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The term megalynarion is used in English to refer to three types of hymnography that have no relationship to one another.

  • In Byzantine practice, a megalynarion is a short hymn for the saint of the day or the feast that is sung after "Among the first...". This type of megalynarion is also used during other services, such as a Paraklesis.
  • In Slavic practice, a megalynarion is a hymn, sung at the end of the polyeleos, which usually begins with "We magnify..." In Slavonic, this type of hymn is called a velichaniye. Another common term in English used for this type of hymn is magnification.
  • In both Byzantine and Slavic practice, the term megalynarion is also used to refer to the hymn that is sung at the Divine Liturgy just after the consecration of the Holy Gifts.

The most common megalynarion is the one used at the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom when it is not a feast of the Lord or of the Theotokos:

It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos,
ever blessed and most blameless and the Mother of our God:
More honourable than the Cherubim,
and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
who without corruption gave birth to God the Word,
true Theotokos, we magnify thee.

The hymns that replace "It is truly meet..." in the Divine Liturgy are called in Slavonic the "Zadostoinik," or in Greek the "anti tou Axion Estin", both which mean "Instead of 'It is truly meet.'" These hymns come from the refrain and irmos of the ninth ode of the Canon of the Feast, which is sung at Orthros. Some English-speaking Orthodox prefer to use the Slavonic term to distinguish it from the other types of hymns that are also referred to as a megalynarion.

This article forms part of the series on the
Divine Liturgy
Liturgy of the Preparation Proskomedia | Liturgical objects | Vestments
Liturgy of the Word Great Litany | Antiphons | Little Entrance | Troparion | Thrice-Holy Hymn | Epistle | Gospel | Homily | Litany of Fervent Supplication | Litany for the Departed | Litany of the Catechumens
Liturgy of the Eucharist Cherubic Hymn | Great Entrance | Litany of the Completion | Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed | Anaphora | Epiclesis | Megalynarion | Lord's Prayer | Communion | Dismissal | Antidoron
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