Hail! Bride Unbrided!
The Akathistos Hymn is an Office in honour of Our Lady sung in churches of the Byzantine rite (whether Catholic or non-Catholic), in parts on the first four Saturdays of Lent and in its entirety on the fifth, which is accordingly called 'Akathistos Saturday'. It is also in use at all times of the year for private devotion. Below is a stanza, translated by fr Vincent McNabb, O.P., which I wish to offer to Our Blessed Mother on this day, the first Saturday in Ordinary Time:
Hail! flower unfading.
Hail! crown of chastity.
Hail! flashing token of resurrection.
Hail! mirror of the life of Angels.
Hail! tree of glorious fruit to feed the faithful.
Hail! wood of grateful shade where many shelter.
Hail! womb bearing the Guide of all who stray.
Hail! forth-bringing the Redeemer of all bondsfolk.
Hail! tireless pleader with the Just Judge.
Hail! help bringer to sinners many.
Hail! cloak of those bare of hopes.
Hail! love outrunning all desire.
Hail! Bride Unbrided."