(Video) The Vigil of the Akathist – a Sweet, Refreshing Station Before the Week of Passion

“Let every earthly born rejoice spiritually, shining forth; and let the nature of the bodiless minds celebrate, honoring the sacred festival of the Mother of God, and exclaim: Rejoice, O Blessed One, Pure Virgin, Ever-Virgin.”

Irmos of the Ninth Ode

There is no person born on Earth who has not felt the aid and love of the Most Holy Mother of God. Everyone has stories of what She has done for them in their lives. With such grateful memories of the benevolence of the Queen of Angels, every human soul departs from here, and there, beyond the veil of the material, lies the unabashed hope of every Christian, the Invincible Champion of everyone’s salvation, the Mother with arms wider than the Heavens, embracing with love and compassion every soul that has entrusted itself to Her. What praise and gratitude could we offer to the Most Pure, whose kindnesses are immeasurable and countless?! Yet, in a moment, the human soul will say: It befits us to remain silent, but overcome with love, we cry out: Rejoice!

The prayerful and grateful canon to the Most Holy Theotokos and the joyful acclamations, praises, and salutations of the Akathist were sung and read at the vigil dedicated to Her honor, which culminated in the Holy and Divine Liturgy presided over by our beloved elder, Bishop Parthenius. The joyful, gentle, filial, prayerful, and melodious voice of Elder Bishop filled the church and the souls of those present, creating within us a spiritual atmosphere of true love and prayer to the Most Holy.

Mary the Virgin, Theotokos: quietude, humility, silence, but also an immense embrace of love and compassion. Through Her supreme love, we, the rough and insensitive, find the strength for change, praying to Her: “Most Holy, strengthen our faith and increase our love.” And with maternal boldness, She intercedes and says: “Lord, have mercy on them. I know they have sinned, I know they have embittered You, Lord, I know they deserve just punishment, but extend upon them Your ineffable mercy, remember human frailty, remember the weakness of their nature which causes them to sin, and remember the malice of the devil who seeks to destroy them.”

May Her blessing keep us all!