Akathist Hymn of Gratitude to God

Kontakion 1

All gratitude is rendered to You, our Holy God, Who presides over the earth and Who receives the prayers of mortals. In unity with all Christians, and in harmony with all living things, we humbly bow before You, our Heavenly Father — Who gave us our being, Who offers the path to repentance and opens the way to salvation, as we proclaim:

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

Ikos 1

Although no human expression can sufficiently thank You for Your great works on behalf of all mankind, we exalt You with heartfelt devotion and unceasing acclamation. O Immortal God, even though You already know our character and disposition, it is right for us to extol our Maker and Designer with words such as these:

Glory to You, for all praise and worship rise to You only.

Glory to You, for all service and obedience belong to You alone.

Glory to You, for all peace and beauty come from You wondrously.

Glory to You, for all provision and order proceed from You gloriously.

Glory to You, for all truth and wisdom rest with You completely.

Glory to You, for all patience and compassion reside with You constantly.

Glory to You, for the sparrow sings under Your caring guidance.

Glory to You, for the rose blooms beneath Your attentive gaze.

Glory to You, for the corn ripens in accordance with Your decree.

Glory to You, for the cloud billows in compliance with Your desire.

Glory to You, for the snowy mountain upholds Your majesty.

Glory to You, for the green valley cradles Your mercy.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

Kontakion 2

Gracious Father, You have always attended to the spiritual and temporal needs of the human race, for often these two facets of life are intermingled in our earthly journey to the Heavenly Kingdom. We thank You, Almighty God, for Your messengers and for Your intervention into the daily events of our forefathers and fathers — as well as our contemporaries and ourselves, unworthy though we are. For this reason, all Your people, throughout time and across lands, may truly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

In days of old, You gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. We thank You for this holy man, for the stone tablets fashioned by Your Divine Hand, and for the ways of righteousness which You have written on our hearts. We love your precepts and we shun everything contrary to Your will for us. We shall worship no other god but You, the God of Israel, and therefore it is fitting that we bring praises to You:

Glory to You, for Your teachings are holy and perfect.

Glory to You, for Your blessings are rich and pure.

Glory to You, for Your love of mankind is steadfast.

Glory to You, for Your chastisement of sinners is merciful.

Glory to You, for your patience is beyond measure.

Glory to You, for your longsuffering is above estimation.

Glory to You, for You raised up Moses in the midst of much turmoil.

Glory to You, for Moses found strength and salvation in Your wisdom and might.

Glory to You, for all thanksgiving is Yours because of Your marvelous works.

Glory to You, for we thank You also in times of tribulation.

Glory to You, for all gratitude is Yours because of Your purpose and provision.

Glory to You, for we are grateful also when displaced and despised.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 3

There is no other god like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the God Who upheld His people during their toil in the mountains and valleys of time immemorial, establishing them in righteousness. He it is Who is the God of the Christians, like no other god – Who sent His Only-Begotten Son into the world to save sinners from the everlasting torment of outer darkness. In gratitude for His unfathomable love, glorious and wondrous, let all believers declare: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

Who can separate us from this Holy God? Neither Pharaoh nor Pharisee, neither upheaval nor undoing, neither sickness nor sorrow. No, not even Satan can cast us into desperation or oust us into oblivion – not if we pray unceasingly and trust in the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father. Let us draw near to God, that we may continually offer Him praises:

Glory to You, the God of all ages, a strong tower.

Glory to You, the God of all people, enthroned eternally.

Glory to You, the God Who displays the stars at night.

Glory to You, the God Who reveals the lilies in the morning.

Glory to You, the God Who knows the heart of each worshipper.

Glory to You, the God Who purifies His beloved ones.

Glory to You, and to Your Son, Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.

Glory to You for the Cross of Christ and for our salvation.

Glory to You, with all thanksgiving for our forefathers and fathers.

Glory to You for the Holy Bible and the Holy Church.

Glory to You, with all gratitude for the saints and angels.

Glory to You for the imperishable bread of life.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 4

We carry our cross, O Immortal God, and we die to all depravity and waywardness, to all malice and willfulness, and to all pride and vanity – that we may serve You and glorify Your Name. May we ascend the mountain of virtues and behold Your splendor. We have heard the teaching of Jesus Christ and the preaching of Saint Paul, and we know that all the righteous abide in Your holiness. We implore You to find us worthy of salvation and enlightenment, so that we may rightly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Gather us into the true family of Jesus Christ, that is, with all the fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, neighbors and strangers who believe that Your Son is the Lord and King of all. You sent Your Son to save us because You love us, and now we worship You and yearn to be united in the Kingdom of Heaven forever. May our praises be found acceptable as we affirm Your sovereignty:

Glory to You, for You are the Architect of the universe and the Author of holiness.

Glory to You, for You are the Creator of goodness and the Conqueror of wickedness.

Glory to You, for You are the Ocean of restoration and the Shore of virtue.

Glory to You, for You are the Harbor of mercy and the Destination of forgiveness.

Glory to You, for all true believers cherish Your Commandments.

Glory to You, for the true family of Jesus Christ is filled with faith.

Glory to You, for You have assembled us in holy prayer.

Glory to You, for You have united us in divine worship.

Glory to You, for we bow before You, and You release our burdens.

Glory to You, for we call upon You, and You lift us up to sanctity.

Glory to You, that we may offer You a heart made pure.

Glory to You, that we may bring You a life made whole.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 5

Who can comprehend the ways of God, for His ways are not our ways. He is glorious and wondrous, and we are haughty and vicious. He is merciful and mighty, and we are fraudulent and lacking. The ways of God are evident in His bountiful creation and demonstrated in the lives of His saints. He reaches down to us in order to lift us up from our wretchedness and into the Heavenly Kingdom. Let us, then, respond with humility and gratitude, and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Let no one despair, not even in the mire of repugnant sin, for our Holy God is for us and not against us. His compassion extends to the last and the least, to the dejected and the despised, to the weary and the wounded, to the lunatics and the lost, to the scandalous and the discredited, and to the hideous and the horrendous. Let us all repent and undergo a change of heart, ascending the mountain of holiness to its peak and into the clouds of Heaven. May we not insult the magnificence of the Almighty God by refusing this opportunity, but acknowledge His grandeur with praises such as these:

Glory to You, for Your strength and authority never dissipate.

Glory to You, for Your precepts and instructions never mislead.

Glory to You, for Your compassion and vindication never fail.

Glory to You, for Your love and triumph never disappoint.

Glory to You, for Your abundance and fruitfulness never cease.

Glory to You, for Your wisdom and knowledge never fade.

Glory to You, for all foundation and dominion are Yours eternally.

Glory to You, for all posterity and heritage are Yours forever.

Glory to You, for all faithfulness and promise are Yours always.

Glory to You, for all honor and integrity are Yours perpetually.

Glory to You, for all thought and inspiration are Yours boundlessly.

Glory to You, for all anointment and blessing are Yours everlastingly.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

Kontakion 6

How marvelous to be of service to You, our Immortal God, and to rise in the morning and begin doing Your excellent will. Thank You for giving us another day to repent and to be fruitful. Thank You for allowing us one more hour to pray and to ponder the Scriptures, for the purpose of loving You and conducting our lives according to Your holy ways. We know that one day of glorifying You is better than a thousand days of getting approval from the world. We therefore thank You for today and for every day until the completion of our time on earth, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

The gift of life and the passing of time are intermingled, establishing seasons of planting and harvesting until the hour of death arrives. Let no one fear old age, for the Maker and Designer of men can cause orchids to bloom in the desert. Let no one fear sickness, for the Almighty God can use the weak to move mountains. May everyone produce fruits worthy of repentance, making use of time and talent, and always bringing forth praises to God:

Glory to You, the God of our youth and early steps into life.

Glory to You, the God Who directs us to His Word.

Glory to You, the God of our middle-age and endurance.

Glory to You, the God Who leads us to spiritual gains.

Glory to You, the God of our old age and passage to the end.

Glory to You, the God Who guides us to heartfelt prayer.

Glory to You for the length of our days on earth.

Glory to You for the hope of eternal life in Heaven.

Glory to You for a promising morning and a peaceful evening.

Glory to You for a place to sleep after a hard day’s work.

Glory to You for the bright spring that follows the bleak winter.

Glory to You for the faith that perseveres into all fruitfulness.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

Kontakion 7

Our fallen condition bids adversity and affliction. Brethren, we are not better than our ancestors, rather we are all born into sin, and so we must not only survive our troubles but continually give thanks to our Glorious God. Such was the case with Jonah when, from the innards of distress, he called upon God for help as though buried alive. Not only this, but he gave thanks for God’s enduring love, saying: Alleluia.

 Ikos 7

We see that Saint Paul also encountered problems and troubles, seemingly insurmountable, and yet he sang hymns of praise and he glorified God. Let us emulate our holy predecessors and regard adversity and affliction not as obstacles, but as opportunities to increase our understanding and deepen our faith. In this way, we can truly bring praises to God:

Glory to You for the wisdom of Your works.

Glory to You for the mercy of Your ways.

Glory to You for patiently teaching us the lessons of holiness.

Glory to You for constantly watching over our comings and goings.

Glory to You for hearing our prayers in captivity.

Glory to You for accepting our praises at midnight.

Glory to You for all things that work toward the good.

Glory to You for all things that fortify our character.

Glory to You for every word of truth and act of love.

Glory to You for every time You have forgiven our sins.

Glory to You for giving us courage as spiritual warriors.

Glory to You for granting us protection as trusting children.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

Kontakion 8

Let us not forget to give thanks for the table spread before us. Heavenly Father, by asking Your blessing upon our food, we partake of Your goodness to the benefit of both soul and body. Because You are glorious and wondrous, we abide in Your presence even while we eat and drink from Your provision. Your nourishment therefore strengthens us to say: Alleluia.

 Ikos 8

Gracious Father, You fashioned us according to Your limitless love and vast creativity. In like manner, You see to our practical needs of housing and clothing. We thank You for the safety of our homes and for all shelter from storms and conflict – that we may form a domestic church wherever we are. We thank you for warmth in the winter and respite in the summer. Even if we are bedridden, we thank You for a window from which to admire a blue sky or a wandering vine of little flowers. It is You only Who creates, provides, and guides. We therefore bow before You with praises:

Glory to You, the God of all that is and ever will be.

Glory to You, the God of wonders and never of any failings.

Glory to You, the God of mercies undetected by the mortal mind.

Glory to You, the God of victories unnoticed by the human eye.

Glory to You, the caretaker God of practical matters.

Glory to You, the eternal God of spiritual perception.

Glory to You, for You revive us with loaves and fish.

Glory to You, for You reinforce us with amity and rest.

Glory to You, for You cover us with an honorable garment.

Glory to You, for You present us to the world as Your people.

Glory to You, for You gather us together for a divine meal.

Glory to You, for You welcome us to partake of manna from Heaven.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 9

What is life without a capacity for praising God? How can anyone endure without a disposition of humility and gratitude? Who can rejoice without an understanding of God’s compassion and patience? Oh, brethren, let us not fling our potential onto the wasteland of mere existence, or heave our talents into the heap of worldly rubbish, but rather let us dedicate every word and deed to the Immortal God Who uplifts us to sing with the saints and angels, saying: Alleluia.

 Ikos 9

Having been saved from the deception and propaganda of society, let us emulate the cleansed leper – turning around to say thank-you to the One Who separated us from the emptiness of vain arguments and the saturation of worldly opinions. To give praise to God is to live, and to give thanks for everything is to be free. For this reason, let everyone be glad and offer gratitude to our Holy God:

Glory to You for instilling within us a yearning for true fulfillment.

Glory to You for showing us the way to pure spiritual development.

Glory to You for delivering us from confusion and distraction.

Glory to You for guarding us from stubbornness and bitterness.

Glory to You for guiding us over the rocky terrain.

Glory to You for leading us through the dense forest.

Glory to You for teaching us to sing rather than dispute.

Glory to You for enabling us to pray rather than despair.

Glory to You for enlivening us with every word of Scripture.

Glory to You for inspiring us with the stories of the righteous.

Glory to You for shining the light of truth upon us.

Glory to You for blessing us with whatever is good for us.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 10

Dear God in Heaven, You are the God of the apostles, and it is right to thank You for these faithful men who preserved Your precepts for future generations – even for those of us living through the decadence of these latter times. The apostles journeyed through towns and across lands, suffering deprivation and persecution, always obeying Your call to discipleship and always saying: Alleluia.

 Ikos 10

In appreciation of the Twelve Apostles, we give thanks to You, the Almighty God, for granting us a repentant heart and a sanctified life within the Holy Church of Christ. We have received Your benefits through the labors of the apostles, although You alone are the beginning of all theological illumination and spiritual abundance. Because of Your profound goodness to us and for this rich inheritance, we dutifully and cheerfully offer You thanksgiving:

Glory to You, for the apostles sowed to the Spirit.

Glory to You, for these holy men preached Your Kingdom.

Glory to You, for they took no offense at Jesus Christ.

Glory to You, for they honored Your Son and gave thanks.

Glory to You, for they crucified their flesh and impure desires.

Glory to You, for they walked in the ways of righteousness.

Glory to You, for the apostles prayed for the churches.

Glory to You, for they were imitators of Christ our Savior.

Glory to You, for they were teachers of the good news.

Glory to You, for they fought the good fight of faith.

Glory to You, for they lived only to please You and do Your will.

Glory to You, for they served You with a clear conscience.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 11

We have a reason to live, and to go on living, because our Glorious God is always preparing us for Eternity. Otherwise, life has no meaning, unless we deceive ourselves with brittle philosophies or escape into delusory pleasures – all of which disappoint in the end. May we not lose our faith when beset with problems and troubles, but see the heavenly light that transmits solutions and deliverance. From this moment forward, let us therefore say: Alleluia.

 Ikos 11

Brethren, the world will crush our spirit if it can, imposing sinfulness upon us such that all effort toward the good seems unfounded and ridiculous. Let us not internalize or fulfill these false mandates, but present our injuries and scars to the God Who sees all and knows all. Let us trust completely in God’s Commandments, offering Him praises today and always:

Glory to You, for You expose the lies of evil-doers.

Glory to You, for You uproot the tactics of aggressors.

Glory to You, for You untangle our self-defeating patterns.

Glory to You, for You transfigure our self-destructive habits.

Glory to You, for we yearn to be fragrant like magnolia blossoms.

Glory to You, for we long to be delightful as butterflies.

Glory to You for every sight and sound of holiness.

Glory to You for all people and places of sacredness.

Glory to You, the God of all depth and breadth.

Glory to You, the God Who cloaks the earth.

Glory to You, the God of all light and color.

Glory to You, the God Who radiates pure beauty.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

Kontakion 12

Gracious Father, You send various people into our lives for Your divine purpose – that they may assist us on our journey, or that we may learn to forgive their trespasses against us. We especially thank You for all those who pray for us – a loving grandmother or a humble nun, a saintly friend or a kindly priest, a caring visitor or a concerned passerby. Without these prayers, we might have lost our way to the Kingdom. In gratitude for this spiritual solidarity, we say: Alleluia.

 Ikos 12

Hear our prayer, Holy God, that our whole life might become a living prayer. You have given us our life, and we wish to glorify You with everything we say and do under Your presence. We thank You for the helpfulness of others – and because assistance sometimes comes from unexpected people in the hour of need. May all the prayerful and the doers of the word receive their rewards in Heaven, while we unceasingly praise You for such goodness:

Glory to You, the God Who works in mysterious ways.

Glory to You, the God Who redeems His servants.

Glory to You, the God Who comforts those who lament.

Glory to You, the God Who sends helpers to those who languish.

Glory to You, the God Who increases our faith.

Glory to You, the God Who fulfills our hope.

Glory to You, for Your magnificence is unsurpassable.

Glory to You, for Your splendor is unchangeable.

Glory to You for the unity of those who pray.

Glory to You for the prayers that invisibly bless us.

Glory to You for the stranger who lends a helping hand.

Glory to You for the enemy who has a moment of kindness.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Kontakion 13

Holy God of the prophets, patriarchs, and apostles: we thank You for our inheritance of Your holy people and wondrous works. We thank You for extending Your mighty and merciful ways even to the present generation and this very day. We implore You to create within us a pure heart, that we may also serve and glorify You, and preserve truth and beauty for all those who seek righteousness. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

 Kontakion 1 (repeated)

All gratitude is rendered to You, our Holy God, Who presides over the earth and Who receives the prayers of mortals. In unity with all Christians, and in harmony with all living things, we humbly bow before You, our Heavenly Father — Who gave us our being, Who offers the path to repentance and opens the way to salvation, as we proclaim:

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 Ikos 1 (repeated)

Although no human expression can sufficiently thank You for Your great works on behalf of all mankind, we exalt You with heartfelt devotion and unceasing acclamation. O Immortal God, even though You already know our character and disposition, it is right for us to extol our Maker and Designer with words such as these:

Glory to You, for all praise and worship rise to You only.

Glory to You, for all service and obedience belong to You alone.

Glory to You, for all peace and beauty come from You wondrously.

Glory to You, for all provision and order proceed from You gloriously.

Glory to You, for all truth and wisdom rest with You completely.

Glory to You, for all patience and compassion reside with You constantly.

Glory to You, for the sparrow sings under Your caring guidance.

Glory to You, for the rose blooms beneath Your attentive gaze.

Glory to You, for the corn ripens in accordance with Your decree.

Glory to You, for the cloud billows in compliance with Your desire.

Glory to You, for the snowy mountain upholds Your majesty.

Glory to You, for the green valley cradles Your mercy.

Glory to You, Sovereign God of all creation and goodness.

 A Prayer

O God of Israel and of all mankind, we bow before You, our only God, and we thank You for our spiritual journey. Let us pray, in all humility, with our foremother Esther:

“O my Lord, You only are our King; help me, who am alone and have no helper but You, for my danger is in my hand. Ever since I was born, I have heard in the tribe of my family that You, O Lord, took Israel out of all the nations, and our fathers from among all their ancestors, for an everlasting inheritance, and that You did for them all that You promised.”

We believe, as did Esther, in Your promises, and we thank You for giving Esther the capacity to pray to You and to perceive Your goodness. Like Esther, many of us are alone – because of the myriad troubles on our spiritual journey. Yet, we are not alone, and will never be alone, because we have recourse to all the righteous men and women who came before us and prepared the way for us. For this holy company, we give thanks to You. For this present generation, we give thanks to You and for the blessings of All Saints.

Thank You, Holy God, for this abundance that is available even in times of trouble, even when all else is sparse, even in the arena of mistreatment and misunderstandings – because there is no spiritual lack for those who keep a single eye on Your Commandments.

Thank You, Glorious God, for making us Your people – we who were not a people, but strangers and seekers – for now we gather together and worship You, in unity across time and lands, and in this way we have found true happiness and ultimate meaning. Thank You for giving each of us our talents and duties, whether it be to serve at the altar or sweep the floor – for everything is holy when done in Your Name and with unceasing prayer.

We beseech You, our Immortal and Almighty God, to forgive our frailties, to heal our wounds, to set us on the straight path and to lead us to all fruitfulness. We thank You and exalt You for the goodness of all Your ways toward us. Amen.

Copyright © 2014 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 829, Version 4

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

ADDENDUM #1 (June 24, 2017):

1) Regarding Kontakion 10: the term latter times is not meant to designate the end of the world, but rather our current era which is later than any previous era and which takes into account all of history to this point. In other Akathists, I have used the terms harsh times, modern times and complicated times to mean the same thing.

2) Regarding Ikos 10: some people might disagree with the use of the word imitate or imitation, 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.

3) Regarding Ikos 12, verse 5: the term increase in faith might be a misnomer. The building up of faith might not be a matter of quantity, of more or less; but a matter of quality, of purity and genuineness, of becoming and doing that which each of us was meant to be and do.

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