Jan 29, 2011

Virtual Memorial

By Thy righteous judgment, Thou hast cut down like a green herb before it has completely sprouted, the infant that Thou hast taken, O Lord. But, as Thou hast led him unto the divine mountain of eternal good things, do Thou plant him there, O Word.

The sword of death has come and cut thee off like a young branch, O blessed one that has not been tempted by worldly sweetness. But, lo, Christ openeth the heavenly gates unto Thee, joining Thee unto the elect, as He is deeply compassionate. (Ode 5 of the Canon)

O Most-perfect Word, Who didst reveal Thyself as perfect Infant: Thou hast taken unto Thyself an infant imperfect in growth. Give him rest with all the Righteous who have been well-pleasing unto Thee, O Only Lover of Mankind. (Ode 3 of the Canon)

No one is more pitiful than a mother, and no one is more wretched that a father, for their inward beings are troubled when they send forth their infants before them. Great is the pain of their hearts because of their children ... (Ikos following Ode 6 of the Canon)

This further intensifes in one hymn that seeks to articulate the words of the infant if he could communicate with those "left behind" Here we find a realistic acknowledgment of intense grief suffused with a certain hope that God can bring relief to that very grief:

O God, God, Who hast summoned me: Be Thou the consolation of my household now, for a great lamentation has befallen them. For all have fixed their gaze on me, having me as their only-begotten one. But do Thou, Who wast born of a Virgin Mother, refresh the inward parts of my mother, and bedew the heart of my father with this: Alleluia. (Ikos following Ode 6 of the Canon)

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