Monday, April 29, 2013

Great and Holy Tuesday

I see Thy bridal chamber adorned, O my Savior.
And I have no wedding garment that I may enter therein.
O Giver of light make radiant the vesture of my soul and save me.

Holy Week in the Orthodox Church is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and for the Bridegroom Services for Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (served by anticipation on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evening), the hymnody is absolutely marvelous.  The hymn above is easily my favorite hymn in the Church.  It is the Gospel in three sentences.  It is also balanced by the beauty of "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh," which I posted yesterday evening.  Both hymns are sung during these services, such that we get the warning to be watchful of our soul in the former, balanced against the hymn above, which reminds us that our watchfulness is not what saves us, but Christ, the giver of light, Who makes radiant the vesture of our souls.  May we ever be mindful that we are to vigilantly guard our souls, and yet despite our slumber, Christ comes to us to illumine us, unite us to Him, and bring us into His Kingdom.

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