Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | April 3, 2011

Glory to God for All Things Akathist

I first stumbled on this piece under the title “Akathist of Thanksgiving” by St. Ignatius of Antioch Church (Madison, Wisconsin). One and the same as “The Glory to God for All Things Akathist” by St. Lawrence Orthodox Church (Felton, California), the akathist was composed by Protopresbyter Gregory Petrov in prison camp shortly before his death in 1940. Look hard enough and you’ll find alternative attribution, yet the consensus credits Petrov rather than Metropolitan Tryphon who died in 1934. Seems there are three recordings that I can find – two of which are Orthodox and set in a liturgical context, the other by John Tavener is not and seems aimed at a more secular audience. I have listened to two, and recommend you consider both because I seem to have developed a favorite almost unfairly without revisiting the first to see if I’m being unfair (likely I am).

Of even more interest, there appear to be alternative translations from the Russian as well. The St. Iggy CD uses a translation by Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America (Antiochian) found here. I can’t find attribution for the St. Larry performance and the liner notes are a bit thin. Here’s an alternative version with no attributed author. Finally, this translation was commissioned by Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex and put together by Lydia and Andreas Moran. They attribute the text to decisively to Metropolitan Tryphon complete with this brief account of his life.

Whichever! Friday evening at 7:00pm at St. Marks in Bethesda, I get to hear it live! Yahoo! Halfway through Lent as we are and on the Sunday in the Western Rite that is known variously as Rose Sunday, or the Sunday of the Loaves and Fishes… but mostly as “Rejoice!” Sunday (from the Latin)… Thanksgiving seems the right theme. As we used to say in college,

“Lent…. oh, great!”
“Yeah! Great, y’all, great!”
“Great Fast! Faster the better…yeah? Sure!.”

Responses

  1. One of my favorite akathists, for sure regardless of who actually wrote it. Who is “performing” it at St. Marks?

    • It’s become one of my favorites, too. As an in-betweener (until after Ascension), I just learned about this in the church office on Friday that it was happening, and apparently had been sung at least once-a-year every year for more than a decade. The choir will sing it…but don’t know whether the priest and deacon will sing the other parts or not. Really something to look forward to! St. Marks is closer to the size of the parishes I’d spent most of my life in… so while it’s big to some (200 names in the directory – but some from the same household), it doesn’t feel more than “big enough”.

  2. What a treat! I will have to wait till I get back to CA to explore this, but I have to say thank you right now for sharing it.


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