Dumb question, but coming from the Russian tradition I'm not entirely clear what Paraklesis is... is it an Akathist?
Not a dumb question at all! The Paraklesis is kind of a compline/midnight/orthros office; it starts with the 142nd psalm, then the chanting of "God is the Lord," followed by 2 apolitikia hymns (I think from the blessing of the waters); then it has the 50th psalm, and then the chanting of one of two canons: if it is a small Paraklesis, then it has the chanting of the canon commonly known as the Canon of the Theotokos; if it is a Great Paraklesis, then it has a special canon written for the first 15 days of August.
Interspersed are 2 litanies, after the 3rd and 6th odes, with hymns following, (one of which is the Kontakion of the Theotokos that is sung in the Greek Churches during the fall season - "A Protection of Christians unshameable") and the chanting of the 1st antiphon of the Anavathmi in 4th tone.
Then follows a gospel reading: for small Paraklesis, the matins gospel of the feasts of the Theotokos "Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country..."; for Great Paraklesis, the liturgy gospel (Christ was teaching, "blessed is the womb that bore you...").
You then have the completion of the canon. At the end of the canon, you have megalinaria "You are honored more than the Cherubim..." with a censing. The Trisagion prayers follow. Then the chanting of troparia of mercy (also found in the service of preparation for the Liturgy that is done by the priests). Then another litany, and dismissal prayer. Then there is a set of hymns chanted while people venerate the icon of the Theotokos - they change depending on whether it is Great Paraklesis or not. Then the end!
The Paraklesis is the "service of fervent supplication," and were originally done in the fast of the Theotokos leading up to the 15th of August. The Great Paraklesis is still only done during that time. The Small Paraklesis, however, is more commonly done in the parishes and in times of distress; it was the "go-to" service in Constantinople when the city was under attack.
Also, rather than make a new post, what is the GiC?
"The GiC" is a he, and his username is GreekisChristian. He is strongly opinionated, and can be controversial at times, so he's gained the shorter monicker (as you will see with a few other posters on here as well).
Anyway, let me say its nice to have you on board!