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Selections from the Akathist Hymn to Joachim and Anna, Ancestors of God

from Akathist Hymns, Reconstructed for Readability

Kontakion One

To the holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, forbearers of Christ and elect among the human race, who gave birth to the holy Maiden of whom the Son of God was born in the flesh.  Since you have great boldness before Christ our God and stand before his heavenly Throne, earnestly entreat him that we may be delivered from all misfortune and thus many unceasingly cry aloud to you:

Rejoice, holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, Ancestors of God.

Ikos 1

An angelic messenger was sent to you by God, O holy and righteous Ancestors of God, when you both expressed your sorrow – you Joachim in the wilderness, and you Anna in the garden – offering up supplication to God.  Thus, the incorporeal one brought the joyful tidings that you would give birth to an all-blessed daughter in whom the whole human race would be blessed, and with the angel we also offer you joyful praise:

Rejoice, branches of the vine of life who blossomed froth holiness from the root of David.

Rejoice, for you gave birth to a daughter more blessed than all generations of men.

Rejoice, most honored forbears of the Incarnate Son of God.

Rejoice, most excellent disclosers of the mystery hidden from before time began.

Rejoice, closest relatives in the flesh to the Consolation of Israel.

Rejoice, blood relatives of the Redeemer who was promised to the world.

Rejoice, holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, Ancestors of God.

Kontakion 2

Seeing himself belittled by the high priest in the Temple of Jerusalem because of his lack of children, the holy Joachim was sorely distressed.  In bitterness of soul he withdrew to his flocks in the wilderness.  There he offered fervent supplication with tears, that the Lord would grant him to be called “father” by a child of his own.  He therefore added fasting to prayer, and in the contrition of his heart cried aloud to God Almighty:  Alleluia!

Ikos 2

Knowing the extent of her husband’s grief, the holy Anna wept bitterly in her house and prayed that the Lord would remove from her the reproach of barrenness.  Rightfully remembering the patience of the righteous ones, we humbly cry out thus:

Rejoice, divinely chosen pair who gave birth to the one who would become the Mother of One of the Trinity.

Rejoice, for you brought forth an immaculate Mother for your Creator.

Rejoice, blessed pair who raised a daughter who is most blessed among women.

Rejoice, for God heard your petitions amid your barrenness.

Rejoice, for your tearful entreaties passed up to Heaven and reached the ear of the God of Israel.

Rejoice, for your temporal reproach has been transformed into eternal glory in Heaven and on earth.

Rejoice, holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, Ancestors of God.

Kontakion 3

Filled with the power of God, the angel of the Lord appeared to the holy Joachim in the wildness and spoke to him.  “God has heard your prayer and has been pleased to grant you his grace.  Behold, Anna your wife will conceive and bear you a daughter who will be the joy of the whole world.”   Having said these things, the incorporeal one commanded Joachim to return to the Temple of Jerusalem.   There he would find his spouse praying, that with her he might also chant the hymn of praise to the God of Israel:  Alleluia!

Ikos 3

Having great sorrow in your heart, O holy Anna, you entered the garden of your home where your eye saw little chicks lying in a bird’s nest in a tree.   You immediately added supplications to your prayers, that the Lord might permit you to become the mother of a child.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord appeared and spoke to you.  “Your prayer has been heard, your sighs have passed beyond the clouds and your tears have come before God.   Behold, you will conceive and bear an all-blessed daughter in whom all the peoples of the earth will be blessed, and through whom salvation will be given to all the world.   Her name will be Mary.”   Mindful of these most angelic tidings, let us chant these things to the Ancestors of God:

Rejoice, for you were chosen for ineffable glory.

Rejoice, for you walked blameless in all the Commandments of the Lord.

Rejoice, for you received eternal consolation amid your fleeting sorrow.

Rejoice, for you were exalted beyond expectation by the Right Hand of God.

Rejoice, for you showed humility in your tribulation, and the Lord God remembered you.

Rejoice, for you were chosen to become the forbearers of the Son of God.

Rejoice, holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, Ancestors of God!

Kontakion 4

Beset by a storm of doubt and perplexed by the angel’s tidings to him, the righteous Joachim immediately set out for the city of Jerusalem.  There he found before the gates of the Temple the holy Anna, greatly glorifying the Lord.   She declared to Joachim the joy of the angelic appearance and the prediction of childbirth.  After Joachim had told his spouse of his own vision, he then cried with her to the Lord: Alleluia!

Ikos 11

Brethren, let us recognize the holy Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, as two radiant candles which lit the universal lamp.   Mercifully illumined with the brightness of their heavenly glory, let us endeavor to become worthy by singing to them such words as these:

Rejoice, for you were counted worthy to raise her who is beyond compare and more glorious than the Seraphim.

Rejoice, for you were resplendent with heavenly brightness.

Rejoice, for you were filled with the sweet fragrance of the Spirit.

Rejoice, for you bear to God the incense of your prayers for the whole Christian world.

Rejoice, for you ever stand before the Throne of Christ with Mary the God-bearer and John the Baptist.

Rejoice, for we fall before you and honor the power of God in you.

Rejoice, holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, Ancestors of God.

Kontakion 12 

Holy Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, ask the Lord to grant us divine grace and mercy, forgiveness of sins and correction of life.   Never cease to entreat the countenance of Almighty God in our behalf, for you have acquired great boldness before him.   Falling down before you with fervor for this purpose, we beseech you as our true intercessors and helpers, and with real compunction we cry to the Creator of All:  Alleluia!

A Prayer

Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, your distress and reproach were overcome by the Almighty God, and thereby the Savior of the world came into the world through your holy daughter, Mary.  Your prayers were abundantly answered by our merciful God who rewards patience, humility and compunction.  We praise you for your faith and for your commitment to prayer, and we implore your compassion upon our lack of fruitfulness in the Christian virtues,   Holy and righteous Joachim and Anna, teach us to be living temples of the grace of God, so that we also may devote ourselves to holiness and bring forth treasures which are pleasing to him.  Growing older with each passing day, we ask your guidance that we might reach a peaceful end on this earth and thereby be united with you forever in the Kingdom of heaven.   Amen.