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Spirituality Private Prayers
Akathist to the Life-bearing Tomb
and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ

Kontakion 1.

     To the chosen Champion Leader risen from the dead, a hymn of victory do we sing unto Thee, O Christ Eternal King, for Thou hast risen from the tomb: and we being delivered from everlasting corruption, bring joyous acclamations unto Thine honorable 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 Myrrh-bearers saying: Go ye and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead. And they, wondering at the strange word of the angel, cried unto Thy life-bearing tomb these praises:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb wherein Christ lay as dead and whence He arose upon the third day;
     Rejoice, for He arose 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 arisen.
     Rejoice, for by thee hath Peter the chief Apostle known the resurrection;
     Rejoice, for by Christ's lying within thee hath all the earth been hallowed.
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen!

Kontakion 2.

     When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came unto Thy tomb to anoint Thy Body, O Christ God, they found an angel sitting upon 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. And when they had announced the resurrection to the disciples then did all 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 scripture that it was fitting for Thee to rise from the dead: therefore, they did not believe the Myrrh-bearers' joyous announcement of Thy rising: but Peter ran unto Thy tomb and stooping down beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves and the napkin which had been about Thy divine Head, and rightly believed together with the rest of the disciples and, therefore, rejoicing, cried such praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for by thee was wrought the salvation of all the world;
     Rejoice, for thou art venerated by all creation.
     Rejoice, for coming unto thee from the North and from the sea the faithful glorify Christ;
     Rejoice, for from the West and from the East all magnify the resurrection within thee.
     Rejoice, for thou wast couch and repose unto the King of kings.
     Rejoice, for by thee the assembly of the Jews was put to shame.
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen!

Kontakion 3.

     The sentries, that vain guard placed about Thy tomb, O Christ, heard the mighty earthquake and the Angel proclaiming the good news of Thy resurrection to the Myrrh-bearers and, quaking with fear became as dead men, and rushing headlong into the city told the high-priest and the elders the things that had come to pass, but in their great unrighteousness they thought to conceal Thy resurrection but were not able, and rather 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 and then, too, did Nicodemus come bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes and did anoint Thine incorruptible body, and, having wrapped it in a winding sheet with spices, did lay Thee in a new tomb wherein no other had yet been placed but Thou only, O Lord, that Thou mightest sanctify the substance of the earth. But when they had learned 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, for by thee the resurrection hath been made known unto all the world.
     Rejoice, sure and certain knowledge of the resurrection;
     Rejoice, for Christ coming forth from thee hath led captivity captive, and brought human nature unto God the Father.
     Rejoice, for although as man He was laid within thee, as God did He arise 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 Myrrh-bearers came unto Thy disciples, O Christ God, announcing Thy resurrection, they were filled with joy and went into Galilee to the mount, as Thou hadst commanded them; and seeing Thee, very God, in the flesh and not an apparition, they worshiped God, crying: Alleluia.

Ikos 4.

     This knowledge remained unknown to 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 seals thereof. Wherefore do they slander and jeer at Thy rising, but we, marveling at the mystery, bring praises to Thy life-bearing tomb, saying:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for Christ from thee hath risen and raised up the dead;
     Rejoice, for through thee hell is known and stripped bare.
     Rejoice, for the naked Adam is once more clothed in a divinely-woven garment;
     Rejoice, for the earth, 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 Myrrh-bearers came to know of Christ's resurrection;
     Rejoice, for when Christ had arisen from thee, the news of this resurrection did 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 unto Thy disciples, although the doors were closed, and bestow the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon them. And then 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. Wherefore together with the other disciples did he cry unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 5.

     We see the council of the Jews, the 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. But we, marveling at the mystery of Thy resurrection, cry out unto Thy life-bearing tomb:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for Pilate's foolish watchmen were terrified when Christ came forth from thee;
     Rejoice, for He Who arose from thee broke not the seals upon the grave.
     Rejoice, O truly rich tomb, for thou didst hold within thyself Christ the Lifegiver, Who bestoweth life upon all;
     Rejoice, for when Christ arose from thee the heavens did rejoice.
     Rejoice, for then the things of earth did teach the resurrection to all;
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen!

Kontakion 6.

     When after Thy resurrection Thou, O Christ, didst reveal Thyself to Thy disciples at the sea of Tiberias and command them to cast the net on the right side of the ship, then did Thy beloved disciple, recognizing Thee, O God, from the mighty draught of fishes, say unto Peter, "It is the Lord!" And as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire and fish thereupon and bread, and in the giving of bread they did know Thee and as to the risen God did shout: Alleluia.

Ikos 6.

     The women made their way unto Thy tomb in the deep dawn, O Christ God, and though they found not Thy sought-for body, O Jesus, they discerned not Thy rising, but straightway saw an Angel standing before them, who asked them, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen." And seeing Thy resurrection with great gladness they cried out these praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for by Christ's abiding within thee the nether regions were seized with great fear;
     Rejoice, for then with trembling did hell give up the dead which it had held down through the ages.
     Rejoice, for by Christ's rising we are all restored to newness of life;
     Rejoice, for by Christ's rising from thee Thomas was taught to say, "My Lord and my God!"
     Rejoice, for in 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, and when Thou wast laid in the life-bearing tomb the earth was shaken as though wanting to swallow up the unlawful, but Thou as God didst rise in glory and with Thyself didst raise up Adam, the father of us all. Wherefore, unto our truly risen God to we sing: Alleluia.

Ikos 7.

     After Thy resurrection, O Christ, Thou didst reveal Thyself unto Luke and Cleopas along the way and didst acompany them as they discussed together those things that had happened unto Thee, O Master of all, and Thou wast scorned by them as being but a stranger in Jerusalem. But Thou as God didst open unto them the prophecies concerning Thyself and thus wast known by them in the breaking of the bread, whence with great joy they turned back to Jerusalem and told the good news of Thy resurrection and appearance unto Thy disciples. Wherefore, all together they did worship and sing praises unto Thy life-bearing tomb:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for thou hast received within thyself Christ, 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 arose from thee;
     Rejoice, for by thee the Jews were brought to disgrace.
     Rejoice, for no longer are the unlawful able to slander Christ's resurrection.
     Rejoice, for 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; Thou Who wast crucified and buried and Who didst rise in glory, and therefore, unto Thee as Creator and Master doth sing: Alleluia.

Ikos 8.

     In Thy resurrection, O Christ, Thou didst show forth the new creation, for, just as in Thy birth from the Virgin, Thou didst not destroy the seal upon the tomb. Therefore, we honor Thy Passion, we glorify Thy Burial, in faith we worship Thy glorious Resurrection and 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 whole 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 unto the tomb while it was still dark and saw the stone taken away from the tomb. She, therefore, went quickly to the disciples, saying, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre!" Then Peter, that disciple of burning faith, ran with John to the tomb and peering within saw the garments lying together and, coming to the knowledge of Thy resurrection, began to shout praises to 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 stoney-hearted nations began to sing, "Christ is truly risen!"
     Rejoice, for within thee God did pass three days asleep in the flesh;
     Rejoice, for by His rising hath He awakened those who through the ages have been asleep.
     Rejoice, for coming forth from thee He hath bestowed resurrection upon all;
     Rejoice, for as a bright sun shining forth from thee hath He 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. Wherefore do we sing unto Thee: Alleluia.

Ikos 10.

     Mary Magdalene with most ardent faith in Thee, O Jesus Christ, came very early unto Thy tomb, O Savior, and was granted the vision of an angel telling her, "He is not here, but is risen." Furthermore, Thou didst Thyself appear to her as God, therefore she was sent as the bearer of good news to anounce to Thy disciples Thy rising to the Father. Thy disciples were thereby filled with joy and together with the Myrrh-bearers 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 arose from thee hath led hell captive and filled the heavenly Jerusalem;
     Rejoice, for as one who sleepeth hast thou 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, for from thee He raised Himself by His own power.
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen!

Kontakion 11.

     When the Savior 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 Spirit and to preach His resurrection from the dead; and 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?" And after his threefold declaration of his love for Thee, Thou didst establish him as the first leader of Thy Church and all the faithful, having known Thee the risen God, cried out praises to Thy life-bearing tomb:
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb, for in coming forth from thee hath Christ 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 hath He given eternal life;
     Rejoice, for the Cross and Resurrection are glorified in thee;
     Rejoice, for by thee the sentries learned of the resurrection.
     Rejoice, for thou art the fountain of divine knowledge.
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen!

Kontakion 12.

     Glorifying Thy Passion, we honor Thy divine providence for us and we worship Thy divine resurrection. Glorifying Thine all-glorious ascension from earth unto the heavenly Father, we pray: Take not Thine all-holy Spirit 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 unto the Mount of Olives and then a most bright cloud did lift Thee up, as Thy disciples looked on, O Almighty One, and 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." And 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, for from thee hath Christ, the ineffable light, shone forth and enlightened the whole world.
     Rejoice, for the Myrrh-bearers did hear, "Rejoice!" when Christ arose 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, for they could not speak against the resurrection;
     Rejoice, for the choir of the Apostles hath found joy through thee.
     Rejoice, life-bearing tomb whence Christ hath risen!

Kontakion 13.

     O 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 unto Christ our God Who lay within thee and rose in glory on the third day, the He deliver His inheritance from famine, pestilence, earthquake and flood and from every mortal wound, that He grant peace unto Orthodox Christians and subdue under their feet those who strive against them, that we may all sing unto Thee, our Creator and Master: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Three times.

And again Ikos 1 and Kontakion 1 are read.

Source: Orthodox Life, Volume 26, Number 2 (Mar.-Apr. 1976), pages 4-12.

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