The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, February 2

Having extolled Metropolitan Hilarion’s talk on “Orthodox Worship as a School of Theology,” it seems apt to post some of the hymns for The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, observed February 2 (40 days after Nativity).

Had weather not cancelled the Liturgy, we still would not have served Matins on a weekday, but you can get texts (and Western Notation music) for the Matins of major feasts at the E-Matins site. The texts for this particular feast are found here, where you might want to retrieve them for your own school of theology.

Most unusual, in my experience, is how the translators set the Megalynaria (magnifications) in an unusually versified and rhythmically strict structure (Any Protestant readers should be aware that Orthodox hymns, although poetic, are not normally versified. Trust me; you’d understand what I’m saying if you were there):

Past the understanding of
all the angels, mortals, too,
Virgin Mother, Lady pure,
is that which occurred in you.

In his arms the Elder one,
Symeon, embraces You,
the Creator of the Law
and the Governor of All.

Wishing Adam to be saved,
He who fashioned us abode
in the womb immaculate
of the Virgin Lady pure.

Every generation of
mortal nature blesses you,
and, as Mother of our God,
gives you glory, Lady pure.

Come and see the Christ who is
Lord and Master of all things,
who today by Symeon
to the Temple now is borne.

You look down upon the earth
and thereby You make it quake;
how then does a worn old man
hold You now within his arms?

Symeon lived many years,
till the Christ he was to see,
then to Him he called aloud,
‘My departure now I seek.’

You indeed, O Miriam
have become the mystic tongs,
which enclosed the burning coal,
Christ conceived within your womb.

You, the pre-eternal God,
willed that You would take on flesh;
and so after forty days,
to the Temple You are brought.

Having come from heav’n above
is the Master of all things;
He is welcomed to His home
by the priest called Symeon.

Again, you can read the parts of Matins that vary for this feast here. See also Father Stephen Freeman’s meditation.

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