Resp.— To You be praise from Your flock in the day of Your Epiphany!
1. The heavens He has renewed, for that fools worshipped all the luminaries:— He has renewed the earth, for that in Adam it was wasted. — That which He fashioned has become new by His spittle:— and the All-Sufficing has restored bodies with souls.
2. Gather yourselves again— sheep and without labour receive cleansing!— for one needs not as Elisha— to bathe seven times in the river, nor again to be wearied as the priests are wearied with sprinklings.
3. Seven times Elisha purified himself in a mystery of the seven spirits;— and the hyssop and blood are a mighty symbol.— There is no room for division— He is not divided from the Lord of all Who is Son of the Lord of all.
6. Through the sea the People then passed, and showed a symbol— of the baptism wherein you were washed. The People passed through that and believed not:— the Gentiles were baptized in this and believed and received the Holy Ghost.
7. The Word sent the Voice to proclaim before His Coming,— to prepare for Him the way by which He came—and to betroth the Bride till He should come—that she might be ready when He should come and take her from the water.
8. The voice of prophecy stirred the son of the barren woman—and he went forth wandering in the desert and crying—
Lo! The Son of the Kingdom comes!— prepare the way that He may enter and abide in your dwellings!
9. John cried,
Who comes after me, He is before me:— I am the Voice but not the Word;— I am the torch but not the Light—the Star that rises before the Sun of Righteousness.
10. In the wilderness this John had cried and had said—
Repent you sinners of your evils—and offer the fruits of repentance;— for lo! He comes that winnows the wheat from the tares.
11. The Lightgiver has prevailed and marked a mystery, by the degrees he ascended:— Lo! There are twelve days since he ascended,— and today this is the thirteenth:— a perfect mystery of Him, the Son, and His twelve!
12. Darkness was overcome to make it manifest that Satan was overcome—and the Light prevailed that he should proclaim— that the Firstborn triumphs: darkness was overcome— with the Dark Spirit, and our Light prevailed with the Lightgiver.
13. In the Height and the Depth the Son had two heralds.— The star of light proclaimed Him from above—John likewise preached Him from beneath:— two heralds, the earthly and the heavenly.
14. The star of light, contrary to nature, shone forth of a sudden—less than the sun yet greater than the sun.— Less was it than he in manifest light—and greater than he in secret might because of its mystery.
15. The star of light shed its rays among them that were in darkness—and guided them as though they were blind—so that they came and met the great Light:— they gave offerings and received life and adored and departed.
16. The herald from above showed His Nature to be from the Most High;— likewise he that was from beneath showed His Body to be from humankind, mighty marvel!— that His Godhead and His Manhood by them were proclaimed!
17. Thus whoso reckons Him as of earth, the star of light— will convince him that He is of Heaven: and whoso reckons Him as of spirit,— this John will convince him that He is also bodily.
18. John drew near with his parents and worshipped the Sun—and brightness rested on His Face.— He was not moved as when in the womb.— Mighty marvel! That here he worships and there he leaped!
19. The whole creation became for Him as one mouth and cried out concerning Him.— The Magi cry out in their gifts;— the barren cry out with their children—the star of light, lo! It cries out in the air,
Behold the Son of the King!
20. The heavens are opened, the waters break forth, the dove is in glory!— The voice of the Father is stronger than thunder—as it utters the word,
This is My Beloved;— the Watchers brought the tidings, the children acclaimed Him in their Hosannas.
(Nearly identical with Hymn XIII. On the Nativity.)
(Resp.— To You be praise Who in this feast makest all to exult!)
1. In the time of the King whom they called by the name Semha — our Lord was manifested among the Hebrews.— Thus Semha and Denha reigned together—the King on earth and the Son on high— blessed be His power!
2. In the days of the King who wrote down men in the taxing,— our Saviour came down and wrote down men in the Book of Life; He wrote and was written—on high He wrote us, on earth He was written; glory to His Name!
3. His Birth was in the days of the King whose name was Semha.— Symbol and truth met one another—King and King, Semha and Denha.— That kingdom bore His Cross; blessed be He Who took it up!
4. Thirty years abode He on earth in poverty.— Voices of praise in all measures—let us weave my brethren for our Lord's years—thirty crowns for thirty years; Blessed be His number!
5. In the first year, mistress of treasure and filled with blessings,— let the Cherubin give thanks with us, they who bear— the Son in glory Who gave up His glorious state—and toiled and found the sheep that was lost—to Him be thanksgiving!
6. In the second year let the Seraphin multiply thanksgiving with us—they who cried
Holy to the Son, and turned and saw Him— among unbelievers put to shame.— He endured scorn and taught us glory; to Him be glory given!
7. In the third year let Michael and his hosts give thanks with us—they who were wont to serve the Son on high— and saw Him on earth doing service.— He washed men's feet and cleansed men's souls; blessed be His meekness!
8. In the fourth year let all the heavens give thanks with us! Too narrow for the Son it shall burst to see— how He lay on the couch of despised Zaccheus.— He filled the couch and had filled the heavens;— to Him be thanksgiving!
9. In the fifth year let the Sun that burns the earth with its heat— give thanks to our Sun that He straitened His largeness,— and tempered His force that the eye might endure to see Him—the inward eye of a pure soul; blessed be His radiance!
10. In the sixth year again let all the air give thanks with us—in the vastness whereof all things exult.— It saw its great Lord that He became— a little babe in a lowly bosom; blessed be His honour!
11. In the seventh year let the clouds and winds sound the trumpet with us—they whose dew sprinkles the faces of the flowers—yet saw they the Son that He subdued His brightness—and endured scorn and shameful spitting—blessed be His salvation!
12. Yet again in the eighth year let Creation give glory—from whose fountain the fruits draw nurture.— She adored when she saw the Son at the breast—pure babe nurtured by pure milk; blessed be His good pleasure!
13. In the ninth year let the earth give glory, which when her lap is watered then brings forth the root.— She saw Mary an unwatered soil— whose fruit that she yielded is a mighty sea; to Him be exultation!
R., To You be glory, Son of the Lord of all, Who gives life to all!
14. In the tenth year let Mount Sinai give glory, which melted— before its Lord! It saw against its Lord— stones taken up: but He took stones— to build the Church upon the Rock; blessed be His building!
15. In the eleventh year let the great sea give thanks— to the hand of the Son Who measured it! And it wondered to see how He came down and was washed— in humble waters, He that cleanses Creation; blessed be His triumph!
16. In the twelfth year let the holy Temple give thanks— which beheld the Child as He sat— among the elders: the doctors were silenced— as the Lamb of the feast bleated in the feast; blessed be His atonement!
17. In the thirteenth year let diadems with us give thanks— to the King Who triumphed and was crowned— with a crown of thorns: He wove for man— a mighty diadem at His right hand; blessed be He That sent Him!
18. In the fourteenth year let the Passover of Egypt give thanks— to the Passover that came and made passover for all—and instead of Pharaoh overwhelmed Legion—and instead of horsemen drowned demons; blessed be His retribution!
19. In the fifteenth year let the lamb of the flock give thanks—that our Lord slew it not as did Moses—but redeemed by His Blood mankind.— He the Shepherd of all died for all; blessed be He That begot Him!
20. In the sixteenth year let the seed-grain in mystery give thanks— to that Husbandman Who gave His Body for seed— in a barren soil that corrupts all things.— It proved fertile and yielded new bread; blessed be He that is pure!
21. In the seventeenth year let the Vine give thanks to our Lord,— the Vineyard of truth, wherein souls were— as the scions. He gave peace to this vineyard, but laid waste that vineyard which bare wild grapes; blessed be the Uprooter!
22. In the eighteenth year let our leaven give thanks— to the leaven of truth that penetrates and draws— all minds and makes them to become— one mind in one doctrine; blessed be His doctrine!
23. In the nineteenth year let the Salt give thanks for Your Body.— O blessed Babe it is the soul— that is the salt of the Body, and Faith— the salt of the soul whereby it is preserved; blessed be Your preservation!
24. In the twentieth year let temporal wealth with us give thanks—which men that are perfect have cast off and abandoned— because of the
Woe; and have gone and loved— poverty because of its beatitude; blessed be He Who desired it!
25. In the one-and-twentieth year let the waters give thanks that were sweetened— in a mystery of the Son. In the honey of Samson— the nations tasted bitterness therein that destroyed them:— they had life in the Cross that redeemed them; blessed be its pleasantness!
26. In the two-and-twentieth year let arms and the sword give thanks—for they could not slay our Adversary.— You are He Who slew him as You are He Who restored— the ear that Simon's sword cut off; blessed be Your healing!
27. In the three-and-twentieth year let the ass likewise give thanks—that gave the colt whereon He should ride—He opens likewise the mouth of wild asses—the offspring gave Him praise; blessed be the praise of You!
28. In the four-and-twentieth year let wealth give thanks to the Son!— Treasures were amazed at the Lord of treasures—how He grew up among the poor.— He made Himself poor that He might make all rich; blessed be His participation!
29. In the five-and-twentieth year let Isaac give thanks to the Son— Who in the mount saved him from the knife—and became in his stead the lamb to be slain.— The mortal escaped, and He died Who gives life to all; blessed be His offering!
30. In the six-and-twentieth year let Moses with us give thanks—who feared and fled from the slayers;— let him give thanks to the Son, for He it was Who on His feet— entered Sheol and spoiled it and came forth; blessed be His Resurrection!
[31. In the seven-and-twentieth year let the eloquent Orators— give thanks to the Son, for they could not find— means whereby we should prevail in our judgment:— He was silent in judgment and made our judgment prevail; to Him be applause!]
32. In the seven and twentieth year let all Judges give thanks—who as being just have put to death illdoers;— let them give thanks to the Son Who instead of the evil— died as being good, though He was Son of the Just One; blessed be His mercies!
33. In the eight-and-twentieth year let them give thanks to the Son—all the mighty men who saved us not— from the captors. One is to be worshipped,— Who was slain and laid hold and saved us; blessed be His deliverance!
34. In the nine-and-twentieth year let Job with us give thanks—who bare sufferings in his own behalf:— but our Lord bare on our behalf— the spitting and the stripes, the thorns and the nails; blessed is His compassion!
35. In the year that is the thirtieth let them give thanks with us—the dead that have lived through His dying—the living that were converted in His Crucifixion,— and the height and the depth that have been reconciled in Him! Blessed be He and His Father!
(Resp.— Christ with chrism, lo! He is sealing the newborn lambs in His flock!)
1. Christ and chrism are conjoined; the secret with the visible is mingled: the chrism anoints visibly—Christ seals secretly, the lambs newborn and spiritual, the prize of His twofold victory; for He engendered it of the chrism, and He gave it birth of the water.
2. How exalted are your Orders! For she that was a sinner anointed, as a handmaid, the feet of her Lord. But for you, as though His minister, Christ by the hand of His servants, seals and anoints your bodies. It befits Him the Lord of the flock, that in His own person He seal His sheep.
3. Since then she, that sinner, stood in need of forgiveness, the anointing was for her an offering, and by it her love reconciled her Lord. But you who are the flock, among the profane and unbelievers, the Truth by the chrism is your seal, to separate you from the strayed.
4. From the peoples he separated the People, by the former seal of circumcision; but by the seal of anointing, the peoples He separates from the People. When the peoples were in error, the People He separated from the peoples; now when the People has erred from Him, He separates the peoples from thence.
5. Of the dust of the pure soil, Naaman bore away and returned to his place; that he by this holy dust, might be separated and known from the unclean. The chrism of Christ separates, the sons of the mystery from strangers: and by it they that are within are separated, and known from them that are without.
6. The oil which Elijah multiplied, might be tasted with the mouth; for the cruse was that of the widow, it was not that of the chrism. The oil of our Lord that is in the cruse, it is not food for the mouth: the sinner that was a wolf without, it makes him a lamb in the flock.
7. The chrism of the meek and lowly One, changes the stubborn to be like its Lord. The Gentiles were wolves and feared, the severe rod of Moses. Lo! The chrism seals them and makes, a flock of sheep out of the wolves! And the wolves that had fled from the rod, lo! They have taken refuge in the Cross!
8. The leaf of olive arrived, brought as a figure of the anointing; the sons of the Ark rejoiced to greet it, for it bore good tidings of deliverance. Thus also you rejoiced to greet it, even this holy anointing. The bodies of sinners were glad in it, for it brought good tidings of deliverance.
9. The oil again that Jacob poured, upon the stone when he sealed it, that it should be between him and God, and that he might offer there his tithes; lo! In it is a symbol of your bodies, how by chrism they are sealed as holy, and become temples for God, where He shall be served by your sacrifices.
10. When Moses had sealed and anointed, the sons of Aaron the Levite, the fire consumed their bodies; the fire spared their vestments. But you my brethren blessed are you, for the fire of grace has come down, has consumed utterly your offenses, and cleansed and hallowed your bodies!
11. As for the anointing of Aaron my brethren, it was the vile blood of beasts, that it sprinkled in the horns of the altar. The anointing of truth is this; wherein the living and all-lifegiving Blood, is sprinkled inwardly in your bodies, is mingled in your understandings, is infused through your inmost chambers.
12. The anointed priests used to offer, the slain bodies of beasts; You, O anointed and excelling, your offerings are your own bodies. The anointed Levites offered, the inward parts taken, from beasts: you have excelled the Levites, for your hearts you have Consecrated.
13. The anointing of the People was— a foreshadowing of Christ; their rod a mystery of the Cross; their lamb a type of the Only begotten; their tabernacle a mystery of your Churches; their circumcision a sign of your sealing. Under the shadow of your goodly thing, sat the People of old.
14. Thus the truth is likened, to a great shadowing tree: it cast its shade on the People; it struck its root among the peoples. The People abode under its shadows, whose shadows were its mysteries; but the Gentiles lodged on its bough, and plucked and ate of its fruits.
15. As for the anointing of Saul to be king; the sweeter was its savour, so much fouler was the savour of his heart. The Spirit struck him and fled. Your anointing which you have is greater; for your minds are censers, in your temples the Spirit exults, a chamber forever shall you be unto Him.
16. As for the anointing of David my brethren; the Spirit came down and made sweet savour, in the heart of the man wherein He delighted; the savour of his heart was as the savour of his action. The Spirit dwelt in him and made song in him. Your anointing which you have is greater, for Father and Son and Holy Ghost, have moved and come down to dwell in you.
17. When the leper of old was cleansed, the priest used to seal him with oil, and to lead him to the waterspring. The type has passed and the truth has come; lo! With chrism have you been sealed, in baptism you are perfected, in the flock you are intermixed, from the Body you are nourished.
18. What leper when he has been cleansed, turns again and desires his leprosy? You have put off transgressions— forsake it! None puts on the leprosy he had put off. It has fallen and sunk— let it not be drawn out! It is wasted and worn— let it not be renewed! Let not corruption come out upon you, whom the chrism of Christ has anointed!
19. The vessel moulded of clay, gains beauty from the water, receives strength from the fire; but if it slips it is ruined, it cannot be afresh renewed. You are vessels of grace; beware of it, even of justice, for it grants not two renewals.
20. How like are you in comparison, with the Prophet whom the fish yielded up! The Devourer has given you back for he was constrained, by the Power Which constrained the fish. Jonah was for you as a mirror, since not again did the fish swallow him, let not again the Devourer swallow you: being yielded up be like Jonah!
21. Goodly ointment on the head of our Lord did Mary pour; its savour was fragrant through all the house. Likewise the savour of your anointing, has been fragrant and perfumed the heavens, to the Watchers on high; doing pleasure to Satan its savour is overpowering; to God its odour is sweet.
22. The crowds in the desert were like sheep that have no shepherd. The Merciful became their shepherd, and multiplied to them the pasture of bread. Yea, blessed are you that are perfect, that are sealed as lambs of Christ, that of His Body and Blood are made worthy; the Pastor Himself has become pasture for you!
23. Out of water He made the wine, He gave it for drink to the youths in the feast. For you who are keeping the fast, better is the unction than drink. In His wine the betrothed are wedded, by His oil the wedded are sanctified. By His wine is union; by His oil sanctification.
24. The sheep of Christ leaped for joy, to receive the seal of life, that ensign of kings which has ever put sin to flight. The Wicked by Your ensign is routed, iniquities by Your sign are scattered. Come, you sheep, receive your seal, which puts to flight them that devour you!
25. Come, you lambs, receive your seal, for it is truth that is your seal! This is the seal that separates, them of the household from strangers. The steel circumcised alike, the gainsayers and the sons of Hagar. If circumcision be the sign of the sheep, lo! By it the goats are signed.
26. But you, who are the new flock, have put off the doings of wolves, and as lambs are made like to the Lamb. One by changing has changed all; the Lamb to the wolves gave Himself to be slain; the wolves rushed and devoured Him and became lambs; for the Shepherd was changed into a Lamb; likewise the wolf forgot his nature.
27. Look on me also in Your mercy! Be not branded on me the seal, of the goats the sons of the left hand! let not Your sheep become a goat! For though to justify myself I sufficed not, yet to be a sinner I willed not. Turn your eyes, O my Lord, from what I have done, and seek not only what I have willed.
28. From them that write and them that preach, from them that hear and them that are sealed, let glory go up to Christ, and through Him to His Father be exaltation! He Who gives words to them that speak, and gives voice to them that preach, has given understanding to them that hear, and consecrates chrism for him that is sealed.
(Resp.— Blessed be He that blots out in water misdeeds that are without measure!)
1. Descend my sealed brethren, put on our Lord,— and be rejoined to His lineage, for He is son of a great lineage,— as He has said in His Word.
2. From on high is His Nature, and from beneath His Vesture.— Each that puts off his vesture, commingled is that vesture, with His Vesture forever.
3. You too in the water, receive from him the vesture—that wastes not or is lost for it is the vesture that vests— them that are vested in it forever.
4. But the blessed Priest, is daysman between two:— the covenant shall be made before Him, He is daysman of his Lord,— and surety on our part.
5. The Godhead in the water, lo! Has mingled His leaven—for the creatures of dust, that leaven raises up—and the Godhead joins them.
6. For it is the leaven of the Lord, that can glide into the bondman,— and raise him to freedom; it has joined the bondman to the lineage,— of Him the Lord of all.
7. For the bondman who has put on Him, Who makes all free in the waters—though bondman he be on earth, is son of the free on high—for freedom he has put on.
8. The freeman who has put on, that Angel in the waters—is as the fellow of servants, that he may be made like to the Lord,— Who became bondman unto bondmen.
9. He Who enriches all came down, and put on poverty,— that He might divide to the poor, the stores that were hidden—out of the treasure-house of the water.
10. The lowly one again that has put on, the Giver of all greatness, in the water—even though he be base in the sight of fools, yet is great in the sight of the Watchers,— for that he is clad in greatness.
12. Thus let him be lowly who is great, that in him the lowly may be great:— Let us be like to Him Who is greater than all, Who became less than all:— He was made lowly, and makes all men great.
13. The meek man who has put on Him Who is great, in the water—though humble be his countenance, very great is his discernment,— for He Who is exalted above all dwells in him.
14. For who could be found to despise the bush of thorn—the despised and humble, wherein the Majesty in fire—made its dwelling within?
17. Of Him Christ commanded,
You shall not call him Raca, who is baptized and has put Him on; for whoso despises the despised, despises with him the Mighty.
25. For Christ is the sea, and He can receive— the fountains and brooks, the rivers and streams, that flow from the midst of the Scriptures.
(Resp.— Blessed be He that ordained baptism, for the atonement of the sons of Adam!)
2. For lo! He is the fire that secretly, seals also His flock—by the Three spiritual Names, wherein the Evil One is put to flight.
5. For greater is Baptism than Jordan that little river—for that in streams of water and oil, the misdeeds of all men are washed out.
9. Samuel anointed David to be king among the People:— but lo! The priest anoints you to be heirs in the Kingdom.
10. For with the armour that David put on, after the anointing he fought— and laid low the giant who sought to subdue Israel.
12. By the water that flowed from the rock, the thirst of the People was quenched. Lo! In the fountain of Christ, the thirst of the peoples is quenched.
13. The rod of Moses opened the rock, and the streams flowed forth; and they were refreshed by its draught, who had grown faint with thirst.
14. Lo! From the side of Christ flowed the stream that bestowed life.— The Gentiles drank that were weary, and in it forgot their pains.
15. With Your dew besprinkle my vileness, and my crimes in Your blood shall be atoned!— And I shall be, O my Lord, at Your right hand, and with Your Saints I shall be joined!
1. The Spirit came down from on high—and hallowed the waters by His brooding.— In the baptism of John,— He passed by the rest and abode on One:— but now He has descended and abode—on all that are born of the water.
2. Out of all that John baptized—on One it was that the Spirit dwelt:— but now He has flown and come down—that He may dwell on the many—and as each after each comes up—He loves him and abides on him.
3. A marvel it is that surpasses all!— To the water He went down and was baptized.— The seas declared it blessed,— that river wherein You were baptized:— even the waters that were in heaven envied,— because they were not worthy to be Your bath.
4. A marvel it is, O my Lord, now also—that while the fountains are full of water—it is the water of baptism—that alone is able to atone.— Mighty is the water in the seas—yet is it too weak for atonement.
5. Your might, O my Lord, if it abides—within the humble it exalts him—like as royalty if it abide— within the desert gives it peace.— Water by Your might has triumphed— over sin, for Life has encompassed it.
6. The sheep exulted when they saw— the hand draw near to baptize them.— Receive, O you sheep, your sealing; enter and be mingled in the flock!— for more than over all the flock—over you rejoice the Watchers today.
7. The Angels and the Watchers rejoice— over that which is born of the Spirit and of water:— they rejoice that by fire and by the Spirit—the corporeal have become spiritual.— The Seraphins who sing
Holy rejoice—that they who are made holy have been increased.
9. The baptized when they come up are sanctified;— the sealed when they go down are pardoned.— They who come up have put on glory—they who go down have cast off sin.— Adam put off his glory in a moment—you have been clothed with glory in a moment.
10. A house that is of dust when it has fallen—by means of water can be renewed:— the body of Adam that was of dust—which had fallen by water has been renewed.— Lo! The priests as builders— afresh renew your bodies.
11. A great marvel is this of the wool—that it can take every dye,— as the mind takes every discourse.— By the name of its dye it is called—as you who were— baptized when
Hearers,— have gained the name of
12. The common waters he sanctified— even Elisha through the Name that is secret.— In them washed the leper openly—and was cleansed by the Power that is secret:— the leprosy was done away in the water, as transgressions in Baptism.
13. Today, lo! Your offenses are blotted out—and your names are written down.— The priest blots out in the water—and Christ writes down in Heaven.— By the blotting out and the writing down— lo! Doubled is your rejoicing.
14. Lo! Mercy has dawned today—and from bound to bound it stretches:— the sun has sunk and mercy has dawned.— Justice has drawn in her wrath; Grace has spread forth her love—lo! she pardons and quickens freely.
15. The sheep that beforetime were in the fold— lo! They hasten forth to greet— the new lambs that have been added to it.— They are white and are clad in white—within and without white are your bodies as your vestments.
16. From every mouth
Blessed are you,— on every side
Blessed are you.— Sin from you is driven out—and the Holy Spirit on you is dwelling.— The Evil One has become sad of countenance;— the Good God makes glad your countenance.
17. The gift that you have received freely—cease not from watching over it:— this pearl if it shall be lost— cannot again be sought out—for it is like to virginity— which if it be lost is not to be found.
18. May you from all defilement— be kept by the power of your white robes!— and he whose freedom has defiled itself— may it be able to wash itself clean by his weeping!— For me who am servant of the community— may the supplication of the community win pardon!
19. To the author who has toiled in words—be reconciliation in rest!— to the teacher who has toiled with voice—be forgiveness through grace!— to the priest who has toiled in baptizing—let there come the crown of righteousness!
20. From every mouth with one consent,— of those beneath and those above—Watchers, Cherubin, and Seraphin,— the baptized, the sealed, and the hearers—let each of us cry aloud and say—
Glory to the Lord of our feasts!
(Resp.— Blessed is He Who atoned your sins, that you might receive His Body worthily!)
1. The flock of Jacob came down— and stood round the well of water.— In the water they put on the similitude of the wood that was covered by it.— Mysteries these and types of the Cross,— wherein the parables are interpreted.
2. There are shown in these rods similitudes—and in the sheep, parables.— The Cross in the rods is figured, and in the sheep the souls of men.— His wood was a mystery of our Wood;— likewise his sheep a mystery of our flock.
3. The sheep of Christ rejoice—and stand round the laver of baptism—in the water they put on the likeness— of the living and goodly Cross— whereon gaze all things created,— and all of it is stamped on them all.
4. At the well Rebecca received— in her ears and hands the jewels.— The Spouse of Christ has put on— precious things that are from the water:— on her hand the living Body,— and in her ears the promises.
5. Moses drew water and watered the sheep— of Jethro the priest of sin.— But our Shepherd has baptized His sheep— Who is the high priest of truth.— At the well the flocks were dumb—but here the sheep have speech.
6. The People passed through the water and were baptized:— the People came up on dry land and became as heathen.— The Commandment was savourless in their ears—the manna corrupted in their vessels.— Eat the living Body,— the medicine of life that gives life to all!
7. To the sons of Lot Moses said—
Give us water for money—let us only pass by through your border.— They refused the way, and the temporal water.— Lo! The living water freely given—and the path that leads to Eden!
8. From the water Gideon chose for himself— the men who were victorious in the battle.— You have gone down to the victorious waters:— come up and triumph in the fight!— receive from the water atonement,— and from the fight the crowning!
9. You baptized, receive your lamps—like the lamps of the house of Gideon;— conquer the darkness by your lamps—and the silence by your hosannas!— Gideon likewise in the battle— triumphed by the shout and the flame.
10. David the King longed after— the water of the well, and they brought it him—but he drank it not, for he saw that with blood of men it was bought.— In the midst of the water you have revelled— that was bought with the blood of God.
11. Out of Edom the prophet saw— God coming as one that presses the grapes.— He made ready the winepress of wrath—He trod down the peoples and delivered the People.— He has turned and ordained Baptism;— the peoples live, the People has come to nought.
12. In the river Jeremiah buried— the linen girdle that was marred—and [the People] waxed old and decayed.— ...— The peoples that were decayed and marred—by the waters have been clad in newness.
14. The fleece that was dry from the dew—Jerusalem was figured in it:— the bason that was filled with water—Baptism was figured in it.— That was dry after the manner of its type;— this was full after the manner of its symbol.
15. The wearied body in water— washes and is refreshed from its toil.— Lo! The laver in which are hidden— refreshing and life and delights.— In it wearied Adam had rest— who brought labour into the creation.
16. The fountain of sweat in the body— is set to protect against fever:— the fountain of Baptism— is set to protect against the Flame.— This is the water that avails— for the quenching of Gehenna.
18. Again, the diver brings up— out of the sea the pearl.— Be baptized and bring up from the water— purity that therein is hidden—the pearl that is set as a jewel— in the crown of the Godhead.
19. Sweet water in his vessel— the seaman lays up as a store—in the midst of the sea he lays up and keeps it, the sweet in the midst of the bitter.— So amidst the floods of sin—keep the water of Baptism.
20. The woman of Samaria said to our Lord,—
Lo! verily the well is deep.— Baptism though it be high—in its mercy has stooped down with us:— for the atonement is from above— that has come down unto sinners.
He that drinks the water that I shall give him—verily never again shall he thirst.— For this holy Baptism,— for it be ye thirsty, my beloved—never again shall you be thirsty—so that you should come to another baptism.
22. In the baptism of Siloam— the blind man washed, and his eyeballs— were opened and enlightened by the water—he cast off the darkness that was on them.— The hidden darkness you have cast off—from the water you have been clad in light.
23. His hands Pilate washed— that he might not be of them that slew.— You have bathed your bodies—your hands together with your mouths.— Go in and be of them that eat—for this medicine of life gives life to all.
Come after Me and verily I will make you— fishers of men.— For instead of a draught of that which perishes—they fished for the draught that is forever.— They who had taken fishes for death—baptized and gave life to them that were to die.
25. An hundred and fifty fishes were taken— by Simon's net from the water—but there were taken by his preaching—out of the bosom of Baptism,— ten thousands and thousands of men—a draught of the sons of the Kingdom.
26. Lo! Our priest as a fisher— over the scanty water is standing—he has taken thence a great draught— of every shape and of every kind—he has drawn up the draught to bring it near— to the King of kings, most high.
27. Simon took the fishes and drew them up—and they were brought near before our Lord:— Our priest has taken from out of the water—by the Hand which he received from Simon,— virgins and chaste men who are brought near— in the festival of the Lord of feasts.
28. In Your mercy I adjure You pardon me—for in mercy You too have sworn—Rabboni,
In the death of him that dies—I have no pleasure, but in his life.— You have sworn and I have adjured:— O You Who hast sworn, pardon him who has adjured!
(Resp.— Happy are you whose bodies have been made to shine!)
1. God in His mercy stooped and came down—to mingle His compassion with the water—and to blend the nature of His majesty— with the wretched bodies of men.— He made occasion by the water— to come down and to dwell in us:— like to the occasion of mercy— when He came down and dwelt in the womb:— O the mercies of God— Who seeks for Himself all occasions to dwell in us!
2. To the cave in Horeb He stooped and came down—and on Moses He caused His majesty to dwell—He imparted His glorious splendour to mortals.— There was therein a figure of Baptism:— He Who came down and dwelt in it—tempers within the water— the might of His majesty—that He may dwell in the feeble.— On Moses dwelt the Breath,— and on you the Perfecting of Christ.
3. That might then none could endure—not Moses chief of deliverers,— nor Elijah chief of zealots;— and the Seraphin too veil their faces—for it is the might that subdues all.— His mercy mingled gentleness— in the water and by the oil—that mankind in its weakness— might be able to stand before Him— when covered by the water and the oil.
4. The captive priests again in the well— hid and concealed the fire of the sanctuary, 1 Maccabbees 1:19 — a mystery of that glorified fire— which the Highpriest mingles in Baptism.— The priests took up of the mire—and on the altar they sprinkled it—for its fire, the fire of that well—with the mire had been mingled—a mystery of our bodies which in the water— with the fire of the Holy Spirit have been mingled.
5. The famous Three in Babylon— in the furnace of fire were baptized, and came forth—they went in and bathed in the flood of flame, they were buffeted by the blazing billows.— There was sprinkled on them there— the dew that fell from heaven;— it loosed from off them there— the bonds of the earthly king.— Lo! The famous Three went in and found a fourth in the furnace.
6. That visible fire that triumphed outwardly—pointed to the fire of the Holy Ghost—which is mingled, lo! And hidden in the water.— In the flame Baptism is figured,— in that blaze of the furnace.— Come, enter, be baptized, my brethren,— for lo! It looses the bonds;— for in it there dwells and is hidden— the Daysman of God—Who in the furnace was the fourth.
7. Two words again our Lord spoke— which in one voice agree in unison:— He said,
I have come to send fire,— and again, Evil One had kindled:— and the water of Baptism has overcome— those waters of contention— by which he had made trial— of Joseph who conquered and was crowned.
8. Lo! The pure fire of our Redeemer— which he kindled in mankind of His mercy!— Through His fire He quenched that fire— which had been kindled in the defiled and sinful.— This is the fire wherein the thorns— are burnt up and the tares.— But happy are your bodies— that have been baptized in the fire— which has consumed your thickets—and by it your seeds have sprung up to heaven!
9. Jeremiah in the womb He sanctified and taught.— But if the lowly bosom of wedlock— was sanctified in conceiving and bringing him forth—how much more shall Baptism sanctify— its conception and its bringing forth— of them that are pure and spiritual!— For there, within the womb— is the conception of all men—but here, out of the water—is the birth whereof the spiritual are worthy.
10. For Jeremiah though sanctified in the womb—they took up nails and cast him into the pit.— Holy was the prophet in his befoulment,— for clean was his heart though he was in the mire.— Be afraid, my brethren— for lo! Today is washed away— your secret befoulment,— and the abomination of your sins.— Turn not again to uncleanness,— for there is but one cleansing of your bodies!
11. The presumptuous who is baptized and again sins—is as the serpent that casts its slough and again puts it on, that is renewed and made young, and turns again— — putting on anew its skin of old—for the serpent does not— cast off its nature.— Cast off the tempter— the corrupter of souls—even the old man—let it not make old— the newness you have put on!
12. Elisha cast the wood into the water, and made the heavy float and the light sink:— their natures were exchanged in the water.— There a new thing came to pass not according to nature.— How much easier then, O Lord,— is this for Your grace; that in the water should sink— transgression which is heavy—but that the soul which is light— should be drawn forth and raised up on high!
13. Joshua, son of Nun, on Jericho— laid a curse on its walls and a doom on its fountains.— They whom Joshua cursed to their destruction—again in the mystery of Jesus have been blessed.— There was cast into them salt—and they were healed and sweetened:— a mystery of this salt—the sweet salt that came from Mary,— that was mingled in the water—whereby was healed the noisomeness of our plagues.
14. Lo! quiet waters are before you—holy and tranquil and pleasant—for they are not the waters of contention— that cast Joseph into the dungeon—nor yet are they the waters—those waters of strife—beside which the people strove—and gainsaid in the wilderness.— There are waters whereby— there is reconciliation made with Heaven.
15. Hagar saw the spring of water—and from it she gave drink to her forward son, him who became as a wild ass in the wilderness.— Instead of that fountain of water is Baptism.— In it are baptized the sons of Hagar,— and have become gentle and peaceful. Who has seen rams like these—that are yoked, lo! And labour— along with tame bullocks—and the seed of their tillage is reaped an hundredfold!
16. In the beginning the Spirit that brooded— moved on the waters; they conceived and gave birth— to serpents and fishes and birds.— The Holy Spirit has brooded in Baptism,— and in mystery has given birth to eagles—Virgins and Prelates;— and in mystery has given birth to fishes—celibates and intercessors; and in mystery of serpents,— lo! The subtle have become simple as doves!
17. Lo! The sword of our Lord in the waters!— that which divides sons and fathers:— for it is the living sword that makes— division, lo! Of the living from the dying.— Lo! They are baptized and they become— Virgins and saints—who have gone down, been baptized, and put on— the One Only begotten.— Lo! Many have come boldly to Him!
18. For whoso have been baptized and put on Him— the Only begotten the Lord of the many—has filled thereby the place of many—for to him Christ has become a great treasure:— for He became in the wilderness— a table of good meats—and He became at the marriage feast— a fountain of choice wines.— He has become such to all in all things—by helps and healings and promises.
19. Elisha was the equal of the Watchers— in his doings, glorious and holy.— The camp of the Watchers was round about him—thus let Baptism be unto you—a camp of guardians,— for by means of it there dwells in the heart— the hope of them that are below— and the Lord of them that are above.— Sanctify for Him your bodies—for where He abides, corruption comes not near.
20. They are no more, the waters of that sea— which by its billows preserved the People—and by its billows laid low the peoples.— Of contrary effect are the waters in Baptism.— In them, lo! The people have life—in them, lo! The People perishes:— for all that are not baptized—in the waters that give life to all—they are dead invisibly.
21. They are no more, the waters of that sea— which were tempestuous, and boiled against Jonah,— and plunged into the depths the Son of Amittai.— Though he fled he was bound in the prison-house— God cast him in and bound him— in dungeon within dungeon—for he bound him in the sea.— and He bound him in the fish.— For him Grace stood surety—and she opened the prison and brought forth the preacher.
22. The Prophets have called the Most High a fire—
a devouring fire, and
who can dwell with it? Isaiah 30:27 — The People were not able to dwell in it—its might crushed the peoples and they were confounded.— In it, with the unction you have been anointed;— you have put Him on in the water—in the bread you have eaten Him—in the wine you have drunk Him—in the voice you have heard Him—and in the eye of the mind you have seen Him!
(Resp., Blessed is He Who came down, and sanctified water for the remission of the sins of the children of Adam!)
1. O John, who saw the Spirit—that abode on the head of the Son—to show how the Head of the Highest— went down and was baptized— and came up to be Head on earth!— Children of the Spirit you have thus become—and Christ has become for you the Head:— you also have become His members.
2. Consider and see how exalted you are—how instead of the river Jordan— you have glorious Baptism, wherein is peace—spreading her wings to shade your bodies.— In the wilderness John baptized:— in Her pure flood of Baptism,— purely are you baptized therein.
3. Infants think when they see its glory—that by its pomp its might is enhanced.— But it is the same, and within itself— is not divided.— But the might which never waxes less or greater— in us is little or again great—and he in whom is great understanding—great in him is Baptism.
4. A man's knowledge, if it be exalted—exalted also is his degree above his brethren;— and he whose faith is great— so also is his promise—and as is his wisdom, so also his crowning.— As is the light, which though it be all goodly— and equal all of it with itself— yet goodlier is one eye than another.
5. Jesus mingled His might in the water:— put Him on my brethren as discerning men!— For there are that in the water merely— perceive that they are washed. With our body be our soul washed!— The manifest water let the body perceive—and the soul the secret might—that both to the manifest and to the secret you may be made like!
6. How beautiful is Baptism— in the eye of the heart; come, let us gaze on it!— Like as by a seal you have been moulded;— receive its image—that nought may be lacking to us of our image!— For the sheep that are white of heart— gaze on the glory that is in the water:— in your souls reflect it!
7. Water is by nature as a mirror—for one who in it examines himself.— Stir up your soul, you that discern — and be like it!— For it in its midst reflects your image—from it, on it, find an example—gaze in it on Baptism—and put on the beauty that is hidden therein!
8. What profits it him that hears— a voice and knows not its significance?— Whoso hears a voice and is devoid— of the understanding thereof—his ear is filled but his soul is empty.— Lo! since the gift is abundant—with discernment receive it.
9. Baptism that is with understanding— is the conjunction of two lights—and rich are the fountains of its rays.— ......— And the darkness that is on the mind departs—and the soul beholds Him in beauty—the hidden Christ of glory—and grieves when the glory fails.
10. Baptism without understanding— is a treasure full yet empty—since he that receives it is poor in it—for he understands not— how great are its riches into which he enters and dwells.— For great is the gift within it—though the mean man perceives not— that he is exalted even as it.
11. Open wide your minds and see, my brethren,— the secret column in the air, whose base is fixed from the midst of the water— unto the door of the Highest Place, like the ladder that Jacob saw.— Lo! By it came down the light unto Baptism,— and by it the soul goes up to Heaven—that in one love we may be mingled.
12. Our Lord when he was baptized by John— sent forth twelve fountains—and they issued forth and cleansed by their streams— the defilement of the peoples.— His worshippers are made white like His garments—the garments in Tabor and the body in the water.— Instead of the garments the peoples are made white—and have become for Him a clothing of glory.
13. From your garments learn, my brethren,— how your members should be kept.— For if the garment, which ever so many times— may be made clean—is duly kept for the sake of its comeliness—the body which has but one baptism— manifold more exceeding is the care of its keeping—for manifold are its dangers.
14. Again the sun in a house that is strait—is straitened therein though he be great:— but in a house that is goodly and large—when he rises thereon— far and wide in it he spreads his rays—and though the sun is one and the same in his nature,— in various houses he undergoes changes:— Even so our Lord in various men.
(Resp.— Glory to Him Who came and restored it!)
1. Adam sinned and earned all sorrows—likewise the world after His example, all guilt.— And instead of considering how it should be restored— considered how its fall should be pleasant for it.— Glory to Him Who came and restored it!
2. This cause summoned Him that is pure—that He should come and be baptized, even He with the defiled—Heaven for His glory was rent asunder.— That the purifier of all might be baptized with all—He came down and sanctified the water for our baptism.
3. For that cause for which He entered into the womb—for the same cause He went down into the river.— For that cause for which He entered into the grave—for the same cause He makes us enter into His chamber.— He perfected mankind for every cause.
4. His Conception is the store of our blessings;— His Birth is the treasury of our joys;— His Baptism is the cause of our pardon—His Death is the cause of our life.— Death He alone has overcome in His Resurrection.
5. At His Birth a star of light shone in the air—when He was baptized light flashed from the water—at His Death the sun was darkened in the firmament;— at His Passion the luminaries set along with Him—at His Epiphany the luminaries arose with Him.
6. Revealed was His Glory because of His Majesty;— revealed was His Passion because of His Manhood;— revealed was His Love because of His Graciousness;— revealed was His Judgment because of His Justice.— He has poured forth His attributes, on them that were His.
7. That whoso has looked on His Glory and despised Him—may look again on His Glory and worship Him—and whoso has scorned to taste of His Graciousness,— may fear lest he be made to feel His justice—He has poured forth His helps on His worshippers.
8. Lo! The East in the morning was made light!— lo! The South at noonday was made dark!— The West again in turn at eventide was made light.— The three quarters represent the one Birth;— His Death and His Life they declare.
9. His Birth flowed on and was joined to His Baptism;— and His Baptism again flowed on even to His Death—His Death led and reached to His Resurrection,— a fourfold bridge unto His Kingdom; and lo! His sheep pass over in His footsteps.
10. And like as, save by the door of birth—none can enter into creation;— so, save by the door of resurrection,— none can enter into the Kingdom,— and whoso has cut off his bridge, has brought to nought his hope.
11. He put on His armour and conquered and was crowned—He left His armour on earth and ascended,— that if any man desires the crown—he may resort to the armour and win by it— the crown of victory which he yearns after.
12. He fulfilled righteousness on earth, and ascended.— But if He, the All-cleanser, was baptized—What man is there that shall not be baptized?— for grace has come to baptism— to wash away the foulness of our wound.
13. The compulsion of God is an all-prevailing force—[but that is not pleasing to Him which is of compulsion,] — as that which is of discerning will.— Therefore in our fruits He calls us— who live not as under compulsion, by persuasion.
14. Good is He, for lo! He labours in these two things—He wills not to constrain our freedom— nor again does He suffer us to abuse it.— For had he constrained it, He had taken away its power—and had He let it go, He had deprived it of help.
15. He knows that if He constrains He deprives us—He knows that if He casts off He destroys us—He knows that if He teaches He wins us.— He has not constrained and He has not cast off, as the Evil One does:— He has taught, chastened, and won us, as being the good God.
16. He knows that His treasuries abound:— the keys of His treasuries He has put into our hands.— He has made the Cross our treasurer— to open for us the gates of Paradise,— as Adam opened the gate of Gehenna.
1. Give thanks, O daughter, that your crownings have been doubled—for lo! Your temples and your sons rejoice.— The dedication of your temples is in the ministration—The dedication of your sons is in the anointing.— Blessed are you that at once......— ......the tabernacle for them that dwell in you—and the Spirit has abode upon your sons!
2. Our Lord opened up Baptism— in the midst of Jordan the blessed river.— The height and the depth rejoiced in Him—He brings forth the first fruits of His peace from the water—for they are first fruits, the fruits of Baptism.— The good God in His compassion will bring to pass— that His peace shall be first fruits on earth.
3. Moses stretched out the temporal Tabernacle;— the priests bathed themselves in water—and went in and ministered; and were stricken and punished—because their heart within was not cleansed.— Blessed are you that in the Passover of the great Passion,— the priests by the savour of their oblations,— lo! Are cleansing souls in you!
4. Great was the mystery that the Prophet saw—the torrent that was mighty.— Into its depths he gazed and beheld— your beauty instead of himself; you it was he saw, for your faith passes not away—you whose flood unseen shall overwhelm— the subtleties of idolatry.
5. Though John was great among them that are born of women—yet he that is little is greater than he—in this that his baptized were again baptized—in the baptism that was of the Apostles.— Blessed art you that your priest is greater than he— in this alone that forever— abides his baptism.
6. The baptism that was of Siloam— did not bring mercy to the man that was laid there— who for thirty and eight years awaited it—for he was a respecter of the persons of the Levites.— Blessed art you that your healing is in you for all men—and your priests are devoted and ready— for all that are in need of your help.
7. The Prophet healed the waters that were unwholesome,— and cured the disease of the land that was barren—so that its death was done away and its region resounded, for its offspring increased and its bosom was filled.— Greater is Your grace, Lord, than Elisha's!— Multiply my lambs and my flocks— at the great stream of my fountain! Ezekiel 47:1, sq
8. Great is the marvel that is within your abode—the flocks together with the Shepherds,— those at the stream of the waters—two unseen with one manifest who baptizes.— Blessed is he who is baptized in their fountains!— for three arms have upheld him—and three Names have preserved him!
1. In Baptism Adam found again— that glory that was among the trees of Eden.— He went down, and received it out of the water—he put it on, and went up and was adorned therein.— Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
3. The wedded pair were adorned in Eden—but the serpent stole their crowns:— yet mercy crushed down the accursed one—and made the wedded pair goodly in their raiment.— Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
4. They clothed themselves with leaves of necessity;— but the Merciful had pity on their beauty—and instead of leaves of trees—He clothed them with glory in the water.— Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
5. Baptism is the well-spring of life—which the Son of God opened by His Life—and from His Side it has brought forth streams.— Come, all that thirst, come, rejoice!— Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
6. The Father has sealed Baptism, to exalt it—and the Son has espoused it to glorify it—and the Spirit with threefold seal— has stamped it, and it has shone in holiness.— Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
7. The Trinity that is unsearchable— has laid up treasures in baptism.— Descend, you poor, to its fountain!— and be enriched from it, you needy!— Blessed be He that has mercy on all!
Hymn of the Baptized.
(Resp .— Brethren, sing praises, to the Son of the Lord of all; Who has bound for you crowns, such as kings long for!)
1. Your garments glisten, my brethren, as snow—and fair is your shining in the likeness of Angels!
2. In the likeness of Angels, you have come up, beloved—from Jordan's river, in the armour of the Holy Ghost.
3. The bridal chamber that fails not, my brethren, you have received:— and the glory of Adam's house today you have put on.
4. The judgment that came of the fruit, was Adam's condemnation:— but for you victory, has arisen this day.
5. Your vesture is shining, and goodly your crowns:— which the Firstborn has bound for you, by the priest's hand this day.
8. The Angels rejoice, men here below exult:— in your feast, my brethren, wherein is no foulness.
10. The day when He dawned, the Heavenly King:— opens for you His door, and bids you enter Eden.
11. Crowns that fade not away, are set on your heads:— hymns of praise hourly, let your mouths sing.
14. Unto you shall the Father, be a wall of strength:— and the Son a Redeemer, and the Spirit a guard.
15. Martyrs by their blood, glorify their crowns:— but you our Redeemer, by His Blood glorifies.
17. The fruit which Adam, tasted not in Paradise:— this day in your mouths, has been placed with joy.
20. Great is the victory, but today you have won:— if so be ye neglect not, you shall not perish, my brethren.
Hymn concerning our Lord and John.
3. At the Word and the Voice my thought marvelled:— for lo! John was the Voice;— our Lord was manifested as the Word, that what was hidden should become revealed.
5. Then the Bridegroom revealed Himself—and to John at the voice He drew near:— and the Forerunner was moved and said of Him—
This is the Bridegroom Whom I proclaimed.
6. He came to baptism Who baptizes all—and He showed Himself at Jordan.— John saw Him and drew back—deprecating, and thus he spoke:—
I have asked it, and it pleases Me that thus it should be—and you, John, why do you gainsay?— Allow righteousness to be fulfilled—and come, baptize Me; why are you standing there?
How can one openly grasp— in his hands the fire that burns?— O You that are fire have mercy on me—and bid me not come near You, for it is hard for me!
I have revealed to You My Will; what do you question?— Draw near, baptize Me, and you shall not be burned.— The bridechamber is ready; keep Me not back— from the wedding-feast that has been made ready.
You fear; therefore gainsay not— against My Will in what I desire:— and Baptism has respect unto Me.— Accomplish the work to which you have been called!
Small is the river whereto You have come—that You should lodge therein and it should cleanse You.— The heavens suffice not for Your mightiness;— how much less shall Baptism contain You!
Lo! The hosts are standing!— the ranks of Watchers, lo! They worship!— And if I draw near, my Lord, to baptize You—I tremble for myself with quaking.
The Bride you betrothed to Me awaits Me—that I should go down, be baptized, and sanctify her.— Friend of the Bridegroom withhold Me not— from the washing that awaits Me.
I am not able, for I am weak—Your blaze in my hands to grasp.— Lo! Your legions are as flame—bid one of the Watchers baptize You!
The waters saw You, and greatly feared;— the waters saw You, and lo! They tremble!— The river foams in its terror—and I that am weak, how shall I baptize You?
The waters in My Baptism are sanctified,— and fire and the Spirit from Me shall they receive—and if I be not baptized they are not made perfect— to be fruitful of children that shall not die.
Fire, if to Your fire it draw near—shall be burnt up of it as stubble.— The mountains of Sinai endured You not—and I that am weak, wherein shall I baptize You?
I am the flaming fire—yet for man's sake I became a babe— in the virgin womb of the maiden.— And now I am to be baptized in Jordan.
I am a bondman and I am weak.— You that frees all have mercy on me! Your latchets to unloose I am not able—Your exalted head who will make me worthy to touch?
Bondmen in My Baptism are set free—handwritings in My washing are blotted out—manumissions in the water are sealed;— and if I be not baptized all these come to nought.
They that are bidden, lo! All of them stand—the Bridegroom's guests, lo! They bear witness— that day by day I said among them—'I am the Voice and not the Word.'
Voice of him that cries in the wilderness—fulfil the work for which you came—that the desert whereunto you went out may resound— with the mighty peace you preached therein.
The shout of the Watchers has come to my ears—lo! I hear from the Father's house— the hosts that sound forth the cry—'In Your Epiphany, O Bridegroom, the worlds have life.'
The time hastes on, and the marriage guests— look to Me to see what is doing.— Come, baptize Me, that they may give praise— to the Voice of the Father when it is heard!
I hearken, my Lord, according to Your Word:— come to Baptism as Your love constrains You!— The dust worships that whereunto he has attained—that on Him Who fashioned him he should lay his hand.
48. The heavenly ranks were silent as they stood—and the Bridegroom went down into Jordan;— the Holy One was baptized and straightway went up—and His Light shone forth on the world.
49. The doors of the highest were opened above—and the voice of the Father was heard—
This is my Beloved in Whom I am well pleased.— All you peoples, come and worship Him.
50. They that saw were amazed as they stood, at the Spirit Who came down and bore witness to Him.— Praise to Your Epiphany that gladdens all—You in Whose revelation the worlds are lightened!
1. In the Birth of the Son light dawned,— and darkness fled from the world—and the earth was enlightened; then let it give glory— to the brightness of the Father Who has enlightened it!
2. He dawned from the womb of the Virgin,— and the shadows passed away when He was seen—and the darkness of error was strangled by Him—and the ends of the earth were enlightened that they should give glory.
3. Among the peoples there was great tumult—and in the darkness the light dawned,— and the nations rejoiced to give glory— to Him in Whose Birth they all were enlightened.
5. The star of light hasted and came and dawned— through the darkness, and summoned them— that the peoples should come and exult— in the great Light that has come down to earth.
6. One envoy from among the stars— the firmament sent to proclaim to them—to the sons of Persia, that they might make ready— to meet the King and to worship Him.
8. The princes of Persia, exulting,— carried gifts from their region—and they brought to the Son of the Virgin— gold and myrrh and frankincense.
10. Mary said,
For whom are these?— and for what purpose? And what is the cause— that has called you to come from your country— to the Child with your treasures?
11. They said,
Your Son is a King,— and He binds crowns and is King of all—and great is His power over the world—and to His Kingdom shall all be obedient.
At what time did this come to pass—that a lowly woman should bring forth a King? I who am in need and in want—how then could a king come forth from me?
In you alone has this come to pass— that a mighty King from you should appear—you in whom poverty shall be magnified—and to your Son shall crowns be made subject.
Treasures of Kings I have not—riches have never fallen to my lot.— My house is lowly and my dwelling needy;— why then do you proclaim that my Son is King?
Great treasure is in your Son,— and wealth that suffices to make all rich;— for the treasures of kings are impoverished—but He fails not nor can be measured.
Whether haply some other be for you— the King that is born, enquire concerning Him.— This is the son of a lowly woman—of one who is not meet to look on a King.
Can it be that light should ever miss— the way whereon it has been sent? It was not darkness that summoned and led us—in light we walked, and your Son is King.
Lo! You see a babe without speech—and the house of His mother empty and needy,— and of that which pertains to a king nought is in it:— how then in it is a king to be seen?
Lo! We see that without speech and at rest— is the King, and lowly as you have said:— but again we see that the stars— in the highest He bids haste to proclaim Him.
It were meet, O men, that you should enquire— who is the King, and then adore him—lest haply your way has been mistaken—and another is the King that is born.
It were meet, O maiden, that you should receive it—that we have learned that your Son is King—from the star of light that errs not—and plain is the way, and he has led us.
The Child is a little one, and lo! He has not— the diadem of a king and of a throne—and what have you seen that you should pay honour to Him—as to a king, with your treasures?
A little one, because He willed it for quietness' sake—and meek now until He be revealed.— A time shall be for Him when all diadems— shall bow down and worship Him.
Armies he has none—nor has my Son legions and troops:— in the poverty of His mother He dwells—why then King is He called by you?
The armies of your Son are above—they ride on high, and they flame—and one of them it was that came and summoned us—and all our country was dismayed.
The Child is a babe, and how is it possible— He should be King, unknown to the world?— And they that are mighty and of renown—how can a babe be their ruler?
It is likewise seemly for you to accept this—that unless the truth had led us we had not wandered hither from the ends of the earth—nor come for the sake of your Son.
All the mystery as it was wrought— among you there in your country—reveal to me now as friends.— Who was He that called you to come to me?
A mighty Star appeared to us— that was glorious exceedingly above the stars—and our land by its fire was kindled—that this King had appeared it bore tidings to us.
Do not, I beseech you, speak of— these things in our land lest they rage,— and the kings of the earth join together— against the Child in their envy.
Be not dismayed, O Virgin!— Your Son shall bring to nought all diadems, and set them underneath his heel—and they shall not subdue Him Whom they envy.
Because of Herod I am afraid,— that unclean wolf, lest he assail me—and draw his sword and with it cut off— the sweet cluster before it be ripe.
A torrent of blood is Jerusalem,— wherein the excellent ones are slain;— and if she perceives Him she will assail Him.— In mystery speak, and noise it not abroad.
All torrents, and likewise swords—by the hands of your Son shall be appeased—and the sword of Jerusalem shall be blunted—and shall not desire at all to kill.
A Watcher revealed to me, when I received— conception of the Babe, that my Son is a King;— that His diadem is from on high and is not dissolved—he declared to me even as you do.
The Watcher, therefore, of whom you have spoken— is he who came as a star—and was shown to us and brought us good tidings— that He is great and glorious above the stars.
That Angel declared to me— in his good tidings, when he appeared to me—that to His Kingdom no end shall be— and the mystery is kept and shall not be revealed.
The Star also declared again to us— that your Son is He that shall keep the diadem.— His aspect was something changed—and he was the Angel and made it not known to us.
Before me when the Watcher showed himself—he called Him his Lord before He was conceived—and as the Son of the Highest announced Him to me:— but where His Father is he made not known to me.
Before us he proclaimed in the form of a star— that the Lord of the Highest is He Who is born—and over the stars of light your Son is ruler—and unless He commands they rise not.
In our presence the Star taught us— that His Birth is exalted above the world and above all beings is your Son,— and is Son of God according to your saying.
51. The peace of your Son, it shall bear us— in tranquillity to our land, as it has led us hither—and when His power shall have grasped the worlds—may He visit our land and bless it!
53. Let the Church sing with rejoicing—
Glory in the Birth of the Highest,— by Whom the world above and the world below are illumined!— Blessed be He in Whose Birth all are made glad!
Source. Translated by A. Edward Johnston. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3704.htm>.
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