The Akathistos

Author: Fr. Hal Stockert

Posting from Fishnet, Fr. Hal Stockert

------------- "MARIOLOGY" by MONTFORT, Sep. 9, 1986 at 0:02 Eastern about WHO IS THIS WOMAN, THE MOTHER OF JESUS? (129 notes) Earlier this year the Holy Father made a request for something I never would have believed - a *special* request for the Marian Year. He asked ROMAN CATHOLICS to begin using an EASTERN CATHOLIC devotion - the Akathistos. I will shortly upload a copy of the service (complete with text AND rubrics) to either this conference or to THE LIBRARY, whichever Father Pat chooses. The Akathistos is a very special Marian Devotion, one of enormous antiquity, going back nearly a thousand years before event the Rosary began to reach out into the world. The Rosary, as a widespread devotion, dates to the 13th century, particularly to the period when St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order (O.P., "Ordo Praedicatorum", Order of Preachers) took it public at Our Lady's special request. I had an entire article written for upload when today arrived in the mail a copy of an article for another Eastern Catholic diocesan newspaper, HORIZONS, written by an old seminary friend and classmate, Father Radvansky. Father Pat, if things work out, you'll meet him at my Jubilee Party on the 23rd. He's been invited, but I haven't heard whether he'll be there or not. Here's the text of his article, and look for the AKATHISTOS to appear either here or THE LIBRARY in reasonably short order. The service is magnificent in its solemnity, its majesty, and the awe and reverence with which Our Lady is approached. ---------- "Your Excellency: "His Holiness Pope John Paul, in his Encyclical Letter REDEMPTORIS MATER, sought to underline the common heritage of faith, of liturgical piety, and of devotion that unites the Roman Church with the Churches of the East, Orthodox and Catholic alike, in regard to Our Blessed Lady, the All-holy Mother of God. Bearing in mind the celebration of the millennium of the anniversary of the baptism of Saint Vladimir, Grand Duke of Kiev, which occurs this year 1988, and which marked the beginning of Christianity in the territories of what was then called "Rus'", the Holy Father expressed his fervent desire "to join in prayer with all those who are celebrating the Millennium of this Baptism, both Orthodox and Catholics, repeating and confirming with the Council those sentiments of joy and comfort that 'the Orientals ... with ardent emotion and devout mind concur in revering the Mother of God, ever Virgin.' (Cf. RM 50 and LG 69). "Among the religious manifestations by means of which the Holy Father has wished to unite in prayer with the Christians of the East (Cf. CALENDARIO DELL'ANNO MARIANNO 1987-1988, p. 59), a special place is held by that foreseen for March 25, 1988, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, (also called "Evanghelismos"; "Annunciation"; or "Annunciation to the Mother of God," according to the different liturgical traditions). On that day, in fact, the Holy Father will preside at a celebration of prayer in honor of the Mother of God during which will be sung the "AKATHIST" hymn. This hymn celebrates the divine motherhood of Mary in the mystery of Christ and the church: it is used both by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine tradition, and is now known and used in many western ecclesial communities. This is one of the most beautiful hymns with which the East honors and praises the ever-Blessed Virgin Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God (CF. RM 31; UR 15). "The Central Committee for the Marian Year would like to propose that the local churches unite themselves that day to the Holy Father with an appropriate celebration using as one element this hymn. This act will be a sign of growing communion with our Christian brothers and sisters of the East as we pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, "Mother of Unity," (Cf. "COLLECTIO MISSARIUM DE BEATAE MARIAE VIRGINAE" n. 38), for the unity in Christ of all the families of peoples (Cf. RM 50, LG 69). "By a happy coincidence the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord - a feast common to many Christian Churches - couples with the celebration of the AKATHIST hymn which the Christians of the Byzantine tradition celebrate March 26 - Akathistos Saturday. Therefore, it is an appropriate date to celebrate together our common patrimony of faith and evotion with a liturgical text which belongs to the treasury of the undivided church, composed as it were in the form of a commentary on, and in praise of the dogma of the divine motherhood of Mary, defined by the Councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451). "The Central Committee for the Marian Year feels sure that bishops will make efforts toensure that as many ecclesial communities as possible will celebrate this event, in such a way that March 25 of this Marian year will unite cathedrals, parishes, Marian shrines, monasteries and religious houses, in a song of praise in honor of the Mother of God. It will be a joyful experience to be able to share "such a wealth of praise, built up by the different forms of the church's great tradition," and "help to hasten the day when the church can begin once more to breathe fully with her 'two lungs'; the East and the West." (RM 34). "It has been considered opportune to assist this proposal, to enclose with this letter some material that might contribute towards a worthy celebration in union with the Holy Father and in accordance with his intentions, I take this opportunity of expressing, in my own name and on behalf of the Central Committee, my sentiments of esteem and respect, and remain, Yours sincerely in Christ Jesus, Our Lord, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL SECRETARY CONSILIUM PRIMARIUM ANNO MARIALI CELEBRANDO THE VATICAN ---------- A NEGLECTED SERVICE "Father, what is this word, 'a-ka-this-tos' mean that you have here in the bulletin?" She was careful, this woman who asked me one Sunday, to approximate the pronunciation. Too bad that one of the richest services in the Eastern Church stirs up in so many people not much more than a question. But wait! A lot of Eastern rite arteries were pumped with satisfaction when Pope John Paul II urged (through an encyclical) the Central Committee for the Marian Year to urge, by a general letter to the Roman Catholic bishops, the Roman Catholic pastors to use a prayer of the Eastern Church on the Feast of the Annunciation. What "makes our day" is that this particular service, the Akathist to the Blessed Mother, was chosen. How ironic that a service of truly deep spirituality has not caught on more than it has in our parishes. I am occasionally asked to give a talk on the Eastern Church to a widely assorted group of Navy chaplains. I always make sure to include a sample from the Akathist. It never fails to arouse a probing and an admiring curiosity. The Byzantine rite came up "smelling like roses." I remember having the service with small groups of weekday churchgoers in California and Michigan, days like Akathistos Saturday, a day in May, October 1st. Whenever we were uncertain of the music, I would cheat and use the Seventh Tone, which has a rhythm to fit *any* text. (I even understand insurance policies a little more when I sing them in Tone Seven.) The text itself, even in our humble attendance, registered high on the scale of attractions to church services. "Hail, Lightning-Flash that brightens the souls; hail, Thunder- Clap that strikes down the foes." "Hail, O you through whom all creation is renewed; hail, O you through whom the Creator becomes a babe." On and on,such verses, rich in imagery, are recited in "chant" after "chant." The central focus is on Mary as God-Bearer - the marvel of the timeless, unimaginable power of the creative Father issuing from the simple reproductive organs of "one of us," His own creation in Time. The Akathist service is a praise of this wonder-of-wonders birth. Archbishop Joseph Raya, in a preface, says that, In the Oriental Church there is "no better prayer expressing love and veneration for Mary," as he compares this official prayer of the East to what the rosary and Litanies to the Blessed Mother are in the Roman Catholic Church. We hope that this word from the Pope will help make the words of Archbishop Raya more than a preface. - by the Rev. Joseph Radvansky Associate Editor ---------- THE AKATHIST HYMN The "Akathist" hymn is the most celebrated Marian hymn of the Byzantine Church, a literary and theological masterpiece, a truly contemplative expression and praise of the mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This work would appear to have come directly from the heart of the Church rather than simply from the mind of an artist: it has neither name nor title. It is called "Akathist" which means "the/a standing up." In other words, this is a hymn, which, like the Gospel, from which it is inspired, is to be sung and heard "standing up" as a sign of respect. The author of this hymn is unknown. It is thought to have been written at the end of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century. It represents a kind of poetical and liturgical commentary on the dogma of the divine motherhood of Mary proclaimed at Ephesus in 431 and at Chalcedon in 451. The hymn is divided into two parts, each of 12 verses. The first part (verses 1-12), following the Infancy Narratives (Luke 1-2 and Matthew 102) present and comment with praise to the Virgin in verses of a Christological-ecclesiastical character the Mysteries from the Annunciation to the Meeting with Simeon in the Temple. The second part (verses 13-24) has a more doctrinal character, and takes up and comments on the great Marian dogmas of an ancient church, the conception of the Virgin, the Divine Motherhood, and the Perpetual Virginity. In this way it throws into relief the relationship between Mary and the Mystery of Her Son and her special presence and maternal role towards the Pilgrim Church. The hymn closes with a plea to the Holy Mother of God that humanity might be freed from every danger and untoward event. The Byzantine Church sings this hymn on the Feast of the Annunciation and on theSaturdays of Lent, especially theSaturday of the Fifth Week of Lent, which is *known* as the "Feast of the Akathistos." As a result of translations into modernlanguages this hymn is now known in many Western Churches. The "Akathist" hymn has already been solemnly celebrated on 7 June 1981 in the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major on the occasion of the 1550th anniversary of the Council of Ephesus; and on 2 February 1982 in Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican in the presence of the Holy Father. ---------- May I inquire how many Roman Catholics here in FISHNET saw, heard or heard *of* ANY such information being provided by Roman bishops to Roman Catholics in their flocks? And how many Roman pastors followed the exhortation of the Central Committee and the Holy Father and actually *held* the service as requested? Frankly, I expect a thundering silence. There was absolutely NO mention of which *I* was aware made of it in the Diocese of Albany, and none whatever that I know of in the Diocese of Burlington. (Sigh) - this is known as "obedience to the will of the Holy Father." One wonders. Surely it was NOT made "mandatory," but phrased as a request. One cannot help but note, however, that a truly *loving* son hastens to do *whatever* is pleasing to his father, and even anticipates, such that the Father *needn't* make things mandatory in the FIRST place. TRUE obedience is to hasten to forestall the need to BE told, not (as so many westerners seem to insist) grudgingly offering a sullent submission, mumbling under one's breath all the while. I would have wished for a more firm response, a more affirmative response, than I saw this past Annunciation. In fact, I saw literally NONE. A sad comment on Catholicism as practiced (more in the absence than in the presence) in the United States. (Sigh) If you have the opportunity to visit a local Eastern Catholic Church, or an Orthodox Church, during the time they're holding the service, you'll find that the melodies are simple to sing, and easy to remember. All plainchants in the Eastern Rites are easily memorized - they were developed at a time when the bulk of the populace was illiterate and could neither read nor write, even in words. Musical notation was even more beyond them, in particular since musical notation as we know it is a quite recent invention. In any case, don't be afraid to take the text and simply recite it, if you cannot put a melody to it, or are embarrassed about singing where people can hear you. It IS, however, primarily a community service of praise - and the norm would be to have more than one participating, as is clear from the structure of the service itself. Enjoy it. And ponder on the theological content contained within the Kontakia and the Chants..... You may have some surprising insights in meditating on them! THE AKATHIST HYMN TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY [The entire service is either sung or chanted, preferably sung, to traditional melodies. If the melodies are unknown, a chanting 'recto tono' will suffice, though much of the grandeur will be lost.] ----- [LEADER]: BLESSED IS OUR GOD, ALWAYS, NOW AND FOREVERMORE. AMEN. - O HEAVENLY KING, COMFORTER, SPIRIT OF TRUTH, YOU ARE EVERYWHERE PRESENT AND FIT ALL THINGS. TREASURY OF BLESSINGS, AND GIVER OF LIFE, COME AND DWELL WITHIN US, CLEANSE US OF ALL STAIN, AND SAVE OUR SOULS, O GRACIOUS ONE! - HOLY GOD, HOLY AND MIGHTY, HOLY AND IMMORTAL ONE, HAVE MERCY ON US. (Three times) - O MOST HOLY TRINITY, HAVE MERCY ON US! O LORD, CLEANSE US OF OUR SINS! O MASTER, FORGIVE OUR TRANSGRESSIONS! O HOLY ONE, COME TO US AND HEAL OUR INFIRMITIES FOR YOUR NAME'S SAKE! - LORD, HAVE MERCY. (Three times) - GLORY BE TO THE FATHER + AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND FOREVER, AMEN. - OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME, THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD, AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US, AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. - FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY, FATHER +, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER AND FOREVER. AMEN. - LET US PRAY TO THE LORD. [RESPONSE]: Lord, have mercy! PREAMBLE As soon as the angel had received his command, he hastened to Joseph's house and said to the ever-virgin: "Behold, heaven was brought down to earth when the Word Himself was fully contained in you! Now that I see Him in your womb, taking a servant's form, I cry out to you in wonder: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!" FIRST CHANT An Archangel was sent from heaven to greet the Mother of God, and as he saw you assuming a body at the sound of his bodiless voice, O Lord, he stood rapt in amazement and cried out to her in these words: Hail, O you, through whom Joy will shine forth! Hail, O you, through whom the curse will disappear! Hail, O Restoration of the Fallen Adam! Hail, O Redemption of the Tears of Eve! Hail, O Peak above the reach of human thought! Hail, O Depth even beyond the sight of angels! Hail, O you who have become a Kingly Throne! Hail, O you who carry Him Who Carries All! Hail, O Star who manifest the Sun! Hail, O Womb of the Divine Incarnation! Hail, O you through whom creation is renewed! Hail, O you through whom the Creator becomes a Babe! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION Knowing that she was a virgin, the blessed one courageously answered the angel: "Your surprising words seem hard for my mind to accept: how can you speak of a birth that is to come from a conception without seed? And why do you cry, Alleluia?" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! SECOND CHANT Trying to grasp the meaning of this mystery, the Virgin asked the holy messenger: "How is it possible tha a son be born from a virginal womb? Tell me." And he answered her with awe, crying out in these words: Hail, O hidden Sense of the Ineffable Plan! Hail, O Belief in Silence That Must Be! Hail, O Forecast of the Marvels of Christ! Hail, O Fountainhead of truths concerning Him! Hail, Celestial Ladder, by whom God came down! Hail, O Bridge leading earthly ones to heaven! Hail, O Wonder, ever-thrilling to the angels! Hail, O Wound, ever-hurting to the demons! Hail, O you who gave birth to Light ineffably! Hail, O you who told no one how it was done! Hail, O you who surpass the wisdom of the wise! Hail, O you who enlighten faithful minds! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION When the power of the Most High overshadowed the one who had never known the nuptial bed, her fruitful womb conceived, and she became for all a delicious field: for those who wished to reap salvation by singing "ALLELUIA!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! THIRD CHANT Pregnant with God, the Virgin hastened to Elizabeth, her unborn child rejoiced, immediately knowing her embrace. Bouncing and singing, he cried out to the Mother of God: Hail, O Tendril whose Bud shall not wilt! Hail, O Soil whose Fruit shall not perish! Hail, O Tender of mankind's loving Tender! Hail, O Gardener of the Gardener of Life! Hail, O Earth who yielded abundant mercies! Hail, O Table full-laden with appeasement! Hail, for you have greened anew the pastures of delight! Hail, for you have prepared a haven for the souls! Hail, acceptable Incense of Prayer! Hail, Expiation of the whole universe! Hail, O you Favor of God to mortal men! Hail, O you Trust of mortals before God! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION Filled with a storm of contradictory thoughts, the wise Joseph was greatly disturbed: until then, he had seen you a virgin, and now he suspected you of secret guilt, all-blameless one! Learning that your conception was of the Holyl Spirit, he cried out: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! FOURTH CHANT The Shepherds heard the angels singing hymns of praise tot he coming of Christ in the Flesh. And running to Him as to a shepherd, they saw Him as a spotless lamb, grazing at Mary's breast. They sang a hymn to her and said: Hail, O Mother of Lamb and Shepherd! Hail, O Fold of rational sheep! Hail, O Protection against unseen foes! Hail, O Key to the Doors of Paradise! Hail, for the heavenly rejoice with the earth! Hail, for the earthly meet the heavens in song! Hail, the Unsilenced Voice of the Apostles! Hail, the Undaunted Might of Martyrs! Hail, O Steadfast Foundation of Faith! Hail, O Shining Emblem of Grace! Hail, O you through whom death was despoiled! Hail, O you through whom we were clothed with glory! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION When they saw the Star moved by God, the Magi followed its glittering light. Using it as a beacon, they found through it the Mighty King, and reaching the One Beyond All Reach, they rejoiced and cried out to Him: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! FIFTH CHANT The Sons of Chaldaea saw in the Virgin's hands the One whose hands had fashioned men: and acknowledging Him as the Master, although He had taken the form of a servant, they hastened to honor Him with their gifts and cried out to the Blessed One: Hail, O Mother of the Star Without Setting! Hail, O Radiance of the Mystical Day! Hail, O you who quenched the flame of error! Hail, O Light of those who search the Trinity! Hail, O you who unthroned the Enemy of Men! Hail, O you who showed forth Christ the Lord, Lover of Mankind! Hail, O you who cleansed us from the stain of pagan worship! Hail, O you who saved us from the mire of evil deeds! Hail, O you who made cease the cult of fire! Hail, O you who guide the faithful toward wisdom! Hail, O you, Delight of all the Nations! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION The Magi, become God-bearing heralds, returned to Babylon, conforming to your command, announcing You, the Christ, to all, and leaving Herod as a fool who did not know how to sing: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! SIXTH CHANT Illuminating Egypt with the Light of Truth, you cast away the darkness of error. For the idols, unable to stand your might, fell down, and those who had been delivered from them cried out to the Mother of God: Hail, O Resurrection of mankind! Hail, O Downfall of the Demons! Hail, O you who crushed the error of deceit! Hail, O you who exposed the fraud of idols! Hail, O Sea who drowned the symbolic Pharaon! Hail, O Rock who quenched those who thirst for Life! Hail, O Pillar of Fire who guided those in darkness! Hail, O Shelter of the World, wider than the clouds! Hail, O Food who took the place of Manna! Hail, O Handmaid of holy delight! Hail, O Land of the promised good! Hail, O you who flow with milk and honey! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION As Simeon was about to leave the present deceitful world, You were entrusted to him as an infant, but You made Yourself known to him as the perfect God. Whereforre he marveled at your wisdom beyond words, and cried out: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! SEVENTH CHANT The Creator displayed a new creation to us who had come from Him: He came forth from a womb that had received no seed, and He left it intact as it had been, so that at the sight of this marvel, we would sing to her and cry out: Hail, O Blossom of Incorruption! Hail, O Crown of Self-mastery! Hail, O you who shone forth as a Sign of Resurrection! Hail, O you who displayed the Life of Angels! Hail, Fruitful Tree from whom believers feed! Hail, Shady Glen where many are sheltered! Hail, O you who have born the Guide of the Lost! Hail, Source of Life to the captives' Release! Hail, O you who unsettled even the Just Judge! Hail, Indulgence of many who have fallen! Hail, O Stole for those who lack freedom to speak! Hail, O Tenderness who exceed all desire! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION Now that we have seen this strange birth, let us estrange ourselves from the world and turn our minds to heaven: indeed, it is for this that the God Most High appeared on earth as a lowly man, desiring to draw up to heaven those who cry out to Him: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! EIGHTH CHANT While fully present amid those below, the uncircumscribed Word was in no way absent from those above: for what happened was a divine condescension, and not a moving from one place to another: and it was a birth from a Virgin inspired by God, who heard these words: Hail, O Space of the Spaceless God! Hail, O Gate of the Sublime Mystery! Hail, O Message unsure to men without faith! Hail, O Glory most certain to those who believe! Hail, O Sacred Chariot of the One above the Cherubim! Hail, Perfect Dwelling of the One above the Seraphim! Hail, O you who reconciled opposites! Hail, O you who combined maidenhood and motherhood! Hail, O you through whom Paradise was opened! Hail, O Key to the Kingdom of Christ! Hail, O Hope for the Ages of Bliss! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION The whole order of the Angels marveled at the great work of your becoming a man: for they saw the One Inaccessible as God become a Man accessible to all, living with us and hearing us cry out: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! NINTH CHANT O Mother of God, we see the best of speakers become as mute as fish in your regard, for they could not explain how you could give birth while remaining a virgin. As for us, while marveling at the mystery, we cry out to you with faith: Hail, O Container of God's Wisdom! Hail, O Treasury of His Providence! Hail, O Reproof of foolish philosophers! Hail, O Confusion of speechless wise men! Hail, for you perplexed the inquisitive minds! Hail, for you dried up the inventors of myths! Hail, for you ripped the Athenians' meshes! Hail, for you filled the Fishermen's nets! Hail, O Retriever from the Abyss of Ignorance! Hail, O Lamplight of Knowledge to many! Hail, O Ship for those who seek Salvation! Hail, O Harbor for the Sailors of Life! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION Desiring to save the world, the Creator of All came down to it of His own will. Being at the same time our Shepherd and our God, He appeared among us. And so the like called upon the like, and as God He heard: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! TENTH CHANT O Virgin Mother of God, you are the strength of Virgins and of all those who have recourse to you. For the Maker of heaven and earth covered you with His shadow, O Pure One, and came to dwell in your womb, and taught us all to cry out to you: Hail, O Pillar of Virginity! Hail, O Gateway of Salvation! Hail, O Principle of the New Creation! Hail, O Dispenser of God's bounties! Hail, for you restored those born in shame! Hail, for you gave sense to those who had lost it! Hail, O you who stopped the corruptor of minds! Hail, O you who bore the Sower of Chastity! Hail, Holy Chamber of virginal wedlock! Hail, O you who join the faithful with God! Hail, O gracious Foster-Mother of virgins! Hail, O Bridesmaid of holy souls! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION Because He wished to grant release from all the ancient debts, the One who pays men's dues came down Himself to those who had spurned His grace; He tore up their obligations, and heard from all of them this cry: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! TWELFTH CHANT By singing praise to your maternity, we all exalt you as a spiritual temple, Mother of God! For the One Who Dwelt Within Your Womb, the Lord Who Holds All Things in His Hands, sanctified you, glorified you, and taught all men to sing to you: Hail, O Tabernacle of God the Word! Hail, O Holy One, more holy than the saints! Hail, O Ark that the Spirit has gilded! Hail, Inexhaustible Treasure of Life! Hail, Precious Crown of rightful authorities! Hail, Sacred Glory of reverent priests! Hail, Unshakable Tower of the Church! Hail, Unbreachable Wall of the Kingdom! Hail, O you through whom the trophies are raised! Hail, O you through whome the enemies are routed! Hail, O healing of my body! Hail, O salvation of my soul! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! KONTAKION O Mother worthy of all praise, you who have given birth to the Word, the Holiest of the Holy, accept this present offering, deliver all men from every affliction, and svae from the future punishment those who cry out to you: "Alleluia!" [RESPONSE]: Alleluia! Gabriel was rapt in amazement as he beheld your virginity and the splendor of your purity, O Mother of God, and he cried out to you: "By what name shall I call you? I am bewildered; I am lost! I shall greet you as I was commanded to do: 'Hail, O Woman full of Grace!'" DISMISSAL - GLORY TO YOU, O CHRIST, OUR GOD AND OUR HOPE: GLORY BE TO YOU! [RESPONSE]: GLORY BE TO THE FATHER +, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND FOREVER AMEN. LORD, HAVE MERCY! LORD, HAVE MERCY! GIVE THE BLESSING! MAY CHRIST OUR TRUE GOD (If a Sunday or the Easter Season: WHO IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD) HAVE MERCY ON US AND SAVE US, THROUGH THE PRAYERS OF HIS MOST PURE MOTHER AND OF ALL THE HOLY, GLORIOUS, AND ILLUSTRIOUS APOSTLES, THROUGH THE PRAYERS OF ST. (N) WHOSE MEMORY WE CELEBRATE TODAY, AND OF ALL THE SAINTS, FOR HE IS GRACIOUS AND LOVES MANKIND! [RESPONSE]: AMEN! * * *

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