Tuesday, January 2

As Heard in Church Yesterday Morning...

Thou hast brought me into life as if into an enchanted paradise. We have seen the sky like a chalice of deepest blue, where in the azure heights the birds are singing. We have listened to the something murmur of the forest and the melodious music of the streams. We have tasted fruit of fine flavor and the sweet-scented honey. We can live very well on Thy earth. It is a pleasure to be Thy guest.

Glory to Thee for the feast-day of life.
Glory to Thee for the perfume of lilies and roses.
Glory to Thee for each different taste of berry and fruit.
Glory to Thee for the sparkling silver of early morning dew.
Glory to Thee for the joy of dawn's awakening.
Glory to Thee for the new life each day brings.
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age!

-Ikos Two: The Glory to God for All Things Akathist-

A Brief History:

"This Akathist, also called the Akathist of Thanksgiving, was composed by Protopresbyter Gregory Petrov in a Soviet prison camp shortly before his death in 1940. The title is taken from the words of St. John Chrysostom as he was dying in exile after beling forcefully and unjustly removed as Patriarch of Constantinople.

Fr. Gregory's work is a comprehensive celebration of God's glory as found throughout a broad examination of life, in the smallest of things, and most basic circumstances. It is a celebration as understood by someone from whom all beauty was seemingly denied, but who was given the gift to see the beauty of God's work in all things. It is a song of praise and gratitude from amidst the most terrible sufferings.

Fr. Gregory could have reflected on how evil the Communists were who caused his exile and imprisonment. Instead, he rejoiced in Christ, Who was within him and would never leave him. He could have reflected on his misery, on how the rulers had deprived him of his priestly duties and the ability to ministration to his flock, and on the pain that his captors inflicted upon him daily. Yet, the text speaks from someone with the knowledge that everything that happens to those who love God is for their benefit. It is a song of joy eminating from the heart of a man whose physical eyes could not not see the beautiful things which are described so vividly, but through Our Lord, was given a superior vision."

Taken from: http://yya.oca.org

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