Author Topic: Ranking of canons and akathists  (Read 674 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Ranking of canons and akathists
« on: May 06, 2014, 08:48:36 PM »
Recently, I had a doubt which had me reaching for my Byzantine rite liturgical/prayer books.  Doubt resolved, I wondered about something unrelated.  The Jordanville Prayer Book gives, at the end, directions for how to read canons and akathists on one's own, but while they address how combine them properly, they don't really address how to order them (except, IIRC, in the case of reading three canons before communing).

Is it simply the case that you can read a canon and insert an akathist within its structure without factoring in the "subject matter"?  For example, if reading the Canon to the Guardian Angel, could you insert the Akathist to the Mother of God in the appropriate place?  Or would you have to read the Canon to the Mother of God and insert an Akathist to the Guardian Angel (if such exists)?  To me, anyway, the Canon seems like more of a liturgical unit and implies a priority over the Akathist, but perhaps that is a wrong impression in this context.   

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Ranking of canons and akathists
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 10:04:40 PM »
I don't know if there are rules in the typicon about this, but it seems to me one would insert an akathist into its related canon.  As to importance, I would tend to agree as a greater feasted saint will always have a canon but not necessarily an akathist.  On the otherhand, as far as liturgical hymnography goes, The Akathist stands head and shoulders above all except maybe the Paschal Canon.  As a liturgical unit however, in my own Metropolia, serving a Canon is all but unheard of, whereas the Akathist is served regularly by itself.
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