[“This Akathist, also called the “Akathist of Thanksgiving,” was composed by Metropolitan Tryphon (Prince Boris Petrovich Turkestanov) in 1934. A copy was in possession of Protopresbyter Gregory Petrov shortly before his death in a prison camp in 1940. Suggestion: Light a candle in a silent room. Make the Sign of the Cross, and slowly pray the words aloud, take time to reflect on them, and make them your own. Revisit these words this Wednesday as well as next Sunday and Wednesday. Part 13 will be on Sunday December 30]
How oft have I seen
the reflection of Your glory in the faces of the dead.
How resplendent they were, with beauty and heavenly joy;
how ethereal, how translucent their faces;
how triumphant over suffering and death, their felicity and peace.
Even in the silence they were calling upon You.
In the hour of my death, enlighten my soul, too,
that it may cry out to You: Alleluia!
What sort of praise can I give You?
I have never heard the song of the cherubim,
a joy reserved for the spirits above.
But I know the praises that nature sings to You.
In winter, I have beheld how silently in the moonlight
the whole earth offers You prayer,
clad in its white mantle of snow, sparkling like diamonds.
I have seen how the rising sun rejoices in You,
how the song of the birds is a chorus of praise to You.
I have heard the mysterious murmurings of the forests about You,
and the winds singing Your praise as they stir the waters.
I have understood how the choirs of stars proclaim Your glory
as they move forever in the depths of infinite space.
What is my poor worship? All nature obeys You, I do not.
Yet while I live, I see Your love, I long to thank You, pray to You, and call upon Your Name:
Glory to You, giving us light.
Glory to You, loving us with love so deep, divine, and infinite.
Glory to You, blessing us with light, and with the host of angels and saints.
Glory to You, Father All-Holy, promising us a share in Your Kingdom.
Glory to You, Holy Spirit, Life-giving Sun of the world to come.
Glory to You for all things, holy and most merciful Trinity.
Glory to You, O God, from age to age.
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[One of the many gifts of the Orthodox as well as Eastern Catholic Churches to the rest of Christianity is their great tradition and collection of akathists. “An akathist (Greek, akathistos) is a hymn dedicated to a saint, holy event, or one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. The word akathist itself means ‘not sitting.'” These hymns are so long they are rarely sung in their entirety any more except in monasteries. For more information and the source of quotations, please visit http://orthodoxwiki.org/Akathist#Other_languages%5D