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Author Topic: Question on akathists  (Read 1878 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: January 27, 2003, 06:44:04 PM »

I have some questions on akathists.  What is the proper way to perform them, especially the ones to Christ and the  Theotokos?
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TonyS
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2003, 12:42:21 AM »

Friend,

I am not sure that I understand what you mean by perform.  I am taking it that you do not mean musically nor where and what time nor the gestures.  

An akathist hymn is a type of "proper" and as such does not stand alone.  It is inserted into a prayer "shell."  The same happens with the propers for any given day, they are inserted into the appropriate services.

There are at least two common ways of praying akathists alone, not in church and without clergy or choir.  If you have the "Jordanville prayerbook" I think the form is in the back.  An akathist can be taken at compline instead of a canon or it can be taken alone or taken as outlined in the links below.

An akathist can also be combined with a canon at Matins but the rules seem to be somewhat involved.  

If taken alone, it is simply preceeded by the usual beginning plus the invitatory and a psalm (142 if memory serves), see below.

If you do not have the Jordanville book, this site seems to have accurate information:

for small compline:  http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/compline.htm

as a "moleben" (more or less the akathist alone):
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/moleben.htm

And finally, THE ORDER FOR READING CANONS AND AKATHISTS WHEN ALONE:
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/order.htm

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Neo Tobiah
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2003, 12:57:53 AM »

For those who might want to take a look at it, the Jordanville Prayer Book can be found online at: http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/prayerbook/main.htm

I supply that link hoping that it will prompt people to buy the book, not because I'd like to give people a "free online version".

The only problem with this prayer book is that it sometimes renders things very awkwardly into English. This seems to be a problem with Orthodox in general though, lol (for example, look at the 151st Psalm in the Holy Transfiguration Monastery's "The Psalter". It reads, in part, "My brethren were big and good".  ...I think I'll stick with the RSV rendering: "My brothers were handsome and tall.")
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sinjinsmythe
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2003, 01:05:08 PM »

Thank you for your responses.  You have answered my question.
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Thomas
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2003, 04:11:32 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

You may also find an excellent resource for Akathists in  the ROCOR published "Book of Akathists" which includes  many to Our Lord, THe Blessed Theotokos and numerous ones for popular Saints (Nicholas,  Xenia, etc).  I would recommend it to any one wishing to use Akathists at home.  It is available from Holy  Trinity Monastery,  St. John of Kronstadt Press, Light and Life Books or your local Orthodox Bookstore. Smiley

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Thomas
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2003, 05:17:21 PM »

From the Akathist before the wonderworking Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God

Gabriel the Archangel was the first to proclaim, "Rejoice!" O Lady, when he announced to thee thy conception of the Son of God.  Then at thy Most-glorious Dormition, all the Powers of Heaven raised their voices in ceaseless praise, "Rejoice!"  How then, can we sinners dare to join our feeble voices to those of the bodiless hosts?  But since thou art merciful and tenderhearted towards all that repent, we open our mouths with fear and with love as we dare to sing: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

Pondering the imponderable mercy of thine appearance, O Lady, we affirm through our fervent supplications, that thou didst deign to establish a stronghold for Orthodoxy on the Mount of Pochaev as a defense against the Hagarites and then, against the onslaughts of the heretics.  Therefore, our hearts overflow with the warm fervor of faith as we come before thee and we sing: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

When this Icon was in her house, the noble Anna witnessed the miraculous healing of her brother Philip, who had been blind from birth.  She was then filled with a burning desire to proclaim thy glory and she built a stone Church at Pochaev dedicated in honor of thy Most-holy Dormition for the pious brotherhood, where this thy Wonderworking Icon is venerated to this day: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

When thy seventeen-year captivity in the hands of the heretics was finally brought to an end, and thy return to thy habitation from the prison of the blasphemers was finally at hand, the monks of Pochaev and all the faithful came out to greet thee and in their gladness, they raised high their voices, and with joy they sang: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

When the people behold the river of miraculous healings pouring forth from the Mountain of Pochaev from the days of old even unto this day, they are filled with the ardent desire to repent of their past sins and thus attain salvation, and they sing this song to thee: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

Beholding thine appearance, O Lady, above the Mountain of Pochaev in answer to the prayers of the brotherhood before this, thine holy Image and before the relics of the Venerable Job, and witnessing thy power in the destruction of their comrades, the army of the Hagarites took flight in panic.  Seeing this, the faithful cried aloud to thee with joy: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

New and terrible travails aggrieved thy holy habitation at Pochaev when it and the entire land of Volyn' were deviously torn away from Orthodoxy and thrust into the clutches of the heretics.  Finally, after one hundred and ten years the Orthodox Christians prevailed, and when the Orthodox monks returned to thy monastery and revealed the relics of Saint Job for veneration, they fell before this, thy holy Image, and they sang: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

I am totally unworthy and my entire being is fraught with sin!  I am so immersed in the secular cares of this world, that I ignore my soul completely!  But beholding thy holy Image before me and seeing with my very own eyes the illumination being bestowed upon the countless number of people standing here with me, each one being guided upon the path of salvation, in the gladness of my heart I sing: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

Once again, O Lady, thou didst show us the bounties of thy mercy when thy people were restored to the Orthodox Faith: the blind received their sight and the lame received their strength when they called upon thee in prayer.  Likewise, the Lutheran woman was immediately healed when she cried out to thee for help; and having received healing she venerated thee with kisses and accepted the True Faith.  Like her then, let us sing: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

Thou art the invincible fortress of the True Faith, O Lady, for all the attacks of the deceitful heretics are repulsed by thy strong and mighty bastions.  Likewise, O true Theotokos, thou art the safe haven of all Orthodox who call upon thee in faith, for the words of heresy fall silent in our ears and with grateful thanks in our hearts we ceaselessly sing: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

To the dying man of Bessarabia thou didst appear both as a lamp shining upon his earthly life and as a beacon guiding him safely home unto life everlasting, O Lady; for as he was breathing his last breath, his lips tasted the waters of thy healing Pochaev spring, and straightway, he arose.  Beholding this, his family with fear and love cried to thee: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

Standing before thee and praising the miracles and wonders that thou hast shown to us on the Mountain of Pochaev, we beseech thee, O Lady: Turn not thy face away from us, but in thy mercy grant unto us, and to all that come before thee, the fulfillment of every good desire so that the entire world may sing: Rejoice, O Praise of Pochaev, the Hope and Consolation of the world!

The above is printed in the 2003 liturgical calendar of my OCA parish.  "Akathistos" means "not sitting," i.e., "standing," so it goes without saying that we pray an akathist hymn in an upright, standing position.

Hypo-Ortho
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