ON WEDNESDAY MORNING
the 1st Reading from the Psalter, Kathismata of the Cross.
Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance, granting to faithful Christians victory over their enemies, and protecting your commonwealth by your Cross.
Verse: Exalt the Lord our God, and fall down before his footstool, for he is holy.
When you were crucified, O Christ, the tyranny of the foe was abolished and his power trampled on, for it was not an Angel or a mortal but yourself, Lord, who saved us. Glory to you!
We have gained you as our protection, O Immaculate, and by your intercessions we are freed from dread troubles; by the Cross of your Son we are guarded at all times and as is fitting we all devoutly magnify you.
After the 2nd
Reading from the Psalter, Kathismata of the Cross.
the stone had been sealed.
We worship the tree of your Cross, lover of humankind, because you, the Life of all, were nailed upon it. You opened Paradise to the Thief who approached you in faith, O Saviour, and he was found worthy of its delight when he confessed you, ‘Remember me, Lord’. Like him receive us too as we cry, ‘We have all sinned; in your compassion do not despise us’.
Verse: God is our king from of old; he has worked salvation in the midst of the earth.
The weapon of the Cross was once revealed in war to the devout King Constantine through Faith as an invincible trophy against his foes. The hostile powers tremble at it; it has become the salvation of the faithful and the boast of Paul.
Glory. Both now. Cross-Theotokion.
‘O strange wonder! O fearful mystery!’, cried the Ewe-lamb, the all-blameless Maiden, as she saw the Lord stretched out upon the Tree. ‘He who bears the whole universe in the hollow of his hand, how is he condemned by lawless men and condemned to a cross!’
After the 3rd reading, Kathismata.
When you stretched out hands on the Cross, O Compassionate, you gathered in the nations that had gone far away from you to glorify your great goodness. But look on your inheritance and by your precious Cross cast down those who make war on us.
Verse: God is wonderful in his Saints, the God of Israel.
Be entreated by the sufferings, which the Saints endured for you, O Lord; and heal all our pains, we beg, O Lover of mankind.
Both now. Cross-Theotokion.
The spotless Ewe-lamb, seeing the Lamb and Shepherd hanging dead upon the tree, cried out with tears, and lamenting as a mother aid, ‘How shall I hymn your condescension, my Son, which is beyond understanding, and your voluntary sufferings, my God supremely good?’
of the Cross, whose acrostic is:
1. Tone 1. Irmos.
Delivered from bitter slavery, Israel crossed the impassable as on dry land. Seeing the enemy drowning, as to a benefactor he sang a hymn to God who works wonders with uplifted arm, for he has been glorified.
Σ When you were hung upon the Cross, O Christ, you raised up fallen humankind and smashed all the power of the enemy. Therefore I praise your suffering in song, O Word who suffered and saved me from passions.
Α An all-holy company of Saints competed lawfully, sanctified the whole creation in the streams of their blood and, in God the Father, abolished the foul sacrifices offered to demons.
Υ Thick clouds of torments did not conceal your courageous struggles, all-holy Martyrs. Therefore, glorious Saints, you appeared more brilliant than the rays of the sun as you blazed with saving radiance.
Ρ You were wounded with a sword, O All-pure, as you saw the passion of your Son, saw him pierced with the lance and shutting out the sword in Paradise that barred the way and gave no godly entrance to the faithful.
Canon to the most holy Mother of God. Its Acrostic is the Alphabet.
[Your triumphant right hand, in a manner fitting God, has been glorified in strength, O Immortal; for in its infinite strength it broke in pieces the enemy, and made a strange new way for the Israelites in the deep.]
B As you gave birth to the grape cluster of life, which is a fount of saving wine, in compassion make me, darkened by the drunkenness of sin, sober, and lead me in straight paths.
G Do not despise me, Sovereign Lady, who ever stumble by my own will, am dragged down by evil thoughts, madly ensnared and easily quite overmastered by my foes.
Let no mortal boast in their wisdom or their wealth, but in faith of the Lord, crying out with right belief to Christ our God and ever singing, ‘Establish me, Master, on the rock of your commandments.’
Σ Let the moon and sun stop in their course cried Jesus, foreshadowing the eclipse of the great lights when the Master suffered in the flesh on the Cross. Through him the evil principalities of darkness were exposed to public contempt.
Σ You cast down the pillars and temples of the demons, holy Martyrs; by endurance and courage you wondrously raised yourselves as temples able to contain the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Ω At the hour of the Passion, as you looked on the One who is comely in beauty without form or beauty, you cried out with bitter lamentation, pure Virgin, ‘Alas, how do you suffer, my Son, who wish to deliver all from passions’.
of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[You alone know the weakness of mortals and in compassion took its form; gird me with power from on high, to cry to you: Holy the living temple of your ineffable glory, O lover of mankind!]
DAs you gave birth to the Master of all and are Mistress of all, now snatch me, O All-unblemished, from the mastery of unclean passions; to which, though, I have miserably enslaved myself through idleness and perversity of will.
E Being you are ever compassionate, as you alone bore the Lord compassionate and good, do not reject me, O Immaculate, who am without compassion and without loving-kindness, but turn me back by your intercessions.
Z Snatch me, O Virgin, from a tempest of disgraceful thoughts, dangers, afflictions, and temptations; guide me straight to divine havens and fill my mind with calm, O only All-praised.
Wondrous Avvakoum of old heard your report, O Christ, and cried out in fear, ‘O God, you will come from Theman, and O Holy One from a shaded, wooded mountain to save your anointed ones. Glory to your power, O Lord!’
Σ You endured stripes and blows, O Christ, when you were crucified, so healing those of my heart. You tasted bitter gall, so taking away the destructive harm of tasting that gives pleasure.
Μ When you were lifted up on the Cross, you drew near to you the nations that been banished far from you. You reconciled us to the Father, O Long-suffering, placing yourself in the midst as a Mediator, undergoing shameful suffering in the midst of the earth.
Α The spiritual Pharao perished when he fell with all his hosts into the mystical sea of your blood, Martyrs blessed by God, and, so saved for the land of promise, you have become citizens of heaven.
Ι Fortified by the strength of Christ, they accepted the blessed passion, sufferings of many kinds in their honoured flesh; and so they put an end to passions of the souls and bodies of those who celebrate them and at every moment call them blessed.
Τ As she who gave you birth, O Christ, watched your unjust slaughter, she cried out to you with grief, ‘My Son, just Judge, why have you been unjustly condemned, who wish to justify those who had been formerly condemned and slipped down into corruption.
of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[Avvakoum with foreseeing eyes perceived you as a mountain overshadowed by the grace of God, from which, he foretold, the Holy One of Israel would come, for our salvation and refashioning.]
Q Snatch me from being hunted and destroyed by demons who always seek treacherously to do me evil, Mother of God, ready help of Christians, respite of the afflicted, all-blameless Sovereign Lady.
I The Lord, to whom you gave birth from your pure blood, pure Virgin, is my strength and my song. Therefore implore him continually that your servant may be kept pure in soul and body.
Light in the hearts of those who sing your praise with faith, O Christ, your light that never sets, granting us peace that is beyond understanding, so that as we run from the night of ignorance to the day of your commandments, we may glorify you, Lover of humankind.
Ο The sun was stripped bare of light, O Saviour, when it saw you, who hung the earth upon the waters, stripped naked on the Tree; with fear rocks were split apart upon a rock, when they saw you made away with, and the foundations of the earth were shaken.
Υ You were lifted up on a Tree, long-suffering Lord, and fixed with nails you drenched your fingers in blood. Your side was pierced, transfixed by a lance, so healing Adam’s wound, which he suffered when he obeyed his side and disobeyed his Maker.
Π The multitude of Martyrs appeared as Paradise, having in its midst Christ, the Tree of life, through whom, withstanding shameful death with noble thought, by divine power they put to death the serpent that once by food had put to death the parents of our race.
Α With the drops of your blood, Athletes of Christ, you dried up the deep of godlessness, and with divine outpourings of sacred wonders, you put to an end the outpourings of passions of our souls and bodies; therefore we fittingly call you blessed.
Θ When she saw Christ lifted up on the Tree by his own will, the Blameless Virgin was amazed, and weeping she cried out, ‘My Son and God, when I gave birth I knew no pangs, but now I suffer pains as you are unjustly crucified by lawless men’.
of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[O Christ, who enlightened the ends of the world by the brightness of your coming, and made them radiant by your Cross, enlighten with the light of your divine knowledge the hearts of those who sing your praise with right belief.]
K All-immaculate Virgin, make my soul be bear fruits of virtues by driving away my unfruitful thoughts, and cutting out root and branch the thorns of sin that choke me.
L Mother of God, through an Angel you contained in your womb beyond reason the divine Word; entreat him therefore to free your servants from irrational acts and death-bringing pleasures.
M Having withered up through your offspring the sin which sprang from a tree, wither up my fleshly thoughts and the stirrings and hostile waves of passions, that I may sing your praise, O All-praised.
I am wholly in the grip of numberless passions, I have fallen together with a sea monster of evils; but bring me up from corruption, O God, as you one brought Jonas, and with faith grant me dispassion, that I may sacrifice to you with a voice of saving praise.
Ο When Moses stretched his hands on high he was an image of your passion, when you stretched your palms on the Tree and utterly destroyed the destructive power of the evil one; therefore knowing you to be our Redeemer and Saviour, we sing your praise, Lover of humankind.
Ν Raised on the Tree you underwent death, put to death the one who put us to death, O Christ, and gave life to what your hands had fashioned; while when your side was pierced you poured out two rivers of forgiveness to those who hymn you with two wills.
Τ Precious is your death, holy Martyrs, in the eyes of the Lord, who honoured you all by his precious sufferings and shamed dishonoured Beliar who schemed to break us by every assault of punishments.
Ο Wise Martyrs, as you advanced with all your soul to all the forms of punishments, you found as ally all the help of the One who put on human nature altogether; and so, as you were torn limb from limb and met the fire, you rejoiced.
Σ When the All-pure saw your crucifixion, she cried, ‘My Son, what is this strange sight that I behold? How do you, who heal the sufferings of the sick, endure unprecedented suffering? How have your enemies repaid you, O Benefactor, for all the benefits they have received?’
of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[The deepest abyss has surrounded us, there is none to deliver, we have been counted as sheep for the slaughter; save your people, O God, for you are the strength and restoration of the weak.]
N The enemy has been put to death by your life-bearing Fruit, O Full of God’s grace, death has Hell been clearly trampled on and those in bonds set free. And so I cry, ‘Do away with the passions of my heart’.
X Estranged as I am from God through badness and set far away, All-blameless Bride of God, by your wondrous mediation make me his friend, that I may sing the praise of the mighty acts of your power.
O The timeless Son was born in time, being brought to birth from you. Implore him, pure Virgin, to heal the chronic passions of my heart guide me to everlasting life.
The Youths, who of old were clearly revealed as holy, entered the unbearable flame of the furnace as if it were a bridal chamber, and singing with one accord they raised the hymn, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you’.
Ο Though you are Master, my Jesu, you accepted a blow from a slave, as you sought to free from my enslavement to the fiend; while nailed to the Cross you save me as I sing, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you’.
Ν All creation was shaken when you were crucified, compassionate Lord. When you were wounded by a lance, the enemy received an all-embracing blow, but stricken Adam was made whole, crying out, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you’.
Τ The inspired army of Champions, walled about with the Cross, by grace utterly destroyed the battle lines of the foe, and received crowns of victory as they cried, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you’.
Ο God’s Athletes, having valiantly made the choice of fire, you were not consumed when you encountered fire, but you burnt up all the evil fuel of impiety, as you cried out, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you’.
Σ Your Offspring, O Virgin, wondrously gave birth to the ages, and raised up on the Cross he raised up with himself those who had fallen and declared them citizens of heaven, as they cried, ‘God of our Fathers, blessed are you’.
Another, of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[We the faithful recognise you, O Mother of God, as a spiritual furnace; for as He, the highly exalted, saved the three Children, so He wholly refashioned me, humanity, in your womb, the God of our fathers. praised and glorified above all.]
P O Gate of light, open to me the shining gates of repentance, barring the entrances of pleasures by your prayers and chasing away my evil desires, that I may hymn and glorify your invincible power.
R With the drops of your compassion, all-pure Virgin, wash away the filth of my soul that afflicts through my inattention, and purify the eye of my mind, that with unceasing praises I may hymn your mighty deeds.
S Immaculate, All-blameless, who bore the Source of life, by your prayers give life to me who have been grievously put to death by the attacks of the demons, as I sing to your Son, ‘God of the Fathers, praised and highly glorified!’
The furnace bedewed with fire revealed of old an image of a wonder beyond nature, for the fire did not consume the young Men, depicting the Christ’s divine Nativity without seed from a Virgin. Therefore let us raise the hymn and sing, ‘Let all creation bless the Lord and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Τ He that by the Spirit stretched out the sky, has been willingly stretched out on a Cross; while he has been fastened with nails, longing to unfasten Adam’s propensities to passions. Therefore let us raise the hymn and sing, ‘Let all creation bless the Lord and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Ο When a stony hearted people, O Word of God, lifted you, the Rock, upon a rock, mountains were tumbled in confusion, earth quaked, and souls that had been shaken were made steady for divine life, ever singing, ‘Let all creation bless the Lord and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Υ The Champions wove for themselves a robe of salvation, when they struggled bravely in bodily nakedness and underwent storm showers of torments; and so they raised a hymn and sang, ‘Let all creation bless the Lord and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Ο Though mercilessly rent with iron claws, their limbs relentlessly hacked off, acquainted with tortures of every kind, the Champions did not offer sacrifice to wooden gods, but for believers were revealed as pillars of courage, as they cried, ‘Bless Christ, all you his works, and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Ι ‘So that a rebellious foolish people might, as they supposed, remove you from the earth, I have become childless, I am troubled and as a mother am anguished in heart’, cried she who knew not wedlock, ‘when she saw you lifted up on a Cross’. With her creation glorifies you, Jesu, Redeemer of all, to the ages.
Another, of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[In the furnace as in a smelter the Israelite Youths shone with the beauty of godliness brighter than gold as they said, ‘All you his works bless the Lord, praise and highly exalt him to all the ages’.]
T The acquisition of passions, the abuse of demons tyrannise me, but with you as refuge I am saved, O Immaculate, as I sing to your Son, ‘All you his works bless the Lord, praise and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Y Pure Virgin, higher than the heavens, make higher than matter and than life’s transgressions my mind that sings, ‘Let all creation bless the Lord, praise and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
F Virgin wholly light, who gave birth to God, the Giver of light, illuminate the eyes of my heart with the light of the knowledge of God, that I may chant, ‘All you his works bless the Lord, praise and highly exalt him to all the ages’.
Ineffable is the mystery of the Virgin. For she has been revealed as heaven, the cherubim throne and the light-bearing bridal chamber of Christ, God the Almighty. As Mother of God her we devoutly magnify.
Ω When of old he saw you hung upon a Tree, O Saviour, who hung the earth on limitless waters, the good Thief cried out to you with faith, ‘Remember’. With him we devoutly glorify your sufferings.
Σ When crucified you shook the foundations of the earth; pierced by a lance you poured out drops of immortality, blood and water, through which you purified humanity of passions, O Jesu, whom fittingly we magnify.
Η The Saints rejoiced in their torments, urging themselves forward as to enjoyment. ‘Let us take our stand!’ cried the heroes, ‘See, the stadium is open. Christ now holds out crowns for those he has loved’.
Φ The whole throng of believers is radiant as it honours the contests of all the invincible Martyrs, the ten thousand pains, through which they were found worthy of delight without pain, of life and unending contentment.
Φ Maiden, who bore ineffably the Word who loves humankind, when you saw him suffering willingly for humanity, you cried, ‘What is this? God, who knows no passion, endures his Passion, that he may deliver from passions those who worship him with faith’.
Another, of the Mother of God. Irmos.
[The burning bush that was not consumed was a type of your pure child-bearing; quench for us now the raging furnace of temptations we pray, O Mother of God, that we may unceasingly magnify you.]
X Rejoice, you that gave birth to joy! Rejoice, you that alone make grief disappear! Rejoice, you that dispel the clouds from our souls and illuminated with spiritual light those who with faith and love, O Mother of God, magnify you!
Y Dry up all the outpourings of my passions, O All-pure, and parch the limitless deep of my sins, for you gave birth to a saving rain, a river of peace and a great sea of compassion.
W You appeared as a place of healing without payment for all who have been wounded and are sick with despair, O Immaculate, as a haven of salvation for those storm-tossed on the sea of life, in which everyone who takes refuge there, saved by faith, glorifies you.
Exapostilarion. Women hear.
We hymn and with faith we worship the divine Cross, the invincible weapon, the support of the Faith. As is fitting we proclaim aloud the great refuge, the boast of Christians, the guardian of the Orthodox, the glory of the Champions.
Another. As God you adorned.
Cross of my Christ, great weapon of the Orthodox, victory of Sovereigns, defeat of demons, protect those who worship you in faith and give us your grace.
to the same tune.
Those who with all devotion and undoubting hearts worship the Cross and sufferings of your Son, Mother of God, show to be citizens of Paradise and partakers in glory.
of Lauds, of the Cross. Tone 1.
We ceaselessly sing your praise as Saviour and Master, who was nailed to the Tree and granted us life.
Through your Cross, O Christ, there has come into being one flock of Angels and of mortals and one Church. Heaven and earth rejoice. Lord, glory to you!
All-praised Martyrs, nor tribulation, nor suffering, nor starvation, nor persecution, nor scourgings, nor the rage of wild beasts, nor sword nor threatening fire could separate you from God; rather through love for him as though in bodies not your own you struggled and surpassed nature, despising death; and so you have fittingly received the reward of your toils and have become heirs of the Kingdom of heaven. Intercede unceasingly for our souls.
As she stood by your Cross, O Word of God, the Ewe-lamb, your blameless Mother, cried in lamentation, ‘How can you be dying on a Cross, my Son? Alas my sweetest light, where has the beauty of your form now set, that was lovelier than all mortals?’
 This is of course the Apolytikion for the feast of the Cross.
 Cf. Isaias 63:9.
 Luke 23:40-43.
 The story is told in great detail by Eusebius in his life of Constantine (Book 1, Chapters 28-31). He says he it from Constantine himself. The other contemporary account is by Lactantius in chapter 44 of his De Mortibus Persecutorum. This speaks only of a ‘dream’ and nothing of the appearance of the Cross in the sky. Both writers agree that the standard consisted of the Chi-Rho, in Eusebius this is made into a banner, or labarum, in Lactantius the soldiers are ordered to mark it on their shields.
 Galatians 6:14.
 Cf. Isaias 40:12
 This is the common Apolytikion of Many Martyrs.
 Unusually the Irmi of this Canon are prosomia to another set of Irmi, in this case those of the first Canon for Christmas. Another example is the set of Irmi by St Theodore the Studite for the Sunday of Cross in Lent, though in this instance there is a clear theological reason for it. The provision of new texts for this Tuesday may be to avoid singing the Christmas Irmi unseasonally, although in current practice only the Irmi of the first canon are used.
 Exodus 14-15.
 This phrase is from 1 Corinthians 2:6 and is therefore almost always used in connection with the Crucifixion. It is frequently inscribed on pectoral crosses and other depictions of the crucified Lord.
St Romanos speaks
of human nature as ‘thorny’ in a number of his Kontakia. For example in On
the Apostle Thomas (Strophe 2): ‘For from Thomas’s hand I believe in
Moses’ story; For though it was perishable and thorny it was not consumed
As it handled the side like a burning flame’. See also On the Nativity
(Strophe 11). The idea very probably derives from St Ephrem the Syrian.
 Luke 2:35.
 John 19:34.
 Genesis 3:24.
 In Greek témenoV, which means the sacred area in which a temple stood.
 One of the features of
this Canon is a series of plays on cognate words. In this troparion we have ÀgioV,
üperágioV and ägiasmóV.
 Jeremias 9:22. I Reigns 2:10, which is part of Ode 3 (I Reigns 2:1-10). The Greek of the latter passage is quite different from, and much longer than, the Hebrew. The Latin Vulgate here follows the Hebrew, and so do all English translations of the Bible.
 Psalm 21:17.
 Genesis 2:7. The word is used of a potter working with clay and is used in the OT especially of God in creation, and by contrast also of the fashioners of idols.
 Jesus (‘Joshua’) 10:12-13. In the Orthodox Scriptures Moses’ successor, who saved the people of Israel after Moses’ death and led them in the conquest of the Promised Land, is called ‘Jesus’, and because of his name he is frequently evoked typologically in the liturgical texts. The use of the Protestant pseudo-Hebrew word ‘Joshua’ obscures this and it, and other Protestant pseudo-Hebraisms, should be shunned by the Orthodox.
 Cf. Genesis 1:14-16,
where the sun and moon are not named but simply referred to as
 The darkening of the sun and moon is an echo of Amos 8:9. Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44-45, who mentions the sun specifically.
 This could also refer to the Cross, but since ‘Master’ is the nearer antecedent in Greek, I have taken it as referring to Christ.
 This verb, paradeigmatizein, occurs only twice in Scripture, once of St Joseph’s not wishing to put Mary to public shame (Matt. 1:19, where modern critical texts have the simple verb deigmatizein, not the compound), and at Hebrews 6:6, where the Apostle says that apostates, ‘crucify the Son of God again and put him to public contempt’. The poet has the latter passage in mind.
 ‘Beliar’ is one of the frequent names used for the devil in the liturgical texts, yet it only occurs once in the Orthodox Bible, at 2 Cor. 6:15. In the OT the word ‘belial’, which in Hebrew means ‘worthlessness’, ‘good for nothing’, occurs many times, but it is never taken to be a proper name in the lxx, which translates it by ‘lawless’, ‘pestilent’ and other such words. The Vulgate and older English versions tended to treat the word as a proper name, but most modern versions do not so regard it. In later writings, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Testament of Levi and the Ascension of Isaias, it has become a name for the devil. In the latter we read (2:4), ‘And Manasses turned away his own heart to serve Beliar —for the angel of lawlessness, who is the ruler of this world, is Beliar’. The source of the usage of the liturgical texts is, therefore, almost certainly 2 Corinthians.
 This word, used here in
the plural, means literally ‘a nod or inclination of the head’ and so
‘assent or approval’. The Latin equivalent is nutus. Whereas
superior persons, kings, popes, bishops and suchlike, are Dei providentia,
or Dei gratia, minor dignitaries are sometimes described as Dei
 Psalm 44:3.
 Isaias 53:2.
 This troparion plays DéspothV,
Déspoina and despoteía.
 Avvakoum 3:1-3. The notes in La Bible d’Alexandrie, XXIII: 4-9, are particularly valuable on these verses. Because Theman is in the south, for the Fathers it signifies Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, the place where Christ was born. The words ‘shaded’ and ‘wooded’ are both ‘translations’ of the Hebrew name Paran, which was linked by the translator with a rare Hebrew word meaning ‘bough’.
 Galatians 6:17, the only use of the word in the NT.
 1 Peter 2:24, the only use of the word in the NT.
 Matthew 27:34, Psalm 68:22.
 John 12:32.
 Cf. Ephesians 2:13.
 Romans 5:10, 1 Corinthians 5:18.
 1 Timothy 2:5.
 Psalm 73:12.
 Greek nohtóV.
 Cf. Exodus 14.
 Hebrews 11:9.
 Cf. Exodus 13:21 and the numerous passages throughout the Old Testament which refer to the cloud overshadowing the temple; also the ‘light/swift cloud’ in Isaias 19:1.
 Malachy 3:20.
 Ps. 117:14.
 Cf. Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44-45.
 Cf. Psalms 135:6, 103:3, and Antiphon 15 of Matins of Good Friday.
 Cf. Matthew 27:51.
 Cf. Matthew 27:51, Psalm 81:5, 17:8.16, Isaias 24:18.
 John 19:34.
 Eve, cf. Genesis 2:21.
 Genesis 2:9.
 Genesis 3.
 The musical punctuation suggests that the adverb could modify ‘suffer’. The grammar allows either. The many similar texts in the service books support the translation above.
 Matt. 13:22, Mark 4:19, Luke 8:14. The only uses of this word in the Bible are these three in the parable of the sower.
 This troparion plays on the words lógoV, ’word’, but also ‘reason’ and ÁlogoV, ’irrational’.
 The first half of the troparion develops a horticultural metaphor, based on the story of the Fall—‘sin which sprouted by a tree’—with an allusion to the Cross—‘your shoot’.
 Jonas 2:1-10. There is a number of verbal echoes of Jonas’s prayer in this troparion. The image in the second clause is, as the commentators say, ‘bold’.
 Exodus 17:11-13.
 Ps. 115:6.
 Literally ‘strange’, with a play on the first word of the troparion, but this really does not work in contemporary English.
 Appropriately this is the word used by the Mother of God in the Church’s text of the Magnificat, ‘For he that is mighty has done great things for me’ (Luke 1:49).
 A further series of plays on words, here on the words ÁcronoV—‘timeless’—, crónoV—‘time’ and crónioV—‘chronic’.
 Daniel 3:51-52.
 John 18:22. The word only occurs four times in the Bible, here and in the plural at Mark 14:65, John 19:3 and Isaias 50:6, ‘I gave my back to scourges and my cheeks to blows’.
 The word alastor is used frequently of the devil in the liturgical texts, but it only occurs four times in the Septuagint, three of them in 4 Maccabees and one in 2 Maccabees, where it is used of Antiochus Epiphanes and once of the ‘avenger’ who will punish him. In classical Greek it seems to have originally meant an ‘avenging deity’.
 Matt. 27:51.
 Literally ‘of the whole body’, but the devil has no body.
 This is the title of one of the best known Ethiopic hymns to the Mother of God.
 The phrase ‘gates of repentance’ is not scriptural, nor does it occur in any of the principal Fathers. It is, of course, well known from the Troparion after Psalm 50 at Sunday Matins in the Triodion. The nearest biblical text is Ps. 117:19, ‘Open to me the gates of justice—dikaiosúnhV’, and the liturgical text seems to be an adaptation of it.
 This word is only attested once in Greek, from the 7th century writer Leontios of Neapolis, as quoted by St John of Damascus, by whom it is used of the Burning Bush.
 Cf. Ps. 103:2.
 Even in English the play on the word ‘light’ is clear. In fact the Greek uses three different words, ölófwtoV—‘wholly light’, fwtodótoV—‘giver of light’, and fôV—‘light’.
 The ‘cherubim throne’ is a reference to the divine chariot in Ezekiel 1. Later, in chapter 10, the four living creatures are identified by the prophet as the cherubim: ‘And the Cherubim were lifted up. This was the living creature I had seen by the river Chobar’ (10,15). The Greek text has a number of variant readings here. I translate what is most likely to have been the text known to the writer of the canon.
The word used here for a ‘bridal chamber’ is pastas, which does
not occur in Scripture. In the liturgical texts it nearly always recalls
Psalm 18,6, where the word is the related word pastos. In a fragment
on Psalm 18, attributed to St Athanasios, both words are found together with
the typology of the Mother of God. Παστὸν
ἐκάλεσεν, ἐξ ἧς ὁ
ἐπορεύετο, παντὸς ῥύπου καθαρὸς, ἀπὸ καθαρᾶς παστάδος προερχόμενος. Παστὰς δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡ ἁγία Παρθένος.
called the Virgin ‘bridal chamber’—pastos—, from whom Christ
the Bridegroom proceeded, coming forth pure from every stain. Christ’s
bridal chamber—pastas— is the holy Virgin’.
 The same language is used
in the 15th Antiphon of Matins of Good Friday.
 Luke 23,42.
 Matt. 27:51, John 19:34.
 As the deacon says at the opening of the anaphora.
 This word presents a
problem, though the meaning is clear. It is not in Liddell and Scott and in
Lampe it is only given as an erroneous reading Migne’s text of the seventh
century George of Pisidia’s Hexaemeron.
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This page was last updated on 03 November 2008