The Akathist Hymn to St Nicholas


Kontakion 1: O champion wonderworker and superb servant of Christ, thou who pourest out for all the world the most precious myrrh of mercy and an inexhaustible sea of miracles, I praise thee with love, O Saint Nicholas; and as thou art one having boldness toward the Lord, from all dangers do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Ekos 1: An angel in manner though earthly by nature did the Creator reveal thee to be; for, foreseeing the fruitful beauty of thy soul, O most blessed Nicholas, He taught all to cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who wast purified from thy mother’s womb!
Rejoice, thou who wast sanctified even unto the end!
Rejoice, thou who didst amaze thy parents by thy birth!
Rejoice, thou who didst manifest power of soul straightway after birth!
Rejoice, plant of the land of promise!
Rejoice, flower of divine planting!
Rejoice, virtuous vine of Christ’s vineyard!
Rejoice, wonderworking tree of the paradise of Jesus!
Rejoice, lily of paradisaical growth!
Rejoice, myrrh of the fragrance of Christ!
Rejoice, for through thee lamentation is banished!
Rejoice, for through thee rejoicing is brought to pass!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 2: Seeing the effusion of thy myrrh, O divinely wise one, our souls and bodies are enlightened, understanding thee to be a wonderful, living source of unction, O Nicholas; for with miracles like waters poured out through the grace of God thou fillest them that faithfully cry unto God: Alleluia!

Ekos 2: Teaching incomprehensible knowledge about the Holy Trinity, thou wast with the holy fathers in Nicea a champion of the confession of the Orthodox Faith; for thou didst confess the Son equal to the Father, co-everlasting and co-enthroned, and thou didst convict the foolish Arius. Therefore the faithful have learned to sing to thee:

Rejoice, great pillar of piety!
Rejoice, city of refuge for the faithful!
Rejoice, firm stronghold of Orthodoxy!
Rejoice, venerable vessel and praise of the Holy Trinity!
Rejoice, thou who didst preach the Son of equal honour with the Father!
Rejoice, thou who didst expel the demonized Arius from the council of the saints!
Rejoice, father, glorious beauty of the fathers!
Rejoice, wise goodness of all the divinely wise!
Rejoice, thou who utterest fiery words!
Rejoice, thou who guidest so well thy flock!
Rejoice, for through thee faith is strengthened!
Rejoice, for through thee heresy is overthrown!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 3: Through power given thee from on high, thou didst wipe away every tear from the face of those in cruel suffering, O God-bearing Father Nicholas; for thou wast shown to be a feeder of the hungry, a superb pilot of those on the high seas, a healer of the ailing, and thou hast proved to be a helper to all that cry unto God: Alleluia!

Ekos 3: Truly, Father Nicholas, a song should be sung to thee from heaven, and not from earth; for how can a mere man proclaim the greatness of thy holiness? But we, conquered by thy love, cry unto thee thus:

Rejoice, model of lambs and shepherds!
Rejoice, holy purification of morals!
Rejoice, container of great virtues!
Rejoice, pure and honorable abode of holiness!
Rejoice, all-luminous lamp, beloved by all!
Rejoice, light golden-rayed and blameless!
Rejoice, worthy converser with angels!
Rejoice, good guide of men!
Rejoice, pious rule of faith!
Rejoice, model of spiritual meekness!
Rejoice, for through thee we are delivered from bodily passions!
Rejoice, for through thee we are filled with spiritual delights!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 4: A storm of bewilderment confuseth our minds: How can we worthily hymn thy wonders, O blessed Nicholas? For no one could count them, even though he had many tongues and willed to tell them; but we make bold to sing to God Who is wonderfully glorified in thee: Alleluia!

Ekos 4: People near and far heard of the greatness of thy miracles, O divinely-wise Nicholas, for in the air with the delicate wings of grace thou art accustomed to forestall those in misfortune, quickly delivering all who cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, deliverance from sorrow!
Rejoice, channel of grace!
Rejoice, dispeller of unexpected evils!
Rejoice, planter of good desires!
Rejoice, quick comforter of those in misfortune!
Rejoice, dread punisher of wrongdoers!
Rejoice, abyss of miracles poured out by God!
Rejoice, tablets of the law of Christ written by God!
Rejoice, strong uplifting of the fallen!
Rejoice, support of them that stand aright!
Rejoice, for through thee all deception is exposed!
Rejoice, for through thee all truth is realized!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 5: Thou didst appear as a divinely-moving star, guiding those who sailed upon the cruel sea who were once threatened with imminent death, if thou hadst not come to the help of those who called upon thee, O wonderworking Saint Nicholas; for, having forbidden the flying demons who shamelessly wanted to sink the ship, thou didst drive them away, and didst teach the faithful whom God saveth through thee to cry: Alleluia!

Ekos 5: The maidens, prepared for a dishonourable marriage because of their poverty, saw thy great compassion to the poor, O most-blessed Father Nicholas, when by night thou secretly gavest their aged father three bundles of gold, hereby saving him and his daughters from falling into sin. Wherefore, thou hearest from all thus:
Rejoice, treasury of greatest mercy!

Rejoice, depository of provision for people!
Rejoice, food and consolation of those that flee unto thee!
Rejoice, inexhaustible bread of the hungry!
Rejoice, God-given wealth of those living in poverty on earth!
Rejoice, speedy uplifting of paupers!
Rejoice, quick hearing of the needy!
Rejoice, acceptable care of the sorrowful!
Rejoice, blameless provider for the three maidens!
Rejoice, fervent guardian of purity!
Rejoice, hope of the hopeless!
Rejoice, delight of all the world!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 6: The whole world proclaimeth thee, O most blessed Nicholas, as a quick intercessor in adversities; for, oftentimes preceding those that travel by land and sail upon the sea, thou helpest them in a single hour, at the same time keeping from evils all that cry unto God: Alleluia!

Ekos 6: Thou didst shine as a living light, bringing deliverance to the generals who received sentence to an unjust death, who called upon thee, O good shepherd Nicholas, when thou didst quickly appear in a dream to the emperor, and didst terrify him and didst order him to release them unharmed. Therefore, together with them we also gratefully cry unto thee:

Rejoice, thou who helpest them that fervently call upon thee!
Rejoice, thou who deliverest from unjust death!
Rejoice, thou who preservest from false accusation!
Rejoice, thou who destroyest the counsels of the unrighteous!
Rejoice, thou who tearest lies to shreds like cobwebs!
Rejoice, thou who gloriously exaltest truth!
Rejoice, release of the innocent from their fetters!
Rejoice, revival of the dead!
Rejoice, revealer of righteousness!
Rejoice, exposer of unrighteousness!
Rejoice, for through thee the innocent were saved from the sword!
Rejoice, for through thee they enjoyed the light!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 7: Desiring to dispel the blasphemous stench of heresy, thou didst appear as a truly fragrant, mystical myrrh, O Nicholas; by shepherding the people of Myra, thou hast filled the whole world with thy gracious myrrh. And so, dispel from us the stench of abominable sin, that we may acceptably cry unto God: Alleluia!

Ekos 7: We understand thee to be a new Noah, a guide of the ark of salvation, O Holy Father Nicholas, who drivest away the storm of all evils by thy direction, and bringest divine calm to those that cry thus:

Rejoice, calm harbour of the storm-tossed!
Rejoice, sure preservation of those that are drowning!
Rejoice, good pilot of those that sail upon the deeps!
Rejoice, thou who rulest the raging of the sea!
Rejoice, guidance of those in whirlwinds!
Rejoice, warmth of those in frosts!
Rejoice, radiance that dispellest the gloom of sorrow!
Rejoice, light that illuminest all the ends of the earth!
Rejoice, thou who deliverest people from the abyss of sin!
Rejoice, thou who castest Satan into the abyss of Hades!
Rejoice, for through thee we boldly invoke the abyss of God’s compassion!
Rejoice, for as ones rescued through thee from the flood of wrath, we find peace with God!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 8: A strange wonder is thy sacred church shown to be to those that flock to thee, O blessed Nicholas; for, by offering in it even a small supplication, we receive healing from great illnesses, if only, after God, we place our hope in thee, faithfully crying aloud: Alleluia!

Ekos 8: Thou art truly a helper to all, O God-bearing Nicholas, and thou hast gathered together all that flee unto thee, for thou art a deliverer, a nourisher, and a quick healer to all on earth, moving all to cry out in praise to thee thus:

Rejoice, source of all kinds of healing!
Rejoice, helper of those that suffer cruelly!
Rejoice, dawn shining for prodigals in the night of sin!
Rejoice, heaven-sent dew for those in the heat of labours!
Rejoice, thou who givest prosperity to those that need it!
Rejoice, thou who preparest an abundance for those that ask!
Rejoice, thou who often forestallest requests!
Rejoice, thou who restorest strength to the aged and gray-headed!
Rejoice, convicter of many who have strayed from the true way!
Rejoice, faithful steward of the mysteries of God!
Rejoice, for through thee we conquer envy!
Rejoice, for through thee we lead a moral life!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 9: Assuage all our pains, O Nicholas, our great intercessor, dispensing gracious healings, delighting our souls, and gladdening the hearts of all that fervently hasten to thee for help and cry unto God: Alleluia!

Ekos 9: The falsely theorizing orators of the ungodly, we see, were put to shame by thee, O divinely-wise Father Nicholas; for thou didst confute Arius the blasphemer who divided the Godhead, and Sabellius who mingled the persons of the Holy Trinity, but thou hast strengthened us in Orthodoxy. Therefore, we cry unto thee thus:

Rejoice, shield that defendest piety!
Rejoice, sword that cuttest down impiety!
Rejoice, teacher of the divine commandments!
Rejoice, destroyer of impious doctrines!
Rejoice, ladder set up by God, by which we mount to heaven!
Rejoice, God-given protection, by which many are sheltered!
Rejoice, thou who makest wise the unwise by thy sayings!
Rejoice, thou who movest the slothful by thine example!
Rejoice, inextinguishable brightness of God’s commandments!
Rejoice, most luminous ray of the Lord’s statutes!
Rejoice, for through thy teaching the heads of heretics are broken!
Rejoice, for through thee the faithful are counted worthy of glory!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 10
: Desiring to save thy soul, thou didst truly subject thy body to the spirit, O our Father Nicholas; for by silence first and by wrestling with thoughts, thou didst add contemplation to activity, and by contemplation thou didst acquire perfect knowledge with which thou didst boldly converse with God and angels, always crying: Alleluia!

Ekos 10: Thou art a rampart, O most-blessed one, to those that praise thy miracles, and to all that have recourse to thine intercession; wherefore, free also us who are poor in virtue from poverty, temptations, illness, and needs of various kinds, as we cry unto thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who rescuest from eternal wretchedness!
Rejoice, thou who bestowest incorruptible riches!
Rejoice, imperishable food for those that hunger after righteousness!
Rejoice, inexhaustible drink for those that thirst for life!
Rejoice, thou who preservest from revolution and war!
Rejoice, thou who freest us from chains and imprisonment!
Rejoice, most-glorious intercessor in misfortunes!
Rejoice, great defender in temptations!
Rejoice, thou who hast snatched many from destruction!
Rejoice, thou who hast kept countless numbers unharmed!
Rejoice, for through thee sinners escape a frightful death!
Rejoice, for through thee those that repent obtain eternal life!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 11: A song to the Most Holy Trinity didst thou bring, surpassing others in thought, word, and deed, O most-blessed Nicholas; for with much searching thou didst explain the precepts of the true Faith, guiding us to sing with faith, hope, and love to the one God in Trinity: Alleluia!

Ekos 11: We see thee as a brilliant and inextinguishable ray for those in the darkness of this life, O God-chosen Father Nicholas; for with the immaterial angelic lights thou conversest concerning the uncreated Light of the Trinity, and thou enlightenest the souls of the faithful who cry unto thee thus:

Rejoice, radiance of the Three-sunned Light!
Rejoice, daystar of the unsetting Sun!
Rejoice, lamp kindled by the Divine Flame!
Rejoice, for thou hast quenched the demonic flame of impiety!
Rejoice, bright preaching of the Orthodox Faith!
Rejoice, luminous radiance of the light of the Gospel!
Rejoice, lightning that consumest heresy!
Rejoice, thunder that terrifiest tempters!
Rejoice, teacher of true knowledge!
Rejoice, revealer of the secret mind!
Rejoice, for through thee the worship of creatures hath been abolished!
Rejoice, for through thee we have learned to worship the Creator in the Trinity!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 12: Knowing the grace that hath been given thee by God, dutifully and joyfully we celebrate thy memory, O most-glorious Father Nicholas, and with all fervency we hasten to thy wonderful intercession; unable to count thy glorious deeds which are like the sands of the seashore and the multitude of the stars, being at a loss to understand, we cry unto God: Alleluia!

Ekos 12: While we sing of thy wonders, we praise thee, O all-praised Nicholas; for in thee God Who is glorified in the Trinity is wondrously glorified. But even if we were to offer thee a multitude of psalms and hymns composed from the soul, O holy wonderworker, we should do nothing to equal the gift of thy miracles, and amazed by them we cry unto thee thus:

Rejoice, servant of the King of kings and Lord of lords!
Rejoice, co-dweller with His heavenly servants!
Rejoice, support of faithful kings!
Rejoice, exaltation of the race of Christians!
Rejoice, namesake of victory!
Rejoice, eminent victor!
Rejoice, mirror of all the virtues!
Rejoice, strong buttress of all who flee unto thee!
Rejoice, after God and the Theotokos, all our hope!
Rejoice, health of our bodies and salvation of our souls!
Rejoice, for through thee we are delivered from eternal death!
Rejoice, for through thee we are deemed worthy of endless life!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 13: O most-holy and most-wonderful Father Nicholas, consolation of all that sorrow, accept our present offering, and entreat the Lord that we be delivered from Gehenna through thy God-pleasing intercession, that with thee we may sing: Alleluia!

Ekos 1: An angel in manner though earthly by nature did the Creator reveal thee to be; for, foreseeing the fruitful beauty of thy soul, O most blessed Nicholas, He taught all to cry to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who wast purified from thy mother’s womb!
Rejoice, thou who wast sanctified even unto the end!
Rejoice, thou who didst amaze thy parents by thy birth!
Rejoice, thou who didst manifest power of soul straightway after birth!
Rejoice, plant of the land of promise!
Rejoice, flower of divine planting!
Rejoice, virtuous vine of Christ’s vineyard!
Rejoice, wonderworking tree of the paradise of Jesus!
Rejoice, lily of paradisaical growth!
Rejoice, myrrh of the fragrance of Christ!
Rejoice, for through thee lamentation is banished!
Rejoice, for through thee rejoicing is brought to pass!
Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Kontakion 1: O champion wonderworker and superb servant of Christ, thou who pourest out for all the world the most precious myrrh of mercy and an inexhaustible sea of miracles, I praise thee with love, O Saint Nicholas; and as thou art one having boldness toward the Lord, from all dangers do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Nicholas, Great Wonderworker!

Hierarch and father, O most holy Nicholas, thou extraordinary Saint of the Lord, our loving defender and ready helper in sorrows everywhere: help us sinners and hapless ones in the present life: entreat the Lord God to grant us remission of all of our sins, that we have committed from our youth and all our life, by deed, word, though and all our senses; and in the passing of our souls, help us wretched ones; entreat the Lord God and Maker of all creation, to deliver us from trials in the air and eternal torment: that we may always glorify the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and thy merciful intercession, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O most good father Nicholas, pastor and teacher of all who in faith call upon thy protection and warm prayer, make haste to deliver Christ’s flock from the wolves that attack it; and guard every Christian land, and keep it by thy holy prayers from worldly unrest, upheaval, the assault of enemies and civil strife; from famine, flood, fire, the axe and sudden mortality. And as thou didst take pity on the three men who were imprisoned, and didst deliver them from royal anger and death by the sword, so have mercy also on us, who are in the darkness of sins of mind, word and deed, and deliver us from the wrath of God and eternal punishment, so that, by thine intercession and help, and by His mercy and grace, Christ our God may grant us to lead a quiet life without sin in this age and deliver us in the next from standing at the left side,  but rather grant us to be at His right hand with all the Saints. Amen.

Happy St Nicholas Day!

Dear brothers and sisters, greetings to you all for the feast of the Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker Nicholas.His life is a model of Christian living for us all – not just for our bishops, despite the fact that he is the very ideal of hierarchical life – and in his life we all see all that is holy, true and righteous. 

Despite the relative obscurity of this life, spanning the third and fourth centuries, St Nicholas quickly became the most universally loved and venerated saint of Christendom. We might ask why, as his power and influence seem so disproportionate to what we know of him in historical terms. 

Surely, this is because his life shines so brightly with the Light of Christ, and he so clearly encapsulates everything that it is to be a Christian. The central meaning of this is love, for God is absolute and perfect love, Christ is Incarnate Love and we are all called to reflect God and His love in our lives.

We are all called to be icons of Christ, struggling for the image of God to be restored and renewed in us, not simply by our baptism, but by continual prayer and repentance in which we seek perfection by struggling to reflect the Saviour, making His Gospel real in our lives.

In the Gospel for the hierarch we heard the Beatitudes and, as Father Luke pointed out in the homily of today’s Liturgy, these Beatitudes were made real and appreciable in the life of St Nicholas.

I constantly tell my spiritual children that the Beatitudes are the whole manifesto of Christian living, telling us how to make the Gospel real in our lives and how to live the lives Christ wants us to have. When this happens, we touch the world with God’s love, mercy and compassion, bringing light and life to those around us. These Beatitudes are not for our gain, for our sake and our benefit, but for the benefit of our neighbour and the world that surrounds us. They are not rules for us to gain, but rather for us to give, for us to love, for us to care, for us to respond to the needs of others – loving and serving Christ by doing so!

St Nicholas not only did this in his earthly life, but having been glorified by God among the saints on His right hand, the great saint has worked great miracles for a millennium and a half, continuing to reveal God’s glory, love and power; continuing to touch the faithful with his fatherly and archpastoral care, as a shepherd of souls and wonderworker doing God’s inscrutable works in the world.  

As Orthodox Christians, we continue to turn to him, not simply on his feasts, but day by day, week by week, and virtually every Orthodox home and church possesses an icon of St Nicholas. Apart from Holy Week and Bright Week, every Thursday of the year honours him. We celebrate his nativity, his death, the translation of his relics, and various feasts of his wonderworking icons. 

All of these acts of piety and devotion make him a great presence in our lives, as one whom we love, to whom we turn as a trusted and respected father, guide, helper and source of strength.

May we ever do so, and we pray that he may ever help us, teach us how to follow Christ and show us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.  

But, without seeking to follow his example our devotion will be hollow, paper-thin and meaningless. St Nicholas calls us to reflect Christ and to live the Gospel. Let us honour him by doing so!
May God bless you all.
In Christ – Fr Mark