That which is broken cannot be restored, but You can set aright those whose conscience has become decayed; You restore the soul to its former beauty in those who have lost it beyond all hope. With You there is nothing that cannot be put aright. You are all love. You are the Creator and the Restorer. To You we sing praise: Alleluia! – from the Akathist of Thanksgiving
A couple of days ago, I posted again on PTSD. In reply a person who has struggled with PTSD wrote to me and shared the above lines from the Akathist of Thanksgiving. She said that they have helped her much; they are lines she recites when it all begins to hit her.
As a result, I have read the Akathist of Thanksgiving—it is impossible to know every Akathist—and have found this one to be well worth reading. Its phrases ministered to me as well. But, when I read its source, its provenance, it made me realize that how much we, in the USA, do not really know what it means to serve God under duress. Reading the Akathist, and its background story, most surely humbled me and reminded me, yet again, that we have yet to suffer unto the shedding of blood, as says the Book of Hebrews.
Here is the story of the Akathist of Thanksgiving, according its translator from the Russian, Ms. Marilyn P. Swezey:
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.