Night adorations began when men came back from work in the evening to glorify the Lord and thank Him, by chanting hymns and psalms, contemplating, praying and teaching. This rite constituted a preliminary prototype for the Holy Services that differed from one region to the other. It was also different from the monastic services performed at the monasteries. These prayers seemed like a liturgy tour among the parishes of the Palestine region, Antioch and its sea, and the then capital Constantinople that knew both civil and monastic services presided by Saint Saba Monastry.
With time, services took the aspect of celebrations, combined with monastic influences brought by the monks who lived in the suburbs of Constantinople. The whole orthodox world started then using the monastic typicon. Little influence remains from these prayers in our modern worship, only felt in the noon chanted litanies.
The Service in this recording has been put together by the researcher John Foundoulis, who studied Liturgy and currently teaches it at the Greek University Aristotetlis, in Thessaloniki. Professor Foundoulis explains that the Pannikhis service carries an ancient heritage that started in Antioch and was later modified by Patriarch Germanos of Constantinople who added to it a liturgial meditation in his prayers and silent recitations.
What characterizes this Pannikhis from our modern service is that it starts with "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" and ends with the deacons dismissing the believers "Let's depart in peace".
We cordially thank all who contributed to the preparation of this service in light of reviving our heritage. We should not refrain from it any longer, nor should we neglect it, but willingly seek it - not for our musical enchantment but rather as a commemorations of the prayers of our just ancestors. We ought to pray with our brothers and follow their steps, so that our Lord accepts our corporate efforts.