Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Selected Hymns from the Great Feast of the Meeting of Christ in the Temple

The Meeting of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple - Celebrated on February 2nd (Icons courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)

Stichera Idiolemela Tone 1. By Patriarch Germanos
Say, Symeon, whom do your carry in your arms, as you rejoice in the temple? To whom do you cry and shout aloud, ‘Now I have been set free. For I have seen my Saviour’? ‘This is he who was born from a Virgin. This is the Word, God from God, incarnate for our sake and who saves mankind. Let us worship him’.

Receive, Symeon, the One whom Moses in the dark cloud saw of old giving the Law on Sinai, now become a babe and subject to the Law. This is he who spoke through the Law. This is he who was told of in the Prophets, incarnate for our sake and who saves mankind. Let us worship him.

Come, let us too, with songs inspired, go to meet Christ. Let us receive him, whose salvation Symeon saw. This is he whom David proclaimed, and who spoke through the Prophets, was incarnate for our sake and who proclaims by the Law. Let us worship him.

Doxastikon of the Stichera
Glory. Both now. Tone 6. By Monk John.
Let heaven’s gate be opened today. For he who is without beginning, the Word of the Father, taking a beginning in time, yet not abandoning his godhead, is being willingly brought into the temple of the law as a babe of forty days by a Virgin Mother, and the Elder receives him in his arms. The servant cries to the Master, ‘Release me, for my eyes have seen your salvation’. You have come into the world to save the human race. Lord, glory to you!

Idiomelon from the Liti. Tone 2. By Anatolios.
According to others, Andrew of Jerusalem.
Today Symeon the Elder enters the Temple, rejoicing in Spirit to receive in his arms the One who gave the Law to Moses and who fulfils the Law. For Moses was counted worthy to see God through darkness and a faint voice, and with his face veiled he rebuked the unbelieving hearts of the Hebrews. While Symeon carried the pre-eternal Word of the Father incarnate in body and he revealed the light of the Nations, the Cross and Resurrection. And Anna was shown to be a Prophetess as she proclaimed the Saviour to be the Redeemer of Israel. To him let us cry, ‘Christ our God, through the Mother of God have mercy on us.’

Doxastikon of the Aposticha
Glory. Both now. Tone 8. By Andrew of Crete.
He who rides on the Cherubim and is hymned by the Seraphim is being brought today into God’s Temple according to the Law and enthroned on aged arms. By Joseph he receives gifts befitting God, as a pair of turtle doves the unblemished Church and the newly chosen people of the nations; as Author of the Old and New Covenants, two young pigeons. Symeon, having received the fulfilment of the oracle concerning him, blessed Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, and foretold the symbols of the Passion of the One born from her. From him he asks for his release, crying out, ‘Now you release me, Master, as you promised me; for I have seen you, the pre-eternal light, Saviour and Lord of the people that bears Christ’s name.’


Apolytikion. Tone 1.
Hail, full of grace, Virgin Mother of God, for from you there dawned the Sun of righteousness, Christ our God, who enlightens those in darkness. Be glad too, righteous Elder, for you received in your embrace the Liberator of our souls, who grants us also resurrection.

Kontakion. Tone 1. By Romanos.
You sanctified a virgin womb by your birth,
And fittingly blessed Symeon’s hands;
You have come now too and saved us, O Christ God.
But give peace to your commonwealth in times of war,
And strengthen its Rulers, whose friend you are, only Lover of mankind.

Let us run to the Mother of God if we wish to see her Son
Being brought to Symeon.
From heaven the Bodiless Ones are amazed as they look on him and say,
‘Wondrous and marvellous, incomprehensible, ineffable are the things we now see,
For the One who created Adam is being carried as a babe;
The uncontainable is contained in the arms of the elder;
He who is in the uncircumscribed bosom of his Father
Is willingly circumscribed in flesh, but not in godhead,
The only Lover of mankind’.

Taken from the full service translated by Fr. Ephraim Lash with many annotations here: http://anastasis.org.uk/02feb.htm.

For more on this Great Feast, see the following short readings (http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=100407, http://goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=410&type=saints&date=2/2/2010&D=T, http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm) and longer homilies (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/02/st-sophronius-of-jerusalems-candlemas.html, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2010/02/oration-concerning-simeon-and-anna-and.html, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2010/02/st-cyril-of-alexandrias-commentary-on.html).

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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