Every second Saturday of the month, Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God: March 25th 2020 - Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane

On Wednesday 25th March - the Solemnity of the Annunciation in the Gregorian calendar - the Society of St John Chrysostom will be at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Maiden Lane, singing the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God at 6:30pm.

This comes in the week in which England will be rededicated to the Blessed Virgin as the Dowry of Mary, in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The Akathist Hymn is a much loved Lenten Devotion in the Byzantine Eastern Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox traditions, in which the praises of Our Lady within the mystery of our salvation, as our intercessor and spiritual protector, are solemnly sung in this ancient hymn. All are most welcome to come and join in. The hymn will be sung in English. 

When the word akathist is used alone, it most commonly refers to the original hymn by this name, the 6th century Akathist to the Theotokos, often attributed to St. Roman the Melodist. This hymn is often split into four parts and sung at the "Salutations to the Theotokos" service on the first four Friday evenings in Great Lent; the entire Akathist is then sung on the fifth Friday evening. Traditionally it is included in the Orthros of the fifth Saturday of Great Lent. In monasteries of Athonite tradition, the whole Akathist is usually inserted nightly at Compline. On this occasion, we will be singing the whole hymn.

The four sections into which the Akathist Hymn is divided correspond to the themes of the Annunciation, Nativity, Christ, and the Theotokos herself.
The hymn itself forms an alphabetical acrostic—that is, each oikos ("house," possibly from Syriac terminology, an idiom describing a verse) begins with a letter of the Greek alphabet, in order—and it consists of twelve long and twelve short oikoi. Each of the long oikoi include a seven-line stanza followed by six couplets, employing rhyme, assonance, and alliteration, beginning with the word Chaire (translated as either "Hail!" or "Rejoice!") and ending with the refrain, "Hail, Bride without bridegroom!" In the short oikoi, the seven-line stanza is followed by the refrain, "Alleluia!" Unlike the Latin Church's tradition, the singing of Alleluia in Lent is not given up.

After the Hymn there will be veneration of the Icon of the Mother of God.

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