The Divine Liturgy and Our Worship of God — 20170108

Again I would interrupt my thoughts on the Divine Liturgy to draw your attention to the prayers that are special to the feast of Theophany. The proper prayers for the feast (i.e., the Tropar and Kondak) are magnificent statements of this feast. We pray this Tropar:

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, worship of the Trinity was revealed, for the Father’s voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory be to You.

The Kondak likewise is an expression of our faith. We pray this Kondak:

You have revealed Yourself to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has shined upon us. We recognize You and exclaim to You: “You have come and revealed Yourself, O Inaccessible Light.”

There is also a special Irmos (i.e., the Hymn to the Mother of God that is said during the Anaphora) which is worth noting. We pray:

O my soul, extol Him Who was baptized in the Jordan, Christ the King. No tongue has the power to fittingly extol you; and even a supernatural mind is powerless to glorify You, O Mother of God. But in your graciousness, accept our faith because you know our holy ambition; for you are the Protectress of Christians, and we extol you.

I am sure that all who read this will agree with me about the beauty and power of these words. I find that these prayers wonderfully express what we believe. The Tropar and Kondak tell us that God, through Christ’s baptism, revealed to us that He is Three-In-One and that this revelation has “enlightened” the world. Our Church calls the baptism of Christ a “theophanic” event, that is an event which revealed to humankind that God is Triune and that one Person of our Triune God is both divine and human. This belief, it is my thought, truly gives meaning and purpose to human life.

The hymn to the Mother of God is likewise profound. It truly expresses what we believe about her and this particular belief is truly only accepted by Catholic and Orthodox Christians.

It is important that we think about what we believe when we pray these prayers. They are not just hollow words. They are statements of what we believe as Eastern Christians. Think about it. We can grow in our faith when we take the time to really assess what we pray. These are statements of our faith.

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