Akathist of Thanksgiving

Many Orthodox parishes around the country will use this recent prayer service during the celebration of American Thanksgiving. This is a beautiful service of prayer that was penned only recently (1940's).

The following is an account of its author (Hieromartyr Gregory Petroff) and composition:

"The Archpriest Gregory Petroff was a man who lived and died under this madness. How can we understand the senseless cruelty and slaughter that took place in Communist Russia? We can only by faith in God’s eternal and saving providence. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you’” (John 15:20). It is said that Fr. Gregory was murdered while in a prison camp, but not before he was able to pen the poignant AKATHIST OF THANKSGIVING, giving to the Church and to the world light from great darkness, reminding us that even in the midst of frightful suffering true Christian conviction and courage are unconquerable. We are indeed thankful for this Akathist; our hearts are lifted by it. We offer these prayers to the glory of God and in honor of those “men, women and children, flowers of the spiritual meadow of Russia, who blossomed forth wondrously in time of grievous persecution” (from the Troparion to the New Martyrs of Russia)."

This is a wonderful service of thanksgiving to God, and is even more poignant when one understands that it was written by a man under deprivation and torture in a Communist prison. Yet he was able to praise God and declare, "Glory to God in all things!"

Here a couple links to the full text:

1. This link gives the full text and also the opportunity to purchase a CD of a parish choir singing the service.

2. This link is from the Antiochian archdiocese website. One of the nice features of this link is that it provides the text and divides into it 40 portions so it can be read devotionally throughout the Nativity season. This seems a wonderful idea, and the model can easily be applied to any Akathist service and used during Lent or any other time of the year.
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