Akathist Hymn to the Nativity of Christ

Kontakion 1

Christ our God, Who didst choose the most pure Virgin from among all generations and wast born of her in the flesh, we Thy servants offer hymns of thanksgiving unto Thee. Since Thou art possessed of ineffable loving-kindness, O Master, from all manner of misfortune free us who cry:

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Ikos 1

A glorious multitude of angels assembled in Bethlehem to behold the unapproachable Nativity. Upon seeing their Creator lying in a manger as a babe, they were filled with awe. Doing homage with fear, they honoured the godliness of Him Who was born and of her who bore Him, chanting such things as these:

Glory to Thee, Son of God, Who wast begotten of the Father before time began.

Glory to Thee Who with the Father and the Spirit didst create all things.

Glory to Thee Who wast made flesh to save the perishing human race.

Glory to Thee Who didst condescend even to assume the form of a servant.

Glory to Thee Who searchest for the lost.

Glory to Thee Who art the Saviour of those gone astray.

Glory to Thee Who hast demolished the wall of separation.

Glory to Thee Who again hast opened Paradise, which was shut by disobedience.

Glory to Thee Who wast ineffably born of the Virgin.

Glory to Thee Who tenderly lovest mankind.

Glory to Thee Who didst shew the cave to be Heaven on earth.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn the Virgin, who gave Thee birth, to be the throne of the cherubim.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 2

Seeing that their Master had received flesh from the pure Virgin, the incorporeal angels were filled with awe and declared among themselves, “This is an all-glorious mystery past understanding.” Marveling at His ineffable condescension, they chanted with fear: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

All noetic creation is filled with amazement, Lord Jesus, and with thanksgiving hymneth the mystery of Thy Nativity. The hosts of Heaven rejoice, chanting, “Glory to God in the highest.” Wherefore earth and men are filled with gladness, and we unceasingly cry out:

Glory to Thee, O God, Who art glorified in the highest.

Glory to Thee Who didst cause the angels to rejoice.

Glory to Thee Who didst reveal Thyself unto us on earth.

Glory to Thee Who hast reconciled Thyself with sinners.

Glory to Thee Who camest down from the heavens.

Glory to Thee Who didst cause the star to shine forth.

Glory to Thee Who by it didst summon the Magi to worship Thee.

Glory to Thee Who didst mercifully accept their gifts.

Glory to Thee Who hast taught all creation to minister unto Thee.

Glory to Thee Who hast given us the understanding to hymn Thee.

Glory to Thee Who hast united Thyself with us.

Glory to Thee Who Thyself hast saved us.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 3

The God of peace and Father of compassion, mighty in strength, came to earth to save the perishing world. In Bethlehem, He is now born as a babe of the Virgin, whence He hath shewn her to be the Mother and Mediatress of salvation for all who glorify His Incarnation and chant: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

Having her who gave Thee birth in an all-pure manner praying unceasingly for us, we rejoice and hymn the mystery of Thy becoming man, Lord Jesus. We glorify Thy Nativity from the God-pleasing Virgin as we cry:

Glory to Thee, Son of God.

Glory to Thee, Son of the Virgin.

Glory to Thee Who upon us hast shewn forth the abyss of Thy love for mankind.

Glory to Thee Who hast ineffably loved us.

Glory to Thee Who hast sought out the lost sheep.

Glory to Thee Who hast told the angels to rejoice in its finding.

Glory to Thee Who hast taken it upon Thy shoulders.

Glory to Thee Who hast led it unto the Father.

Glory to Thee Who hast united men and angels into a single flock.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered the world from delusion.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn us great and incomprehensible mercy.

Glory to Thee Who lovest us more than all other creatures.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 4

The chaste-minded Joseph who had within him a storm of doubting thoughts, now beholdeth glorious things within the divine cave. Even though he beheld as an infant Him Who was born of the holy Virgin, yet he understood from things revealed unto him that He is the True God. Thereafter, doing homage to His divinity, he chanted with joy: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

The shepherds heard the angel proclaim that the Saviour of the world was born in the city of David. Running swiftly to the cave, they beheld Him lying in the manger — like an unblemished lamb which had been nurtured in the womb of the Virgin. She who had given Him birth, now ministered unto Him while Joseph stood by with fear. The shepherds spake of what they had been told and, bowing down before the newborn, they said:

Glory to Thee, Lamb of God, the Saviour of the world.

Glory to Thee, Son of God, Who hast revealed unto the human race an ineffable miracle.

Glory to Thee Who hast caused us to hear the song of angels.

Glory to Thee Who hast taught us to glorify Thee with them.

Glory to Thee Who hast moved angels and men to hymn Thee.

Glory to Thee Who hast brought joy unto earth and Heaven.

Glory to Thee in Whom those in Heaven rejoice with those on earth.

Glory to Thee, by Whom those on earth are united with those in Heaven.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn the power of the devil to be impotent.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered us from his tyranny.

Glory to Thee, ineffable joy of those who believe in Thee.

Glory to Thee, unspeakable delight of those who love Thee.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 5

Beholding the divinely guided star which pointed beforehand to the Nativity of Christ, the Magi observed it and by its guidance they reached the unapproachable One. Thereupon beholding Him Who is invisible, they rejoiced and cried unto Him: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

The Persian kings, seeing the King of kings sitting on the arm of the Virgin as on the throne of the cherubim, and understanding Him to be the Master, even though He had assumed the form of a servant, hastened to offer Him gifts — gold, as unto the King of all; frankincense, as unto God; and myrrh, as unto One immortal — and making obeisance, they chanted:

Glory to Thee Who hast shone forth light upon all.

Glory to Thee Who by a star hast guided us to do Thee homage.

Glory to Thee Who didst reprove the malice of cruel Herod.

Glory to Thee Who didst shew his plotting to be in vain.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered us from his deception.

Glory to Thee Who hast taught us to truly worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness.

Glory to Thee Who hast enlightened all with the light of understanding.

Glory to Thee Who by Thy Nativity hast abolished the delusion of polytheism.

Glory to Thee Who hast utterly laid low the dominion of the enemy.

Glory to Thee Who hast taught us to worship Thee with the Father and the Spirit.

Glory to Thee Who hast crushed the head of the serpent that beguiled us.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered us from everlasting death.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 6

In fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Thee, which were uttered by the God-bearing heralds, Thou hast revealed Thyself on earth, O Saviour, being born now of the pure Virgin in a wretched cave. Yea, though rich, Thou didst willingly impoverish Thyself for our sake, that Thou mightest enrich all men who chant unto Thee with faith: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Thou didst shine forth from the Virgin, Thy Mother who knew not man, Lord Jesus, shining like the sun and driving away the darkness of falsehood. All the demons trembled, unable to withstand Thy might. Hades also, witnessing the miracle, was filled with terror. Henceforth it is most fitting that we cry unto Thee in thanksgiving:

Glory to Thee, Saviour of men.

Glory to Thee, destroyer of demons.

Glory to Thee Who by Thy birth didst fill the prince of lies with dread.

Glory to Thee Who didst satisfy the prophets with eternal blessedness.

Glory to Thee Who hast illumined all with the light of knowledge of God.

Glory to Thee Who hast driven away the darkness of ignorance.

Glory to Thee Who hast poured forth the water of salvation upon us all.

Glory to Thee Who hast quenched the thirst of Adam and David.

Glory to Thee Who like the sun hast enlightened all by Thy Nativity.

Glory to Thee Who hast rendered all the world radiant with Thy beams of grace.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn us the Promised Land.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered us from the curse of our entire race.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 7

Desiring to reveal unto us the mystery hidden from before time began, Thou didst shew it unto Thy servants from all creation, O Savior — unto Gabriel from among the angels, unto the Virgin from among men, unto the star from among the heavens, and from earth unto the cave in which it was Thy good pleasure to be born. We therefore, marveling at Thine ineffable wisdom, cry unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

The Creator of all shewed forth a new creation, revealing Himself in the flesh — springing forth from a seedless womb which He preserved incorrupt and offered as the mediation of salvation for those who chant:

Glory to Thee, Son of God, Who hast shewn her who bore Thee to be a Mother of loving-kindness.

Glory to Thee Who didst preserve her virginity even after she gave birth.

Glory to Thee Who camest to save Adam.
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Glory to Thee Who hast comforted the tears of Eve.

Glory to Thee Who hast appeared as an innocent Lamb.

Glory to Thee Who hast shone forth an image of the Resurrection.

Glory to Thee Who hast rent asunder the record of our sins.

Glory to Thee Who hast given us a model of humility.

Glory to Thee Who didst impoverish Thyself for our sake.

Glory to Thee Who hast enriched us with Thy poverty.

Glory to Thee Who hast clothed us in the raiment of salvation.

Glory to Thee Who hast delighted us by Thy love.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 8

Seeing Thy strange and glorious Nativity, which took place in the cave, let us all the more spurn the vanities of the world. It is now revealed that the Divine Mind hath appeared on earth as a humble man and leadeth unto the heavens those who cry unto Him in gratitude: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Christ our God, Thou art all-desire and all-delight for those who love Thee and glorify Thy divine condescension. Having been born of the pure Virgin on earth, Thou leadest unto the heavens those who chant:

Glory to Thee, Son of God, Who wast born on earth in a manger.

Glory to Thee Who didst shew the pure Virgin to be a worthy Mother.

Glory to Thee Who hast revealed Thyself unto the meek and the poor.

Glory to Thee Who hast called those from afar into Thy marvelous light.

Glory to Thee, our indescribable joy.

Glory to Thee, the delight of our hearts.

Glory to Thee Who in Thy Nativity hast shone forth the light of salvation.

Glory to Thee Who didst shed tears for our restoration.

Glory to Thee Who hast thereby quenched the flame of our passions.

Glory to Thee Who hast cleansed us from the defilement of sin.

Glory to Thee Who hast set at nought our transgressions.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered us from corruption.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 9

No mind or understanding of angels or men is able to comprehend the mystery of Thine unapproachable Nativity, O Saviour. Yet, do Thou accept our love and faith, Good Master, and save us who chant unto Thee with fear: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

Lord Jesus, we see the most eloquent of orators mute as fish when confronted by Thine Incarnation. They cannot understand how, being perfect God, Thou didst appear as a perfect man, and how Thou wast born of the Virgin who knew not wedlock. Hence, refusing to delve into these mysteries, we glorify Thee by faith only and we cry:

Glory to Thee, hypostatic wisdom of God.

Glory to Thee, ineffable joy of the meek.

Glory to Thee Who didst shew those lacking in wisdom to be lovers of wisdom.

Glory to Thee Who hast given understanding even unto the simple.

Glory to Thee Who didst put to shame those who tested Thee.

Glory to Thee Who didst break the webs of all who devise myths.

Glory to Thee Who hast united true knowledge with right worship.

Glory to Thee Who didst pour forth wisdom into Thy works.

Glory to Thee Who hast enlightened the minds of many.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn us the path to salvation.

Glory to Thee, unfathomable abyss of loving-kindness.

Glory to Thee, depth of compassion and love for mankind.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 10

Desiring to save the world which is perishing, the adorner of all is born of the Virgin as a babe. He Who looseth the intricate bonds of transgressions is wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Being the Son of God, He becometh the Son of the Virgin, and wisely arrangeth all things that He might save those who chant unto Him: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

Herod, the enemy of God, shewed himself to be a pillar and wall of God-opposing malice and a spawn of great iniquity, for he tried to slay Him Who giveth life unto all. At his command, innocent babes were reaped by the sword, like unripe grain. Let us, however, drive all malice from our heart that we may glorify Him Who came to save us, crying:

Glory to Thee Who didst shew Herod’s intention to be in vain.

Glory to Thee Who hast numbered with the angels the babes he slew.

Glory to Thee, vanquisher of wickedness.

Glory to Thee, instructor in humility and lover of mortals.

Glory to Thee Who hast broken the horn of pride.

Glory to Thee Who hast shone the light of righteousness upon all.

Glory to Thee Who Thyself hast taught us to be meek and humble.

Glory to Thee Who hast brought all to acknowledge Thee.

Glory to Thee Who by Thy Nativity didst sanctify the womb of her who bore Thee.

Glory to Thee Who didst accept the shepherds’ wonder and the gifts of the Magi.

Glory to Thee Who didst teach even irrational creatures to serve Thee.

Glory to Thee Who hast blessed all creation.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 11

All laudation of Thine Incarnation for our sake falleth short and, for those who wish to offer fitting praise, silence is better. Yea, even if we were to offer Thee hymns as numerous as the sands of the sea, All-Holy King, we would accomplish nought that is meet. For this reason, we fervently chant unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

They who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, beholding Thee, the never-waning Light Who shone forth from the Virgin, were illumined by the fire of Thy divinity. They hymned Thee, the bestower of wisdom and understanding, crying out such things as these:

Glory to Thee Who hast shone forth most radiant enlightenment.

Glory to Thee, Sun of Righteousness, Who hast illuminated all by Thy Nativity.

Glory to Thee Who hast poured forth upon us a most torrential river of grace.

Glory to Thee Who hast richly provided the water of salvation as drink.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn unto those who love Thee that Thy yoke is easy and Thy burden is light.

Glory to Thee Who hast lifted from us the weight of sin.

Glory to Thee Who hast delivered us from the bondage of the enemy.

Glory to Thee Who hast overcome the malice of men by becoming man.

Glory to Thee Who hast filled all with gladness by Thine appearance on earth.

Glory to Thee Who hast given us consolation through rebirth.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn Thyself unto us as our utmost desire.

Glory to Thee Who hast reconciled with the Father us who are His enemies.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 12

Our Saviour, Who didst come to give grace unto all and to release the debts of men by Thine Incarnation, loose also our debts and rend asunder the record of our sins, that we may glorify Thine ineffable Nativity and chant without ceasing: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

Hymning Thy becoming man, we praise, bless and worship Thee, our Saviour. We believe that Thou art the Lord and God Who saveth all who hope on Thee, who glorify Thine ineffable Nativity from the Virgin, and who chant such things as these:

Glory to Thee, Son of God, Who art worshiped in the highest with the Father and the Spirit.

Glory to Thee Who art glorified by all the ranks of Heaven and earth.

Glory to Thee Who hast disclosed the mystery hidden from before time began.

Glory to Thee Who hast revealed Thy powerful love for us.

Glory to Thee Who knowest the hearts of all men.

Glory to Thee Who hast mercy upon the sinner.

Glory to Thee Who makest firm the scepters of those who reign with piety on earth.

Glory to Thee Who hast blessed devout hierarchs and priests with wisdom and majesty.

Glory to Thee, foundation and confirmation of the Church.

Glory to Thee, deliverance and adornment of all the faithful.

Glory to Thee, physician and healer of our bodies.

Glory to Thee, Lover and Saviour of our souls.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Kontakion 13

To Jesus, all-sweet and most compassionate, our Savior, Creator and Master. Accept this, our meager supplication, thanksgiving and glorification, as Thou didst accept the gifts and worship of the Magi. Preserve us, Thy servants, from all perils. Grant us the forgiveness of sins. From everlasting torment deliver those who with faith glorify Thy Nativity from the pure Virgin, and who cry unto Thee: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Christ our God, Who didst choose the most pure Virgin from among all generations and wast born of her in the flesh, we Thy servants offer hymns of thanksgiving unto Thee. Since Thou art possessed of ineffable loving- kindness, O Master, from all manner of misfortune free us who cry:

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

A glorious multitude of angels assembled in Bethlehem to behold the unapproachable Nativity. Upon seeing their Creator lying in a manger as a babe, they were filled with awe. Doing homage with fear, they honoured the godliness of Him Who was born and of her who bore Him, chanting such things as these:

Glory to Thee, Son of God, Who wast begotten of the Father before time began.

Glory to Thee Who with the Father and the Spirit didst create all things.

Glory to Thee Who wast made flesh to save the perishing human race.

Glory to Thee Who didst condescend even to assume the form of a servant.

Glory to Thee Who searchest for the lost.

Glory to Thee Who art the Saviour of those gone astray.

Glory to Thee Who hast demolished the wall of separation.

Glory to Thee Who again hast opened Paradise, which was shut by disobedience.

Glory to Thee Who wast ineffably born of the Virgin.

Glory to Thee Who tenderly lovest mankind.

Glory to Thee Who didst shew the cave to be Heaven on earth.

Glory to Thee Who hast shewn the Virgin, who gave Thee birth, to be the throne of the cherubim.

Jesus, Son of God, Who becamest incarnate for our sake: glory to Thee.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Who wast born an infant in condescension to the sins of the human race, we confess that we have no gifts to offer Thee like the Magi and no place for Thee like the animals in the manger. We have done nothing to deserve Thy goodness — nothing not tainted by pride — and we trust only in Thy great mercy to make us worthy though unworthy of Thy glorious Nativity. O King of kings, accept the gifts of our repentance and commitment that we may, in gratitude, worship Thee under the illumination of the star of Bethlehem. Forgive us and reconcile us with Thy Holy Church that we may love one another as Thou hast loved us. Amen.

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