The Saturday of the Akathist
On the fifth Saturday of the Great Lent the Holy Orthodox Church glorifies the Mother of God by singing Akathist in Her honor. The service is called the “Laudation of the Virgin,” or the Saturday of the Akathist.
The Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery’s celebration of the Laudation of the Virgin is traditionally served solemnly, in the presence of the Archpastors. On Friday, Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas headed the evening service and the reading of the Akathist to the Most Holy Mother of God. Bishop Agafangel of Norislk and Turukhan with the monastery’s clergy concelebrated at the service.
According to Typikon, each of four readings from the Akathist is preceded by the opening of the Royal Doors with clergy emerging from the altar singing the kontakion “To Thee the Champion Leader…” and proceeding towards the middle of the church. His Eminence Metropolitan Georgiy went through four changes of vestments that emphasized the solemnity of the petitions during this particular service.
Upon completion of the service, the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Metropolitanate addressed the faithful in a sermon about the intercession we gain through our prayers to the Most Holy Mother of God. We beseech Her to be our defender, as She entreats Her Son for us seeking His mercy.