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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos

 

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Acathist
Hymn
Al-Madayih

 

The Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos is a sung Office of Praise to the Theotokos or the Al Madaayeh.

The Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos:

Composition during Five Fridays

The Acathist Hymn is part of Compline on Friday. The first part of Compline is said. Then, the weekly part of the Acathist Hymn is said. Then, the final part of Compline is said.

  • Friday of First week - Canon and part one
  • Friday of Second week - Canon and part two
  • Friday of Third week - Canon and part three
  • Friday of Forth week - Canon and part four
  • Friday of Fifth week - Canon and part one to four

Period When the Al Madaayeh is Said

  • Originally the purpose of the Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos was to prepare for the Great Feast of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) of The Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
    Then, the Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos began on the fifth Friday before March 25, the date of the Great Feast of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) of The Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. Then the final and fifth part of the Akathist was said soon before this feast.
  • Now the AAl-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos is often said on the five Fridays of Great Lent
    Because the Great Feast of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) of The Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, 25 March, often falls during Great Lent, the custom has developed of celebrating the Medayah on the Fridays of Great Lent.

Name

The Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh is also called the "Acathist Hymn" or "Akathist Hymn" or "Hymn of the Akathistos". This office is popularly known as "The Al Madaayeh".

The Greek word "akathist" means “without sitting” or "standing", which is the traditional stance of this service. This Office of Praise is meant to be sung standing as a sign of respect for The Theotokos and her role in our salvation.

Date

The Al-Madayih / Al Madaayeh / Al Madayeh / Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos was probably written in 532.

The article below is from the June 2000 issue of "The Society of Publicans".

In our Eastern Church, we worship God alone. However, we also venerate individuals who have been important human instruments of God in the history of salvation. First among those venerated is the Mother of God, The Theotokos. Our Church greatly honors Mary because she, a human like us, was chosen to give birth to the Son of God. As one of the hymns declares: "By singing praise to your maternity, we exalt you as a spiritual temple, Theotokos. For the One Who dwelt within your womb, the Lord who holds all things in His hands, sanctified you, glorified you, and taught all to sing to you..."

The most beautiful and poetic service of our Church in honor of Mary is the Akathist Hymn. The word "akathist" means "without sitting. " Traditionally, the congregation stands throughout the hymn out of respect for Mary and her role in our salvation in Christ. God could do all things, but He could not say "Yes" for humanity. For the incarnation to be, that fiat had to be freely given.

The Akathist Hymn is chanted in four parts during Compline on the first four Fridays of Great Lent. One the fifth Friday, the entire hymn is chanted. While it is common for many of the Western Christianity to venerate the Virgin Mary by saying rosaries, novenas, and other services, one should also know that in the Eastern Church there is the most magnificent and distinctive services in honor of the Theotokos.

In prayers to the Virgin, Mother of God, it is particularly important to not only say the words, but to meditate and focus on the words, meanings and expressions in the prayers. In this context, there can be not doubt that she has been honored in the Eastern Church, beyond compare, with the most beautiful inspiring poetry and hymns of any saint that ever lived.

Liturgical Text

English Madayeh Text The Melkite Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand, a Microsoft Word .doc file
Arabic Madayeh Text The Melkite Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand, a Microsoft Word .doc file

More Information

Acathist Hymn / Akathist Hymn / Hymn of the Akathistos / Al Madaayeh for Jubilee 2000 on December 8

Great Lent - A Time of Prayer


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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