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St. Ignatius Mission Choir Akathist of Thanksgiving
Artist: St. Ignatius Mission Choir
Item number: AJ046
Category: Russian
Chant Type: Russian
Language: English
Label: St. Ignatius
Period: Contemporary
Length: 64'42
Release date: 2002
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Price: $15.49 USD
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Track Listing
You may need RealPlayer or Windows Media Player to listen to the music samples below.
  1. O Heavenly King/The Trisagion/Come, Let Us Worship MP3  
  2. Psalms 50, 69, 142 MP3  
  3. The Little Doxology & The Creed MP3  
  4. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 1 MP3  
  5. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 2 MP3  
  6. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 3 MP3  
  7. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 4 MP3  
  8. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 5 MP3  
  9. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 6 MP3  
  10. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 7 MP3  
  11. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 8 MP3  
  12. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 9 MP3  
  13. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 10 MP3  
  14. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 11 MP3  
  15. Akathist: Kontakion & Ikos 12 MP3  
  16. Akathist: Kontakion 13 MP3  
  17. Megalynarion MP3  
  18. The Trisagion MP3  
  19. Troparion to the New Martyrs of Russia MP3  
  20. Kontakion to the New Martyrs of Russia MP3  
  21. The 40 "Lord, have mercies" MP3  
  22. The Little Dismissal MP3  
  23. O Pure Virgin MP3  
This is a recording of an actual Akathist service (literally "not sitting?) with Little Compline. The most well known Akathist service is the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God sung during Great Lent. The subject of this Akathist is thankfulness, (also known as the Akathist ?Glory to God for all things?), and is sung here in commemoration of the holy ?New Martyrs? of Russia who in the last century died under Bolshevism and Communism. Though little is known for certain about this hymn, the text is said to have been written around 1942 by the Archpriest Gregory Petroff, one of the Christian hieromartyrs (priest martyr), while suffering before his execution in a Soviet prison camp. An estimated 45 million people or more were slain under Bolshevism and Communism, and it is in honor of the continued and living faith of these Christian martyrs that this service gives praise. The service is sung in English. The liner notes include the entire text of the ?Akathist of Thanksgiving?.
ReviewBy: Benjamin Williams
This is a moving recording on two levels. First, the deeply poignant Akathist of Thanksgiving is almost painful to hear once one comprehends the incomprehensible slaughter that took place in early to mid-twentieth century Russia. Yet through Fr. Gregory's inspired pen a single voice speaks for the millions who, in the midst of indescribable suffering, thanked God for the core beauty of His creation and His constant love for man. It is in the stirring spirit of this thankfulness that these "flowers of the spiritual meadow of Russia" (from the Troparion of the New Martyrs) refused to compromise their faith in the face of man's darkest inhumanity, injustice, hatred and violence. While the initial reaction may be that there is too much "church service" on the CD, the humble and heart-felt prayers of the whole service soon push that feeling aside. Second, the quality of the singing is very good. This recording is Russian choral singing in the form known as "Obhikod" (chapel singing) which is typical of the parish liturgical singing of the Orthodox Church in America. This Akathist is celebrated in the middle of Little Compline, and the structure is a Kontakion that is sung followed by an Ikos (response) that is read (sung in monotone). The poetic Akathist begins with the glory of God and His beauty made manifest in creation ("Every flower is fragrant through the power of the Holy Spirit..."), moves to the joy of relationship with God ("In time of hardship and suffering, You illumine the soul with peace..."), and only in the last two Kontakia is the reality of death and the wonder of entering into the eternal joy of the Holy Trinity broached ("Many times I have seen the reflection of Your glory on the faces of the dead..."). It is hard to contemplate the love of God and faith revealed and undoubtedly held by the author who wrote this in a prison camp. The singing is simple but clear, precise and astonishingly moving. Only two tracks specifically refer to the New Martyrs of Russia (a Troparion and Kontakion). Three tracks are Byzantine arrangements: the Megalynarion ("It is Truly Meet"), the Kontakion to the New Martyrs ("To thee, the Champion Leader") and the concluding hymn "O Pure Virgin" (Agni Parthini), the Orthodox hymn composed by St. Nectarios of Aegina that has become one of the best loved hymns to the Virgin. Be prepared to be moved, be prepared to feel for the Russian neo-martyrs (new-martyrs) and be prepared to take this music into your heart.

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