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Hymns from the Morningland Part 20

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The following is a close rendering of a hymn to Christ The Word, taken from a collection of hymns to The Three One G.o.d, by Bishop Nektarios, Metropolitan of Pentapolis (_vide_ Introduction, page xxi). The hymn, which is in anapaests, is at page 10 of the author's collection, where it bears the t.i.tle, {ode eis ton kyrion hemon Iesoun Christon.} The volume was published at Athens, 1909, and is one of many similar collections written by hymn-writers in the communion of the Greek Church.

I

Christ The Word! Thine Incarnation Links my nature to Thine own; By Thy sore Humiliation, I am lifted to Thy throne; By Thy suffering Thou hast fired me With a zeal to sacrifice, And to n.o.ble life inspired me,-- Hence my grateful songs arise.

II

Word of G.o.d! Thy Crucifixion Hath upraised me from the earth; By Thy death and dereliction, Thou hast given me n.o.bler birth; By Thy Resurrection glorious, Life immortal now I own,-- Hence ascend my songs victorious To Thy praise, O Christ the Son.

III

By Thy hand at the creation, Thou didst form me from the ground, And, to mark my kingly station, With Thine image I was crowned; And that hand, when pierced and bleeding, Raised me from corruption's mire, And, though all this love unheeding, Decked me with divine attire.

IV

Thou who gav'st my soul its being, Breathing in me life divine, Didst, by Thine all-wise decreeing, Unto death Thy life resign; And from death my soul defending, Thou didst sojourn with the dead, That Thou mightst, my fetters rending, Raise me up, Thou Glorious Head!

V

Shame be on your heads abiding, Disobedient people now, Who to death, and vile deriding, Caused the Word of G.o.d to bow!

Shame! for death, nor powers infernal, Nor the dark of hades' gloom, Could retain the King Eternal In the bondage of the tomb.

{Deute kai mimesometha en te parouse heorte.}

Another rendering from the Greek of Bishop Nektarios. The original is on page 68 of his collection, where it is ent.i.tled, {Hymnos eis ten baptisin tou kyriou hemon Iesou Christou}. The hymn is obviously based on the troparian and contakion for the Feast of the Theophany, or Epiphany (January 6), and the contakion for the Feast of St. John Baptist (January 7). The latter contakion reads thus:--

"At Thy bodily presence Jordan was driven back in fear; John shook with trembling as he fulfilled his prophetic ministry; the host of angels were amazed at seeing the Baptized in the flesh, and all that were in the dark shades [of hades] received light, and praised Thee Who hast appeared, and hast lightened everything." (Menaeon, Venice edition, page 81.)

I

Come, keep this Feast, who holy things revere, And with pure minds, your Lord adore with fear.

II

Lo, to the Jordan on this sacred day, The Bridegroom from His chamber took His way.

III

Jordan affrighted, on its course was stayed; The Baptist heard His voice and was dismayed.

IV

"How can I hold that sacred Head of Thine, O Word of G.o.d, Immortal, and Divine?"

V

Then, from the Father, in the heaven above, The Holy Ghost descended as a Dove.

VI

While on the Christ the dove-like form abode, And Jordan's parted waters o'er Him flowed.

VII

"This is my Son," the Father spake from heaven, "Who, for the lost of Adam's race was given."

VIII

Illumine us, we sing, O Christ the Lord, Glory to Thee, O Thou Incarnate Word!

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR. Crown 8vo. Price 3/6 each nett._

HYMNS OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH, being Centos and Suggestions from the Service Books of the Holy Eastern Church. With Introduction, and Historical and Biographical Notes.

HYMNS FROM THE EAST, being Centos and Suggestions from the Service Books of the Holy Eastern Church. With Introduction.

HYMNS FROM THE GREEK OFFICE BOOKS, together with Centos and Suggestions.

HYMNS OF THE HOLY EASTERN CHURCH, translated from the Service Books. With Introductory Chapters on the History, Doctrine, and Worship of the Church.

Alexander Gardner, Paisley.

HYMNS OF THE GREEK CHURCH, translated, with Introduction and Notes. Cheap edition. Crown 8vo. Cloth. 1s. 6d. nett.

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