Tag Archives: Hymnody

Cyril of Jerusalem: Jonah and Christ

This is from Cyril’s “Catechism” and is an interesting point:

Τούτου τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν τὸν τύπον ἐτέλει ὁ προφήτης Ἰωνᾶς ἐκ κοιλίας κήτους προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων ἐβόησα ἐν θλίψει μου, και ἑξῆς, ἐκ κοιλίας ᾅδου. καὶ μὴν ἐν τῷ κήτει ἧν.

ἀλλ’ ἐν τῷ ᾅδῃ ἑαυτὸν εἶναι λέγει. τύπος γὰρ ἦν Χριστοῦ τοῦ μέλλοντος εἰς ᾅδην καταβαίνειν. καὶ μετ’ ὀλίγα φησὶν ἐκ προσώπου τοῦ Χριστοῦ λευκότατα προφητεύων· ἔδυ ἡ κεφαλή μου εἰς σχισμὰς ὀρέων. καὶ μὴν ἐν γαστρὶ κήτους ἦν.

The prophet Jonah fulfilled the type of our of savior, lifting up prayers from the belly of the sea-monster and saying, “I cried out in my affliction” and then, “out of the belly of Hades”, even though he was in the sea-monster.

And he says that he is himself in Hades. For this type was of Christ, the one about to descend into hades, and (I’m having a little trouble with this part) after a few things he spoke, prophesying the most plain things from the person of Christ (?): “My head is plunged into the cliffs of mountains” even though he was in the belly of the sea-monster.

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This is too beautiful not to share

This semester I’m taking a course on Greek Hymnody and for tomorrow we’re translating a few ἀπολυτίκια (Hymns sung all throughout the feast day). This is the one sung on Feb. 2nd, the presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Χαῖρε χεκαριτωμένη Θεοτόκε Παρθένε
ἐχ σοῦ γὰρ ἀνέτειλεν ὁ Ἥλιος τῆς διχαιοσύνης
Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, φωτίζων τοὺς ἐν σχότει.
Εὐφραίνου καὶ σὺ Πρεσβύτα δίχαιε
δεξάμενος ἐν ἀγχάλαις τὸν ἐλευθερωτὴν τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν
χαριζόμενος ἡμῖν καὶ τὴν Ἀνάστασιν.

Hail Full of Grace, Virgin Mother of God!
From you the Sun of righteousness arose
Christ our God, lighting those in the darkness.
Be glad, righteous presbyter,
Holding in your arms the Liberator of our souls,
the One who grants the resurrection to us.

N.B.: Mary is not here being called a presbyter. The Greek Πρεσβύτα (Presbyter) is masculine. The latter half of the hymn is talking to Simeon (cf. Luke 2.21-35). **Edited with the help of Esteban’s comments!**


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