MY heart is established in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God;
my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, I have rejoiced in thy salvation.
For there is none holy as the Lord, and there is none righteous as our God;
there is none holy besides thee.
1 Reigns (1 Samuel) 2:1-2. The “Song of Hannah” was one of the models used for the Song of Mary in Luke 1:46-55.
Today is the Feast day of St Romanos the Melodist (6th century).
It is appropriate that on the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, we should remember the author of the Salutations of the Akathist to the Mother of God.
LET US look upon the Holy Virgin,
Who is a lamp that beareth light
Shining upon them that are in darkness.
For kindling the immaterial light,
She leadeth all unto divine knowledge,
By its beam bringing light upon the heart’s eye [ὁ νοῦς] –
She who is honoured by this cry:
Hail, ray of the Sun which the heart’s eye may see [νοητός];
Hail, shaft of the never-setting moon.
Hail, lightning-flash that flood souls with light,
Hail, like a clap of thunder thou bringest terror upon the enemy.
Hail, thou makest dawn the Illumination of countless lights,
Hail, thou makest spring up the River of countless streams.
Hail, thou portrayest in shadow the baptismal font.
Hail, thou takest away the filth of sin.
Hail, bath washing clean the conscience.
Hail, wine-bowl stirring in gladness.
Hail, scent of Christ’s fragrance.
Hail, life of mystical feasting.
Hail, Bride unwedded.
Wishing to grant pardon from ancient debts,
the Creditor of all mankind
came of himself to dwell
among them that dwelt far from his pardon.
And having torn up their bond,
This he heareth from all:
Canon of the Saints of the Day, Ode 3
O WISE one, thy heart’s eye [nous] became a dwelling-place of the Holy Trinity, Romanos, by true religion welcoming in true knowledge, and pouring forth teachings inspired by God.
Thy tongue, which we hold in honour, burst forth with streaming springs, sounding divine things as the sound of many waters, and openly testifying to the ineffable birth among us of Christ from the Virgin.
Behold, thou hast nurtured our minds abundantly, with wise instructions and delightful melodies, and thou hast filled them with sweetness, O Romanos most godly, with voice most divine.
THOU O Virgin art far above any army:* for thou didst conceive their Creator, the Son of God, in thy womb, and didst bear him, but wast a virgin yet.
THERE is none holy as thou art holy, O Lord my God, who liftest up the horn of thy faithful, O Good One, and stablishest us upon the rock of thy confession.
At Matins. My non-expert translation, from Analogion.
* The Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, commemorating a vision of the Mother of God safeguarding Constantinople and all Christians from visible and invisible enemies, falls on the same day.
Archimandrite Ephrem Lash has translated a number of St Romanos’s “chanted sermons” (Kontakia), some of which are online at Anastasis, others collected in a book available from Amazon US and Amazon UK.