Saint Ann prays the Akathist to the Theotokos on Friday nights during Great Lent. This year the service will begin at 5:00 p.m. on the consecutive Fridays of February 19 & 26, and March 5, 12, & 19.

Please join us – lift your soul with prayer!

A much loved hymn to the Mother of God is sung during the Akathist service – Triumphant Leader. The hymn commemorates an event in ancient Byzantium that demonstrated enormous devotion to and faith in the Theotokos:

“While the Emperor of Byzantium Heracleios was on an expedition to fight the aggression of the Persians on their own grounds, there appeared outside the walls of Constantinople barbaric hordes…. The siege lasted a few months, and it was apparent that the outnumbered troops of the Queen City were reaching desperation. However as history records, the faith of the people worked the impossible. The Venerable Patriarch Sergius, with the Clergy and the Official of Byzantium Vonos, endlessly marched along the great walls of Constantinople with an Icon of the Theotokos in hand, and bolstered the faith of the defenders of freedom. The miracle came soon after. Unexpectedly… a great storm with huge tidal waves destroyed most of the fleet of the enemy, and full retreat ensued.” The faithful of Constantinople spontaneously filled the Church of the Theotokos at Vlachernae on the Golden Horn, and with the Patriarch Sergius officiating, they prayed all night singing praises to the Virgin Mary without sitting. Hence the title of the Hymn “Akathistos“, in Greek meaning ‘not seated‘. [Quoted with appreciation from orthodoxchristian.info]

Listen to this beautiful hymn, according to the Melkite usage, here sung by Raja Hourani, here sung by Fr. Justin Rose, a Melkite priest, and here sung by the choir of St. George Melkite Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Many other beautiful prayers are sung during the Akathist Hymn, such as this one:

St. Ann again this year welcomes donations towards the flowers that surround the icon of the Theotokos during the weekly Akathist services. Several weeks for this year have already been spoken for, so contact Fr. Tom (pastor@saintann.org) if you’d like to honor the Theotokos through this special gift to the parish. You can also make donation for this purpose via the parish’s Paypal buttons, found on the Home page and Giving page of this website; if you do, please be sure to indicate on the dropdown menu that your gift is for the Flowers .