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

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Nights in Lent for Byzantines

In the Latin Rite, Friday nights in Lent mean Stations of the Cross. In the Byzantine Rite, Friday nights in Lent mean the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos. A quarter of it is chanted on each of the first four Fridays and the whole thing is chanted on the 5th Friday, on the eve of Akathist Saturday. An Akathist is a certain type of long hymn and there are many of them. Unqualified, "Akathist" typically refers to the Akathist to the Theotokos. The word "akathist" means "not sitting", since they are said standing. Here is the first ode (of twelve):