For Love

Ἄξιόν ἐστίν ὡς ἀληθῶς,
μακαρίζειν σε τὴν Θεοτόκον,
τὴν ἀειμακάριστον καὶ παναμώμητον,
καὶ Μητέρα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶ͂ν.
Τὴν τιμιωτέραν τῶ͂ν Χερουβὶμ,
καὶ ἐνδοξοτέραν ἀσυγκρίτως τῶ͂ν Σεραφίμ,
τὴν ἀδιαφθόρως Θεὸν Λόγον τεκοῦσαν,
τὴν ὄντως Θεοτόκον σε μεγαλύνομεν.

It is truly meet
to bless Τhee, O Theotokos,
ever blessed, and most pure,
and the Mother of our God.
More honorable than the cherubim,
and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim.
Without corruption Τhou gavest birth to God the Word.
True Theotokos, we magnify thee!

The justly famous Axion Estin. Last four lines by St Cosmas the Melodist, brother of St John Damaskene. First four lines revealed in 980 AD by the Archangel Gabriel, and written by his finger, as described here. I would make a terrible psalti, as I have trouble singing this all the way through: I always tear up. Softy.
Ταῖς πρεσβείαις τῆς Θεοτόκου, Σῶτερ, σῶσον ἠμᾶς!


4 Replies to “For Love”

  1. And here is the beautiful elaboration and continuation, to the same tune, from the Small Paraklesis (Greek from here, English from Archimandrite Ephrem, here). Magnificent!:

    Την υψηλοτέραν των ουρανών,
    και καθαρωτέραν, λαμπηδόνων ηλιακών,
    την λυτρωσαμένην, ημάς εκ της κατάρας,
    την Δέσποιναν του κόσμου, ύμνοις τιμήσωμεν.

    Από των πολλών μου αμαρτιών,
    ασθενεί το σώμα, ασθενεί μου και η ψυχή.
    Προς σε καταφεύγω την Κεχαριτωμένην.
    Ελπίς απηλπισμένων, συ μοι βοήθησον.

    Δέσποινα και Μήτηρ του Λυτρωτού,
    δέξαι παρακλήσεις, αναξίων σων ικετών,
    ίνα μεσιτεύσης, προς τον εκ σού τεχθέντα.
    Ω Δέσποινα του κόσμου, γενού μεσίτρια.

    Ψάλλομεν προθύμως σοι την ωδήν,
    νύν τη πανυμνήτω, Θεοτόκω χαρμονικώς.
    Μετά του Προδρόμου και πάντων των Αγίων,
    δυσώπει Θεοτόκε, του οικτειρήσαι ημάς.

    ’Αλαλα τα χείλη των ασεβών,
    των μη προσκυνούντων, την Εικόνα σου την σεπτήν,
    την ιστορηθείσαν, υπό του Αποστόλου,
    Λουκά ιερωτάτου, την Οδηγήτριαν.

    Πάσαι των Αγγέλων αι στρατιαί,
    Πρόδρομε Κυρίου, Αποστόλων η δωδεκάς,
    οι Αγίοι πάντες, μετά της Θεοτόκου,
    ποιήσατε πρεσβείαν, εις το σωθήναι ημάς.

    Higher than the heavens is she by far,
    and yet more resplendent than the sun with its blazing rays,
    she who has delivered
    us from the curse’s power,
    in hymns now let us honour
    her who rules all the world.

    From the swarming multitude of my sins,
    both my soul and body are now weakened, they are both sick,
    O Most Highly Favoured,
    to you I fly for refuge,
    the hope of those who have none,
    grant me, I pray you, your help.

    Mother of the One who redeemed us all,
    hear the supplications your unworthy household makes,
    be our intercessor
    with him, the One born from you,
    the world’s true Sovereign Lady,
    become our Advocate.

    Fervently and joyfully we now sing
    hymns and odes to you, the all-praised Mother of our God,
    with the Lord’s Forerunner
    and all the Saints in heaven,
    implore your Son, O Mother,
    to show us pity now.

    Let the impious’ lips be bereft of speech,
    who do not worship this your icon, the all-revered,
    this which was depicted
    by Luke, the Lord’s Apostle,
    the icon with the title,
    ‘She who points out the Way’.

    All you hosts of heaven, the Angel Bands,
    John, the Lord’s Forerunner, the Apostles, the holy Twelve,
    Saints beyond all number,
    with our God’s own Mother,
    make intercession for us,
    that we may all be saved.

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