Item No. 001513
The Akathist of Thanksgiving, as sung by Saint Ignatius Antiochian Church in Madison, Wisconsin.
Note: St. Ignatius celebrates the Akathist with Little Compline several times per year, especially on the eve of American Thanksgiving.
Background of this Akathist service:
Since the fall of Communism, the Church – and the entire world – has been made aware of the crimes against humanity committed in Russia and the former Soviet Union for the cause of atheist “revolution.” An estimated 45 million people were slaughtered out of a programmed hatred and paranoia. Terror, betrayal, distrust, isolation, self-preservation, hopelessness and faithlessness defined the God-less Bolshevik order. We honor those Christians who refused to compromise their faith in Jesus Christ – hundreds of thousands of names, some known, though most known only to God – as Passion-bearers, New Martyrs, and Saints.
Metropolitan Tryphon (Boris Petrovich Turkestanov, 1861-1934) was one of the venerable hierarchs and spiritual pillars of the Orthodoxy whose words and prayers supported Christians during these terrible and violent persecutions. In the 1920-30s, his word was a word of the law for all the faithful surviving this chaos and spiritual insanity of the country. For his remarkable gift of word and sermon, Metropolitan Tryphon was often called the Moscow Chrysostom.
In 1929, Metropolitan Tryphon wrote “The Akathist of Thanksgiving” which has become his spiritual legacy. The words of the hymn “Glory to God for All Things” gave the Church and the world light from great darkness, reminding us that even in the midst of frightful suffering true Christian conviction and courage are unconquerable. The hand-written text of the Akathist remained in the Russian underground until the 1970’s when it was first published abroad. In first publications, the text was mistakenly attributed to a Russian New Martyr – the Archpriest Gregory Petroff (+1942) – in whose papers the Akathist was found after his death in the Gulag. Later, when it became possible to publish the Akathist in Russia, the name of Metropolitan Tryphon was revealed as its true author.
The Akathist starts with the forewords of St. John Chrysostom: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We are indeed thankful for this Akathist; our hearts are lifted by it. We offer these prayers to the glory of God and in honor of those “men, women and children, flowers of the spiritual meadow of Russia, who blossomed forth wondrously in time of grievous persecution” (from the Troparion to the New Martyrs of Russia). "Glory to God for all Things!"
O Heavenly King
The Little Doxology
Lord Have Mercy