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thumb|300px|right|Apolytikion of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel --- The Apolytikion (Greek: Ἀπολυτίκιον) or Dismissal Hymn is a troparion (hymn) said or sung at Orthodox Christian worship services. The apolytikion summarizes the feast being celebrated that day. It is chanted at Vespers, Matins and the Divine Liturgy; and it is read at each of the Little Hours. The name derives from the fact that it is chanted for the first time before the dismissal (Greek: apolysis) of Vespers. In the Orthodox Church, the liturgical day begins at sunset, so Vespers is the first service of the day.

The apolytikion could be compared in the Western liturgy to the collect or post-communion, inasmuch as it changes for each feast-day of the year and specifically commemorates the subject of the feast.

Examples

The apolytikion of the Feast of the Nativity (December 25):

Thy Nativity, O Christ, hath arisen on the world as the light of knowledge; for at it those who worshipped stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, O Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, O Orient from on high; Glory to Thee, O Lord.

The apolytikion for the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25):

Today is the crowning of our salvation and the manifestation of the Mystery which is from eternity; the Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel announceth the glad tidings of grace: wherefore let us cry out with him to the Mother of God; Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!

The apolytikion of Pascha (Easter):

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

There are also Resurrectional apolytikia written in each of the Eight Tones.

See also

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