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Akathist to the Spiritual Ladder, the Precious Cross


Kontakion 1

Thrice-blessed and all-worshipful Cross of Christ, we the faithful venerate and magnify you being joyous at your divine Exaltation. But since you are the trophy and unconquered weapon, by your grace protect, cover, and shelter those who cry to you:

  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Ikos 1

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

  • Rejoice, O Cross, guardian of the world;
  • Rejoice, the glory of the Church;
  • Rejoice, you that bountifully gush forth with healings;
  • Rejoice, you that enlighten the ends of the earth;
  • Rejoice, Wood fragrant with life, and treasury of wonders;
  • Rejoice, fitly-joined, thrice-blessed, and bestower of graces;
  • Rejoice, for you are the divine footstool;
  • Rejoice, for you were ordained for the worship of all;
  • Rejoice, bowl of nectar, full to the brim;
  • Rejoice, torch of the radiance above;
  • Rejoice, you through whom the creation is blessed;
  • Rejoice, you through whom the Creator is worshipped;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 2

Perceiving the longing within her Queen Helen spoke to the Emperor boldly: "The great desire of your soul corresponds to my zeal; therefore, seeking for you that most excellent trophy, the Most Holy Cross, I cry,

  • Alleluia!"

Ikos 2

With spiritual insight, Queen Helen called out to 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 spoke in fear crying out:

  • Rejoice, the sign of joy;
  • Rejoice, redemption from the ancient curse;
  • Rejoice, treasure in the earth by hidden envy;
  • Rejoice, that which appeared in the stars as a sign;
  • Rejoice, four-rayed-beaconing and fire-like Cross;
  • Rejoice, ladder set on high, foreseen once of old;
  • Rejoice, wonder of Angels;
  • Rejoice, wounding of demons;
  • Rejoice, welcome relic of the Word;
  • Rejoice, quencher of deception's fire;
  • Rejoice, O Cross, protector of the helpless;
  • Rejoice, the stern trainer of the victors;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 3

The might of the Wood was then shown forth as a true pledge to all, and it raised to life the woman that was voiceless and dead to life – an awesome sight to them that shall reap salvation by singing:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 3

Holding the Cross, the invincible weapon, Queen Helen ran back to her son, and he Rejoiced greatly when he looked upon the Holy Cross, and rejoicing he 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, storm-free port of those at sea;
  • Rejoice, table that holds Christ as Sacrifice;
  • Rejoice, vine that bears the mystical vine;
  • Rejoice, for you protect the scepters of princes;
  • Rejoice, for you crush the heads of demons;
  • Rejoice, illustrious mark of the faith;
  • Rejoice, preservation of all the world;
  • Rejoice, God's blessing upon mortals;
  • Rejoice, our mediation with God;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 4

Receiving divine zeal within, Queen Helen diligently sought and found the Cross hidden in the earth and upon seeing it, the whole people cried in faith:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 4

Like the sun, the Cross appeared in the world, and all men were filled with its light, and running as towards a star, they viewer it as the cause of good raised up by Hands divine, and hymning it they said:

  • Rejoice, dawn of the spiritual Sun;
  • Rejoice, font unfailing of myrrh;
  • Rejoice, recall of Adam and Eve;
  • Rejoice, death-blow to the princes of Hades;
  • Rejoice, for in being exalted you now also exalt us;
  • Rejoice, for in being venerated you sanctify men's souls;
  • Rejoice, the world proclaimed report of the Apostles;
  • Rejoice, most plentiful strength of champions;
  • Rejoice, O Cross, reproach of the Jews;
  • Rejoice, praise to men of the Faith;
  • Rejoice, you through whom Hades was cast down;
  • Rejoice, you through whom grace did rise up;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 5

Having beheld the God-crowned Wood, let us come under its protection, and 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!

Ikos 5

The Great Constantine beheld a light from the heaven, displaying the sign of the Cross in the stars through which he was also to conquer a multitude of adversaries, he made haste to reveal the Wood and to cry to it such words as these:

  • Rejoice, accomplishment of the ineffable counsel;
  • Rejoice, the horn of godly people;
  • Rejoice, you that turns back the ranks of our foes;
  • Rejoice, you flame that burns the demons;
  • Rejoice, heavenly scepter of the faithful King;
  • Rejoice, invincible trophy of the Christ-loving armies;
  • Rejoice, you that humble the arrogance of barbarians;
  • Rejoice, you that care tenderly for the souls of men;
  • Rejoice, defense against many evils;
  • Rejoice, awarder of many good things;
  • Rejoice, you on whose account the Christ-bearers run with joy;
  • Rejoice, you on whose account the Jews lament;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 6

The Cross of the Lord became a ladder as lofty as heaven, leading up all from earth that they might always dwell together with the choirs of Angels, abandoning things present as though they were not, and singing:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 6

Shining as a light upon all in Hades, O Savior you enlightened them who were in darkness, and the gate-keepers of Hades, not enduring your coming, fell down as dead, but they who were delivered now behold the Cross and cry:

  • Rejoice, resurrection of the dead;
  • Rejoice, consolation of those that mourn;
  • Rejoice, despoiling of the treasuries of Hades;
  • Rejoice, enjoyment of the Paradise of delight;
  • Rejoice, rod that drowned the Egyptian army;
  • Rejoice, you who watered the Israelite people;
  • Rejoice, living Wood, the Thief's salvation;
  • Rejoice, fragrant rose, sweet scent of the godly;
  • Rejoice, food of the hungry in spirit;
  • Rejoice, God's seal that men have received;
  • Rejoice, O Cross, doorway to the divine mysteries;
  • Rejoice, from which divine streams pour forth;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 7

When Moses was about to deliver his much-troubled race from the Egyptians you, O Cross, were given to him as a rod, but you were made known to him also as a symbol of God wherefore, amazed at your sovereign might, O Cross, he cried:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 7

He who was on Sinai gave the law to Moses, Christ our God, by his own will is nailed to the Cross, lawlessly for the 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, uprighting of the fallen;
  • Rejoice, downfall of the world's adorers;
  • Rejoice, inauguration of the Resurrection of Christ;
  • Rejoice, divine reveling of monastics;
  • Rejoice, shady-leafed tree under which believers are sheltered;
  • Rejoice, prophet-proclaimed Wood 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, aid to orphans;
  • Rejoice, O Cross, enricher of the poor;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 8

Seeing the strange wonder, let us live our life as strangers, lifting our minds up to heaven, for this reason was Christ affixed to the Cross, and suffered in the flesh having willed to draw to the heights them that cry to it:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 8

Fully God, Christ 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 in the flesh having willed to draw to the heights them that cry:

  • Rejoice, O Cross, weapon of peace;
  • Rejoice, starting-point and goal of travelers;
  • Rejoice, wisdom and firm support of the saved;
  • Rejoice, folly and destruction of the damned;
  • Rejoice, fruitful, immortal, and life-bearing plant;
  • Rejoice, flower that blossomed with our salvation;
  • Rejoice, for you join together things on earth with things above;
  • Rejoice, for you enlighten the hearts of all below;
  • Rejoice, through whom corruption is banished;
  • Rejoice, through whom sorrow has vanished;
  • Rejoice, you wealth of goods;
  • Rejoice, you boast of believers;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 9

The armies of demons is fallen and the race of Jews is put to shame, seeing that the Cross is worshipped by all with longing as it continuously gushes forth healing to those who cry:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 9

When you, O Christ, were affixed to the Wood, the floods of the false beliefs were checked for they are confounded at how You endured the Cross and avoided corruption, but we, glorifying Your Resurrection, cry out:

  • Rejoice, height of the wisdom of God;
  • Rejoice, depth of His providence;
  • Rejoice, ignorance of the unwise;
  • Rejoice, misfortune of the foolish;
  • Rejoice, for you manifest the Resurrection of Christ;
  • Rejoice, for you revive His Passion;
  • Rejoice, undoer of the trespass of the first-created;
  • Rejoice, opener of the entrance to Paradise
  • Rejoice, O Cross, revered by all;
  • Rejoice, adversary of faithless nations;
  • Rejoice, O Cross, healer of the sick;
  • Rejoice, constant help of them that cry;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 10

With the purpose of saving the world, the lord of the word ineffably descended into it and submitted to the Cross, and being God He accepted for us the entire human nature, wherefore having also redeemed us, he hears from all:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 10

The Cross is the protection of the whole world, for the Creator of heaven and earth Who prepared you stretches out his hands and teaches all to proclaim:

  • Rejoice, foundation of godliness;
  • Rejoice, conquest of the promised land;
  • Rejoice, you who put the spiritual Amalek to flight;
  • Rejoice, you who were prefigured by the hands of Jacob;
  • Rejoice, for you transformed the ancient shadows;
  • Rejoice, for you fulfilled the prophetic utterances;
  • Rejoice you that carried the Savior of all;
  • Rejoice, you who destroyed the corrupter of souls;
  • Rejoice, through whom we are united with Angels;
  • Rejoice, through whom we are illumined by light;
  • Rejoice, for with honor we worship you;
  • Rejoice, for crying out we address you;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 11

Every hymn falls short in comprehending the multitude of your many wonders, for though we should offer you a multitude of praises, O precious Cross, we can do nothing worthy of what you have granted us, but we still cry:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 11

The life-giving Cross, bestowing the radiance that given light to those in darkness, has shown us the immaterial light, and has lightened the way for all to divine knowledge, and being lifted up it now lifts up our minds that we might chant these words:

  • Rejoice, luminary that shines on those in darkness;
  • Rejoice, star that dawns upon the world;
  • Rejoice, lightning that blinds the slayers of Christ;
  • Rejoice, thunder that terrifies the faithless;
  • Rejoice, for you have made radiant the choirs of the Orthodox;
  • Rejoice, for you have consumed the altars of idols;
  • Rejoice, you whose form has appeared from the heaven;
  • Rejoice, you whose grace drives away evil;
  • Rejoice, you who signifies mortification of the flesh;
  • Rejoice, you who slays the insurrection of the passions;
  • Rejoice, you upon whom Christ was crucified;
  • Rejoice, you by whom all the world was saved;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 12

Having willed to grant grace to men, Christ stretched his hands on the Wood, and calls all nations together and grants the Kingdom of the Heavens to all that worthily sing the hymn and faithfully cry:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 12

Chanting this hymn out of love we praise you as the living Wood of the lord, for in the flesh being nailed upon you, He who rules over the powers on high has sanctified, glorified, and taught us to cry these words to you:

  • Rejoice, O Christ, spiritual sword;
  • Rejoice, holy gaze of Saints;
  • Rejoice, prediction of the prophets and righteous;
  • Rejoice, brilliant stratagem of Christ;
  • Rejoice, beauty and crown of godly 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, lamp of purest light;
  • Rejoice, gladness of my soul;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 13

[3 times]

O most laudable Wood 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 you:

  • Alleluia!

Ikos 1

Repeated

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

  • Rejoice, O Cross, guardian of the world;
  • Rejoice, the glory of the Church;
  • Rejoice, you that bountifully gush forth with healings;
  • Rejoice, you that enlighten the ends of the earth;
  • Rejoice, Wood fragrant with life, and treasury of wonders;
  • Rejoice, fitly-joined, thrice-blessed, and bestower of graces;
  • Rejoice, for you are the divine footstool;
  • Rejoice, for you were ordained for the worship of all;
  • Rejoice, bowl of nectar, full to the brim;
  • Rejoice, torch of the radiance above;
  • Rejoice, you through whom the creation is blessed;
  • Rejoice, you through whom the Creator is worshipped;
  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.

Kontakion 1

Repeated

Thrice-blessed and all-worshipful Cross of Christ, we the faithful venerate and magnify you being joyous at your divine Exaltation. But since you are the trophy and unconquered weapon, by your grace protect, cover, and shelter those who cry to you:

  • Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.
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