Harmony of the law and of grace

MY thought bore me to Jordan,
And I saw a marvel when there was revealed
The glorious Bridegroom who to the Bride
Shall bring freedom and holiness.

I saw John filled with wonder,
And the multitudes standing about him,
And the glorious Bridegroom bowed down
To the son of the barren that he might baptize Him.

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.

The Bride was espoused but knew not
Who was the Bridegroom on whom she gazed:
The guests were assembled, the desert was filled,
And our Lord was hidden among them.

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.”

Opening lines of Hymn XIV on the Epiphany, by Ephraim Syrus (?306-373). Read the rest at CCEL.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Beheading Of St John the Forerunner, today is the feast’s “Apodosis”. The Bridegroom is a key theme of Great Monday.


LET the faithful gather and cry the name of him that stands in harmony between the law and grace: for first he proclaimed repentance to us, and then plainly put Herod to public shame, courageously suffering his own head to be severed: and now  dwelling with the Angels, he intercedes for our salvation.

Kathisma at Mattins for the Feast of the Beheading of St John the Forerunner (August 29)