted by status.

Help us, Jesus, untouched by vanity.

Help us, Jesus, unhindered by ambition.

Help us, Jesus, unrivaled by opponents.

Help us, Jesus, unshaken by empires.

Help us, Jesus, undisturbed by storms.

Help us, Jesus, unharmed by snakes.

Help us, Jesus, unchanged by time.

Help us, Jesus, uncrushed by death.

Help us, Jesus, unimpeded by gloom.

Help us, Jesus, undistracted by trickery.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 9

Brothers and sisters, let us hearken to the Holy Voice calling us home, before nightfall obscures our sight and wild beasts roam the forest. Let us remember the green pastures of spiritual nourishment, and follow the Good Shepherd into His gathering where we can say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

O Son of God, we walk forward into the light of truth, into the fields of plenty, beside the pure waters of prayer, under the radiant sun of the living, within a realm of holy refreshment, in a land of abundance where our worship rises with the fragrance of flowers:

Help us, that we might believe in You completely.

Help us, that we love You now and always.

Help us, that we might worship You eternally.

Help us, that we love You today and forever.

Help us, that we might feast on Your words of life.

Help us, that we love the message of the Gospel.

Help us, that we might develop inward stability.

Help us, that we love the straight path.

Help us, that we might treasure forgiveness.

Help us, that we love one another.

Help us, that we might respect all creation.

Help us, that we love the helpless and the weak.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 10

Lord Jesus Christ, it is only because of You that we are happy to awake in the morning: because there is a plan for our lives, because there is purpose and meaning in our generation, because there is hope and love such as we never knew we could have, and because we can truly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

We do not give You a place in our lives, but You are our life. We do not pray from far away, but we abide in You. We do not intellectualize about You, but we give our whole being to You. We do not fantasize about ourselves, but we follow You, the Good Shepherd, into all holiness:

Help us, and carry the lame on Your shoulders.

Help us, and hold the blind in Your arms.

Help us, only strength of the wounded.

Help us, only fortification of the fragile.

Help us, and direct the lost into Your pasture.

Help us, and bring the hungry into Your Church.

Help us, only encouragement of the young.

Help us, only consolation of the old.

Help us, and heal the brokenhearted with Your words.

Help us, and call the forlorn with Your Holy Voice.

Help us, only worthy quest of the studious.

Help us, only destination of the seeker.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 11

The sheep follow You, the Good and True Shepherd, because You do the work of the Father Who gave You the sheep, and the sheep hear Your Holy Voice and follow You. The sheep are not  whipped like tigers in a cage, nor prompted with treats like dogs, but are called and led forth to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

O Son of God, Your sheep fill the pages of history as well as the streets of today’s cities, the monasteries throughout time as well as the desert of modernity, the God-fearing families of the Church as well as the lonely places of the stranger, and all respond to Your calling out of their names:

Help us, Faithful Son and Good Shepherd.

Help us, fulfillment of the will of the Father.

Help us, Holy Voice and True Leader.

Help us, gatherer of sheep from the ends of the earth.

Help us, Abundant Fruit and Sacred Blood.

Help us, sustenance of those who will never perish.

Help us, Eternal Life and Innocent Sacrifice.

Help us, forgiver of sins committed knowingly and unknowingly.

Help us, Pure Teaching and Gospel Message.

Help us, restoration of the mind and heart of believers.

Help us, Everlasting Peace and Brilliant Light.

Help us, inward wholeness of the repentant.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 12

Lord Jesus Christ, we follow You throughout the day as we conduct our business and accomplish our tasks, as we care for our loved ones and talk with our friends, as we read our books and say our prayers, and as we smile at a little child and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

It was the laying down of Your life, O Good Shepherd, that opened eternal pastures to us and saved us from outer darkness. It is Your oneness with the Father that permits us to trust in Your calling forth, O True Shepherd, and to be one with You:

Help us, sure hope of the sinner.

Help us, first love of the penitent.

Help us, path upward for bearers of the Cross.

Help us, road forward for doers of the Word.

Help us, knowledge not limited by man.

Help us, prayers not confined by laws.

Help us, flame that purifies raw material.

Help us, root that holds everything together.

Help us, elimination of all ambivalence.

Help us, riddance of every hesitation.

Help us, reality of the Church.

Help us, joy of right worship.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Kontakion 13

Dearly beloved in Christ, let us love the Good Shepherd Who never did us any harm and never wished any misfortune upon us, for the Son of God is incapable of cruelty and spite. Let us be forever grateful for His outpouring of goodness and His total understanding of us. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Brothers and sisters, let us treasure the Good and True Shepherd Who understands our helplessness, for we hear His Holy Voice calling out to us. Let us not hesitate to respond, though He never wearies of searching and calling, but let us seize the moment and proclaim with thanksgiving:

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

O Son of God, entrusted by the Heavenly Father to be the Good Shepherd of souls, born on earth to lead the lost to green pastures of spiritual nourishment, sent to mankind to gather us like sheep into the shelter of the True Church, we implore Your merciful aid and blessings:

Help us, for You call us out of the world.

Help us, for You beckon us to taste and see.

Help us, for we lack a sense of direction.

Help us, for we perish without Your words.

Help us, for You see the dangers around us.

Help us, for You save us from numerous hazards.

Help us, for we often encounter profane byroads.

Help us, for we sometimes incur wicked storms.

Help us, for You shield us from foes near and far.

Help us, for You guard us from theft and destruction.

Help us, for we flee to Your open arms.

Help us, for we hasten to the True Church.

Glory to You, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life.

A Prayer

Hear our prayer, Good and True Shepherd, for we hear Your Holy Voice calling us into the flock. We pray to love You in purity of heart and to do only those things which are compatible with and expressive of divine love. We are Your sheep, and we shall feed in Your pastures forever. Amen.

 

[Bible quotation in this Akathist is from John 10: 14-15.]

 

Copyright © 2017 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 316, Version 1

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

Advertisements