So that Adam may dance

The Crucifixion of Jesus

The Crucifixion of Jesus

FAITHFULNESS to the tradition and the dogmatic teaching of the Church means not only that the right formulations of terms are not altered, but also that our lives are altered and renewed by the truth and regenerative power latent in these terms.

Then man acquires senses and is able to see; he becomes conscious of the deeper meaning and value of the Orthodox faith as a force in life.

Vasileios Gontikakis, “Hymn of Entry” p. 19.


The following stanzas come from the close of a spectacular poem by Romanos the Melodist. The refrain after each stanza refers to Adam’s dance of joy as he is redeemed by the cross of our Lord Jesus.

GRANTING victory to the humble, bearing like a trophy
The Cross on his shoulders he went out
To be crucified and to crucify the one who had wounded us.
Paying in full what we owe, he was hurrying towards death.
He submitted to blows the form
That the Cherubim cannot bear to look on, for they veil their sight.
Spitting on shame, he willingly clothed himself in a cloak of contumely,
So that Adam may dance.

Vinegar they gave as drink to the source of sweet waters,
And gall to the one who made the manna
Rain down and water spring out of the rock.
Struck on the head with a reed, he signed the banishment of the foe.
Stretched naked upon a cross, he stripped
The adversaries of life and made them a laughing stock to dead and living.
He was taken down from the tree, wrapped in a shroud, laid in a tomb
So that Adam may dance.

Praise him, creature born of earth, hymn the one who suffered
And died for you. And when you see him living
In a little while, receive him into your soul.
For Christ is going to rise from the tombs and renew you, O mortal.
Therefore make ready a pure soul for him,
So that dwelling there your King may make it heaven.
Yet a little while and he will come and fill with joy those who are afflicted,
So that Adam may dance.

Translation by Fr Ephrem Lash, at Anastasis.


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