Germanus of Constantinople: A Great and Mighty Wonder, a Full and Holy Cure Wednesday, Dec 25 2013 

Germanus of Constantinopleμεγα και παραδοξον Θαυμα

A great and mighty wonder, a full and holy cure:
The virgin bears the Infant with virgin honor pure!

The Word becomes incarnate and yet remains on high,
And cherubim sing anthems to shepherds from the sky.

And we with them triumphant repeat the hymn again:
“To God on high be glory and peace on earth to men!”

While thus they sing your Monarch, those bright angelic bands,
Rejoice, ye vales and mountains, ye oceans, clap your hands.

Since all He comes to ransom, by all be He adored,
The Infant born in Bethl’em, the Savior and the Lord.

And idol forms shall perish, and error shall decay,
And Christ shall wield His scepter, our Lord and God for aye.

Germanus of Constantinople (c.634–c.733): Stichera for Christmastide, translated by John Mason Neale (1818-1866) in Hymns of the Eastern Church.

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Germanus of Constantinople: Hail, O Purest Virgin… Monday, Dec 9 2013 

Germanus of ConstantinopleHail, Mary, full of grace, holier than the Saints, higher than the heavens,

more glorious than the Cherubim, more honourable than the Seraphim, and the most worshipful thing that the hands of God have made.

Hail, O dove, bearing in thy beak the olive-branch of peace that telleth us of salvation from the spiritual flood (Gen. 8:10),

dove, blessed omen of a safe harbour, whose wings are of silver, and thy feathers of gold, shining in the bright beams of the Most Holy and Light-giving Spirit (Ps. 67:14).

Hail, thou living garden of Eden, planted towards the East by the right hand of the Most Merciful and Mighty God,

wherein do grow to His glory rich lilies and unfading roses, for the healing of them that have drunk in death from the blighting and pestilential breezes of the bitter West (Gen. 2:8, 9);

Eden, wherein hath sprung that Tree of life, Whereof if any man eat he shall live for ever (Gen. 2:9; 3:22. John 6:52).

Hail, stately Palace of the King, most holy, stainless, purest, House of the Most High God, adorned with His Royal splendour, open to all, filled with Kingly dainties;

Palace wherein is that spiritual bridal chamber, not made with hands, nor hung with divers colours, in the which the Eternal Word, when He would raise up fallen man, wedded flesh unto Himself, that He might reconcile unto the Father them who had cast themselves away.

Hail, O rich and shady Mountain of God, whereon pastured the True Lamb, Who hath taken away our sins and infirmities (Hab. 3:3; Isa. 53:4; John 1:29),

mountain, whence hath been cut without hands that Stone which hath smitten the altars of the idols, and become the head-stone of the corner, marvellous in our eyes (Dan. 2:34; Ps. 117:22, 23).

Hail, thou holy Throne of God, thou divinest store-house, thou temple of glory, thou bright crown, thou chosen treasure, thou mercy-seat for the whole world, thou heaven declaring the glory of God (Ps. 18:2).

Hail, thou vessel of pure gold, made to hold the manna that came down from heaven, the sweet food of our souls, even Christ (Ex. 16:33; Heb. 9:4; John 6:49-51).

Hail, O purest Virgin, most praiseworthy and most worshipful, hallowed treasury for the wants of all creatures; thou art the untitled earth, the unploughed field;

thou art the vine full of flowers, the well overflowing with waters, Maiden and Mother; thou art the Mother that knew not a man, the hidden treasure of guilelessness, and the clear, bright star of holiness.

Germanus of Constantinople (c.634–c.733): Homily on the Presentation of the Theotokos from Mattins for the feast of the Immaculate Conception @ Divinum Officium.

Germanus of Constantinople: “It is Time, My Mother”, Says the Lord, “to Take You to Myself” Thursday, Aug 15 2013 

Germanus of ConstantinopleIt is time, my Mother, (says the Lord), to take you to myself. Just as you have filled the earth and all who dwell in it with joy, O you who enjoy such grace, come, and make the heavens joyful once again.

Make my Father’s dwelling-place radiant; be a spiritual guide for the souls of the saints.

For when they see your glorious passage here to my side, escorted by angels, they will be convinced in their faith that their own place, too, through you, will be to dwell here in my light.

Come, then, in exultation; rejoice now, as you rejoiced at the angel’s greeting. In every way you now have the dignity of your title, ‘full of grace.’

As when you were about to conceive me you were invited to rejoice, so rejoice again in my desire to take you to myself.

Do not be disturbed at leaving behind the corruptible world, with all its desires. Forget about its power of corruption.

For you will not leave those who live in the world bereft of your protection; but just as I, who am not of the world, watch over those who live in it and take care of them, so your patronage will not be taken away from those who live in the world, until its consummation.

The extravagant demands of the flesh will no longer disturb you. You are ascending to a fuller life, to joyful rest, to unconquerable peace, to an existence untroubled by cares, to delights free of passion, to permanent freedom from distraction, to unending enjoyment, to a light that never fades, to a day without evening—to me, the creator of all that is, including you.

Where I am, there is eternal life, incomparable joy, a dwelling-place without parallel, an indestructible city. Where I am, then, you will be also: a mother inseparably one with her undivided Son. Where God is, there is all goodness of heart, all delight, all brilliance.

No one who knows my glory wants to abandon it. No one who comes to my rest seeks again the things of the corruptible world. Ask Peter if there was any comparison or likeness between the world and Mount Tabor, when he gazed for a short time on my glory.

When you lived in the world of corruptible things, I revealed my power to you in visions; now that you are passing from that life, I will show myself to you face to face. Give the earth what belongs to it, without anxiety.

Germanus of Constantinople (c.634–c.733): excerpt from An Encomium on the Holy and Venerable Dormition of Our Most Glorious Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, in On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies, SVS Press, 1998, pp.170-172); fuller extract @ Priest Matthew Jackson.

Germanus of Constantinople: Christ Made Us Communicants of His Death, His Resurrection, and His Glory Monday, Feb 4 2013 

Germanus of ConstantinoplePraying toward the East is handed down by the holy apostles, as is everything else.

This is because the comprehensible sun of righteousness, Christ our God, appeared on earth in those regions of the East where the perceptible sun rises, as the prophet says:

“Orient is his name” (Zech 6:12); and “Bow before the Lord, all the earth, who ascended to the heaven of heavens in the East” (cf Ps 67:34);

and “Let us prostrate ourselves in the place where His feet stood” (cf Ps 67:34); and again, “The feet of the Lord shall stand upon the Mount of Olives in the East” (Zech 14:4).

The prophets also speak thus because of our fervent hope of receiving again the paradise in Eden, as well as the dawn of the brightness of the second coming of Christ our God, from the East.

[…] The priestly stole is the robe of Aaron, which served to cover him down to his feet. It was fiery in appearance, as the prophet says:

“Who makes the winds your messengers and flames of fire your servants” (Ps 103:4); and again…, “Why is your clothing all red, like the garments of one who treads grapes in the vat?” (Is 63:2).

By this the prophet indicates the stole of the flesh of Christ dyed by His undefiled blood on the cross. Or, again, since Christ wore a crimson cloak at His passion, it indicates that the high priests are servants of such a High Priest.

[…] The bread of offering, that is to say, which is purified, signifies the superabundant riches of the goodness of our God, because the Son of God became man and gave Himself as an offering and oblation in ransom and atonement for the life and salvation of the world.

He assumed the entirety of human nature, except for sin. He offered Himself as first-fruits and chosen whole burnt-offering to the God and Father on behalf of the human race, as is written: “I am the bread which came down from heaven,” and “He who eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51).

About this the Prophet Jeremiah says: “Come, let us place a stake in his bread” (11:19 LXX), pointing to the wood of the cross nailed to His body.

[…] The bread and the chalice are really and truly the memorial of the mystical supper at which Christ, having taken the bread and wine, said: “Take, eat, and drink, all of you, this is my body and blood.”

This shows that He made us communicants of His death, His resurrection, and His glory.

Germanus of Constantinople (c.634–c.733): On the Divine Liturgy, 11,14,20,22 (Tr based in part on: J. Meyendorff, St. Germanus of Constantinople on the Divine Liturgy, Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984: 56-106. ) @ Fr Luke Dysinger, OSB.

Germanus of Constantinople: The Church is an Earthly Heaven… Tuesday, Jan 15 2013 

Germanus of ConstantinopleThe church is the temple of God, a holy place, a house of prayer, the assembly of the people, the body of Christ.

It is called the bride of Christ. It is cleansed by the water of His baptism, sprinkled by His blood, clothed in bridal garments, and sealed with the ointment of the Holy Spirit, according to the prophetic saying:

“Your name is oil poured out” (Cant 1:3), and “We run after the fragrance of your myrrh” (Cant 1:4), which is “Like the precious oil, running down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron” (Ps 132:2 LXX).

The church is an earthly heaven in which the super-celestial God dwells and walks about.

It represents the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ: it is glorified more than the tabernacle of the witness of Moses, in which are the mercy-seat and the Holy of Holies.

[…] The apse corresponds to the cave in Bethlehem where Christ was born, as well as the cave in which he was buried, as the evangelist Mark says: “There was a cave hewn out of rock; there they placed Jesus” (cf Mk 15:46).’

The holy table corresponds to the spot in the tomb where Christ was placed. On it lies the true and heavenly bread, the mystical and unbloody sacrifice.

[…] This table was pre-figured by the table of the Old Law upon which the manna, which was Christ, descended from heaven.

[…] The altar corresponds to the holy tomb of Christ.

On it Christ brought Himself as a sacrifice to [His] God and Father through the offering of His body as a sacrificial lamb, and as high priest and Son of Man, offering and being offered as a mystical bloodless sacrifice, and appointing for the faithful reasonable worship, through which we have become sharers in eternal and immortal life.

This lamb Moses prefigured in Egypt “towards evening” when its blood turned back the destroyer so that he would not kill the people (cf Ex 12:7-13).

The expression “towards evening” signifies that towards evening the true lamb is sacrificed, the One who takes away the sin of the world on his cross, “For Christ, our Pascha, has been sacrificed for us” (cf I Cor 5:7).

The altar is and is called the heavenly and spiritual altar, where the earthly and material priests who always assist and serve the Lord represent the spiritual, serving, and hierarchical powers of the immaterial and celestial Powers, for they also must be as a burning fire.

For the Son of God and Judge of all ordained the laws and established the services of both the heavenly and the earthly powers.

Germanus of Constantinople (c.634–c.733): On the Divine Liturgy, 1-6 (Tr based in part on: J. Meyendorff, St. Germanus of Constantinople on the Divine Liturgy Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984: 56-106. ) @ Fr Luke Dysinger, OSB.