Generally speaking, I am bored by the Canons, and especially by the Akathists, and I read them only out of a sense of duty. I make an exception only for the penitential Canons of the Octoechos and the Lenten Triodion. But there are times when my heart is very heavy and sad, and then I recite certain canons—to the Mother of God and to the most Sweet Jesus—as if the words were my own. This means that our “lack of feeling” for the Canons is an accusation against us—it points to an absence in the given person of the religious mood in which these Canons were written.
* This excerpt is from “The Diary of a Russian Priest” by Fr. Alexander Elchaninov