On the Night of the Nativity  

Posted by Joe Rawls

St Ephraim the Syrian (306 to ca 373), with over 400 hymns and poems attributed to him, is one of Christianity's most prolific hymnodists.  Written originally in Syriac, they were translated into Greek at an early stage, and thence became widely known throughout the church.  Typical is "On the Night of the Nativity", reproduced below.  Hat-tip to the Orthodox Christian Network website.

Pure is the present night, in which the Pure One appeared, Who came to purify us!  Let our hearing be pure, and the sight of our eyes chaste, and the feeling of the heart holy, and the speech of the mouth sincere!

The present night is the night of reconciliation; therefore, let no one be wroth against his brother and offend him!

This night gave peace to the whole world, and so, let no one threaten.  This is the night of the Meek One; let no one be cruel!

This is the night of the Humble One; let no one be proud!

Now is the day of joy; let us not take revenge for offenses!  Now is the day of good will; let us not be harsh.  On this day of tranquility, let us not become agitated by anger!

Today God came unto sinners; let not the righteous exalt himself over sinners!

Today the Most Rich One became poor for our sake; let the rich man invite the poor to his table!

Today we received a gift which we did not ask for; let us bestow alms to those who cry out to us and beg!

The present day has opened the door of heaven to our prayers; let us also open our door to those who ask of us forgiveness!

Today the Godhead placed upon Himself the seal of humanity, and humanity has been adorned with the seal of the Godhead!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at Wednesday, December 24, 2014 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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