The Akathist Hymn (Ἀκάθιστος Ὕμνος, unseated hymn) is an Eastern Orthodox Christian hymn dedicated to a saint, holy event, or one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. The name derives from the fact that during the chanting of the hymn, or sometimes the whole service, the congregation is expected to remain standing in reverence, not being allowed to sit down (Ancient Greek ἀ- (a), [without, not] + κάθισις (káthisis), [sitting]).[…] The akathist par excellence is that written in the 6th century to the Theotokos. In its use as part of the Salutations to the Theotokos service (used in the Byzantine tradition during Great Lent), it is often known by its Greek or Arabic names, Χαιρετισμοί/Chairetismoi and Madayeh, respectively. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akathist)
Here, it is not the Akathist to the Theotokos (the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God), but to St. Catherine of Alexandria which is very dear and important to me. More on St Catherine will follow on this blog.
This Akathist is sung in Romanian and I am speechless (ok, nearly) when I listen to this beauty. Will try to discover more of the treasures of our orthodox brothers and sisters.
Saint Catherine, pray for us.