Akathist in Preparation for the Nativity

The work of  Fr. Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery


Kontakion of the Preparation, Tone 3

Today the Virgin is on her way, to the cave where she will give birth to the Eternal Word of God in an ineffable manner. Rejoice, therefore, O Universe when you hear this news, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds Him who will appear as a new child, being God from all eternity.

The Akathist on the Acrostic:
“Today the Virgin is on her way”

Oikos I

The sacred sayings of the Prophets reach their fulfillment. See, a Virgin gives birth to God in the flesh in the city of Bethlehem within the Cave; let all creation be enriched, be glad and dance; the Master of all things is at hand to live among slaves, ransoming us, who are subject to corruption, from the power of the evil stranger, who sing:
Hail! Who from the beginning was the Word.
Hail! God with God, and Father’s Word.
Hail! Through Whom all things were made.
Hail! In Whom is Life, the Light of all.
Hail! Light in darkness.
Hail! Gloom’s dispeller.
Hail! Baptist’s sender.
Hail! Baptism’s goal.
Hail! In the world, but unknown.
Hail! Receiver of those who receive You.
Hail! Power of new birth.
Hail! Word made flesh among us dwelling.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion I

Order stills chaos. The Abyss is no longer void. Darkness has fled away.
The Word of God, Who once spoke from without, is now heard within.
The command, “Let there be” has been heard in the woman who replied,
“Let it be done.
Creation has learned at last to be itself, to become the cave that now holds
its Creator,
Echoing the angels’ hymn: Alleluia!

We sing together, three times, the Alleluia in the Third Tone.

Oikos II

Dead Adam arise; clothe yourself with praise. Eve lift up your voice and shake off your shame. See, the bruised heel walks toward Bethlehem. In the House of Bread she casts away the stones of grief, feasts on the Father’s Fish Who has crushed the serpent’s head. Do not cease your hymn, skin-clad dust, or the stones themselves will cry out:
Hail! Planter of the Tree of Life.
Hail! Nailed upon the Tree of Death.
Hail! Fruit most desired in all the garden.
Hail! Delight to the enclosed heart’s eyes.
Hail! Whose feet have walked with ours in the dusk.
Hail! Who comes searching out our hidden shame.
Hail! Enemy to cunning envy.
Hail! Friend to peace-filled love.
Hail! Sewer of our skins.
Hail! Looser of our sins!
Hail! Companion in our exile.
Hail! Welcome home through Eden’s doors.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion II

Abraham was called out from his father’s house and from his own country;
Now Joseph returns to the land of his line, to David’s house.
Sarah once laughed at the thought of pleasure;
Mary now greets the sword of sorrow, forgetting anguish for the Child to be born,
Magnifying the Lord and crying:


Oikos III

Yielding to Melchizedek, Abraham bows; the ancestor is greeted by the one without ancestors. The patriarch tithes his spoils; Salem’s King offers bread and wine. Though we have a beginning we dare to cry to the One without beginning; though we have few treasures we dare to sing to the Giver of every good thing:
Hail! Who have called us out to a new land.
Hail! Who have made of us a great nation.
Hail! Faithful to covenant.
Hail! Judge of covenant breakers.
Hail! Counted among Abraham’s seed.
Hail! Promiser and promised in One.
Hail! Hagar’s consolation.
Hail! Ishmael’s protection.
Hail! Whose providence draws all to Yourself.
Hail! Who raises sons of Abraham from the stoniest of hearts.
Hail! Whose blessings are more than the sands of the seashore.
Hail! The Host who makes Himself guest in the heat of our days.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion III

The Magi, sons of Chaldea, are called out from their own country;
Shepherds are herded by angels through the cave’s narrow gate.
A manger offers bestial men celestial Food.
Isaac is coming again to be offered by the God
Who will Himself provide the Offering to those who sing:

Oikos IV

Hid Jacob in skins to win his father’s blessing; the Word comes buried in the field of the flesh to restore us to our Father’s house. Jacob’s trickery won him lordship, the cunning of Jacob’s offspring defeats the empty power of Death. Tell us, O bold Rebekah’s daughter, who journeys towards Bethlehem, how to sing:
Hail! Field and field’s Fruit in one.
Hail! Aroma filling the Father’s nostrils with joy.
Hail! Fatness of the earth, plenty and grain and wine.
Hail! Blessing of those who bless You.
Hail! Curse of those who curse You.
Hail! Laborer for your beloveds’ love.
Hail! Winner of false Laban’s flocks.
Hail! Shepherd of many sheep.
Hail! Who marks us as we wrestle.
Hail! Whom Jacob would not let go without a blessing.
Hail! Father of the Twelve Tribes.
Hail! Lover of all earth’s tribes.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion IV

Every service Joseph rendered his master, Pharaoh;
now Caesar commands a new Joseph, wending to Bethlehem to obey.
The lust of Potiphar’s wife proved the virtue of the first;
the second preserves the Virgin’s honor intact.
Finding freedom through virtue they sing:

Oikos V

Very meek, humblest of men, Moses made himself an earth to receive the seed of your Word. New Moses, humble born, manger fed: break open the earth of our hearts to the rain of your mercy, make our journey to Bethlehem an exodus from sin, opening our mouths wide to sing:
Hail! Fire that does not consume.
Hail! Name beyond all names.
Hail! Confidence of the stammerer.
Hail! Hardener of the hardened heart.
Hail! Pillar of Cloud by day.
Hail! Pillar of Fire by night.
Hail! Lifter of the sea.
Hail! Feeder of the manna.
Hail! Water flowing from the rock.
Hail! Giver of the Law.
Hail! Pourer of the Spirit.
Hail! Priest and Sacrifice.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion V

Into the promised land within the cave, O Shepherds go and spy for us:
see there the new Joshua spun from the scarlet blood
of another, though virgin, Rahab.
Bring back to us tidings of great joy,
of Death falling fainthearted before those who sing:

Oikos VI

Rightly judge, O tribes, for the Ark now journeys to tabernacle in a cave. Join with our Deborah’s hymn, magnify the One who gave courage to Jael and dew to Gideon, strength to Samson, and to Ruth her steadfast love. Come down, O Ark, to your new Samuel, teaching us to chant:
Hail! Man of the drawn sword upon the holy ground.
Hail! Trumpet blast leveling the walls of sin.
Hail! Sun-stilling Word.
Hail! Conquest of the land.
Hail! Jordan’s source and joy.
Hail! Only just Judge.
Hail! Who has dropped the heavens.
Hail! Cloud raining water on the land.
Hail! Avenger against the Philistine.
Hail! Breaker of every Baal.
Hail! Solace of widows.
Hail! New Boaz wedding Ruth.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion VI

Go to David’s city, to see David’s Lord born as his son.
See his enemies like straw beneath his feet,
see his friends the poor and humble, the stranger and the foreigner,
the lowly raised up high, the mighty cast down,
the hungry filled with good things, and heaven joining earth to proclaim:

We begin the third part:

Oikos VII

In Bathsheba’s son God wove wisdom from the strands of David’s sin. Now a new Solomon will lie before the Ark, no longer the Ark’s worshiper, but its Treasure and its Glory. Wisdom Himself comes to be born, woven not of tangled flesh but of Spirit and virgin awe, leading us to pray:
Hail! Before Whom David danced.
Hail! Cause of sweet-sung psalm.
Hail! Glory of the Temple.
Hail! Borne between the cherubim.
Hail! Wisdom foolish to the wise.
Hail! Kingship lowly to the lordly.
Hail! Bread on which the princes feast.
Hail! Cleansing Blood for priests.
Hail! Wealth beyond measure.
Hail! Wonder of the world.
Hail! For Whom prophets spoke.
Hail! To Whom kingly praise is due.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion VII

Not now to heaven does a chariot bear Elijah;
but upon the earth the fiery Virgin journeys,
unconsumed, to Bethlehem.
The Spirit, no longer apportioned as once to Elisha,
is poured out without measure upon all who sing:

Oikos VIII

Into evil have I been taken captive, banished by sin. My heart’s walls are broken down and my body’s temple lies ruined. Where is Zerubbabel, David’s son to obey the king’s decree? Where is priestly Ezra to sacrifice for mercy’s sake? Where is Nehemiah to mourn for me? He is here, emptied into flesh, self-exiled for love of the cast out who proclaim:
Hail! Yearned for by Babylon’s streams.
Hail! Comfort of the weeping.
Hail! Forsaken but never forsaking.
Hail! Faithful to a faithless people.
Hail! Nearby when we are far away.
Hail! Joy hidden within the ashes.
Hail! Secret food for those who fast.
Hail! Who hears the rending of the robe.
Hail! Strength of the remnant.
Hail! Hearth aflame for the returner.
Hail! Temple and temple-builder.
Hail! Restorer of the Law.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion VIII

Shall Judith now slay the tyrant death?
See she comes, beautiful of face, prudent of heart,
like Esther in majesty, steadfast like Ruth,
the Virgin widow whose sword is her own Son
who wields Himself for all who chant:

Oikos IX

Out of Isaiah’s mouth the Lord decrees: “Understand you nations and submit, for God is with us!” Emmanuel is arriving, Jesse’s rod is blossoming, the Virgin is bearing and all creation is rejoicing:
Hail! Child born for us.
Hail! Son given for us.
Hail! Whose shoulders bear the Government.
Hail! Angel of Great Counsel.
Hail! Wonderful Counselor.
Hail! Mighty God.
Hail! Potentate.
Hail! Prince of Peace.
Hail! Father of the Age to Come.
Hail! Upholder of the Throne from Age to Age.
Hail! Judge of the lowly with justice.
Hail! Little Child who leads us.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion IX
Not until this moment has Jeremiah’s word been understood:
this is our God, and there shall be no other,
this is our God, who appeared upon earth,
and lived among men.
Lord, we give You glory as we hymn:

Oikos X

Human hand did not cut the stone that comes now to be born, and human help did not save the three youths in Babylon’s fire. Teach us, Daniel, lead us young men, as we cry out to the Savior:
Hail! Lord God of our Fathers, worthy of all praise.
Hail! Just in all that you do.
Hail! Heaven’s Lord.
Hail! Angels’ King.
Hail! Maker of the sun and moon.
Hail! Creator of the stars of heaven.
Hail! Who send us fire and hail, frost and snow.
Hail! Glorified in winter cold and summer heat.
Hail! Source of springs, seas and rivers.
Hail! Who care for birds of the air, for beasts and cattle.
Hail! Son of Man for the sons of men.
Hail! Whose mercy endures forever.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion X

Early is the rain that falls for our vindication, says Joel,
foreshadowing the Spirit’s overshadowing of the Virgin soil.
O Hosea marry, Amos warn,
Habakkuk look upon the vision,
and let the whole company cry out with us:

Oikos XI

Rule us, protect us, hear our prayers, O Child not yet born, Ancient of Days. We have arisen to plead before the stony mountain; hear us O hills; open up the cave into which we might pour our cries to the one Micah sees in Bethlehem, and says:
Hail! Offshoot of the house of Ephrata.
Hail! Ruler of Israel.
Hail! Whose goings out are from age to age.
Hail! Who waits upon the woman to give birth.
Hail! Who awaits the return of your brethren.
Hail! Father of the sons of Israel.
Hail! Feeder of the flock.
Hail! Majesty of the Name.
Hail! Gatherer of the bruised.
Hail! Reigning from Mount Zion.
Hail! Who make small Bethlehem great.
Hail! Lord of Hosts, speaking in the silent cave.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.(Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion XI

Who speaks through unclean Barlaam’s lips?
The Holy Spirit proclaims Jacob’s fair houses,
and the shady groves of Israel, the gardens, the river
to which shall come, following the star he saw,
Barlaam’s Magi heirs through whom we gentiles now sing:

Oikos XII

A day is coming, says Zechariah, when the Lord himself shall go forth and fight, shall stand upon the Mount of Olives before Jerusalem, and on that day shall He be proclaimed king over all the earth. That day now dawns and the little Child leads his army of shepherds and his hosts of angels to sing with us:
Hail! Who hurls the wealth of Tyre into the sea.
Hail! Encamped among the remnant of Judah.
Hail! Who calls the daughter of Zion to rejoice.
Hail! Riding triumphant upon the foal.
Hail! Who cuts off the chariot from Ephraim.
Hail! Whose colt turns back the warhorse from Jerusalem.
Hail! Your dominion is from sea to sea.
Hail! You rule from the River to the ends of the earth.
Hail! Blood of the covenant.
Hail! Freedom of captives from the waterless pit.
Hail! Whose grain makes the young men flourish.
Hail! Whose wine restores the maidens.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity. (Repeat refrain.)

Kontakion XII
Your prophets stilled their voices
after Malachi foresaw Elijah’s sending.
Now the great day, the awesome day is coming
with Elijah’s birth in John, whose baptizing
will prepare the world to cry:

© Holy Resurrection Monastery 2017

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