Akathist to the Theotokos, the Joy of All Who Sorrow

Kontakion 1

To Thee, the champion leader, do we Thy servants dedicate a hymn of victory and thanksgiving, as ones who have been delivered from eternal death by the Grace of Christ our God Who was born of Thee and by Thy maternal mediation before Him. As Thou dost have invincible might, free us from all misfortunes and sorrowful circumstances who cry aloud:

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Ikos 1

An archangel was sent from Heaven to declare unto the Theotokos: Rejoice, announcing the divine Incarnation of Christ, Who desired to be born of Her, the Joy of the whole world which was languishing in sorrow. Wherefore, heavy laden with sins, but having obtained the hope of salvation in Thee, we cry out to Thee with compunction:

Rejoice, goodwill of God toward sinners; rjoice, strong help for those who repent before the Lord God! Rejoice, restoration of fallen Adam; rejoice, redemption of the tears of Eve! Rejoice, Thou that dost remove the stain of sin! Rejoice, laver that dost wash the conscience clean; rejoice, Thou that didst bear the Redeemer Who freely cleanseth us of our transgressions! Rejoice, all-wonderous reconciliation of all with God; rejoice, bridge that dost truly lead us from death to life! Rejoice, Thou that savest the world from the flood of sin; rejoice, heavenly ladder by which the Lord descended to us! Rejoice, cause of deification for all!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 2

Beholding the streams of wonders which pour forth from Thy holy icon, O most blessed Mother of God, in that Thou art the good helper of them that pray, the support of the oppressed, the hope of the hopeless, the consolation of them that grieve, the nourisher of the hungry, the raiment of the naked, the chastity of virgins, the guide of strangers, the assistance of them that labor, the restoration of sight for the blind, the clear hearing of the deaf, and the healing of the sick, in Thee do we thankfully chant unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos 2

Seeking to understand the incomprehensible reason for the bitter sorrows that assail us, in need of consolation we flee to Thee, O Mother and Virgin. And in that Thou art good, teach us to see in them the merciful providence of Thy good Son for the salvation of our souls and the cleansing of our many transgressions, that we may joyfully cry to Thee:

Rejoice, calm haven of the tempest-tossed; rejoice, sure confirmation of them in doubt! Rejoice, only mother of loving-kindness; rejoice, ready helper of them in misfortunes and temptations! Rejoice, Thou that dost wash away the sorrows of our sins; rejoice, Thou that healest the grief of our spiritual infirmity! Rejoice, Thou that dost teach us to disdain the vain joys of this world; rejoice, Thou that leadest our minds from the world to that which transcendeth it! Rejoice, Thou that drawest us from the love of things earthly to the heavenly love of God; rejoice, Thou that grantest us consolation and a life of Grace amid our very sorrows! Rejoice, pledge of eternal blessings; rejoice, mediatress of everlasting joy!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 3

With power from on high, do Thou strengthen me, who am afflicted in body and soul, O good Lady, and vouchsafe me Thy visitation and provident care, dispelling the gloom of despondency and sorrow which enfold me, that saved by Thee I may unceasingly cry out to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 3

O Thou that hast an ineffable wealth of loving-kindness, that dost stretch forth the hand of Thine assistance unto all that sorrow, that curest infirmities and healest the passions: disdain not even me, O blessed Lady, as I lie upon the bed of mine affliction and cry unto Thee:

Rejoice, priceless treasury of mercy; rejoice, sole hope of the despairing! Rejoice, healing of my body; rejoice, salvation of my soul! Rejoice, unfailing strength of the infirm; rejoice, aid and strengthening of the disabled! Rejoice, Thou that quickly assuagest the wrath of God by Thy supplication; rejoice, Thou that dost tame our passions by the power of Thy prayers! Rejoice, sight for the blind and hearing for the deaf; rejoice, feet for the lame, speech for the dumb! Rejoice, visitation of good cheer for the sick; rejoice, for through Thee are Grace-filled healings granted to the infirm, according to the measure of their faith!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 4

A tempest of many misfortunes and temptations doth beset me, and no longer can I endure its ragings. But as Thou art the merciful mother of my Savior and God, lift up Thy hands to Thy Son, beseeching Him to regard the bitter sorrow of my heart and to raise me up from the abyss of despair, who cry to Him: Alleluia!

Ikos 4

O most holy Virgin and Mother, hearing the prophecy of the righteous Simeon: A sword shall pierce through Thine own soul, Thou didst keep all these sayings in Thy heart, understanding that the joy of a mother's heart over her children can be accompanied with much grief in this world. Wherefore, as one tried in everything and able to commiserate with a mother's sorrows, we cry to Thee:

Rejoice, Thou that didst bear the Savior Christ, the Joy of the world; rejoice, Thou that deliverest the world from sorrows! Rejoice, Thou that didst endure the blasphemies and slanders hurled at Thy Son; rejoice, Thou that didst suffer together with Him through His suffering! Rejoice, consolation of the sorrows of mothers; rejoice, gracious preservation of their children! Rejoice, speedy help amid misfortunes; rejoice, correction of the erring! Rejoice, nourishment of infants; rejoice, guidance of the young! Rejoice, mother of the orphaned; rejoice, help of widows!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 5

Beholding the divinely-flowing blood of Thy Son poured forth upon the Cross of our salvation, as the handmaiden of the Lord Who didst humbly subject Thyself to the will of the Father Who is in the heavens, Thou didst give us an example of endurance and of patience, that amid the furnace of temptations and present misfortunes we may cry aloud to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 5

Beholding Thee crucified with Him in Thy heart and standing with His beloved disciple by the Cross, Thy Son and God did say: Woman, behold Thy son, and to His disciple: Behold thy mother, thereby giving Thee as sons all that believe in Him. And having in Thee a good mother, placing all our hope in Thee amid our sorrow, as partakers of the sorrows and sufferings of Thy Son, we cry to Thee:

Rejoice, mother of the Christian race; rejoice, Thou that didst adopt us at the Cross of Thy Son! Rejoice, Thou that didst unite God with mankind; rejoice, Thou that didst join the faithful to the Lord! Rejoice, ewe that didst bear the Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world; rejoice, cup that drawest joy for us from the Fountain of Immortality! Rejoice, surety of the salvation of sinners; rejoice, search for the perishing! Rejoice, unexpected joy of sinners; rejoice, raising up of all the fallen! Rejoice, healer of all infirmities; rejoice, alleviation of every sorrow!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 6

O Mother of God, all the ends of the earth proclaim Thy mercies, for by Thy sacred protection Thou dost shelter the whole Christian race for which Thou dost supplicate Christ our Savior and dost deliver from all misfortune Thy pious and God-fearing servants who faithfully cry out to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 6

Beholding the radiant Grace which shineth forth from Thy most wondrous icon, O Mother of God, falling down before it with tears, we beseech Thee: disperse the clouds of temptations which have come upon us, that we may cry out to Thee with joy:

Rejoice, Thou that bearest the supplications of the faithful unto Thy Son and God; rejoice, Thou that thyself dost pray for us at the throne of Thy Son! Rejoice, intercessor before God that dost save the world from calamities; rejoice, help of the Christian race, given us by God! Rejoice, tree of goodly shade, whereby many are sheltered; rejoice, tree bearing radiant fruit, whereby the faithful are nourished! Rejoice, shelter of the world, more spacious than a cloud; rejoice, land of promise whence floweth milk and honey! Rejoice, radiant cloud, unceasingly illuminating the faithful; rejoice, pillar of fire, guiding the elect to their heavenly inheritance! Rejoice, field that yieldest an abundance of compassion; rejoice, bestower of every blessing!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 7

Desiring to produce streams of wonders from Thine icon, "The Joy of All Who Sorrow," Thou, O Lady, didst command the ailing Euphemia to have a moleben served before it, and having received healing, to proclaim to all the mercies bestowed through this icon, that the source of gracious healings be not hid from those in need. Wherefore, we hide not Thy good deeds, but thankfully glorifying God, we cry to Him: Alleluia!

Ikos 7

Thy temple, in which we bow down before Thy wonder-working icon, is shown to be a new pool of Siloam, surpassing the one of old, O Most-pure Lady; for health of body is given not once a year and only to the first-come, but Thou dost always heal every ailment and every disease of soul and body of them that hasten to Thee with faith and love. Wherefore we cry to Thee:

Rejoice, font wherein our sorrows are drowned; rejoice, cup whereby we partake of joy and salvation! Rejoice, rock that givest drink to them that thirst for life; rejoice, tree that dost sweeten the salty waters of the sea of life! Rejoice, inexhaustible fountain of life-giving waters; rejoice, laver that dost wash away the stain of sin! Rejoice, sweetening of our sorrows; rejoice, assuagement of our sorrows! Rejoice, healing of our afflictions; rejoice, deliverance from misfortune! Rejoice, trampling down of demons; rejoice, humiliation of enemies!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 8

Strangers and pilgrims are we upon this earth, in the words of the Apostle: enduring perils at the hands of enemies, perils at the hands of relatives, perils at the hands of false brethren, in much want and sorrow. And in that Thou art the good Directress, O Lady, do Thou grant us remission of our transgressions before the end, that we may unceasingly cry to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 8

Our whole life on earth is painful and filled with grief because of false accusations, reproaches, insults, and various other misfortunes and temptations, for the flesh is weak and our spirit faileth. Therefore, to Thee do we flee, O Mother of God, falling down before Thine all-pure icon. Fill our sorrowful hearts with joy and gladness, that we may cry to Thee:

Rejoice, guide that dost direct us to the heavenly fatherland; rejoice, queen of Heaven and earth Who dost open unto us the gates of Paradise! Rejoice, merciful one that hast mercy upon us; rejoice, steward that orderest well our life! Rejoice, fleece bedewed, which Gideon didst foresee; rejoice, blessed womb which didst contain the uncontainable God of all! Rejoice, bush that burned and yet remained unconsumed; rejoice, unassailable wall! Rejoice, life-giving fountain; rejoice, never-fading bloom! Rejoice, softening of the hearts of the wicked; rejoice, compunction of the good!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 9

Every sweetness of life in this world partaketh of sorrow: glory endureth not, wealth passeth, beauty and health fade away, and friends and neighbors are taken away by death. Wherefore, sweeten our sorrows, Thou cause of every good thing, bestowing Thine incorruptible joy upon us that cry out to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 9

The most eloquent orators know not with what words to console the sorrowful; but do Thou Thyself, O Lady, speak consolation to our hearts, dispersing the cloud of our sorrow and the gloom of despair with the rays of Thy Grace, that we may cry out to Thee:

Rejoice, Thou that hast made glad all Christians that have confidence in Thee; rejoice, joy and tranquility of the world! Rejoice, bestower of divine goodness; rejoice, hope of eternal blessings! Rejoice, ship of them that wish to be saved; rejoice, harbor for the voyages of life! Rejoice, faithful preserver of them that, after God, do trust in Thee; rejoice, vesture of them that are stripped of boldness! Rejoice, preserver and confirmation for all; rejoice, fortification and sacred refuge of all the faithful! Rejoice, help of them that faithfully pray to Thee; rejoice, radiant knowledge of Grace!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 10

Desiring to save the human race from eternal torment and unending sorrow, the Lord Who loveth mankind dwelt in Thine ever-virgin womb, and gave Thee, His own mother, to the perishing as a help, protection, and defense, that Thou mightest be the consolation of the grieving, the rejoicing of the sorrowful, the hope of the despairing, releasing them from eternal torment by Thine intercession, and leading to heavenly gladness all that faithfully cry to Thy Son and our God: Alleluia!

Ikos 10

Thou art the bulwark of virgins, O Virgin Theotokos, and of all that flee to Thy protection. Wherefore do we beseech Thee: help, protect, and preserve from temptations, afflictions, and misfortunes all the orphans and helpless ones who cry out to Thee with love:

Rejoice, pillar of virginity; rejoice, chosen vessel of purity and chastity! Rejoice, special crowning of them that by chastity make war upon the flesh; rejoice, bestower of eternal rejoicing upon them that mourn profitably in monasticism! Rejoice, Thou that dost quench the flame of the passions; rejoice, Thou that dost dispel the darkness of temptations! Rejoice, guide to chastity; rejoice, rampart of purity! Rejoice, reformation of mankind; rejoice, Thou by whom we are raised up from the fall! Rejoice, steadfast affirmation of the Faith; rejoice, pleasing incense of prayer!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 11

We, Thy servants, offer Thee a hymn of compunction, O Theotokos, for Thou art the all-powerful helper of our race. Assuage the pains of those who flee to Thee; appease the wrath of God which hath been justly aroused against us because of our sins; deliver us from every bitter pain and sorrow, who cry through Thee to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 11

O Lady, Thy most honored icon, a light-bearing lamp lit by the ember of the Grace of God, hath appeared unto us for our sanctification and consolation. And we, honoring it with love and falling down before it with faith, cry out to Thee:

Rejoice, Thou that by Thy mighty assistance dost deliver us from all calamities; rejoice, Thou that dost defend us from earthquake and flood! Rejoice, Thou that dost provide for us against hunger of body and soul; rejoice, Thou that dost extinguish the fire by the dew of Thy prayers! Rejoice, Thou that dost save us from deadly pestilence; rejoice, mighty helper in battles! Rejoice, Thou that defendest us from the invasions of foreigners; rejoice, Thou that dost preserve us from civil strife! Rejoice, easy passage of them that sail upon the water; rejoice, good guide of them that travel! Rejoice, liberation of captives; rejoice, speedy deliverance from the righteous wrath of God that threateneth us!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 12

Wishing to give a pledge of Grace to mankind, Thou didst reveal Thy healing icon to us, O Mother of God, from which streams of wonders are poured forth for them that approach with faith - infirmities are healed and sorrows assuaged. Wherefore do we cry in Thee to God: Alleluia!

Ikos 12

Lauding Thy mercies and wonders, O Theotokos, we all praise Thee as our steadfast mediatress, and we bow down with compunction before Thee that prayest for us, and we implore: lift up Thy hands to Thy Son, that always in this life and after our death His mercy may continually be upon us that cry out to Thee:

Rejoice, our unashamed hope in life and after our repose; rejoice, Thou that dost grant a peaceful end of this life to them that trust in Thee! Rejoice, our hope and defense on the day of judgment; rejoice, supplication of the just Judge! Rejoice, deliverance from everlasting Gehenna; rejoice, hope of eternal salvation! Rejoice, key to the Kingdom of Christ; rejoice, portal of Paradise! Rejoice, bridge leading to the heavens; rejoice, refuge and good intercessor for all repentant sinners! Rejoice, joy of the angels; rejoice, glory and consolation of all the righteous!

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Kontakion 13

O all-hymned, divinely favored Mother, Thou that didst bear Christ the King, our God, to the joy of Heaven and earth: hearken unto the voice of Thy sorrowing servants and having received this our small supplication, deliver us from every affliction, sorrow, and temptation; heal our infirmities, destroy vicious slanders, drive far from us every evil and enemy, and deliver from future torment them that cry in Thee: Alleluia!

Се́й конда́къ глаго́лется три́жды. Та́же Икосъ 1-й и Конда́къ 1-й

First Prayer

O Lady most holy and Theotokos, Thou that art more exalted than the Cherubim and more honorable than the Seraphim, O divinely-chosen Maiden, Joy of all who sorrow; grant consolation even unto us that are sunk in sorrow, for apart from Thee we have no refuge or assistance. Thou alone are the Mediatress of our joy and, in that Thou art the Mother of God and Mother of mercy, standing at the throne of the All-holy Trinity, Thou art able to help us, for none that doth flee to Thee departeth ashamed. Therefore, hearken now in the day of our sorrow unto us who fall down before Thine icon and supplicate Thee with tears: drive away from us the sorrows and griefs that assail us in this temporal life, and by Thine omnipotent intercession may we not be deprived of eternal and never-ending joy in the Kingdom of Thy Son and our God. Amen.

Second Prayer

O my most blessed Queen, O Theotokos my hope, guardian of orphans and intercessor for strangers, Joy of the sorrowful, Protectress of the oppressed; Thou beholdest my misfortune, Thou seest my sorrow. Help me, for I am infirm; feed me, for I am a stranger. Thou knowest mine offense: do Thou loose it, as Thou dost will, for I have none other help but Thee, nor any other intercessor save Thee, O Mother of God. Do Thou preserve and protect me unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Third Prayer

O most holy Virgin, Mother of the Lord of the hosts on high, Queen of Heaven and earth, almighty intercessor of our city and country: receive this hymn of praise and thanksgiving from us, Thine unworthy servants, and bear our prayers to the throne of God, Thy Son, that He may be merciful towards our unrighteousness and extend His Grace to them that honor Thine All-honorable name and bow down before Thy wonder-working icon with faith and love. For we are not worthy to be pitied by Him. Wherefore we flee to Thee as our undoubted and speedy intercessor: hearken Thou unto us that supplicate Thee. Overshadow us with Thine almighty protection, and request of God Thy Son: zeal and vigilance concerning souls for our pastors, wisdom and strength for civil authorities, justice and equity for judges; knowledge and humility for them that teach; love and concord between husbands and wives, obedience for children; patience for the oppressed; fear of God for the oppressors; strength of spirit for the sorrowful; moderation for the joyful; and for all of us: the spirit of understanding and piety, the spirit of mercy and meekness, the spirit of purity and righteousness. Yea, O most holy Lady, take pity on Thine afflicted people: gather the dispersed, guide to the right path them that are astray, support the aged, teach the young sober-mindedness, nourish the infants, and look down with the gaze of Thy merciful assistance upon us all. Raise us up from the abyss of sin and open the eyes of our hearts to the vision of salvation. Take pity on us here and now - both in the land of our earthly sojourn and at the dread judgment of Thy Son. Cause our fathers and brethren who have passed from this life in faith and repentance to abide in eternal life with the angels and all the saints, for Thou, O Lady, art the glory of them in Heaven and the hope of them upon the earth. After God Thou art our hope and the helper of all that flee to Thee with faith. Therefore, to Thee do we pray, and as to an all-powerful helper, to Thee do we commend ourselves and each other and all our life, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Akathist to the Theotokos, the Joy of All Who Sorrow in English
Other hymns in English