Akathist to Saint John,
Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord

Kontakion I

Chosen from days of old to be the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ God, the Saviour of the world, Divinely-praised John, while glorifying the Lord Who glorified thee, we sing thee hymns of praise as to the greatest of those born of woman, as to an angel in the flesh and preacher of repentance. For as thou hast great boldness before the Lord, free us from dangers of all kinds and move us to repentance, as we cry to thee with love:

Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner and
Baptist of the Lord!

Ikos I

Archangel Gabriel, who stands before God, was sent to the priest Zachariah, when he, serving according to his rank, entered with incense into the Sanctuary of the Lord. Standing to the right of the Altar of Incense, the angel announced to him the good news of thy birth, great John, proclaiming to Zachariah joy and gladness, as many would rejoice at God’s awesome good will concerning thee, reverently crying out in praise of thee:

Rejoice, ineffable confidant of the counsel of God!
Rejoice, fulfillment of His marvelous dispensation!
Rejoice, thou who wast revealed many years
before by the prophecy of Isaiah!
Rejoice, messenger before the face of the Lord,
prophesied of old!
Rejoice, thou who wast foreordained to be a
great prophet of the Most High!
Rejoice, thou who wast born according to the
promise of an angel!
Rejoice, thou who wast filled with the Holy
Ghost even in thy mother’s womb!
Rejoice, thou who wast consecrated for a great
ministry before thy birth!
Rejoice, release of parents’ barrenness!
Rejoice, joy and gladness of a priest of God!
Rejoice, offspring of a daughter of Aaron!
Rejoice, God-given fruit of prayer!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion II

When Zachariah saw the angel appearing to him, he was disturbed and fear fell upon him, and he did not believe the words of his announcement concerning thy birth; but when he was stricken with dumbness for his disbelief, he marveled at this most glorious wonder, crying to God with all his heart: Alleluia!

Ikos II

Seeking to understand the unfathomable Mind, the people awaited Zachariah, wondering at his tarrying in the Sanctuary; but when he came out and could not speak to them, but only made signs, they all understood that he had beheld a vision in the Sanctuary. And we, glorifying God, the marvelous Creator of miracles, cry unto thee:

Rejoice, good source of thy father’s silence!
Rejoice, change of thy mother’s tears into joy!
Rejoice, removal of her reproach among
the people!
Rejoice, great consolation for those who gave
thee birth!
Rejoice, for in the sixth month after thy
conception, the Most Holy Virgin Mary
was visited by an angel in Nazareth!
Rejoice, for many rejoiced over thy birth!
Rejoice, for thou didst receive a Grace-filled
name, given by an angel!
Rejoice, for by thy name the silence of thy
father Zachariah was ended!
Rejoice, for the name of God was blessed by
thy father on account of thee!
Rejoice, for fear and wonder over thy
miraculous birth came upon those
living round about!
Rejoice, for the news of thy miraculous birth
spread over the entire land of Judea!
Rejoice, for by thee salvation appeared to
many in this world!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion III

The power of the Most High ended the barrenness of the righteous Elizabeth, who was beyond the natural age for bearing children, for she conceived thee, the glorious Forerunner of the Lord, and keeping this secret for five months, she said: For thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me to take away my reproach among men. But when she received Her Who bore Christ in Her Womb, she was filled with the Holy Ghost and cried with a loud voice: Whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? And rejoicing with Her, she cried unto God: Alleluia!

Ikos III

Thou who wast to go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah wast filled with the Holy Ghost while still in thy mother’s womb, whence thou didst appear as a marvelous prophet, when thou didst leap with rejoicing at the coming of the Mother of the Lord; for thou didst recognize God borne in the womb of Her Who is full of Grace, and by thy mother’s voice didst preach Him; for it was proper for the beginning of Divine things to be most glorious. Wherefore, reverently marveling at this, with joy we cry to thee:

Rejoice, while still in thy mother’s womb
proclaiming with miraculous gladness
the Lord Who glorified thee!
Rejoice, for because of thee and thy mother
Elizabeth the incarnation of Christ
was revealed!
Rejoice, for she also was filled with the
Holy Ghost!
Rejoice, for she also appeared as a most
marvelous prophetess!
Rejoice, for by her the Most Holy Virgin Mary
was called blessed among women!
Rejoice, for by her She was also named the
Mother of the Lord!
Rejoice, for Her seedless fruit was declared
most blessed!
Rejoice, manifestation of divine wisdom!
Rejoice, blessing of a holy marriage!
Rejoice, wonderful offspring of a barren womb!
Rejoice, thou who astonished men by thy birth!
Rejoice, radiant voice of the Word!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion IV

Disturbed by a storm of doubt, the priest Zachariah was unable to speak, according to the angel’s word. But when after thy birth, O Forerunner of the Lord, he wrote thy Grace-filled name, immediately his lips and tongue were loosened, and he spake, blessing God and prophesying, saying: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, singing unto Him: Alleluia!

Ikos IV

On hearing of thy most glorious and miraculous birth, the people who lived round about said among themselves with amazement: What will this child become? But we unworthily honoring thee, most glorious Forerunner of the Lord, as the greatest of those born of women, glorify thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who wast filled with manifestations
of Grace from thy conception!
Rejoice, thou who wast glorified by God in
thy birth!
Rejoice, thou who wast in thine infancy called a
prophet of the Most High by the father!
Rejoice, thou who wast in thy childhood
enlightened and strengthened by the
Holy Ghost!
Rejoice, thou who wast a blood relative of
God incarnate!
Rejoice, thou who didst receive from God the
lofty calling of Forerunner and Baptist!
Rejoice, ray proclaiming New Light to the World!
Rejoice, star illumining the path that leadeth
to Christ!
Rejoice, morning star of the unsetting sun!
Rejoice, lamp of the Never-waning Light!
Rejoice, thou who preparest the way for the
approaching Christ!
Rejoice, thou who appearest as both angel
and man!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion V

The ungodly command of the lawless murderer of children, Herod, drove thee out of thy father’s house into the trackless wilderness, carried by thy mother, O Forerunner of the Lord, and there thou didst abide until the day of thy appearance unto Israel, eating akrida and wild honey, and calling to God: Alleluia!

Ikos V

Beholding God’s wonderful providence concerning thee, O John praised by God, thou didst appear as a lover of a life of fasting from infancy’s swaddling clothes, whence by the will of the Most High thou wast sent to preach the approaching salvation in Christ. For this reason with amazement and love we cry out to thee:

Rejoice, for, while yet an infant, thou didst
terrify King Herod!
Rejoice, thou who wast preserved from his
vain murdering by the right hand of
the Most High!
Rejoice, fragrant rose of the desert!
Rejoice, thou who amazed all by the height of
thine ascetic labors!
Rejoice, faithful indicator of the true way!
Rejoice, most wonderful preserver of purity
and chastity!
Rejoice, perfect example of the self-denial of
the Gospel!
Rejoice, monastics’ protection and security!
Rejoice, enlightenment of theologians’ minds!
Rejoice, thou who dost open the doors of
God’s compassion to the sinful!
Rejoice, thou who dost grant forgiveness from
God to repentant sinners!
Rejoice, thou who dost help to bring forth
fruits worthy of repentance!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion VI

A glorious preacher, a Divine Forerunner, wast thou shown to be in the desert of Jordan on the day of the appearance of Christ God to the world, for upon His approaching thee, thou didst show Him to the people, saying: Behold, the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world! And we, having known Him through faith, sing unto Him: Alleluia!

Ikos VI

Thou didst shine as a light of truth, O John, enlightened by God, manifesting unto all the effulgence of the Glory of the Father, appearing in the flesh for our sake. For thou didst cry out to the people in the wilderness: Repent ye; for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand; bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. For behold, there cometh after me, One Who shall baptize you with water and the Spirit. Therefore we cry out to thee with praises:

Rejoice, herald of the coming of the Messiah!
Rejoice, preparer of the paths of the Lord!
Rejoice, intercessor of the old and new Grace!
Rejoice, end of the prophets and beginning of
the apostles!
Rejoice, renowned voice of the Word!
Rejoice, thundering preacher of repentance!
Rejoice, thou who didst convert many of the
sons of Israel to the Lord!
Rejoice, thou who didst make people perfect
for the Lord!
Rejoice, thou who boldly didst expose the
Pharisees and Sadducees!
Rejoice, teaching to bear fruit worthy
of repentance!
Rejoice, indicator of spiritual enlightenment!
Rejoice, untiring intercessor for those seeking
thy protection!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion VII

When the Lord Jesus wanted to be baptized, O Divinely-blessed John, thou didst say: I have need to be baptized of Thee; however, submitting to Him Who said, Let it be so now! thou didst raise thy right hand upon His head and having baptized Him Who did not need purification, thou didst cry out: Alleluia!

Ikos VII

Giving thee new Grace, the Lord willed to be baptized by thee, granting thee to behold the coming of the Spirit and to hear the Father’s voice from the heavens testifying to His Sonship. Whenceforth thou didst teach us to worship one God in Three Persons; Whom glorifying with lips of clay, we offer these praises to thee:

Rejoice, first preacher of the Trinity’s Theophany!
Rejoice, true worshipper of the one God in
Three Persons!
Rejoice, clear beholder of the Holy Ghost in the
form of a dove!
Rejoice, witness to His descent from the Father
upon the Son!
Rejoice, hearer of the voice of God the Father
from Heaven!
Rejoice, beholder of the revelation of the
Father’s love for the Son!
Rejoice, chosen baptist of the Son of God!
Rejoice, fulfiller of His holy will!
Rejoice, zealous struggler in the glorious service
for the salvation of the human race!
Rejoice, first celebrant of the great Mystery
of Baptism!
Rejoice, herald of divine joy!
Rejoice, first teacher of the New Testament!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion VIII

Having beheld the strange and ineffable humility of the Incarnate God the Word, O Divinely-blessed Baptist, when He bowed His Divine Head to thee and received a servile baptism, thou thyself wast wholly filled with great humility. Entreat therefore this Divinely-loved virtue for us also, who are possessed by pride, that we may cry to Him from a humble heart: Alleluia!


Wholly filled with the gifts of Grace, in finishing the course of earthly life, John the Divinely-chosen, thou didst teach all to please God well through fulfillment of the Law and repentance. Therefore, we sing out thankful praises to thee, the great teacher of truth:

Rejoice, planter of the law and statues of
the Lord!
Rejoice, exposer of Herod’s lawlessness!
Rejoice, zealot for his correction!
Rejoice, thou who didst suffer imprisonment and
bonds for the sake of righteousness!
Rejoice, thou who wast beheaded for the truth!
Rejoice, for thy body was given an honorable
burial by thy disciples!
Rejoice, for by God’s providence thy head was
preserved incorrupt!
Rejoice, for it has granted consolation,
sanctification, and healing to Christians!
Rejoice, for the faithful piously bow down also
before thy right hand which baptized
the Lord!
Rejoice, for many miracles are thereby
accomplished even to the present day!
Rejoice, for by thee the faithful are delivered
from the dishonor of passions!
Rejoice, for by thee the sinful are moved
to repentance!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion IX

The angelic realm was amazed at the loftiness of thy ministry, and the Church reverently praiseth thee as the friend of Christ God, coming before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah. For, zealous for truth, thou didst boldly expose the Pharisees and lawless Herod, from whom thou didst receive a martyr’s end. Therefore, we bow down before thy holy head, and pray to thee: deliver us from the dishonor of passions, that with a pure heart and lips we may chant: Alleluia!

Ikos IX

No rhetoric of the earthly-born can suffice worthily to praise thee, John the Divinely-praised; for the lips of Christ praised thee, calling thee higher than the prophets and the greatest of all those born of woman. Wherefore, not knowing how to offer thee worthy praise, we cry to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, great glory of the Church of Christ!
Rejoice, most marvelous wonder of the angels!
Rejoice, joy and glorification of the forefathers!
Rejoice, lofty praise of the prophets!
Rejoice, divinely-illumined crown of
the apostles!
Rejoice, magnificent beauty of hierarchs!
Rejoice, beginning of martyrs in the new Grace!
Rejoice, perfection of holy monastics!
Rejoice, adornment of the righteous!
Rejoice, foundation of virgins and fasters!
Rejoice, great consolation of all Christians!
Rejoice, for thy name is glorified by all
Christian generations!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion X

Thou didst proclaim to those in Hades the good news of Christ, come in the flesh to save the world; for like the morning star preceding the sun, thou didst illumine those sitting in the darkness and shadow of death, whence thou wast soon lead forth by the Lord with all the righteous from the beginning of the age, chanting to Him as the Deliverer and Conqueror of death: Alleluia!

Ikos X

Thou art a wall and saving refuge to all who hasten to thee in prayer, Divine John; therefore, we bless thee with hymns of praise thus:

Rejoice, our mighty intercessor and faithful
preserver from harm!
Rejoice, quick helper and deliverer of those
suffering from the spirits of malice!
Rejoice, thou who dost send down the blessing
from God on the barren!
Rejoice, thou who dost deliver those who run
to thee with faith from great
disturbance of passions!
Rejoice, thou who dost quickly reconcile those
who are at enmity!
Rejoice, thou who dost grant speedy help to
those who fervently hasten to thee in
every need and sorrow!
Rejoice, thou who dost rescue those who are
running the good race from self-
deception and prelest!
Rejoice, thou who dost help those who entrust
themselves to thine intercession at the
hour of death!
Rejoice, thou who by thine intercession dost
deliver those who love thee from the
toll-houses of the air!
Rejoice, thou who dost vouchsafe eternal life to
those who honor thy glorious memory!
Rejoice, defense of the poor and widows
and orphans!
Rejoice, after God and the Theotokos, the
refuge and hope of Christians!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion XI

No hymn is sufficient to praise thee according to the legacy of thy great deeds, O Baptist of the Lord. But we, compelled by love, dare to hymn thy greatness. Do thou mercifully accept this from us, O intercessor before the Throne of the Most Holy Trinity, and pray to free us from every sinful corruption, that with pure heart and lips we may chant to God: Alleluia!

Ikos XI

Knowing thee to be a lamp of the Unapproachable Light and entirely filled with the all-radiant gifts of Grace, John the Divinely-enlightened, joyfully we offer thee such words as these:

Rejoice, eyewitness of the Divine Light shining
from on high!
Rejoice, thou who dost praise God by the light
of thy virutes!
Rejoice, thou who dost reveal the majestic
glory of the Most Holy Trinity!
Rejoice, thou who dost point out the correct
and marvelous path to Heaven!
Rejoice, harbinger of the good news of God
Incarnate for those in Hades!
Rejoice, bearer of glad tidings for the righteous
held in the nether regions from the
beginning of the age!
Rejoice, sincere friend of the Master, Christ God!
Rejoice, thou who dost reveal to the world the
True Light!
Rejoice, radiance of the shining light of
the Gospel!
Rejoice, glorification of the Christian race!
Rejoice, fulfillment of the Counsel of God!
Rejoice, for from the rising of the sun unto the
going down of the same thy name is
to be praised!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion XII

Bearing the name of Grace, O Baptist of the Lord, and enriched thereby, thou didst appear as a most glorious bearer of victory; for thou didst conquer enemies and every malice, and thou didst seal thy ministry with martyrdom. And now, standing before the throne of the King of kings, entreat Him to grant to all the faithful victory over their enemies and Godspeed in all things, and the strengthening of Grace in virtues, as they chant to Him: Alleluia!

Ikos XII

Hymning God, Who was wonderously glorified in thee, we praise thee, Divinely-blessed Baptist, as the sincere friend of Christ; we praise thy great ascetic struggles, we bless thy martyr’s death, and joyfully we cry to thee such things as these:

Rejoice, universal apostle and first martyr of
the New Testament!
Rejoice, first preacher of the Kingdom of
Heaven manifested by the appearance
of Christ on the earth!
Rejoice, foreteller of the divine calling of
the gentiles!
Rejoice, thou who didst manifest unto the
world the hidden and secret things of
the wisdom of God!
Rejoice, thou who wast shown to be more
fruitful than others in divine deeds!
Rejoice, for by the light of thy deeds the
Heavenly Father was glorified!
Rejoice, for thou dost unspeakably gladden the
Church of Christ concerning thy memory!
Rejoice, for now thou dost eternally enjoy
abundant gladness!
Rejoice, illuminated by the divine rays of the
Light of the Three-sunned Light!
Rejoice, for thou dost unceasingly chant with
the bodiless ones the thrice-holy hymn
to God!
Rejoice, for now with the mirror removed, thou
dost directly behold the Holy Trinity!
Rejoice, great John, Prophet, Forerunner, and
Baptist of the Lord!

Kontakion XIII

O great and most glorious John, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord! Receive from us now this supplication offered to thee, and by thy prayers, which are pleasing to God, deliver us from evil of all kind, and rescue us from eternal torment, and make us heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, that throughout the ages we may chant unto God: Alleluia!

This Kontakion is recited thrice, whereupon Kontakion 1 and Ikos I are repeated.

Prayer to Saint John the Baptist

O Baptist of Christ, Holy Forerunner, last of the prophets, first of the martyrs, instructor of fasters and desert-dwellers, teacher of purity and close friend of Christ! I pray thee; I run to thee. Do not reject me from thy protection, but lift me up who am fallen in many sins; renew my soul by repentance, as by a second Baptism. Purify me, corrupted by sins, and compel me to enter therein where no corruption can enter: into the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.