Sing hymns unto the Lord, all ye his works

Yesterday, April 3, was the Feast day of St Joseph the Hymnographer (see OrthodoxWiki).

Apolytikion

O LET us rightly honour the twelve-stringed instrument of the Word, a lyre of grace harmonious upon every scale, Joseph the Hymnographer; for moved by the Spirit, he raised hymns to the whole company of the saints, in lines of honey-sweet melody. With them he ceaselessly intercedeth, to grant that we may be loosed from our transgressions.

**

St Joseph composed a Canon to the Mother of God, which together with the Salutations forms the Akathist Hymn said throughout Lent, and in many places at many times during the rest of the year.

The "Vladimir" icon of the Birth-giver of God

The "Vladimir" icon of the Birth-giver of God

 

Ode 8
Troparia

THOU receivedst the Word in thy inward parts, bearing up him that bearest up all things (Ps 74:3).

Thou nourishedst him with milk, who but nods and giveth food to all the world (Ps 104:24-30).

O Pure Lady, to him we raise our chant:

Sing hymns unto the Lord, all ye his works, and highly exalt him to the ages of ages! (cf. Song of the Three Young Men)

*

WELL did Moses perceive, in the bush, the great mystery of thy birth-giving (Exod 3:2).

Standing in the midst of the fire, the young men shewed it beforetime most clearly, O holy, untouched Virgin.

Wherefore we sing hymns unto thee, unto all ages.

*

WE who were once stripped naked by deception (Gen 3:5-7),* have put on a garment of immortality by thy childbearing, and we that sat in the darkness of transgressions have beheld a light (Is 9:2), an abode of light, O Maiden.

Wherefore we sing hymns unto thee, unto all ages.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

THROUGH thee the dead are made alive; for thou wast with child with Life in his own person.

They that once were called mute speak sweetly, lepers are cleansed, diseases are driven out, (Mt 11:5) the multitudes of the spirits of the air are vanquished (cf. Eph 2:2), O Virgin, salvation of mortals.

Both now and for ever and to the ages of ages.

O THOU who bore salvation for the world (cf. Lk 2:29-32), through whom we have gone up on high from earth (cf. Eph 2:6), Hail, all-blessed, protection and defence, rampart and stronghold of those who are chanting, O Pure Lady.

Sing hymns unto the Lord, all ye his works, and highly exalt him to the ages of ages!

*See Fr Ted’s blog on the various ways in which the Garments of Skins have been interpreted in our tradition. He has further links to liturgical and Patristic texts, and in Part 2 has posted an extract from Ephraim the Syrian too.

This is my translation, from the original at Analogion. Archimandrite Ephrem Lash has a contemporary English version at Anastasis. Psalms are numbered according to the Septuagint.

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