Akathist Hymn to the Life-bearing Tomb and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Kontakion 1

Unto the Lord of Heaven and earth and the Master of all, a hymn of victory do we sing, O Christ Eternal King, for Thou hast risen from the tomb. Being delivered from everlasting corruption, we bring joyous acclamation unto Thine honourable tomb, crying out:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Ikos 1

An archangel came down from Heaven to roll away the stone from before Thy tomb at Thy Resurrection, O Christ God, and to announce Thy rising unto the myrrhbearers, saying: Go ye and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead. Thereupon wondering at the strange word of the angel, they cried unto Thy life-bearing tomb these praises:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb wherein Christ lay as dead and whence He rose on the third day.

Rejoice, for He rose from thee and hath granted us resurrection.

Rejoice, for as a bridegroom from the bridal chamber so did Christ come forth from thee, leading hell captive.

Rejoice, for in His rising the dead of all ages have risen.

Rejoice, by thee Peter the Chief Apostle hath known the Resurrection.

Rejoice, by Christ’s lying within thee all the earth hath been hallowed.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 2

When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to Thy tomb to anoint Thy body, O Christ God, they found an angel sitting on the stone and he said unto them: Be ye not afraid for I know that ye seek the Crucified; He is not here but is risen as He said unto you. When the women announced the Resurrection unto the disciples, then all did sing as unto the Creator and Master of all, the angels’ hymn: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

Their thoughts storming within their minds, Thy disciples, O Christ, knew not the Scriptures that it was fitting for Thee to rise from the dead. They did not believe the myrrhbearers’ joyous announcement of Thy rising. Hence, Peter ran to Thy tomb and, stooping down, beheld the linen garments laid by themselves and the napkin which had been about Thy divine head, and he rightly believed together with the other disciples. Thenceforth rejoicing, he cried such praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, by thee was wrought the salvation of all the world.

Rejoice, for thou art venerated by all creation.

Rejoice, for coming to thee from the North and from the Sea the faithful glorify Christ.

Rejoice, from the West and from the East all magnify the Resurrection within thee.

Rejoice, by thee the assembly of the Jews was put to shame.

Rejoice, for thou wast couch and repose for the King of kings.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 3

The sentries, that vain guard placed about Thy tomb, O Christ God, heard the mighty earthquake and the angel proclaiming the good news of Thy Resurrection unto the myrrhbearers. Quaking with fear they became as dead men. Yet, rushing headlong into the city, they told the high priest and the elders the things that had come to pass. In their great unrighteousness they thought to conceal Thy Resurrection, but were not able and instead taught all to sing: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

The Arimathean who from fear of the Jews had secretly been Thy disciple, O Christ, did beg Thy Divine Body from Pilate. Then, too, did Nicodemus come bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes and did anoint Thine incorruptible Body. Having wrapped it in a winding sheet with spices, he did lay Thee in a new tomb wherein no other had yet been placed but Thou only, O Lord — that by this means, Thou mightest sanctify the substance of the earth. Thereafter when they had learnt of Thy Resurrection from the dead, they shouted praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for the mysteries of salvation have been performed within thee.

Rejoice, by thee the Resurrection hath been made known unto all the world.

Rejoice, sure and certain knowledge of the Resurrection.

Rejoice, by coming forth from thee, Christ hath led captivity captive and brought human nature unto God the Father.

Rejoice, although as man He was laid within thee, as God He did rise with glory.

Rejoice, for thou didst hold within thyself Him Who holdeth all creation.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 4

When the holy myrrhbearers came to Thy disciples, O Christ our God, announcing Thy Resurrection, they were filled with gladness and departed for Galilee — to the mount as Thou hadst commanded them. Upon seeing Thee, very God in the flesh and not an apparition, they worshiped God, crying: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

This knowledge remained unknown among the Jews who neither understood the prophecies nor sought to understand Thy Resurrection, O Christ — how Thou couldst come forth from Thy tomb without breaking the seal thereof. Wherefore do they slander and jeer at Thy rising, but we, marveling at the mystery of it, bring praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb and sing:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, from thee Christ hath risen and raised up the dead.

Rejoice, through thee hell is known and stripped bare.

Rejoice, for the naked Adam is once again clothed in a divinely woven garment.

Rejoice, for the earth which was polluted by Abel’s fratricidal blood, is hallowed again by Christ’s abiding in thee.

Rejoice, for when the angel had rolled away the stone from before thee, the myrrhbearers came to know of Christ’s Resurrection.

Rejoice, for when Christ had risen from thee, the news of His Resurrection spread throughout all the world.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 5

On the eighth day after Thy Resurrection, Thou, O Lord, didst come to Thy disciples, although the doors were closed, and bestow the gifts of the Holy Ghost upon them. Thou didst say unto Thy disciple Thomas, “Come hither and touch me,” and he, at the touch, knew Thee as being truly risen and not an apparition. Together with the other disciples, he did humbly cry unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

We see the council of the Jews, those falsely wise orators, mute as fish and unable to speak about Thy Resurrection, O Christ, and not understanding the prophecies — how it was meet for Thee, the God of all, to rise from the dead. We who have been given life, however, stand with amazement at Thy Resurrection and cry unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for Pilate’s foolish watchmen were terrified when Christ came forth from thee.

Rejoice, for Christ hath risen in truth, amazing all the disciples.

Rejoice, for He Who rose from thee broke not the seal on the grave.

Rejoice, truly rich tomb, for thou didst hold within thyself Christ the Giver of Life bestowing life upon all.

Rejoice, for when Christ rose from thee the heavens did rejoice.

Rejoice, for then the things of earth did teach the Resurrection unto all.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 6

After Thy Resurrection, O Christ, Thou didst reveal Thyself unto Thy disciples at the sea of Tiberias and command them to cast the net on the right side of the ship. Thy beloved disciple, recognizing Thee, O Lord, from the mighty catch of fish, did say unto Peter, “It is the Lord.” As soon as they had come onto land, they saw a fire and fish thereupon and bread. Wherefore in the giving of bread they did know Thee, and as unto the risen God did shout: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

The women made their way to Thy tomb in the deep dawn, O Christ our God, and though they found not Thy sought-for body, they discerned not Thy rising. Straightway they saw an angel standing before them, who asked them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” Yea, upon seeing Thy Resurrection, with great gladness they cried out these praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, by Christ’s abiding within thee the nether regions were seized with great fear.

Rejoice, for then with trembling, hell did give up the dead which it had held down throughout the ages.

Rejoice, by Christ’s rising we are all restored to newness of life.

Rejoice, by Christ’s rising Thomas was taught to say, “My Lord and my God.”

Rejoice, by Christ’s rising all creation hath found joy.

Rejoice, too, O Arimathean, for within thine own garden thou hast acquired so great a treasure.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 7

The sun at Thy Passion, O Christ, unable to bear the raging frenzy of the lawless, did hide its light and the veil of the Temple was rent. When Thou wast laid in the tomb, the earth was shaken as though wanting to swallow up the unlawful. Notwithstanding, Thou as God didst rise in glory and with Thyself didst raise up Adam, the father of us all. Joyfully unto our truly risen God do we sing: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

After Thy Resurrection, O Christ, Thou didst reveal Thyself unto Luke and Cleopas along the way. Thou didst accompany them as they discussed together those things that had happened unto Thee, the Master of all, and Thou wast scorned by them as being but a stranger in Jerusalem. Thou as God didst open unto them the prophecies concerning Thyself, and thus wast known by them in the breaking of bread. Thereupon with great joy they turned back to Jerusalem and they declared the good news of Thy Resurrection and appearance unto Thy disciples. All together they did worship and sing praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for thou hast received within thyself the Heavenly Bread given as food for all.

Rejoice, for thou wast able to contain Christ as a sleeping King.

Rejoice, for Heaven and earth were filled with glad tidings when Christ rose from thee.

Rejoice, for no longer are the unlawful able to slander the Resurrection of Christ.

Rejoice, by thee the Jews were brought unto disgrace.

Rejoice, through thee the apostles’ choir was filled with joy.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 8

Mankind, together with all the angels, doth stand in wonder before Thy great care for us — Thou Who as God art inaccessible and yet as an approachable man art seen by all, for Thou wast crucified and buried and then didst rise in glory. Gratefully unto Thee as Creator and Master do we sing: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

In Thy Resurrection, O Christ, Thou didst shew forth the new creation and, as in Thy birth from the pure Virgin, Thou didst not destroy the seal on the tomb. We honour Thy Passion, we glorify Thy Burial, and in faith we worship Thy glorious Resurrection. In like manner, we offer hymns of thanksgiving unto Thy tomb, saying:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for Christ is risen from thee and hath renewed all the world.

Rejoice, for the stone that was rolled away from thee hath shattered the gates and door-posts of hell.

Rejoice, for the Sun of the entire world hath shone forth from thee.

Rejoice, for when Christ lay within thee the nether regions were shaken asunder.

Rejoice, for those dead whom hell of old did seize, it hath unwillingly given back alive.

Rejoice, thou lightning flash which did hide the divine pearl within thyself.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 9

The apostles, those God-bearing heralds of Thy Resurrection, were sent out into all the world and they did preach Thee, the True God. They taught all the faithful to sing unto Thee, the Creator and Master: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

After Thy rising from the grave, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb whilst it was early and in darkness, and saw the stone was taken away. She therefore went quickly to the disciples, saying, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher.” Then Peter, that disciple of burning faith, ran with John to the tomb and peering within saw the garments lying empty. Thereby gaining the knowledge of Thy Resurrection, O Christ, they began shouting praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for when Christ was shut within thee He shone forth light upon the nether regions.

Rejoice, for when the stone was removed from thee the stony-hearted nations began to sing, “Christ is truly risen.”

Rejoice, within thee God did pass three days asleep in the flesh.

Rejoice, by His rising He hath awakened those who throughout the ages have been asleep.

Rejoice, by His coming forth from thee He hath bestowed resurrection upon all.

Rejoice, for as a bright sun shining forth from thee He hath enlightened all the world.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 10

The earth grew frightened and fell silent, seeing Thee its Creator lying in a small tomb, and hell, trembling with fear before Thy power, gave up its dead — preparing for Thee Thy rising to the Father from Whom Thou wast never separate. For this reason do we sing unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

Mary Magdalene, with ardent faith in Thee our Saviour Jesus Christ, came very early to Thy tomb. She was granted the vision of an angel telling her, “He is not here, but is risen.” Thou didst Thyself appear unto her as God, and hence she was sent as the bearer of good news to announce unto Thy disciples Thy rising to the Father. Thy disciples were hereafter filled with joy and together with the myrrhbearers offered praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb, crying:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, thou opening of the gates of Paradise.

Rejoice, for of Him Who lay within thee doth hell unwillingly speak truly, saying, “It were better for me had I never seized the Son of Mary.”

Rejoice, for He Who rose from thee hath led hell captive and filled the heavenly Jerusalem.

Rejoice, for as one who sleepeth thou hast held within thyself the very Lamb, the Son of God.

Rejoice, for according to the prophecy, Christ did sleep within thee and as a lion did take His rest — and who hath stirred Him up?

Rejoice, from thee He did raise Himself by His own power.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 11

When the Saviour stood before His disciples, granting them peace, He also gave them the power to forgive sins and to baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and to preach His Resurrection from the dead. Henceforth, they did go and teach all nations to cry unto the risen God: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

After Thy rising from the dead, O Christ, appearing unto Thy disciples Thou didst say unto Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” After his threefold affirmation of his love for Thee, Thou didst establish him as the first leader of Thy Church. All the faithful, having known Thee the risen God, cried out praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, by coming forth from thee, Christ hath made us a path up to Heaven.

Rejoice, for placed within thee, Christ hath raised up the dead of all the ages.

Rejoice, for unto the resurrected He hath given eternal life.

Rejoice, for the Cross and the Resurrection are glorified in thee.

Rejoice, by thee the sentries learnt of the Resurrection.

Rejoice, for thou art a vault of divine knowledge.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 12

Glorifying Thy Passion, O Christ, we honour Thy divine providence for us and we worship Thy Resurrection. Glorifying Thine all-glorious Ascension from earth to the Heavenly Father, we pray: Take not Thy Holy Ghost away from us, so that we may all sing unto Thee as Creator and Master: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Thou the radiance of the Father didst go to the Mount of Olives where a most bright cloud did lift Thee up, as Thy disciples looked on, O Almighty One. Thine angels said unto Thine apostles, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Him Whom ye see taken up from you shall come again in the flesh.” They returned to Jerusalem with joy, praising Thee, the True God, and offering praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb wherein Thou wast laid and on the third day didst rise:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, Christ the ineffable Light hath shone forth from thee and enlightened the entire world.

Rejoice, for the holy myrrhbearers did hear, “Rejoice,” when Christ rose from thee.

Rejoice, for thou hast been the resting place of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Rejoice, for thou hast held the sustainer of all creation.

Rejoice, for the most wise Jews were made fools by thee in that they could not speak against the Resurrection.

Rejoice, for the apostles’ choir hath found joy through thee.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Kontakion 13

To the most holy and life-bearing tomb of Christ, thou the enrichment of all the world. Standing before thee as the bearer of life, we pray to Christ our God Who lay within thee and Who rose in glory on the third day: That He deliver His inheritance from famine, pestilence, earthquake and flood, and from every mortal wound, and that He grant peace unto Orthodox Christians and subdue under their feet those who strive against them. Thus may we all sing unto Thee, our Creator and Master: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Unto the Lord of Heaven and earth and the Master of all, a hymn of victory do we sing, O Christ Eternal King, for Thou hast risen from the tomb. Being delivered from everlasting corruption, we bring joyous acclamation unto Thine honourable tomb, crying out:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

An archangel came down from Heaven to roll away the stone from before Thy tomb at Thy Resurrection, O Christ God, and to announce Thy rising unto the myrrhbearers, saying: Go ye and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead. Thereupon wondering at the strange word of the angel, they cried unto Thy life-bearing tomb these praises:

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb wherein Christ lay as dead and whence He rose on the third day.

Rejoice, for He rose from thee and hath granted us resurrection.

Rejoice, for as a bridegroom from the bridal chamber so did Christ come forth from thee, leading hell captive.

Rejoice, for in His rising the dead of all ages have risen.

Rejoice, by thee Peter the Chief Apostle hath known the Resurrection.

Rejoice, by Christ’s lying within thee all the earth hath been hallowed.

Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, how can we sinners dare to approach Thy life-bearing tomb as did Thy faithful disciple, Mary Magdalene, for we do not awaken early to behold Thy presence within our monasteries or homes. How can we call Thee “Lord” as did Thomas who believed in Thy sovereign divinity, for we do not seek to know Thee in the gladness of truth. Help us, O Eternal Christ, to roll away the stone from our heart that we may rise with Thee and rejoice with the apostles and myrrhbearers as they praise Thy Resurrection. Let us love one another for Thou hast loved us first. Grant us the wisdom and humility to sing with one mind, “Christ Is Risen.” Amen.

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