Beloved Christians and Strugglers,
That most joyous time is upon us when we come together to celebrate the service of the Akathist to our Lady, the Theotokos.
The Akathist service provides a great example of worship in the Orthodox Church. Others may worship in stadiums as spectators or in large concert-hall-styled churches as observers; the Orthodox participate and are very much present. In the Service of the Akathist, the analogion with the icon of the Mother of God is moved into the midst of the body of the Church, in a place that is very reachable to the faithful. Our Lady is exactly this to each of us – reachable and accessible, for it was through her that our God became man.
During the Akathist, the faithful also participate by standing in reverence and chanting along during the beautiful and epic hymns of the Canon, also called Salutations. We are present with the ArchAngel as he called out to the Theotokos “Rejoice”, for truly all creation does rejoice.
As Orthodox Christians, our prayers are united in a noetic way and like incense, are lifted to heaven as a sweet smelling sacrifice to our Lord.
For more information see About the Akathist Hymn.