The Cancer Akathist


Ser­vice Music by Robert Sirico

View the Entire Ser­vice on YouTube!


This Musi­cal Offer­ing of the Akathist, ‘Healer of Can­cer’ is ded­i­cated to the Blessed Mem­ory of my late-Wife, Lisa Sirico, who after nearly four years of fight­ing for her life, fell asleep in the Lord on Pascha 2009. While it may seem to the sur­vivors that she lost her bat­tle, she was eter­nally cured as she entered into her eter­nal rest in a place of refresh­ment where sor­row and sigh­ing have fled away. “And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” Rev 21:5  May the Blessed Mem­ory of the Ser­vant of the Lord, Lisa, Beloved Wife and Mother,  be Eternal †

Lisa Sirico (d. Pascha April 19, 2009)

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eter­nal life, to which you were also called and have con­fessed the good con­fes­sion in the pres­ence of many wit­nesses.” 1 Tim­o­thy 6:12


The Sacred Ser­vice of Prayer for those Affected by Cancer

Pan­tanessa; Queen of All, Healer of Cancer

The Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian Music Project is pleased to col­lab­o­rate with the highly tal­ented musi­cians of the Holy Vir­gin Pro­tec­tion Cathe­dral Choir (OCA) and the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Syn­odal Choir (ROCOR) under the expert direc­tion of Peter Fekula.  The CD fea­tures the orig­i­nal Akathist ser­vice music set­ting com­posed by OCMP founder Robert Sirico dur­ing the Sum­mer of 2010, as well as tra­di­tional hymns of the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church sung in English.

The events of the night included the Can­cer Prayer Ser­vice con-celebrated by Bishop Michael (OCA) and Bishop Jerome (ROCOR), as well as a mov­ing pre­sen­ta­tion (not recorded here) by Dr. Steven Sug­ar­man, Direc­tor of Onco­log­i­cal Research Memo­r­ial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Hos­pi­tal, NYC fol­low­ing the ser­vice.  This stun­ning live record­ing was dig­i­tally cap­tured and mas­tered by record­ing Engi­neer Seraphim Hul­ing, and processed to the finest stan­dards for com­mer­cial release.  The sound qual­ity on the CD is so clear, that the lis­tener will feel as if she or he is really present in the cathe­dral with the hun­dreds of faith­ful who came to pray and sing for them­selves and their loved ones affected by cancer.

A Per­sonal Note from the Composer

The inspi­ra­tion for the new musi­cal set­ting of the ‘Healer of Can­cer’ Akathist comes from a per­sonal con­nec­tion of fre­quent pri­vate devo­tion through­out the nearly four years that my late-wife Lisa bat­tled metasta­tic breast can­cer. One of the high­lights of the sacred text is how the prayer of the Ortho­dox Church responds to the needs of the suf­fer­ing ser­vant as well as all those con­cerned with the mod­ern treat­ment and care of the afflicted from the dis­ease of Can­cer in its mul­ti­plic­ity of types.  While pray­ing through this text, one will undoubt­edly iden­tify with at least one of those men­tioned in the peti­tions, and come to know that this prayer was com­posed ‘about’ us and ‘for’ us all: that the ten­der­ness and com­pas­sion of the Mother of God is extended to all who ask that She heal our infir­mi­ties by Her grace.


The Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian Music Project grate­fully acknowl­edges and thanks the Rev. Abbess Michaila of the St. Pai­sius Ser­bian Ortho­dox Monastery in Saf­ford Ari­zona for her sup­port, encour­age­ment, and bless­ing for the com­ple­tion of a new musi­cal set­ting of the Akathist to the Mother of God, “Healer of Can­cer”. The St. Pai­sius monas­tic com­mu­nity pub­lishes selected ser­vice texts and ‘puts the jewel of faith into the hands of the peo­ple’ so that the lay­man can offer pri­vate devo­tion. It is my hope that those who lis­ten will be moved by this music and find in it com­fort and peace.


Robert Sirico

Com­poser & Founder OCMP

Recent Posts

The Opening Troparion of the St. Seraphim Cantata

A Segment from the Setting of the Opening Troparion

A Seg­ment from the Set­ting of the Open­ing Troparion

It was joy­fully reported in the last update that the first com­plete draft of the St. Seraphim can­tata was com­pleted and has gone into edit­ing phase.  After thor­ough reex­am­i­na­tion of the whole piece, total bal­ance has been enhanced by incor­po­rat­ing the Tropar­ion, and set­ting it in the same poly­phonic dou­ble cho­rus  tex­ture as move­ment 11, ‘St. Seraphim and the Bear’ in the mid­dle, and the ‘Glo­ri­fi­ca­tion’ at the finale.  As a styl­is­tic ele­ment, the open­ing tropar­ion echos the famil­iar Greek styled Tone 4 Res­ur­rec­tion apoly­tikion in the exposition.

 Tropar­ion of St. Seraphim, Tone 4

Thou didst love Christ from thy youth, O blessed one, and long­ing to work for Him alone thou didst strug­gle in the wilder­ness with con­stant prayer and labor.  With pen­i­tent heart and great love for Christ thou wast favored by the Mother of God. Where­fore we cry to thee: Save us by thy prayers, O Seraphim our right­eous Father.

 Kon­takion of St. Seraphim, Tone 2

 Hav­ing left the beauty of the world and what is cor­rupt in it, O saint, thou didst set­tle in Sarov Monastery.  And hav­ing lived there an angelic life, thou wast for many the way to sal­va­tion.  Where­fore Christ has glo­ri­fied thee, O Father Seraphim, and has enriched thee with the gift of heal­ing and mir­a­cles. And so we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Seraphim, our right­eous Father.

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