On This DayCyprus
Monday, 17 November 1997 (6/1997)
Commemorative Issue: Christmas 1997
"Akathistos Ymnos" (Standing Hymn) ranks high among a few hymns that were the central theme in illustrations that marked the last phase of Byzantine painting. Each and everyone of the 24 "Iki" (single: "Ikos" = Psalm) of the "Akathistos Ymnos" are illustrated in a way that is easy for the congregation to understand. Therefore, frescos form a "book" comprehensible to the faithful who are either partly literate or completely illiterate. "Akathistos Ymnos", a hymn chanted in praise of the Mother of God, is linked with the siege of Constantinople by the Avars in 62 A.D. It is divided into 4 parts and is sung gradually during the first four Fridays of the Lent, while on the fifth Friday the whole hymn is repeated.