Beginning on August 1, the Orthodox Church enters a special fasting period, known popularly as the fifteen days.
Leading up to the great feast day of the Dormition (or Falling Asleep) of the Most Holy Theotokos on August 15, Orthodox Christians fast for 15 days and dedicate themselves to a renewed life of prayer and Christian works.
It is also customary to celebrate special prayer services of supplication. In the Greek tradition, including on Mt. Athos, churches hold a “Paraklesis” (Supplication) service every day, beseeching the Theotokos to intercede before the throne of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the health, protection, and salvation of the faithful.
Embedded above is a recording of a Supplications to the Theotokos, as chanted in the famous Athonite monastery of Simonopetra.
What’s your favorite recording of the Paraklesis or other hymns to the Theotokos?