Akathist Hymn to Saint Simeon and Saint Anna

Kontakion 1

O Heavenly Father: Your Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Who is True God of True God, Who was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and Who became man for the sake of our salvation, was welcomed to the Temple in Jerusalem by Your most worthy servants, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna. Together with all the baptized of the Holy Church, we celebrate them today as we proclaim:

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Rejoice, Saint Anna the Prophetess, worshipper of God in the Temple.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

Ikos 1

After a lifetime of holiness, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, you saw God in the flesh: the Incarnate Savior, the Lord and King Who was born to the pure Virgin. You witnessed the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel and mankind’s hope of salvation. Then, you did not scatter but gathered us before the Holy Trinity, One God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We therefore lift our voices in praise of your superb worthiness:

Rejoice, faithful Israelites who beheld the Son of God.

Rejoice, devout mature ones who looked upon the Christ Child.

Rejoice, for you never wearied of your contemplation of God.

Rejoice, for you lived in admiration of His wondrous ways.

Rejoice, excellent companions of the uncreated Word of God.

Rejoice, holy witnesses of the True Light of the world.

Rejoice, for you never hesitated to do the will of God.

Rejoice, for you treasured His wisdom and shunned evil.

Rejoice, vigilant worshippers who abounded with hope in God.

Rejoice, steadfast servants who wisely used this mortal life.

Rejoice, for you never wavered in your consecration to God.

Rejoice, for you seasoned your supplications with thanksgiving.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

Kontakion 2

O Merciful Father, You are uncreated and ever-existent, and You made Heaven and earth. You begat Your Son before all ages and He is of one essence with You. In accordance with Your plentiful mercy, You sent Your Only Son into the world to save mankind. When the Christ of God appeared on earth, the righteous ones, Simeon and Anna, who patiently awaited the redemption of Israel, said with joy and gratitude: Alleluia.

 Ikos 2

Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, you knew that Jesus Christ was the Last and Greatest Prophet, the Promised Messiah, and the True Light for all mankind. You rejoiced at the sight of the Infant Jesus Who was brought to the Temple by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, according to the Jewish custom, with an offering of a pair of turtledoves. We stand in awe of your lifelong preparation for this event, and we offer you these sincere praises:

Rejoice, worthy believers who recognized the Presentation of Christ.

Rejoice, righteous devotees who lived to see this day in Jerusalem.

Rejoice, for you always held to the prophecies of the coming of Christ.

Rejoice, for you thrived on the words of the Prophet Isaiah.

Rejoice, virtuous participants in a divine meeting with Christ.

Rejoice, honorable beholders of His uncreated presence.

Rejoice, for you always anticipated the illumination of Christ.

Rejoice, for you prayed for deliverance and revelation.

Rejoice, ancient Jews who found complete happiness in Christ.

Rejoice, Godly-minded hopefuls who gained abundant consolation.

Rejoice, for you always sought everlasting fulfillment in Christ.

Rejoice, for you looked for the manifestation of love and truth.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

Kontakion 3

We know that God is One, and that Jesus Christ is His Divine Son. We also become sons of God, for we partake of Divinity. We can therefore pray to God as our Father Who delivers us from evil. Because God is undivided, the Holy Church is also undivided. Christ is the Church, for the Church is His Body of which we are the members and He is the Head. Let us join with Saint Simeon and Saint Anna who beheld this perfection of love and unity, so that we may say with confidence: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

You teach us right priorities, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, since your main pursuit and your utmost desire was for the compassionate love of God. You beheld this love manifested in the Only-Begotten Son of God: the King of kings, the God-Man, and the First-Born of the Ever-Virgin Mary. We thank you for your witness and example, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, and we bring forth heartfelt praises to you:

Rejoice, pure vessels filled with constant prayer and generous love.

Rejoice, bright candles lit by the uncreated True Light.

Rejoice, for you shared in a holy bond of transformational love.

Rejoice, for you delighted in Christ and proclaimed Him as Messiah.

Rejoice, children of the Heavenly Father and partakers in His love.

Rejoice, members of the Holy Body of the Father’s Anointed One.

Rejoice, for you gave thanks for sacred and everlasting love.

Rejoice, for you taught mankind to offer everything to the Divine.

Rejoice, beloved ones who were blessed with unending love.

Rejoice, created beings who placed nothing above the Creator.

Rejoice, for you were made whole through abundant love.

Rejoice, for you were found pleasing to the Holy Trinity.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

Kontakion 4

You were filled with holiness, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, and God granted you many years so that you could behold His Beloved Son in the flesh. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit showed mercy to you in the form of a long life for this purpose. You were loved and enlightened, accepted and inspired, and upheld and glorified for your commitment. Recognizing that the Messiah had come into the world, you said to everyone around you: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

Like the shepherds before you, your devotion has endeared you to all the faithful. From the manger in Bethlehem to the Temple in Jerusalem, the Christ of God lived among men and blessed His people even from infancy. Christ shone his divine radiance upon you, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, as He shone upon the humble shepherds, and we pray that He shines upon all who offer praises to you today:

Rejoice, loyal adherents who sought gladness in God alone.

Rejoice, enlightened souls who turned to God for every need.

Rejoice, for you pursued truth and love through God alone.

Rejoice, for you gathered the people into God’s glorious Kingdom.

Rejoice, chosen ancestors who called upon God alone.

Rejoice, righteous ones who heard God calling men unto holiness.

Rejoice, for you gave all worship and devotion to God alone.

Rejoice, for you realized your indebtedness for God’s kindnesses.

Rejoice, little sparrows who found shelter in God alone.

Rejoice, great eagles who soared with wings on God’s mercy.

Rejoice, for you quenched your thirst in the truths of God alone.

Rejoice, for you satisfied your hunger through God’s eternal love.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

Kontakion 5

Saint Simeon, you were among the seventy scholars who translated the Scriptures into the Greek language. This body of work is known as “The Septuagint” and it is held by Orthodox Christians as the official version of the Old Testament. You used your intellect for the sake of the Church, and in this process your heart was pure and your only desire was to please God. Hence, with every holy word you translated, you said: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

May we emulate your dedication and perseverance, Saint Simeon, and do the work that God has called us to do. Let us perform our tasks proficiently and happily, giving thanks to God for bestowing gifts and talents upon us. Everyone has a place and a purpose in the Holy Church, for no member of the Body can thrive without the other members. Let us come together: scholars and carpenters, lepers and prodigals, Israelites and Greeks and all who wish to bring praises to you, righteous Saint Simeon:

Rejoice, designated translator of holy words.

Rejoice, for all who study the Scriptures rejoice with you.

Rejoice, laborer in the House of God Almighty.

Rejoice, for all who answer His call rejoice with you.

Rejoice, keeper of the flame of divine truth.

Rejoice, for all who see the light rejoice with you.

Rejoice, ancient builder of the Church of Christ.

Rejoice, for all the modern world rejoices with you.

Rejoice, faithful contributor to the unity of believers.

Rejoice, for all seekers of the Kingdom rejoice with you.

Rejoice, trusted caretaker of the ways of righteousness.

Rejoice, for all followers of Christ rejoice with you.

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Kontakion 6

While you were translating a section from the Prophet Isaiah, you read the words, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Like many people in our own times, Saint Simeon, you found it incomprehensible that a virgin could give birth and so you concluded there was an error in the text. Yet, the Scriptures contain no errors, but it is only our understanding that is limited and sometimes mistaken. In recognition of our dependence upon God for everything, we say: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Saint Simeon, in your attentiveness, you then decided to change the word “virgin” to “woman.” However, an angel came to you and prevented you from unknowingly defacing the prophecy of Isaiah. The angel told you that you yourself would witness the manifestation of this prophecy. You would see the Person of Christ Who was to be born to the immaculate Virgin Mary, the Very Son of God Who was to walk the earth and save men, the Infant Jesus Who was to be presented to the Temple in Jerusalem. We therefore bow to you and offer earnest praises:

Rejoice, for you immersed yourself in the Scriptures.

Rejoice, holy illumination.

Rejoice, for you delighted in learning about God’s people.

Rejoice, sacred pursuit.

Rejoice, for you accepted Heavenly correction.

Rejoice, ethical scholar.

Rejoice, for your hand was guided by an angel from God.

Rejoice, steadfast believer.

Rejoice, for you submitted to Isaiah and to the angel.

Rejoice, dependable servant.

Rejoice, for your limited understanding was divinely superseded.

Rejoice, blessed elect.

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Kontakion 7

Saint Simeon, you lived into old age, always remembering the assurance of the angel and anticipating the Promised Messiah. You were a man of hope and righteousness, a scholar without conceit, and a patient elder awaiting the Consolation of Israel. We know about you because of the writings of the Evangelist Luke. In gratitude for your life’s story, inasmuch as it is connected to the story of redemption, we all say: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

The Evangelist Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit was upon you. You were directed, Saint Simeon, on the fortieth day after the virgin birth of the Promised Messiah, to go to the Temple. It was also on this day that the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph went to the Temple, according to Jewish law and ritual. At all times, Saint Simeon, you were obedient to divine intervention, and for this reason we praise you today:

Rejoice, for you participated in divine events.

Rejoice, for we Christians lovingly celebrate you.

Rejoice, for you were guided by the Holy Spirit.

Rejoice, for we gladly preserve your memory.

Rejoice, for in old age you fulfilled a scared purpose.

Rejoice, for we are the beneficiaries of your obedience.

Rejoice, for you lived to see a most wondrous moment.

Rejoice, for we are enlightened by your blessedness.

Rejoice, for your witness is recorded in the Scriptures.

Rejoice, for we are joined with you into eternity.

Rejoice, for the words of the angel were true.

Rejoice, for we anticipate the Heavenly Kingdom.

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Kontakion 8

When you met the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, you saw that Mary held an infant boy in her arms: the same infant who was adored by the shepherds, the only infant who came down from Heaven to bring us the good news of salvation, the anointed infant who came to make us divine and give us eternal life. Saint Simeon, you saw eternal life made manifest, and you said: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Saint Simeon, you held the Christ of God in your arms and you said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Thus, Saint Simeon, you received the Christ Child and acknowledged Him as the Promised Messiah. We therefore rightfully honor you with praises such as these:

Rejoice, upright aged one who held God in the flesh.

Rejoice, for your hope was fulfilled to overflowing.

Rejoice, pious elder who encountered the Mother of God.

Rejoice, for your patience was rewarded beyond measure.

Rejoice, devout man who gained understanding of the virgin birth.

Rejoice, for you met that very Virgin and her Divine Son.

Rejoice, faithful Jew who identified the Consolation of Israel.

Rejoice, for your heart always belonged to Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, Receiver of God and partaker in His peace.

Rejoice, for you recognized salvation and deliverance.

Rejoice, beholder of Christ and inheritor of His glory.

Rejoice, for you witnessed revelation and light.

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Kontakion 9

Saint Simeon, the time was right for you and for the whole universe to receive Jesus Christ on this earth. You knew, because the Holy Spirit revealed it to you, that not only was Christ the Consolation of Israel but also the enlightenment of the Gentiles and of all mankind. Henceforth, the Jews would have to make a decision for or against Christ and, as the New Testament tells us, not all were willing to accept Christ as the Promised Messiah. Nonetheless, to you and to those who became His followers, we say: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

You also knew that the Virgin Mary, the young mother who stood before you, would one day suffer because of her motherhood. That is, her innocent Son would one day be crucified, and she would stand at the Cross and endure His wounds and her sorrow. Saint Simeon, pray for us that we do not crucify Christ again by our cold-heartedness and negligence, but thrive on every word of the Scriptures and take nothing for granted. Let us continue, through old age and until our last breath, to bring praises to you:

Rejoice, for God is with us.

Rejoice, for eternal life was seen and heard.

Rejoice, for Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Rejoice, for the Church is holy and one.

Rejoice, for salvation is offered to all.

Rejoice, for we have fellowship with one another.

Rejoice, for Christ became human like us.

Rejoice, for we are to become divine like Christ.

Rejoice, for time began in creation.

Rejoice, for in eternity there is no such thing as time.

Rejoice, for we abide in Christ.

Rejoice, for Christ and the Father are one.

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Kontakion 10

Saint Anna, holy prophetess, you had been a widow since the age of twenty-two. You never remarried but lived a dedicated life of prayer. We see that “Anna,” in the Hebrew language, means “grace,” and indeed God bestowed His blessings upon you. Like Saint Simeon, you were an elderly person. As we have already seen, God does not withhold His blessings from the aged but arranges a long life for the purpose of revelation and deliverance, that all may say: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

It is through the writings of the Evangelist Luke, and through the tender mercies of God, that we hear of you in connection with the presentation of the Infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem. It was there that you sent forth prayers to Heaven and awaited the Promised Messiah, for your only goal was to welcome the Consolation of Israel and to share the good news with others. Saint Anna, may we emulate your zeal by offering you praises without ceasing:

Rejoice, for you prospered in fruitfulness in your old age.

Rejoice, for you never complained about the passing of time.

Rejoice, for you lived each moment prayerfully.

Rejoice, for you never opposed the path put before you.

Rejoice, for you loved God and you loved the people.

Rejoice, for you never lost your hope in His promises.

Rejoice, for you glorified the God Who granted you a long life.

Rejoice, for you never resented the fading of your youth.

Rejoice, for you renewed your being in the words of the Scriptures.

Rejoice, for you never misused the gift of understanding.

Rejoice, for you accepted widowhood as a holy calling.

Rejoice, for you never failed to thank God for His compassion.

Rejoice, Saint Anna the Prophetess, worshipper of God in the Temple.

Kontakion 11

You never departed the Temple, but remained in prayer. We may assume, Saint Anna, that you went to the Temple frequently if not daily. It was there that you fulfilled your crucial calling: not through remarriage and childbearing, but through the rising of your prayers to Heaven. This was your mission and for this you were rewarded by God, for it was in the Temple that you saw the manifestation of love and True God of True God. It was through prayer that you purified your heart, and you developed a life of devotion which would enable you to serve the Israelites as well as all Christians throughout the ages, saying: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

Saint Anna, not only did you pray but you also fasted, for these two qualities work together to produce holiness and to draw us close to God. It was for this reason, because of your inward purity and not because of any outward status, that you were chosen to stand near the Divine Child and then to proclaim the arrival of the Promised Messiah to the people. We likewise honor you today with these humble praises:

Rejoice, worthy Israelite who prayed unceasingly.

Rejoice, for you were in prayer when Christ was presented.

Rejoice, elderly widow who witnessed to the priests and the people.

Rejoice, for you spoke to everyone about the Messiah.

Rejoice, holy prophetess who delighted in the Divine Child.

Rejoice, for you rejected the religious notions of the Pharisees.

Rejoice, Temple dweller who awaited complete deliverance.

Rejoice, for you would not see death until you saw Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, humble peer of Saint Simeon and the shepherds.

Rejoice, for you were counted among the righteous ones.

Rejoice, childless woman who gained God’s favor in prayer.

Rejoice, for you were given His authority to speak of the good news.

Rejoice, Saint Anna the Prophetess, worshipper of God in the Temple.

Kontakion 12

Saint Anna, we implore you to pray for us, for we wish to follow the very Christ of God whom you beheld in the Temple. We wish to venerate the Mother of God and all the saints who came after you, as well as all the prophets and righteous ones of the Old Testament. We wish to immerse ourselves in the New Testament and learn of Jesus Christ, as well as to listen to His holy theologians. Pray for us, that we may assemble with all God’s people and say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

It is no accident that we hear of you, Saint Anna, even though not much is known about you. But we know that God often chooses unlikely people to fulfill His purposes. We know all that we need to know in order to accept Christ as the Messiah. You never wanted to bring attention to your own life, Saint Anna, but only to the infant held in the arms of the Virgin Mary and then in the arms of Saint Simeon. Even so, it is right that we bring praises to you for your example of holy living:

Rejoice, beloved of everyone who obeys the will of God.

Rejoice, cherished by those who worship in spirit and truth.

Rejoice, support of everyone who attends to a neighbor.

Rejoice, treasured by those who have fellowship with one another.

Rejoice, mainstay of everyone who awakes in the night and prays.

Rejoice, celebrated by those who observe the feasts of the Church.

Rejoice, advocate for everyone who avoids religious hypocrisy.

Rejoice, esteemed by those who read the Gospel of Luke.

Rejoice, friend of everyone who grows old without bitterness.

Rejoice, prized by those who become like little children.

Rejoice, upholder of everyone who venerates the Mother of God.

Rejoice, appreciated by those who receive a child in the Name of Christ.

Rejoice, Saint Anna the Prophetess, worshipper of God in the Temple.

Kontakion 13

Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, you brought forth fruit in old age and you were fundamental to the building of the Kingdom of God among the people. You identified Jesus Christ as the Promised Messiah of the Israelites and the Savior of all mankind. You were rooted in the Scriptures and you understood the prophets, and the Holy Spirit was upon you in divine events. You welcomed the Infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem and you are forever remembered by the Holy Church. We who worship God and receive Christ, we who are baptized and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, do say in solidarity and humility: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

O Heavenly Father: Your Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Who is True God of True God, Who was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and Who became man for the sake of our salvation, was welcomed to the Temple in Jerusalem by Your most worthy servants, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna. Together with all the baptized of the Holy Church, we celebrate them today as we proclaim:

Rejoice, Saint Simeon the Righteous, holy God-receiver.

Rejoice, Saint Anna the Prophetess, worshipper of God in the Temple.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

After a lifetime of holiness, Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, you saw God in the flesh: the Incarnate Savior, the Lord and King Who was born to the pure Virgin. You witnessed the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel and mankind’s hope of salvation. Then, you did not scatter but gathered us before the Holy Trinity, One God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We therefore lift our voices in praise of your superb worthiness:

Rejoice, faithful Israelites who beheld the Son of God.

Rejoice, devout mature ones who looked upon the Christ Child.

Rejoice, for you never wearied of your contemplation of God.

Rejoice, for you lived in admiration of His wondrous ways.

Rejoice, excellent companions of the uncreated Word of God.

Rejoice, holy witnesses of the True Light of the world.

Rejoice, for you never hesitated to do the will of God.

Rejoice, for you treasured His wisdom and shunned evil.

Rejoice, vigilant worshippers who abounded with hope in God.

Rejoice, steadfast servants who wisely used this mortal life.

Rejoice, for you never wavered in your consecration to God.

Rejoice, for you seasoned your supplications with thanksgiving.

Rejoice, blessed forebears who awaited the Promised Messiah.

A Prayer

Saint Simeon, you received the Christ Child in your arms. Saint Anna, you stood alongside the Divine Child. We especially pray, therefore, that not only will we always recognize and receive Christ but that we will also be open to all children and attend to their needs. May married couples receive children into their lives and cherish them and raise them to believe in God. May single individuals and the childless receive all children and protect them and nurture them. May we all become children of God and pray for one another and encourage one another in the Faith. Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, for this we pray and for this we thank you, and for your lives of holiness we praise you always. Amen.

[Bible quotations in this Akathist are from Isaiah 7: 14, Luke 2: 29-32 — NKJV]

Copyright © 2016 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 821, Version 2

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

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