Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Countless Throng, Godly Enthusiasm, Holy Hymns


Dear Parish Faithful,

A few more evocative words from St. John of Damascus as we continue to celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos:

The prophets, then, proclaim you. The angels serve you, the apostles revere you, the virginal mouthpiece of God (St. John the Forerunner) takes care of the ever-virgin who was Mother of God. Today the angels minister to you as you go home to your Son, joined by the souls of the just, of patriarchs and prophets. The Apostles are your escort, with a countless throng of inspired Fathers gathered from the ends of the earth in a cloud, by your Son's divine command, in this holy and sacred city, Jerusalem. In their godly enthusiasm, they sing holy hymns to you, the source of the Lord's body that is for us a stream of life.

This is our sacrifice of thanks to you, the first-fruits of our words, a dedicatory offering of our impoverished intelligence, moved by its longing for you to forget its own weakness. Receive our desires kindly, since you know they exceed our power. And you, good Lady, bearer of our good Lord, watch over us; lead and guide our lives where you will; put the urges of our most shameful passions to rest, calm the tossing of their waves, lead us to safe harbor of God's will, make us worthy of the blessedness to come, the sweet light of His own face, who is God the Word, made flesh from you. With Him, may there be to the Father glory, honor and majesty, with His holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and always and unto ages of ages! Amen.

St. John of Damascus, Homily I On the Dormition, 9, 14.

Fr. Steven

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