Akathist Hymn to the Holy Myrrhbearers

Kontakion 1

O Jesus Christ, our King Who was crucified and buried and Who rose from the dead on the third day, we honor the holy women who courageously followed You even as You were tortured and degraded. To these women, who arrived with costly myrrh for Your Precious Body, we say:

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Ikos 1

There were many such women, steadfast and dedicated, examples to all believers, but we know only eight by name, along with the Apostle John and also Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Let us therefore praise those who attended to Christ during a most agonizing time:

Rejoice, Mary Magdalene, out of whom came seven devils.

Rejoice, Mary, Theotokos, stepmother of James and Joseph.

Rejoice, for James became the Bishop of Jerusalem.

Rejoice, Johanna, wife of Chuza the steward of Herod Antipas.

Rejoice, Salome, wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John.

Rejoice, for James evangelized and was martyred in Egypt.

Rejoice, Mary, wife of Cleopas, because your faith extinguished fear.

Rejoice, Susanna, because your belief eliminated barriers.

Rejoice, Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha.

Rejoice, for you chose the one thing needful at the feet of Jesus.

Rejoice, Martha of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Mary.

Rejoice, for you believed Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 2

His Kingdom is not of this world: our Lord Jesus Christ, but He was born into this world to be the King of Glory and to offer eternal life to those who would hear His voice and believe. There is no fault in Him, as even Pilate confirmed, but He was nailed on the Cross that all might say: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

O Holy Myrrhbearers, you beheld your King and God, Jesus of Nazareth, on the Holy Cross at the place called Golgotha. The Theotokos, Salome, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Mary Magdalene and others: you stood at the Cross along with the Apostle John as eyewitnesses of the Crucifixion:

Rejoice, for you stood at the Cross that we might know Christ crucified.

Rejoice, for you wept at His wounds that we might know His sacrifice.

Rejoice, for your dedication leads our souls to the Way and Truth.

Rejoice, for your courage guides our hearts to the Life and Blood.

Rejoice, for you witnessed Divine Love that we might see salvation.

Rejoice, for you confessed the God-Man that we might hear truth.

Rejoice, for your unwavering devotion affirms our diligence in service.

Rejoice, for your unending loyalty reinforces our unity in worship.

Rejoice, for you declared glad tidings that we might know discipleship.

Rejoice, for you shone in the darkness that we might know immortality.

Rejoice, for your tears of grief watered our blossoms of belief.

Rejoice, for your hours of intensity planted our flowers of faith.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 3

He hung on the Cross: the Only-Begotten Son of God, wearing a crown of thorns and suffering pain and mockery. In such misery, His concern was  nonetheless for the Theotokos who was standing in sorrow at the Cross. He therefore attended to her welfare that she might always say: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

The Apostle John, son of Zebedee and Salome, was faithful at the Cross for he had leaned on Christ at the Mystical Supper and he understood: no greater love had any man. Jesus Christ delegated the care of his Mother to John, and John to His Mother, and they formed a sacred family:

Rejoice, O Theotokos who is included among the Holy Myrrhbearers.

Rejoice, O Holy Myrrhbearers who were companions of the Theotokos.

Rejoice, for you looked first to the Cross of Christ.

Rejoice, for all potential is found in His Life-Giving Blood.

Rejoice, for you looked to one another as images of God.

Rejoice, for every sorrow is made fruitful in the will of the Father.

Rejoice, O Mother of God who loved as a son the Apostle John.

Rejoice, O Apostle John who received as mother the Mother of God.

Rejoice, for you have taught us the meaning of a true family.

Rejoice, for parents and children are to abide in Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, for you have shown us the nature of pure relationships.

Rejoice, for God-loving friends stand together at the Cross.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 4

On Good and Holy Friday, when Jesus Christ took His last breath, He cried out with a loud voice from the Cross and then yielded up His spirit. This caused the earth to quake and the rocks to split, and the veil of the temple tore from top to bottom. O Holy Myrrhbearers, you faithfully said: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

“I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself.” These words, spoken by Jesus Christ, were fulfilled in His Crucifixion, for He loved all people though many misunderstood Him. Yet, the holy women followed Him in His ministry and in His suffering:

Rejoice, women of faith even while Christ was dying on the Cross.

Rejoice, Myrrhbearers who truly loved from beginning to end.

Rejoice, followers of Christ who heard Him speak of eternal life.

Rejoice, disciples who prayed throughout all that transpired.

Rejoice, laborers in the vineyard of Christ and of your free will.

Rejoice, workers who gave of their resources and held nothing back.

Rejoice, believers in the message of Christ for He never deceived.

Rejoice, witnesses who preserved truth for you never strayed.

Rejoice, partakers of the light of Christ as He taught and suffered.

Rejoice, mourners who sustained one another in communal love.

Rejoice, worshippers of the God Who sent Christ into the world.

Rejoice, flock who cherished every moment of tender mercy.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 5

We see that Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple having acquired courage before the very crucifiers of Jesus Christ, a member of the Sanhedrin who always loved Jesus in his heart, took the Precious Body down from the Cross, and he said to Heaven above: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Then we see that Nicodemus, a disciple who came to Jesus by night and who was also a member of the Sanhedrin, assisted in the burial of the Divine King of Jews and Gentiles, of the Beloved Rabbi and Savior of the Myrrhbearing Women who loved with everlasting love:

Rejoice, that we might prosper from your righteousness.

Rejoice, for we desire to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rejoice, that we might flourish in your dedication.

Rejoice, for we wish to stand at the Life-Giving Cross.

Rejoice, that we might gain from your loyalty.

Rejoice, for we yearn to be holy myrrhbearers for Christ.

Rejoice, that we might thrive in your wisdom.

Rejoice, for we long to be children of the Heavenly Father.

Rejoice, that we might learn from your meekness.

Rejoice, for we hope to be worthy of Eternity.

Rejoice, that we might proceed in your courage.

Rejoice, for we hasten to answer the calling of God.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 6

Joseph took the Precious Body of the King of Glory and prepared it for burial. Nicodemus was also there, bearing myrrh and aloes. The two men wrapped the Body of Christ in fine linen and with the fragrant mixture, as was the Jewish custom. In solemnity, they said to each other: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Many women stood at a distance from the Holy Cross, and they witnessed everything that happened after Jesus Christ’s dying: included were the Theotokos, Mary Magdalene, and Salome. All the holy women agonized over Christ’s innocent sacrifice and horrific death:

Rejoice, for Christ came to give life to those dead in sin.

Rejoice, for there is no other Life Immortal but the Son of God.

Rejoice, for Christ desired everyone to have life in His Name.

Rejoice, for He walked the earth and gathered souls for Heaven.

Rejoice, for Christ was not weak but fulfilled the Scriptures.

Rejoice, for He hung on the Cross as the Redeemer of Creation.

Rejoice, for Christ accomplished His ministry on earth.

Rejoice, for there is no other True Vine but the  God-Man.

Rejoice, for Christ was not an earthly king but the King of Glory.

Rejoice, for He suffered for our sins and revealed His righteousness.

Rejoice, for Christ came to save even those who reviled and mocked.

Rejoice, for He chose not to come down from the Cross on His own.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 7

Joseph took the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Very God of Very God, to a tomb cut out of rock where no one had yet been lain. The Theotokos and Mary Magdalene looked on, for they were of comfort to each other in these most troubling events, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

O Theotokos and Mary Magdalene, you sat opposite the sepulcher where Christ was lain and a large stone was rolled against the door. Hence, these four knew the exact location: Joseph, Nicodemus, Mary the Theotokos, and Mary Magdalene, and there was no error regarding the burial place:

Rejoice, dedicated to Christ even after death.

Rejoice, committed to Christ even at the tomb.

Rejoice, zealous even in your grief.

Rejoice, fervent even in your anguish.

Rejoice, conquerors of chaos and horror.

Rejoice, vanquishers of defamation and slander.

Rejoice, following Christ even as a Sacrifice.

Rejoice, loving Christ even as a corpse.

Rejoice, virtuous even as a minority.

Rejoice, honorable even as a subclass.

Rejoice, portraits of faith and hope.

Rejoice, team of courage and fidelity.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 8

The next day was the Jewish Sabbath, which is why His followers had hurriedly prepared His Body, because the Sabbath was a day of rest. The Body of Christ slept in darkness, while the Holy Myrrhbearers awaited midnight to fully attend to the King of Glory and to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

On Great and Holy Saturday, on the Blessed Sabbath, Life Immortal was already victorious over darkness and decay, over dread and death, and over disobedience and destruction. Let us join with the Holy Myrrhbearers and declare our hope and confidence to all people:

Rejoice, for our faith is not dead but alive in every deed.

Rejoice, for our doctrine is not false but true in every word.

Rejoice, for our journey is not useless but meaningful in every step.

Rejoice, for our path is not fruitless but abundant in every virtue.

Rejoice, for our potential is not lost but fulfilled in every gift.

Rejoice, for our need is not ignored but satisfied in every benefit.

Rejoice, for our devotion is not irrelevant but heard in every prayer.

Rejoice, for our labor is not wasted but established in every victory.

Rejoice, for our time is not forsaken but renewed in every moment.

Rejoice, for our night is not permanent but redeemed in every sunrise.

Rejoice, for our beginning is not thwarted but released in every promise.

Rejoice, for our ending is not violated but vindicated in every iota.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 9

On Sunday, on the first day of the week, after the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb very early, and also the Theotokos, Salome, Johanna and others. O holy women, you came with fragrant myrrh to properly embalm the Precious Body, and with one voice you said: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

At that point, with pure love in your hearts and costly myrrh in your hands, you became known as Holy Myrrhbearers. You are indeed Myrrhbearers for Jesus Christ, bringing foremost the ointment of tender-loving care to your Beloved Savior and preserving His message for all posterity:

Rejoice, leaving your households and going to the sepulcher.

Rejoice, waiting in darkness and departing in the early hours.

Rejoice, respecting the dead and overcoming the agony.

Rejoice, carrying the myrrh and remembering the way.

Rejoice, pondering the events and anticipating the third day.

Rejoice, contemplating the sacred and embracing the task.

Rejoice, working wisely and walking bravely.

Rejoice, praying always and trusting completely.

Rejoice, bringing the supplies and adding your boundless love.

Rejoice, contributing the labor and offering your endless devotion.

Rejoice, thinking only of Christ and fulfilling a need.

Rejoice, serving only the King and abiding in holiness.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 10

Approaching the tomb, desiring to anoint the Precious Body, the early Myrrhbearers questioned among themselves as to who would roll away the stone. Then, behold, the earth quaked, and an angel descended from Heaven and rolled back the stone, and the holy women said: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

The angel said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus Who was crucified. He is not here, for He is Risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is Risen from the dead…” The women were amazed and departed quickly:

Rejoice, for Christ is Risen from the dead.

Rejoice, for He Who was dead is alive again.

Rejoice, for He has trampled down death by death.

Rejoice, for He has bestowed life upon those in the tomb.

Rejoice, for Christ has abolished the gates of hell.

Rejoice, for He has delivered Adam and Eve from death.

Rejoice, for He has granted the world great mercy.

Rejoice, for He has led us from death to life.

Rejoice, for this is the Day of Resurrection.

Rejoice, for this is a day of joy and victory.

Rejoice, Christ is Risen!

Rejoice, Truly He is Risen!

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 11

It is the Day of Resurrection, and the angel instructed the company of Holy Myrrhbearers to tell the eleven disciples that Christ is Risen. Peter and John arose and ran to the empty tomb to see, and finding the linen cloths lying by themselves, they marveled and said: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” These words, spoken by Jesus Christ, were fulfilled in Jerusalem. Starting at Golgotha on Friday, then resting in the tomb on Saturday, and finally rising from the dead on Sunday, while the Holy Myrrhbearers believed and loved always:

Rejoice, for tombs of sin are transformed into temples of God.

Rejoice, for caves of darkness become chapels of prayer.

Rejoice, for linen shrouds are changed into radiant garments.

Rejoice, for jars of ointment become flowing rivers of courage.

Rejoice, for the late night prepares a morning of gratitude.

Rejoice, for the early hours bring a sunrise of splendor.

Rejoice, for the Way of Cross shines forth the light of victory.

Rejoice, for the path to the tomb reaches toward acts of mercy.

Rejoice, for those who carry spices are themselves sweet-smelling.

Rejoice, for new myrrhbearers anoint life with truth and charity.

Rejoice, for those who renounce sin are freed from a heavy stone.

Rejoice, for holy followers are joined in humanity and spirituality.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 12

O Mary Magdalene, Holy Myrrhbearer out of whom came seven devils, woman of substance who gave of her resources and of her love, you were the first to see the Risen Lord. In His compassion for your weeping and in response to your seeking, there was Christ, and you said: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Before the Holy Ascension, before ascending to God the Father, the God and Father of Christ and the God and Father of us all: He gave you, Mary Magdalene, the task and honor to bring the disciples these tidings of joy. Thereafter, you evangelized and are known as Equal-to-the-Apostles:

Rejoice, that we might be released from the weight of sin.

Rejoice, that we might spurn the enticements of evil.

Rejoice, that we might be protected from demonic forces.

Rejoice, that we might repel every temptation to stray.

Rejoice, that we might give from our talents and blessings.

Rejoice, that we might pour out love for we are called by name.

Rejoice, that we might speak truth without fearing adversaries.

Rejoice, that we might value silence and ponder in our hearts.

Rejoice, that we might cherish the struggles of our ancestors.

Rejoice, that we might preserve holiness for our descendants.

Rejoice, that we might arise before dawn and greet one another.

Rejoice, that we might declare glad tidings through words and deeds.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Kontakion 13

O Holy Myrrhbearers, we are united with you and all believers in our love of Jesus Christ, in our eagerness to do the will of God, and in our desire for all people to be saved. Encourage us, even as you supported one another, not to fear but to be faithful in all holiness. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

O Jesus Christ, our King Who was crucified and buried and Who rose from the dead on the third day, we honor the holy women who courageously followed You even as You were tortured and degraded. To these women, who arrived with costly myrrh for Your Precious Body, we say:

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

There were many such women, steadfast and dedicated, examples to all believers, but we know only eight by name, along with the Apostle John and also Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Let us therefore praise those who attended to Christ during a most agonizing time:

Rejoice, Mary Magdalene, out of whom came seven devils.

Rejoice, Mary, Theotokos, stepmother of James and Joseph.

Rejoice, for James became the Bishop of Jerusalem.

Rejoice, Johanna, wife of Chuza the steward of Herod Antipas.

Rejoice, Salome, wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John.

Rejoice, for James evangelized and was martyred in Egypt.

Rejoice, Mary, wife of Cleopas, because your faith extinguished fear.

Rejoice, Susanna, because your belief eliminated barriers.

Rejoice, Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha.

Rejoice, for you chose the one thing needful at the feet of Jesus.

Rejoice, Martha of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Mary.

Rejoice, for you believed Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God.

Rejoice, Holy Myrrhbearers, faithful to Christ our Savior.

A Prayer

O Jesus Christ, the Holy Myrrhbearers were blessed with a task that was both simple and great: bringing myrrh to the tomb, and risking their own wellbeing under hostile conditions. The myrrh was not needed, and they never anointed Your Body, for You had risen from the dead. Yet, their devotion and witness proclaimed the Resurrection and they were able to say to the apostles and all the world, “Christ is Risen.”

We ask to become bearers of myrrh: to carry jars of goodwill to mankind, to pour out truth and righteousness to our families and loved ones, to anoint the sick and suffering with hope, to roll away the stone for those oppressed by dark powers, and to flow forth glad tidings in all that we say and do.

O Holy Myrrhbearers, we thank you for your dedication to the ministry of Christ, from Galilee to Jerusalem, and we praise you for your witness of the events of Holy Friday and Holy Saturday, and of the Day of Resurrection. To those who are named and many who remain unknown, we give thanks for your loyalty and courage. Even if you are not known by name —  you are known of Christ and we know the events of those days because of you.

We ask to live as you lived, not dead in sin but alive in the Risen Savior and filled with faith and gratitude. Guide us to be of service if only in small ways, to unite in our love of Christ, and to process all events from the perspective of victory over sin and death. Bring us glad tidings, O Holy Myrrhbearers, that we may also declare with our hearts and souls, “Christ is Risen,” for, “Indeed He is Risen.” Amen.

[Bible quotations in this Akathist are from: John 10: 17-18; Matthew 28: 5-7, John 2: 19 – NKJV. Also, some content was adapted from the Bible and from the Pascha services of the Eastern Orthodox Church.]

Copyright © 2018 by Natalia J. Garland
Batch 1018, Version 1
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