The Life of Saint Anna: Hearing the words of the Angel, Anna bowed to God and said: “As the Lord God lives, if a child is born to me, I shall offer it for service to God. Let it serve Him and Glorify the Holy Name of God day and night all the time of its life.”…
Synaxis of Saints Anna and Joachim: September 9th
Saint Anna and was married to Saint Joachim. They were old in age, well past the years of child-bearing, but through their faith in God and their earnest Prayers for a child, God Blessed them to have a daughter, the Most Blessed Mother of God.
Apolytikion: Having been Righteous in the Grace of the Law, Joachim and Anna did bear for us a God-given child: therefore, today the Divine Church radiantly triumphs, celebrating joyously your precious memory, Glorifying God Who has elevated the horn of Salvation for us in the house of David.
Kontakion: Now Anna rejoiceth that she is released from the bonds of her barrenness, and she doth nourish her immaculate child. She calleth together all the people to praise Him Who, from her womb, gave to mortals the only Ever-Virgin Mother.
Prayer: O Ever-Glorious and Righteous Forbearers of Christ, Holy Joachim and Anna who stand before the Heavenly Throne of the Great King and possess boldness before Him; He was well pleased to become Incarnate of your All-Blessed daughter, the All-Pure Birth-Giver of God and Ever-Virgin Mary. We, the sinful and unworthy, come to you as mighty intercessors and diligent advocates for us. Entreat His goodness, that He turn away His wrath from us, which we deserve because of our deeds and that, overlooking our countless transgressions, He may turn us to the way of repentance and set us firmly upon the path of His Commandments. By your supplications preserve our life in peace. Ask that we may be successful in good things. By your intercession, may God grant to us all things necessary for life and piety and may He deliver us from all peril, misfortune and sudden death. May He allow us to live out our lives in peace and tranquility, in all piety and purity. Having thus passed from this transitory life in peace, we may attain unto everlasting rest, where by your Holy entreaty, may we be granted the Heavenly Kingdom of Christ our God, to Whom is due all Glory, honour and worship with the Father and All-Holy Spirit, unto the ages of ages.
Conception of the Mother of God: December 9th
Apolytikion: Today the bonds of barrenness are broken, for God has heard the Prayers of Joachim and Anna. He has promised them beyond all their hopes, to bear the Maiden of God, by whom the Indescribable One was born as mortal Man, and Who commanded an Angel to cry to her: Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Kontakion: Today the universe celebrates the Conception by Anna, through the Grace of God: For she has conceived the one who will give birth to the Ineffable Word.
Hymn: O Divine announcement! O strange telling! If I conceive in my womb, an Angel will be sent to her, Anna considers in astonishment, and with a loud voice cries out: Glory to my God Who does paradoxical things!
Nativity of the Mother of God: September 8th
Apolytikion: Your Birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His Blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us Eternal Life.
Kontakion: In your Holy Birth, Immaculate One, Joachim and Anna were rid of the shame of childlessness; Adam and Eve of the corruption of death. And so your people, free of the guilt of their sins, celebrate crying: “The barren one gives birth to the Theotokos, who nourishes our life.”
Hymn: Today has come the beginning of our Salvation, O people, for behold, she who was chosen beforehand from the ancient generations, the Mother and Virgin, and the Container for God, comes forth to be born from a barren woman. O Flower from the Root of Jesse, and his rod which sprouted forth. Rejoice, O Forefather Adam, and let Eve rejoice with gladness, for behold, she who was formed from the rib of Adam, the daughter and offspring, is blessed openly. For [Adam] says, “From me is born deliverance, from whom will come for me freedom from the bonds of Hades.” Let David rejoice, striking the harp, and let him bless God, for behold, the Virgin comes forth from [a Mother] barren as stone, for the Salvation of our Souls.
Hymn: What a paradoxical miracle! That the Fountain of Life from a barren wife is born, that Grace, fulgent, may commence to bear its fruit henceforth. Be joyous, O Joachim, having become the God-Bearer’s progenitor! There is no one else like you in generations of paternity, O Godly one, for the Godreceiving Maiden, the Tabernacle of our God the Mountain All-Holy, unto us has been bestowed through you.
Hymn: What a paradoxical miracle! The barren one’s fruit is brought forth at the command of Him who has made all things, and our Almighty God; and deftly He has redeemed the worldly realm that was sterile of His good things. O mothers, in chorus join the Theotokos’ own mother and cry aloud, “Lady full of grace, rejoice, for the Lord is with you, and at your intercession, He bestows great mercy on the world.”
Hymn: Anna the renowned, appearing as an animate pillar of chastity and a bright container shining with Grace, has truly given birth to progeny of her own, the efflorescence Divine of virginity. And manifestly the Maid awards virginityʹs beauty to virgins all and to those who truly long for the grace of virginity, and she freely is granting unto all the faithful great mercy.
Doxastikon: This is the Lord’s Day, O people, be filled with gladness! Behold! The Bridal Chamber of Light and the Book of the Word of Life has come forth from the womb. The Temple Gate that faces East has been born, and she awaits the entry of the Great High Priest. Only she introduces Christ to the whole world, for the Salvation of our Souls.
Entrance in the Temple of the Mother of God: November 21st
When our Most Holy Mother of God was three years old, Saint Joachim and Saint Anna led her into the Temple of the Lord, consecrating her to God as they had promised Him. This is where she lived her childhood, after running up the stairs to the Holy Temple and being received into the arms of Saint Zacharias, the Father of the Forerunner, and tended to by the Holy Archangel Gabriel.
Dormition of Saint Anna: July 25th
After the Repose of her husband, Saint Anna went and lived with her daughter Praying unceasingly in the Temple of God until her Blessed Repose when she was 79 years old.
Apolytikion: O Godly-minded Anna, thou didst give birth unto God’s Pure Mother who conceived Him Who is our Life. Wherefore, thou hast now passed with joy to thy Heavenly rest, wherein is the abode of them that rejoice in Glory; and thou askest forgiveness of sins for them that honour thee with love, O ever-Blessed one.
Kontakion: We celebrate now the memory of Christ’s Ancestors, while asking their help with faith, that we may all be saved from all manner of tribulation as we fervently cry aloud: Be thou with us, O Lord our God, Whose pleasure it was to Glorify them both.
Oikos: Let us all prophetically come together to worthily extol the All-Holy passing of Christ’s Grandmother. For today she passed from this temporal life and joyfully made her way into Heaven, where she greatly rejoices. As the true mother of the true Theotokos, she cries out with faith: “My Soul magnifies the Lord, for I gave birth to His Mother on Earth.” May He be with us, He Who Glorified them as He was pleased to do.
Exaposteilarion: Of Righteous Anna, called by God, let us duly sing praises. For she conceived beyond all hope and bore the Virgin Mary, the Most Holy Theotokos; and in so doing she was shone forth to be akin to Christ our Redeemer; and He has today as God taken her to join Him on high in Heaven. She interceded on our behalf and for the sake of world peace.
There are some beautiful Icons of the Generations of the Most Holy Family of Christ. These include Christ, His Mother the Most Holy Mary Mother of God, her mother Saint Anna, and her mother Saint Maria. Also in the Icons are Saint Joachim, the father of Our Most Holy Mother of God, and Saint Joseph the Betrothed to Our Most Holy Mother of God and guardian of Jesus Christ.
Because Saint Joachim and Saint Anna were childless for so many years, they are often Prayed to by couples who cannot conceive. Through their Prayers God has blessed so many couples with children. There is a Holy Icon of Saint Anna on Mount Athos. It has become a beautiful Spiritual Blessing for the husband to go to the Holy Mountain to Pray to Saint Anna and Saint Joachim before this Holy Icon, and countless husbands and wives have been blessed with a family afterwards.