Akathist of Thanksgiving

As I am sitting with family after our Thanksgiving dinner, I am truly grateful for all our Lord has given us. I have found God to be so good to me and I am thankful for all He has done.

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you all the Akathist of Thanksgiving – a beautiful akathist that expresses thanks to God for all things. Our parish sings this each year on the evening before Thanksgiving Day. It is a special service for us all.

I encourage you all to read or listen to this remarkable Akathist both now and throughout the year.

You can find my favorite choral rendition of the Akathist here:

Akathist of Thanksgiving  by St Ignatius Orthodox Church Choir

Text of the Akathist 

O Immortal King of the ages, Who, by the power of Thy saving providence, dost uphold in Thy right hand all the ways of man’s life; we thank Thee for all Thy good things both manifest and hid; for this earthly life, and for the heavenly joys of Thy Kingdom which is to come. Extend Thy mercies henceforth upon us who sing unto Thee: Glory to Thee, O God, unto the ages!

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History of the Akathist 

This remarkable akathist was written in Russia by Metropolitan Tryphon, (Prince Boris Petrovich Turkestanov) not long before his death in 1934. That he was able to write such a moving and poetic hymn of praise in the conditions of those years, is a revelation not only of the depth of his spiritual vision, but of the Russian experience of faith that emerged in the 20th century. The akathist came to be known through Archpriest Gregory Petroff, who died in a Soviet prison camp in the 1940s. He, in fact, was originally thought to have been the author of the akathist.

Well known today in the Orthodox world, this akathist was brought to St. Nicholas Cathedral in 1986 by Marina Cheremetieff, a long time parishioner. It had been given to her by a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church serving in Morocco. Impressed by its poetic beauty, she asked me to join her in preparing the English text. Some sections were then set to Kiev and Valaam chant by St. Nicholas Choir Director, Pat Shaw, with congregational singing in mind. The akathist was presented at St. Nicholas Cathedral on Thanksgiving several times, read by Bishop Basil (Rodzianko) and sung by the church choir.

Marilyn Swezey (https://www.stnicholasdc.org/files/Prayers/Akathist-of-Thanksgiving.pdf)

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