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The Service of the Salutations to the Most Holy Theotokos

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Chanted at Small Compline on the Fridays of Lent theotokos250.jpg

On the first four Fridays of Lent, according to the current Constantinopolitan prac­tice, we chant the Service of the Salutations to the Theotokos at Small Compline. In the evening, we read Small Compline through the Creed, and then chant the Canon of the Akathist in its entirety, in each ode doing six troparia, including the eirmos as indicated:

 

Canon of the Akathist[1]

by Saint Joseph the Hymnographer

 

Ode One. Tone Four. The Eirmos.[2]

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M

y mouth shall I open wide, * and it will thus be with Spirit filled. * A word shall I then pour out[3] * unto the Mother and Queen. * I will joyously * attend the celebration * and sing to her merrily, * lauding her miracles. (Twice)

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O

Maiden and Virgin pure, the great Archangel beholding you * the ani­mate book of Christ which by the Spirit was sealed * did exclaim to you: * Rejoice, O joy’s container, * through whom shall the curse upon * the primal mother be loosed.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

R

ejoice, Virgin Bride of God, the restoration of fallen man, * the mortifi­cation of Hades, O blameless one, * and the palace of * the only King and Sovereign, * rejoice. Fiery throne of the * Ruler of all, rejoice.

Glory

R

ejoice, you the only one who budded forth the unfading rose. * Rejoice, who have given birth unto the sweet apple tree. * Of the King of all * the aromatic balsam, * rejoice, O unwedded Maid, * the world’s deliverance.

Both now

O

treasure of chastity, rejoice; through you we have risen up * from out of our fall. Rejoice, sweet smelling lily that sends * forth its fragrant scent, * O Lady, to the faithful; * aromatic incense and * costly anointing oil.

Ode Three. The Eirmos.[4]

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E

stablish your servants who extol you, * O Mother of God, for they have formed * a spiritual choir for you * the living and abundant fount; * and crowns of glory graciously * in your divine glory grant to them. (Twice)

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

T

he land that has tillered[5] the divine stalk * while clearly continuing un­tilled, * rejoice, O table animate * that held the holy bread of life. * Rejoice, O never empty fount * of living water, O blessed one.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

T

he heifer that mothered for the faithful * the unblemished Bullock, O rejoice. * Rejoice, the ewe that yeaned[6] the Lamb * of God Who takes away the sins * of all the world. O mercy seat, * rejoice, who fervently expiate.

Glory

T

he luminous morning that alone brings * Christ the Sun of Righteous­ness, rejoice. * O dwelling place of light, rejoice; * dispeller of the dark, rejoice. * For you diminished utterly * the darkened demons of Lucifer.

Both now

R

ejoice, only veritable east gate * that only the Logos has gone through. * Rejoice, for in your giving birth * you shattered Hades’ bars and gates. * All-lauded one, rejoice, divine * entrance of those who are being saved.

Ode Four. The Eirmos.[7]

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H

e who sits in holy glory * on the throne of Divinity, * on a swift and light cloud, * Jesus has arrived, the surpassing God, * and by the might of His undefiled hand has saved * those who cry aloud: * Glory, O Christ, to Your power be.

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

U

nto you in songful voices * do we loyally say, rejoice, * mountain rich and curdled * in the Holy Spirit, all-lauded one. * Rejoice, O seven-branched lamp stand and the golden jar * with the manna that * sweet­ens the senses of pious folk.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

O

rejoice, untainted Lady. * Mercy seat for the world, rejoice, * ladder elevating * everyone from earth by an act of grace. * Rejoice, O heav­enly bridge that is conveying from death * unto life, in truth, * all those who chant hymns of praise to you.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

M

ore exalted than the heavens, * O immaculate Maid, rejoice, * as the one who carried * earth’s Foundation painlessly in your womb. * Re­joice, O murex[8] who dyed in your own virgin blood * the divine purple robe * worn by the King of angelic hosts.

Glory

L

ady, truly you gave birth to * the divine Giver of the law * Who erases freely * everybody’s record of lawlessness. * Incomprehensible depth and height unspeakable, * O unwedded Maid, * rejoice, through whom we are deified.

Both now

W

e extol you who have woven * the unwoven by human hands * crown of hope and glory * for the world, O Virgin, and say, rejoice, * to you the fortification and the citadel * and protective wall * and sacred refuge for everyone.

Ode Five. The Eirmos.[9]

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A

mazed was the universe * by your divine magnificence. * For while never consummating wedlock, * you held, O Virgin, the God of all in your womb, * and gave birth unto a timeless Son * Who awards salvation to * all who chant hymns of praise to you.

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

R

ejoice, for you carried in * your womb the Way that leads to life. * Bride of God, rejoice, all-blameless Maiden * who saved the world from the flood of sin. Rejoice, * awe-inspiring message and report, * habita­tion of the One * who is Lord of creation all.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

T

he might and the fortress of * the human race, O spotless one, * O re­joice, the holy place of glory, * slayer of Hades, the bridal chamber of light. * Delight of the Angels, O rejoice. * Helper of the ones who pray * to you faithfully, O rejoice.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

T

he fiery chariot * of God the Logos, O rejoice; * Lady, living paradisal garden * which in its center contains the tree of life, * the Lord Whose deliciousness gives life * unto those who eat with faith, * who were subject unto decay.

Glory

Y

our power enheartens us. * We loyally cry out, rejoice, * unto you the city of the great King, * about which glorious and remarkable things * perspicuously[10] have been declared. * O unquarried mountain and * depth unfathomable, rejoice.

Both now

R

ejoice, O Immaculate, * the spacious dwelling of the Word; * oyster that produces the divine Pearl. * Rejoice, O Lady, exceeding wonderful; * reconciliation with the Lord * for all who beatify[11] * you the Mother of God each day.

Ode Six. The Eirmos.[12]

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L

et us possessed of a godly mind, * observing this divine and all-venerable feast in honor of * the Theotokos, come clap our hands, * while glorifying God who was truly born of her. (Twice)

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

T

he undefiled chamber of the Word, * for all the cause of deification, O Immaculate, rejoice. * The Prophets’ echoing prophesy, * rejoice, and the adornment of the Apostles all.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

F

rom you has dripped the refreshing Dew, * undoing polytheism’s fever, and we therefore say to you: * Rejoice, the fleece that was wondrously * bedewed, O holy Virgin, which Gideon foresaw.

Glory

B

ehold, we cry unto you, rejoice. * Become for us a harbor and anchor­age, for we are tossed about * upon the sea of adversities * and of the many scandals of him who wars with us.

Both now

O

cause and reason for holy joy, * cause holy grace to shine on our rea­soning that we may cry, rejoice, * O unconsumed bush and shining cloud * that overshadows ceaselessly the believers all.

Ode Seven. The Eirmos.[13]

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G

odly-minded three * did not adore created things * in the Crea­tor’s stead, * but bravely trampling upon * the threat of the fur­nace fire chanted joyfully: * O supremely praised * and most exalted Lord and God * of the fathers, You are blessed.

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

W

e sing hymns to you * and shout: Rejoice, O chariot * of the intelligi­ble Sun. * Rejoice, O veritable vine * that cultured the ripened cluster dripping with wine, * making glad the hearts * and souls of all who faith­fully * praise and glorify you daily.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

B

ride of God, rejoice, * who carried in your womb the Healer of the hu­man race. * Rejoice, O mystical rod * that blossomed the flower that will never wilt away. * O Lady, rejoice, * through whom we are fulfilled with joy * and inherit life eternal.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

I

nsufficient is * the tongue of any orator * for hymns extolling you * who were exalted above * the Seraphim, having given birth to Christ the King; * Whom, O Lady, beseech * to rescue now from every harm * those who bow in faith before you.

Glory

T

he ends of the earth * extol you and pronounce you blest, * and they cry out to you: * Rejoice, the tablet on which, * O pure one, the Word was by the Father’s hand inscribed. * Intercede with Him, * O Theotokos, to en­roll * in the book of life your servants.

Both now

W

e your servants now * beseech you and we bend the knee * of our heart to you. * O pure one, lend us an ear, * and save us, for we are drowning in adversities. * And your City redeem, * O Theotokos, from the hands * of the infidel invaders.

Ode Eight. The Eirmos.[14]

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P

ious children stood within the furnace. * The Child of the Theotokos went and rescued them. * He who was prefigured then, * manifestly active now, * is gathering together the entire uni­verse * to sing the hymn: * O praise and supremely * exalt the Lord, O all you His works, unto the ages.

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Y

ou welcomed into your womb the Logos; * you held in your arms the One Who holds all things. * With your milk you nourished Him * Who by a nod gives nourishment, * O purest Maiden, unto the entire universe; * to Whom we sing: * O praise and supremely * exalt the Lord, O all you His works, unto the ages.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

T

he glorious myst’ry of your childbirth * did Moses perceive within the burning bush. * Children once in Babylon * vividly prefigured this; * for standing in the midst of fire they remained unburnt, * O undefiled * and all-holy Virgin. * And therefore we extol you in hymns unto the ages.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

W

e who were left naked through beguilement * have worn, through your pregnancy, the garment of * incorruptibility; * and we who were sitting in * the darkness of our errors now have contemplated the light, * O dwelling place * of light, holy Damsel. * And therefore we extol you in hymns unto the ages.

Glory

D

eceased have been quickened through your power, * for pregnant were you with life hypostasized. * They who once were speechless now * speak with newfound eloquence. * Diseases are exterminated, lepers puri­fied. * The legions of * the aerial spirits, * O Virgin, are defeated, for you are man’s salvation.

Both now

O

Birthgiver of the world’s salvation, * through you we are raised from earth unto the heights. * Ever-blessed Maid, rejoice, * fortress and pro­tective veil, * O pure one, the defense and the fortification of all * who sing the hymn: * O praise and supremely * exalt the Lord, O all you His works unto the ages.

Ode Nine. The Eirmos.[15]

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A

ll you born on earth, * with festival lamps in hand, in spirit leap for joy; * heavenly intelligences * of incorporeal Angels, cele­brate * and honor thus the sacred feast of the Mother of God, * cry­ing loudly: * O rejoice, all-blessed one,* ever-virgin and pure, who gave birth to God.

Troparia
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

S

o that we may cry, * rejoice, unto you through whom we faithful have become * sharers of eternal joy, * O Maiden, rescue us from temptations all, * barbarian invasions and from every other scourge, * which are bound to * follow on the multitude * of transgressions committed by sinful man.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

S

ince you have appeared, * our light and our surety, we therefore shout to you: * O unsetting star, rejoice, * from which the great Sun emerged unto the world. * Rejoice, O pure one, for you opened Eden closed of old. * O rejoice, the * fiery pillar ushering * humankind out of bondage to life on high.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

C

ome and let us stand * rev’rently within the temple of our God and say: * Mistress of the world, rejoice. * Rejoice, O Mary, the Lady of us all. * Rejoice, for among women you alone are blameless and fair; * holy vessel * which accepted the divine * inexhaustible ointment poured over you.

Glory

P

ure and guileless dove * who brought forth the Lord of mercy as an olive branch, * Ever-virgin, O rejoice. * The boast of every devout monastic Saint, * rejoice, the crown of laurel of the martyr athletes. Rejoice, * the di­vine adornment of the righteous all, * and for us the believers deliverance.

Both now

S

pare us, O our God, * Your very inheritance, by overlooking now * all of our iniquities, * O Christ, accepting for this the fervent prayers * of her who without seed conceived on earth and carried You * Who in Your great * mercy and Your love for man * willed to take on the form that was not Your own.

Katavasia: All you born on earth. (Twice)

Then the following Kontakion is chanted slowly in the classic long melody by two choirs alternating lines:

Tone Eight (Pl. IV). Original Melody.[16]

O Champion General, I your City now inscribe to you listen.gif

Triumphant anthems as the tokens of my gratitude, listen.gif

Being rescued from the terrors, O Theotokos. listen.gif

Inasmuch as you have power unassailable, listen.gif

From all kinds of perils free me so that unto you listen.gif

I may cry aloud: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride. listen.gif

-or-

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to the short melody

While this is being chanted, the priest wearing epitrachilion and phelonion censes the icons and the people. Then, standing before the icon of the Theotokos, he intones the set of six oikoi of the Salutations appointed for the day in a loud voice, while the people listen standing. At the end of each oikos, the choir repeats the refrain melodically as the priest censes the icon of the Theotokos. On the fourth Friday, after the final oikos, the priest again intones the first oikos “A” without the threefold repetition of the first sen­tence. When the priest finishes the set of oikoi appointed for the day, the Kontakion is again chanted by the two choirs, but in the usual short melody.

When the Salutations are recited daily at home or in Church or at any time and place, after lighting a candle and standing before the icon of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos, when this is possible, we begin by reciting the Apolytikion, When he per­ceived, and then the Salutations from beginning to end, and finish with the Kontakion, O Champion General. This is the practice of the Fathers on the Holy Mountain who count it their greatest joy and duty to learn the Salutations by heart and to salute the All-holy Virgin Mary at least once each day solemnly reciting them, as do likewise countless pious Christians and devout servants of hers throughout the world.

Apolytikion. Tone Eight (Pl. IV).

Original Melody[17]

When he perceived what had secretly been ordered, * to the abode of Joseph urgently reported * the unbodied one and said unto the Unwedded: * The Lord who has bowed the heavens in His descent, * in you is contained completely and without change; * and be­holding Him in your womb * taking the form of a slave, * astounded I cry out to you: * Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.    

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(Long melody)

 
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(Short melody)

SALUTATIONS & REFRAINS

Note: Audio recordings are supplied below only for the first week of salutations. The first example is in Mode Plagal IV, the second in Mode Plagal I, and the third in Mode Plagal II.

FIRST WEEK

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A

n Angel of supreme rank was sent down from heaven to say to the Theotokos, Rejoice. (Thrice) And perceiving You take bodily form at the sound of his bodiless voice, O Lord, he was astounded and he stood shouting to her such salutations:

Rejoice, through whom is the joy to shine forth.
Rejoice, through whom is the curse to vanish.

Rejoice, restoration of Adam the fallen one.
Rejoice, liberation of Eve from tears.

Rejoice, height to which the thoughts of men are hardly able to ascend.
Rejoice, depth which for the Angels’ eyes is very hard to apprehend.

Rejoice, for you are a throne for the King.
Rejoice, for you hold the One who holds everything.

Rejoice, the star causing the Sun’s manifestation.
Rejoice, the womb of the divine incarnation.

Rejoice, through whom is creation re-created.
Rejoice, by whom is the Creator procreated.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

B

eholding herself wholly kept in chastity, boldly says to Gabriel she who is holy: The exceptional tidings of your voice seem difficult for my soul to accept. For what do you mean, pregnancy by unseeded conception, crying, Alleluia.

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C

urious to know knowledge that is knowable to no one, the Virgin cried to the serving Angel: How is it possible for a son to be born of inviolate loins? Tell me please. And he with fear replied to her, albeit shouting thusly:

Rejoice, initiate of secret counsel.
Rejoice, assurance of what calls for silence.

Rejoice, introduction to the miracles of Christ.
Rejoice, consummation of His articles of faith.

Rejoice, heavenly ladder by which did God himself descend.
Rejoice, bridge that conveys unto heaven earthborn men.

Rejoice, the wonder most renowned among Angels.
Rejoice, the wound greatly bemourned by the demons.

Rejoice, who bear the Light inexplicably.
Rejoice, who declare the manner to nobody.

Rejoice, transcending the knowledge of scholars.
Rejoice, illumining minds of believers.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

D

ivine power of the Most High, to effect her conception, overshadowed the unwedded Damsel; and it made her luxuriant womb to appear as a luscious field for everyone who desires to reap salvation while chanting, Alleluia.

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E

agerly did the Virgin, hosting God in her body, then hasten to visit Elizabeth, whose own infant recognized the voice of her greeting at once and rejoiced in the womb; and with leaps and bounds for songful sounds, he shouted to the Theotokos:

Rejoice, the branch with its shoot unwithered.
Rejoice, the ranch with its fruit unblemished.

Rejoice, for the man-loving Husbandman you cultivate.
Rejoice, for the Gardener of our life you germinate.

Rejoice, arable land yielding tender mercies hundredfold.
Rejoice, banquet table whereupon has forgiveness overflowed.

Rejoice, for the meadow of delight you make flourish.
Rejoice, for a haven of our souls do you furnish.

Rejoice, accepted incense of intercession.
Rejoice, the universe’s expiation.

Rejoice, the good pleasure of God unto mortals.
Rejoice, the confidence of mortals before God.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

F

raught within with confusion brought about by doubtful thoughts, the temperate Joseph was troubled as he looked upon you the unwed and suspected adultery, O blameless one. But when he learned that your concep­tion was by the Holy Spirit, he uttered, Alleluia.

 

SECOND WEEK

G

loriously extolling the incarnate appearance of Christ did the shepherds hear the Angels. And running as though to a shepherd, they perceived Him to be as it were a blameless lamb that had been pastured in the womb of Mary whom they lauded saying:

Rejoice, O Mother of the Lamb and Shepherd.
Rejoice, O sheepfold of sheep with reason.

Rejoice, who ward off invisible enemies.
Rejoice, who open the portals of Paradise.

Rejoice, for the things of heaven are now exulting with the earth.
Rejoice, for the things of earth along with heaven dance for joy.

Rejoice, indefatigable voice of the Apostles.
Rejoice, undefeatable valiance of the Martyrs.

Rejoice, the mighty foundation of faith.
Rejoice, the bright indication of grace.

Rejoice, through whom is Hades divested.
Rejoice, through whom we are vested in glory.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

H

aving visibly sighted the star proceeding Godward, the Magi followed after its brightness; and thereto clinging as to a light did they search thereby for a mighty King; and reaching the Unreachable they rejoiced and shouted to Him: Alleluia.

I

n the hands of the Virgin saw the Chaldeans’ children Him who fashioned mankind with His own hand; and perceiving that He was the Lord, even though He had taken the form of a slave, they hastened to pay tribute with gifts and salute the blessed Maiden:

Rejoice, O Mother of the unsetting Star.
Rejoice, O dawn of the mystical Day.

Rejoice, who extinguished the furnace of fallacy.
Rejoice, who enlighten initiates of the Trinity.

Rejoice, for you have deposed the inhuman tyrant from his reign.
Rejoice, for you have disclosed Christ the Lord who is humane.

Rejoice, O redeemer from the Magian18 religion.
Rejoice, who deliver from the clay of the burdens.19

Rejoice, for the cult of fire you terminate.
Rejoice, from the flame of passions you liberate.

Rejoice, the guide of believers to temperance.
Rejoice, the gladness of all generations.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

K

eeping to the oracles that bore on You, the Magi, having now become God-bearing heralds, proclaimed to all that You are the Christ as they journeyed back to their own country Babylon, abandoning Herod as a babbling king who knew not how to sing, Alleluia.

L

ightening in Egypt the true illumination, You dispelled the darkness of delusion; O Savior, for the idols thereof, unable to endure Your might, tumbled down, while they who were delivered from them shouted to the Theotokos:

Rejoice, man’s rehabilitation.
Rejoice, the demons’ ruination.

Rejoice, who crushed the delusion of fallacy.
Rejoice, who uncovered the ruse of idolatry.

Rejoice, sea that caused the spiritual Pharaoh to drown.
Rejoice, rock that gave those thirsting for life to drink.

Rejoice, pillar of fire that guides those in darkness.
Rejoice, shelter of the world that is wider than the cloud was.

Rejoice, supplanting manna as edibles.
Rejoice, supplying holy delectables.

Rejoice, for you are the land of promise.
Rejoice, from you flow the milk and the honey.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

M

aster, You were presented as a babe unto Symeon on the threshold of being transported out of this present beguiling age, but also perceived by him to be perfect God; for which cause did he marvel at Your ineffable wisdom, crying: Alleluia.

 

THIRD WEEK

N

ew creation was shown by the Creator in showing himself unto us whom He created, sprouting up from an unseeded womb, while pre­serving it just as it was, inviolate, so that beholding the miracle we might extol her, exclaiming:

Rejoice, O flower of incorruptness.
Rejoice, O crown of laurel for continence.

Rejoice, for in you resurrection is typified.
Rejoice, for angelical life you exemplified.

Rejoice, fertile tree with luscious fruit, by which believers are sustained.
Rejoice, foliaged tree beneath which are many sheltered in its shade.

Rejoice, for you were pregnant with the Guide for the errant.
Rejoice, for of the Freer of captives you are the parent.

Rejoice, who plead till the just Judge surrenders.
Rejoice, forgiveness for many offenders.

Rejoice, the vesture of those stripped of confidence.
Rejoice, the tender love that conquers every longing.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

O

n seeing the strange childbirth, let’s be estranged from the mundane, transporting our mind unto heaven. For this purpose the supernal God as a humble human being appeared down on earth, intending to attract unto the summit those who cry out to Him, Alleluia.

P

resent below completely and above nowise absent was the uncircum­scribable Logos. For it was no migration through space, but divine con­descension that had taken place, and childbirth from a God-possessed Virgin who hears this that follows:

Rejoice, the uncontainable God’s container.
Rejoice, the magnificent mystery’s doorway.

Rejoice, for unbelievers a doubtful story.
Rejoice, for the believers the doubtless glory.

Rejoice, all-holy vehicle of Him who rides the Cherubim.
Rejoice, exquisite domicile20 of Him who mounts the Seraphim.

Rejoice, who integrate in yourself a contradiction.
Rejoice, who incorporate both virginity and parturition.21

Rejoice, through whom the trespass was nullified.
Rejoice, through whom was Paradise opened wide.

Rejoice, the opener to Christ’s kingdom.
Rejoice, the hope of eternal blessings.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

Q

uite amazed by the great deed of Your incarnation was the entire nature of Angels. For the once inaccessible God they beheld accessible to all as a man, with us together sojourning while thusly hearing from everyone: Alleluia.

R

ichly eloquent rhetors we see speechless as fishes when they contem­plate you, O Theotokos. For at a loss are they to explain how you managed childbirth and a virgin yet remain. But we, in marveling at the mystery, cry out with conviction:

Rejoice, God’s Wisdom’s repository.
Rejoice, His providence’s depository.

Rejoice, who prove the philosophers wisdomless.
Rejoice, who reprove the sophists as ridiculous.

Rejoice, for the fierce debaters becoming fools lost their taste.
Rejoice, for the creators of the myths have faded away.

Rejoice, you who rend the webs of the Athenians.
Rejoice, you who fill the nets of the Fishermen.

Rejoice, who drag out from the deep of ignorance.
Rejoice, who illumine many with cognizance.

Rejoice, the barge for those seeking salvation.
Rejoice, the harbor for life’s navigators.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

S

et on saving the cosmos, He who set all things in order came down to it of His own volition. And though being the Shepherd as God, for us He appeared like us, as a man; and having called His own, like by like, as God He hears, Alleluia.

 

FOURTH WEEK

T

heotokos, O Virgin, you are the fortress for virgins and all who to you run for refuge. For the Maker of heaven and earth, O immaculate Maiden, thus constructed you. He inhabited your womb and instructed all how to address you:

Rejoice, O pillar of the virgin station.
Rejoice, O portal of man’s salvation.

Rejoice, initiator of interior renaissance.
Rejoice, administrator of God’s beneficence.

Rejoice, for you regenerated those who were shamefully conceived.
Rejoice, for you reeducated those whose intellects had been seized.

Rejoice, incapacitator of the deflowerer of sanity.
Rejoice, procreator of the Sower of chastity.

Rejoice, of ungamic22 union the bridal room.
Rejoice, who unite believers to the Lord as Groom.

Rejoice, O beautiful nursemaid of virgins.
Rejoice, O bridesmaid of souls that are holy.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

U

nsuccessful is every hymn that hastens to pay tribute to the multitude of Your tender mercies. For even if we offer You odes in number equal to the sands, O holy King, yet we do nothing worthy of what You have given us who cry to You: Alleluia.

V

iewing the holy Virgin, we see a light-bearing lantern that shone upon those who were in darkness. For she lit the immaterial light, and to divine knowledge thus conducts everyone, enlightening the intellect, and honored by such acclamations:

Rejoice, the ray of the intelligible daystar.
Rejoice, the beam of the unwaning luster.

Rejoice, flash of lightning that brightly illumines souls.
Rejoice, who like thunder have stunned our enemies.

Rejoice, for you cause the rising up of the light that brightly glows.
Rejoice, for you cause the gushing up of the stream that mightily flows.

Rejoice, who illustrate the baptismal font’s image.
Rejoice, who eliminate the stain of sin’s stigma.

Rejoice, the laver washing out consciences.
Rejoice, the krater23 serving what gladdens hearts.

Rejoice, the fragrance of Christ’s aroma.
Rejoice, the life of mystical feasting.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

W

ishing to grant remission of ancient obligations, He who cancels the debts of all people came himself as a stranger and dwelt among those who were from His divine grace estranged; and tearing up the bond of sin, He hears from everyone, Alleluia.

E

xtolling your birthgiving with songs, we all praise you as a live temple, O Theotokos. For the Lord who encompasses all in His hand, having made His abode in your womb, sanctified you and glorified you and taught all people to cry to you:

Rejoice, O tabernacle of God the Logos.
Rejoice, O holier than the holies.

Rejoice, ark that was gilt by the Spirit.
Rejoice, life’s inexhaustible treasure.

Rejoice, exquisite diadem of kings with true beliefs.
Rejoice, reverential pride of profoundly pious priests.

Rejoice, the Church’s unshaken citadel.
Rejoice, the Empire’s fortress that never fell.

Rejoice, through whom rise trophies of victory.
Rejoice, through whom fall enemies utterly.

Rejoice, my bodily health’s restoration.
Rejoice, my soul’s everlasting salvation.

Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

In a low voice by a chanter: “Most Holy Theotokos, save us.”

Y

ou, all-laudable Mother who gave birth to the Logos Who is holiest of all who are holy: (thrice) O accept this offering now, and from calami­ties all deliver everyone, and redeem from the future torments of hell those who cry out with zeal: Alleluia.

Then the priest again intones the first oikos “A”.

At the end of the appointed set of oikoi, the Kontakion is again chanted by the two choirs, but in the usual short melody.

Tone Eight (Pl. IV). Original Melody.

O Champion General, I your City now inscribe to you

Triumphant anthems as the tokens of my gratitude,

Being rescued from the terrors, O Theotokos.

Inasmuch as you have power unassailable,

From all kinds of perils free me so that unto you

I may cry aloud: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.

-or-

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to the short melody

Then follows the rest of Small Compline.

On the Fifth Week, when the entire Akathist Hymn is chanted in conjunction with Small Compline, after the Creed we chant the Apolytikion, When he perceived, thrice; and then the priest intones the first set of six oikoi. Then the choirs chant Odes One and Three of the Canon. Then the Kontakion, O Champion General, is chanted; and the priest intones the second set of oikoi. Then the choirs continue with Odes Four, Five and Six of the Canon. Again the Kontakion, and the priest intones the third set of oikoi. Odes Seven, Eight and Nine; the Kontakion, and the fourth set of oikoi, ending with the first oikos “A”. The Kontakion is chanted once more by the two choirs as usual. Then follows the rest of Small Compline.

Just before the close of the Small Compline, the following Kathisma is chanted:

 

Tone Three. Original Melody.24
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S

eeing the beauty of your virginity, * and how resplendently shone forth your chastity, * amazed was Gabriel who cried to you thus, O Theotokos: * What shall I present to you * as a worthy encomium? * What shall I address you as? * At a loss and perplexed am I. * As ordered, there­fore, thus do I shout to you: * Rejoice, O Maiden who are full of grace!



[1] The acrostic of the Greek original has not been reproduced.

[2]?νο?ξω τ? στ?μα μου

[3] An exact rendering of the Greek word ?ρε?ξομαιis I shall eruct, which also meets the metrical requirements.

[4]Το?ς σο?ς ?μνολ?γους

[5] Tiller = to put forth tillers, i.e. stalks or sprouts.

[6] Yean = to bring forth young – used of sheep.

[7]?καθ?μενος?νδ?ξ?

[8] Murex = a mollusk yielding a purple dye.

[9] ?ξ?στη τ? σ?μπαντα

[10] Perspicuously = clearly.

[11] Beatify = to declare blessed.

[12]Τ?νθε?αντα?την

[13]Ο?κ?λ?τρευσαν

[14]Πα?δαςε?αγε?ς

[15]?παςγηγεν?ς

[16]Τ??περμ?χ?

[17]Τ? προσταχ?ν