The Byzantine tradition dedicates the first four Fridays of Great Lent to anticipating the Annunciation of the Nativity of Christ to the Mother of God, Mary. On Friday evenings at Compline Byzantine churches will sing an Akathist, a "hymn" consisting of opening rites, psalm 50, a few canons, the incensation of an icon of the Blessed Mother, and finally a series of chants which vary by week. This Friday, the first of Lent, we will sing the chants below. They are some of the most profound and beautiful liturgical texts I have ever seen and should help us peer into what the liturgy should be. The chants here are taken from a Melkite service book I borrowed from my previous pastor. Unfortunately I could not find any non-choral settings of the Akathist to publish here, but you can make up your own chant if you wish to sing these (someone made it up once, right?).