With longing in our heart and upon our lips

THERE lies in the Church the possibility of the mystical experience of God.

Man cannot be satisfied with a merely external relationship with God.

He is fashioned so as to be in love with God.

Divine love (eros), the Fathers say, is a necessity for man’s soul.

So it is this loving (erotiki) relationship with God that ultimately satisfies man.

And this loving relationship and mystical life and experience of God is nourished by the sacramental life, by unceasing prayer, and all the ascetic practice of the Orthodox Church which the Philokalia and the holy Fathers have handed down to us.

Archimandrite George Kapsanis. My amateur translation. Source.

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An icon of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

An icon of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

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WHEN the man of Arimathea took thee, the Life of all that is, down from the Tree a dead man, he tended thee for burial with myrrh and fine linen, O Christ; and with longing in his heart and upon his lips, he made speed to shroud thy undefiled body. Yet wrapped in fear, he cried out to thee rejoicing: O thou that lovest mankind, glory be to thy abasement.

O Lord, thou has taken pleasure in thy land: thou hast turned back the captivity of Jacob. (Ps 84[85]:1)

WHEN thou, the Redeemer of every thing, wast laid in the new grave for the sake of every thing, beholding thee Hades, a laughing stock, quaked with fear: its bars were shattered, its gates were ground to dust, its tombs were opened, the dead arose. Then Adam, giving thanks, cried out to thee rejoicing: O thou that lovest mankind, glory be to thy abasement.

Mercy and truth are met together: righteousness and peace have kissed. (v10)

WHEN the angelic powers would look upon thee, falsely accused by lawless men as a deceiver, they would tremble at thy ineffable longsuffering, and at the tombstone, sealed by hands which pierced thy undefiled side. Yet rejoicing at our salvation they cried out to thee: O thou that lovest mankind, glory be to thy abasement.

Glory be… Now and forever…

JOSEPH sued for the body of Jesus, and placed it in his own new tomb: for it was necessary for him to come forth from the grave as from a bridal chamber. To thee, who shattered the power of death and opened the gates of Paradise, be glory given.

On Saturday in the Third Week after Pascha (the Myrhh-bearing Women). My amateur translation, from Analogion.

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A miraculous icon of the Theotokos, Panagia Glykophilousa, at the Philotheou monastery on Mount Athos

A miraculous icon of the Theotokos, Panagia Glykophilousa ('sweetly kissing'), at the Philotheou monastery on Mount Athos

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Theotokion. [To the melody] “When the man of Arimathea &c.”

TRULY we have found no mighty refuge, no tower of strength or unconquerable wall, but thee O all pure Lady; and unto thee do we flee, and to thee we cry out: Help, O Mistress, lest we perish, show unto us thy grace, and the wealth of thy queenly power, and the vastness of thy tender pity.

Or this Cross-Theotokion.

ENDURING many pains at the crucifixion of thy son and God, O Immaculate, thou didst groan in thy weeping, and in thy cry: Alas, O sweetest child! Why dost thou die unjustly, who desirest to redeem Adam’s earthborn? Wherefore, Virgin Panagia, we beseech thee in faith, let him be gracious to us.

At Vespers for November 4. My amateur translation, from Analogion.

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