O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Arise Arise And Utter A Canticle!

Today in the Eastern Rites is Akathist Saturday. An Akathist is a type of hymn, consisting of a long series of various types of antiphons in a specific pattern. Akathists are chanted in praise of God, the Theotokos, the angels, or any saint. The Akathist to the Theotokos, commonly called simply the Akathist since it's by far the most famous, is the one chanted today. It speaks of the Theotokos' role in salvation by bearing the Savior Who offers Himself on the Cross. The Akathist is chanted on Friday nights (liturgically already a part of Saturday) during Great Lent. One quarter of it is chanted on each of the first four Fridays of Great Lent and the whole thing on the fifth Friday (last night, as a part of today). This practice is equivalent to having the Stations of the Cross on Friday nights in the Latin Rite-it's a basic thing that you can't do Lent without.

Since Akathists are the longest type of hymn the Church has, it's just put up pieces of it.

Kontakion 1:
"To Thee, the Champion Leader, we Thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos: but as Thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do Thou deliver us, that we may cry to Thee: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!"

O Immaculate Champion, thou dost command the Heavenly Host in battle as the champion woman of old didst command Israel's armies victoriously in battle! Arise, arise O Mary! Arise, arise and utter a canticle! Let thy children hear thy Magnificat to raise their fallen spirits on the battlefield that thy enemies might be crushed under thy sinless foot, O Guadalupe!