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Akathist Hymn to the Spiritual Ladder, the Precious Cross

Akathist Hymn to the Spiritual Ladder, the Precious Cross

Kontakion 1

O thou thrice-blessed and all-revered Cross of Christ, all we the faithful venerate and magnify thee being joyous at thy divine Exaltation. But as the trophy and unconquered weapon that thou art, by thy Grace, protect, cover, and shelter those who cry to thee:

Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Ekos 1

Angels from Heaven invisibly circle the life-bringing Cross in fear, and seeing it now brilliantly shed light-bestowing Grace upon the faithful, amazed they stand and cry to thee such words as these:

Rejoice, O Cross, guardian of the world!
Rejoice, the glory of the Church!
Rejoice, thou that dost bountifully gush forth with healings!
Rejoice, thou that dost enlighten the ends of the earth!
Rejoice, wood fragrant with life, and treasury of wonders!
Rejoice, fitly-joined, thrice blessed, and bestower of Grace!
Rejoice, for thou art the divine footstool!
Rejoice, for thou wast sanctified for the reverence of all!
Rejoice, bowl of nectar, full to the brim!
Rejoice, torch of the radiance above!
Rejoice, thou through which the creation is blessed!
Rejoice, thou through the Creator is worshipped!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 2

Perceiving the longing within her, Helen spake unto the Emperor boldy: The great desire of thy soul seemeth most easy to my zeal; therefore, seeking that most excellent trophy for thee as thou didst say, I cry: Allelulia!

Ekos 2

Knowing knowledge formerly unknown, the Queen called out the her attendants: From the depths of the earth, hasten with speed to discover and give me the Cross; to which, when she saw it, she spake in fear crying:

Rejoice, the sign of veritable joy!
Rejoice, redemption from the ancient curse!
Rejoice, treasure in the earth, by envy hidden!
Rejoice, that didst appear in the stars as a sign!
Rejoice, four-rayed shining and fire-like Cross!
Rejoice, ladder set on high, forseen once of old!
Rejoice, thou tranquil-appearing wonder of angels!
Rejoice, thou greatly-bemoaned wounding of demons!
Rejoice, welcome relic of the Word!
Rejoice, quencher of deception's fire!
Rejoice, O Cross, protector of the helpless!
Rejoice, thou the stern trainer of the victors!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 3

The might of the Tree was then shown forth as a true pledge to all; and it raised her that was voiceless and dead to life -- an awesome sight to them that shall reap salvation by singing: Alleluia!

Ekos 3

Holding the invincible weapon, Helen ran back to her offspring; and she gave a great leap straightway when she looked upon the Cross most great. She rejoiced and with leaps of songs she cried to it such words as these:

Rejoice, O Cross, vessel of light!
Rejoice, O Cross, treasury of life!
Rejoice, bestower of the gifts of the Spirit!
Rejoice, thou storm-free port of those at sea!
Rejoice, table that holdest Christ as Sacrifice!
Rejoice, vine that bearest the cluster dripping mystical wine!
Rejoice, for thou dost protect the scepters of Princes!
Rejoice, for thou dost crush the heads of great serpents!
Rejoice, illustrious sign of the faith!
Rejoice, preservation of all the world!
Rejoice, blessing of God upon mortals!
Rejoice, mediation of mortals with God!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 4

Receiving divine zeal within, Helen diligently sought and found the Cross hidden in the earth, though displayed in the sky to the King, who exalted it; and upon seeing it, the people cried in faith: Alleluia!

Ekos 4

Like to the sun did the Cross appear in the world, and all men were filled with its light, and running as towards a star, they viewed it as the cause of good raised up by hands divine; hymning it, they said:

Rejoice, dawn of the spiritual Sun!
Rejoice, unfailing fount of myrrh!
Rejoice, summoning of Adam and Eve!
Rejoice, death-blow to the princes of hades!
Rejoice, that in being exalted, thou dost now also exalt us!
Rejoice, that in being venerated, thou dost sanctify mens souls!
Rejoice, the world-proclaimed report of the Apostles!
Rejoice, most plentiful strength of Martyrs!
Rejoice, O Cross, reproach to the Jews!
Rejoice, thou praise to men of Faith!
Rejoice, thou through which hades was cast down!
Rejoice, thou through which Grace did rise up!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 5

Having all beheld the God-crowned Tree, let us come under its protection. Taking it up as a weapon, with it we put our enemies to flight, and touching the untouchable, with our lips we cry to it! Alleluia!

Ekos 5

A light from Heaven did the great Constantine behold, displaying the sign of the Cross in the stars, through which also he was to conquer a multitude of adversaries; he made haste to reveal the Tree, and to cry to it such words as these:

Rejoice, accomplishment of the ineffable counsel!
Rejoice, the horn of godly people!
Rejoice, thou that turnest back the ranks of our foes!
Rejoice, thou flame that burnest the demons!
Rejoice, heavenly scepter of the faithful King!
Rejoice, invincible trophy of the Christ-loving-troops!
Rejoice, thou that dost humble the arrogance of barbarians!
Rejoice, thou that dost care tenderly for the souls of men!
Rejoice, defense against many evils!
Rejoice, awarder of many good things!
Rejoice, thou on whose account the Christ-bearers rejoice!
Rejoice, thou on whose account the Jews lament!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 6

A ladder as lofty as Heaven is the Cross of the Lord become, leading up all from earth to the height of Heaven, that they might always dwell together with the choirs of angels, abandoning things present as though they were not, and knowing how to chant: Alleluia!

Ekos 6

Shining as a light upon all in hades, O Saviour, thou didst enlighten them that lay below; and the gatekeepers of hades, not enduring Thy dawning, fell down as dead; but they that were delivered from them, now behold the Cross and cry:

Rejoice, resurrection of the dead!
Rejoice, consolation of them that mourn!
Rejoice, despoiling of the treasuries of hades!
Rejoice, enjoyment of the Paradise of delight!
Rejoice, thou rod that didst drown the Egyptian army!
Rejoice, that which in turn didst water the Israelite people!
Rejoice, living Tree, the Thief's salvation!
Rejoice, fragrant rose, sweet scent of the godly!
Rejoice, food of the hungry in spirit!
Rejoice, seal that men have received!
Rejoice, O Cross, doorway to mysteries!
Rejoice, that from which divine streams pour forth!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 7

When Moses was about to deliver his much-troubled race from the Spoiler, thou wast given to him as a rod; but thou wast made known to him also as a symbol of God. Wherefore, amazed at thy sovereign might, O Cross, he cried: Alleluia!

Ekos 7

He Who on Sinai gave the law to the Godseer of old, by His own will is naled to the Cross, lawlessly for lawless men; and He loosed the ancient curse of the law, so that beholding the might of the Cross, we might all now cry:

Rejoice, uplifting of the fallen!
Rejoice, downfall of those who adore the world!
Rejoice, inauguration of the Resurrection of Christ!
Rejoice, divine joy of monastics!
Rejoice, shady-leafed tree, under which believers are sheltered!
Rejoice, prophet-proclaimed Tree, which has been planted on earth!
Rejoice, alliance of the Kingdom against the enemy!
Rejoice, mighty protection of the state!
Rejoice, manifestation of the just Judge!
Rejoice, condemnation of offending mortals!
Rejoice, O Cross, succor of orphans!
Rejoice, O Cross, enricher of the poor!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 8

Seeing the strange wonder, let us live our life as strangers, lifting our minds up to Heaven; since for this was Christ nailed to the Cross, and suffered in the flesh having willed to draw to heights them that cry to it: Alleluia!

Ekos 8

Entire, He came down from on high, retaining His divinity, the only Word from before all ages; and being born of a Virgin Mother, He appeared to the world as a lowly man, accepting the Cross, and gave life to them that cry thereto:

Rejoice, O Cross, weapon of peace!
Rejoice, starting-point and goal of travellers!
Rejoice, wisdom and firm support of the saved!
Rejoice, folly and destruction to the damned!
Rejoice, flower that blossomed with our salvation!
Rejoice, for thou dost enlighten the hearts of them below!
Rejoice, thou through which corruption is banished!
Rejoice, thou through which sorrow has vanished!
Rejoice, thou myriad-numbered wealth of good things!
Rejoice, thou myriad-named boast of believers!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 9

Fallen is the profane legion of demons, and the race of Jews is put to shame, seeing that the Cross is revered by all with longing, as it doth ever gush forth healing to them that cry: Alleluia!

Ekos 9

The floods of the heretics' notions were checked when Thou, O Christ, wast nailed to the Tree; for they are confounded at how Thou didst both endure the Cross and avoided corruption, but we, glorifying Thy Resurrection, cry out:

Rejoice, height of the wisdom of God!
Rejoice, thou depth of His providence!
Rejoice, ignorance of irrationally rational babblers!
Rejoice, misfortune of the foolish fortune tellers!
Rejoice, for thou dost manifest the Resurrection of Christ!
Rejoice, for thou dost revive His Passion!
Rejoice, undoer of the trespass of the first-created!
Rejoice, opener of the entrance to Paradise!
Rejoice, O Cross, revered by al!
Rejoice, adversary of faithless nations!
Rejoice, O Cross, healer of the sick!
Rejoice, constant help of them that weep!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Kontakion 10

With the purpose of saving the world; the Lord of the world ineffably descended into it and submitted to the Cross, and being God, for us He accepteth all that pertaineth to our nature. Wherefore having also redeemed us, he hears from all: Alleluia!

Ekos 10

O Cross, impregnable and divine, we perceive thee to be a rampart of the inhabited world; for the Creator of Heaven and earth Who prepared thee doth stretch out His hands -- O strange report! and doth teach all to proclaim:

Rejoice, foundation of godliness!
Rejoice, conquest of the promised land!
Rejoice, thou who that dost put the spiritual Amalek to flight!
Rejoice, thou that wast prefigured by the hands of Jacob!
Rejoice, for thou didst fulfill the prophetic utterances!
Rejoice, thou didst bear the Savior of all!
Rejoice, Thou, Christ, that didst destroy the corrupter of souls!
Rejoice, through which we are united with angels!
Rejoice, through which we are illumined by light!
Rejoice, for with honor we revere thee!
Rejoice, for crying out we address thee:
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed.

Kontakion 11

Every hymn falleth short that would comprehend the multitude of thy many wonders; for though we should offer thee a multitude of praises, O precious Christ on the Cross, we should do nothing worthy of what thou hast granted us, but still we cry: Allelulia!

Ekos 11

The radiance that giveth light to them in darkness doth this Life-giving Cross bestow; for it hath shown us the immaterial light, and hath illumined the way for all to divine knowledge; and being lifted up it now lifteth up our minds that we might chant these words:

Rejoice, luminary that shineth on them in darkness!
Rejoice, star that dawneth upon the world!
Rejoice, lightning that doth blind the slayers of Christ!
Rejoice, thunder that doth terrify the faithless!
Rejoice, for thou has made radiant the choirs of the Orthodox!
Rejoice, for thou bear Christ who consumed the altars of idols!
Rejoice, thou whose form has appeared from Heaven!
Rejoice, thou whose Grace drives away evil!
Rejoice, thou that dost signify mortification of the flesh!
Rejoice, thou who dost slay the insurrection of the passions!
Rejoice, thou upon which Christ was crucified!
Rejoice, thou which didst bear Christ by whom all the world was saved!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed.

Kontakion 12

Having willed to grant grace to men, Christ stretched out His hands on the Tree, and doth call all the nations together, and granting the Kingdom of Heaven to all that worthily sing the hymn and faithfully cry: Alleluia!

Ekos 12

Chanting thy hymn out of love we revere you as the living Tree of the Lord; for being nailed upon thee in the flesh, He that ruleth over the Hosts on high hath sanctified, glorified, and taught us to cry these words unto thee:

Rejoice, O Cross, spiritual sword!
Rejoice, thou holy gaze of saints!
Rejoice, prediction of the prophets and righteous!
Rejoice, thou brilliant stratagem of Christ!
Rejoice, beauty and crown of pious Kings!
Rejoice, strength and stronghold of reverent priests!
Rejoice, most noble jewel of truth!
Rejoice, fairest haven of salvation!
Rejoice, joyful splendor of all!
Rejoice, banishment of Hagar's sons!
Rejoice, thou lamp of purest light!
Rejoice, thou gladness of my soul!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

The foregoing Kantkion is said thrice, then Kontakion 1 and Ekos 1 are read again.

Kontakion 13

O most laudable Tree which held the Word, the most holy of all holy beings, having received our entreaties, deliver from every calamity and redeem from eternal torment all who cry to Christ: Alleluia! Thrice.

Kontakion 1

O thou thrice-blessed and all-revered Cross of Christ, all we the faithful venerate and magnify thee being joyous at thy divine Exaltation. But as the trophy and unconquered weapon that thou art, by thy Grace, protect, cover, and shelter those who cry to thee:

Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!

Ekos 1

Angels from Heaven invisibly circle the life-bringing Cross in fear, and seeing it now brilliantly shed light-bestowing Grace upon the faithful, amazed they stand and cry to thee such words as these:

Rejoice, O Cross, guardian of the world!
Rejoice, the glory of the Church!
Rejoice, thou that dost bountifully gush forth with healings!
Rejoice, thou that dost enlighten the ends of the earth!
Rejoice, wood fragrant with life, and treasury of wonders!
Rejoice, fitly-joined, thrice blessed, and bestower of Grace!
Rejoice, for thou art the divine footstool!
Rejoice, for thou wast sanctified for the reverence of all!
Rejoice, bowl of nectar, full to the brim!
Rejoice, torch of the radiance above!
Rejoice, thou through which the creation is blessed!
Rejoice, thou through the Creator is worshipped!
Rejoice, O Tree most blessed!
Amen

Adapted from Book of Akathists To Our Savior, the Mother of God, and Various Saints - copy right 1994 Holy Trinity Monastery all rights reserved - Published by Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. 13361-0036