Joy and delight of my heart

SEEING thee nailed, O Jesu, to the Cross,
and accepting the Passion willingly,
the Virgin Lady and thy Mother “My child!” cried out,

“My sweetest child!
How dost thou the Physician bear the unjust blows? –
the healer of the weakness of mortals,
the deliverer of all from corruption,
in thy tender compassion!”.

Cross-Theotokion at Matins, October 2.


An icon of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

‘Who shall give me water, and fountains of tears,’ cried the Virgin bride of God, ‘That I may weep for my sweet Jesus?’


Before I was afflicted, I transgressed; therefore have I kept thy word. (Ps 118[119]:67).

‘WHO shall give me water,
And fountains of tears,’
Cried the Virgin bride of God,
‘That I may weep for my sweet Jesus?’ (cf. Jn 19:25-27)

Good art thou, O Lord; therefore in thy goodness teach me thine ordinances.

‘O ye mountains and valleys,
O multitude of mankind,
Come ye all, weep and lament with me,
The Mother of our God.’

The injustice of the proud has been multiplied against me: but I will search out thy commandments with all my heart.

‘When shall I see thee,
O Saviour, Timeless Light,
Joy and delight of my heart?’
The Virgin cried out, in distress.

Their heart has been curdled like milk; but I have meditated on thy law.

Like a sharp rock, O Saviour,
Thou didst receive the cleaving (cf. Ex 17:6),
But poured forth streams,
As thou art the well-spring of life.

It is good for me that thou hast afflicted me; that I might learn thine ordinances.

As if from one fountain,
We are watered at the twofold stream
Flowing from thy side (Jn 19:34; cf. 1 Jn 5:6),
We grow for ourselves the fruit of immortal life.

At Matins on Great Saturday. This is my non-expert translation, from Analogion. There is a translation in modern English designed to fit the metre at Anastasis.


Τhe Panagia drew near and spoke to him sweetly
“Do you not speak to me, my little child,
Do you not speak to me, my child?”
“What I would say, my dear Mama, what would I declare?
It was the will of God, the counsel of the Father.
But on Great Saturday, around midnight
When the cockerel cries, and the bells sound
And they kindle golden lamps in the churches
Then you too, my dear Mama, you will go to await me.”

(From an abbreviated version of a popular Greek lament for Great Friday.
The text varies a lot: these lines as sung here, a longer text here.)


MAY he who endured spittings, scourges, blows, the Cross and death for the salvation of the world, Christ our true God, through the prayers of his all-pure and holy Mother, by the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, through the intercessions of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, and of all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for he is good and loves mankind.

Dismissal at the Royal Hours, Great Friday. Translation from Anastasis.


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