The Akathist Hymn of the Most Holy Mother of God

Source: FSSPX News

Icône de l’hymne acathiste

An Akathist hymn is traditionally sung standing. It has been attributed to various authors including Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople from 715 to 729, with the main hymn (kontakion) being attributed to St. Romanus the Melodist. It is a series of contemplations of the mysteries of Mary, each evoked by an antiphon and exploding in acclamations. In other words, it is the very reality of our Rosary. At the same time, thanks to the variety of these acclamations, it is a series of litanies. Here are the first three parts (out of 12).

Ikos 1

The leader of the angels was sent to speak to the Mother of God, that her apostolic service might fall upon the land of Iviron: wherefore we cry to thee:

Hail, by whom the Gospel is spread abroad.
Hail, by whom the lure of idols is made vain.
Hail, by whom the power of the Prince of Darkness is broken.
Hail, by whom the Kingdom of Christ is confirmed.
Hail, recalling to the light of the Gospel those sunken in darkness.
Hail, leading us from the slavery of the Devil into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Hail, ready handmaid of thy Son and God.
Hail, by thy obedience atoning for the disobedience of Eve.
Hail, height of beneficence: Hail, depth of humility.
Hail, by whom the unbelieving come to know the Creator.
Hail, by whom the faithful are adopted as sons by the Father.
Hail, blessed lady of the portal.

Ikos 2

The mysterious meaning of the Angel's word was clear to thee, Purest One, and in obedience to it thou didst wend thy way to Mount Athos, to spread the Gospel, as the lot fell to thee. And we joyfully sing to thee:

Hail, illuminating Athos with thy coming.
Hail, dispersing the darkness of idols.
Hail, planting there the true faith.
Hail, driving out unbelief.
Hail, taking this Mountain into thy care: Hail, promising grace to this place.
Hail, bestowing earthly joy on the faithful dwellers therein.
Hail, assuring them of eternal salvation.
Hail, fervent intercessor for those in thy care.
Hail, destroyer of all their foes.
Hail, promising thy Son’ s mercy to this place till the end of time.
Hail, foretelling that his grace should never leave it.
Hail, blessed lady of the portal.

Ikos 3

Having in mind the lot of the people of the land of Iviron, thou didst settle thyself in their midst, even upon Mount Athos, to them all a shelter, a quiet harbor of salvation to them, giving them thy ikon as a shield and guard, and all cried out:

Hail, glorious preacher of the Gospel in the land of Iviron.
Hail, turning this land from the lure of idols to the light of Christ.
Hail, branch of the deathless Vine, giving wondrous grapes.
Hail, bearing branches of miracle-grapes and the blessings of faith.
Hail, who hast planted a spiritual garden on Athos.
Hail, watering the land of Iviron with the stream of spiritual enlightenment flowing therefrom.
Hail, fair speech from lips of gold.
Hail, unshakable tower of the fortress.
Hail, strength of honorable Tsars.
Hail, protecting wall of monks.
Hail, quiet harbor for those who seek salvation.
Hail, preparing for them an endless rest.
Hail, blessed lady of the portal.