Thursday, 12 December 2019

St. Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople. "On the Presentation of the Mother of God."

From today's Matins from the Fifth Day within the Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.


V. Grant, Lord, a blessing.
Benediction. May the Gospel's holy lection be our safety and protection. Amen.

Reading 7
From the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 1:26-28

At that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And so on.

Homily by St. Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople.
On the Presentation of the Mother of God.

O Mary, where shall I find words to praise thee? Maiden undefiled, virgin unstained, exaltation of women, glory of daughters! Holy Maiden Mother, blessed art thou among women, thy glory is in thy guilelessness, and thy name is a name of purity. In thee the curse of Adam is done away, and the debt of Eve paid. Thou art the clean offering of Abel, chosen out of the firstlings profession thereof to be made at of the flock, a pure sacrifice. Thou art the hope of Enoch, that firm hope that he had in God, and was not ashamed. Thou art the grace that was in Enoch in this life, and his transit to a better. Thou art the Holy Ark of Noah, and the bond of reconciliation with God in a new regeneration. Thou art the exceeding glory of the kingdom and Priesthood of Melchisedech. Thou art the unshaken trust of Abraham, and his faith in the promise of children that were to-be. Thou art the renewed oblation and the reasonable burntoffering of Isaac. Thou art the ladder that Jacob saw going up to heaven, and the most noble of all his children throughout the twelve tribes of Israel. According to the flesh thou art the daughter of Judah. Thou art the modesty of Joseph, and the overthrow of the old Egypt, yea, and of the Synagogue of the Jews. O purest! Thou art the book of Moses the Lawgiver, whereon the new covenant is written with the finger of God, for the new Israel, fleeing from the spiritual Egypt, even as the old law was written upon Sinai, for the old Israel, that Israel which was fed in the wilderness upon manna and water from the rock, whereof both were types of Christ, which was yet to come from thy womb, as a bridegroom from his chamber. Thou art Aaron's rod that budded. Thou art David's daughter, all glorious within, clothed in a vesture of gold, wrought about with divers colours.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed.
* O Mary, thy perfumes are a garden of delights.
V. Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled.
R. O Mary, thy perfumes are a garden of delights.

V. Grant, Lord, a blessing.
Benediction. She whose feast-day we are keeping, Mary, blessed Maid of Maidens, be our Advocate with God. Amen.

Reading 8
Thou art the vision of the Prophets and the fulfilment of those things which they foretold. Thou art the gate whereof Ezekiel spake, when he prophesied, and said, This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut xliv. 2. Thou art the Rod of Jesse, whereof Isaiah spake, xi. I, even that Rod whose Flower is Christ, and whose offshoots shall choke out all the seedlings of sin, and fill the earth with plants of grace. Thou art the Covenant foretold by Jeremiah when he said xxxi. 31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers thereby signifying the coming of thy Son, and calling upon all nations to worship Him for their God, even to the uttermost parts of the earth. Thou art the great mountain spoken of by Daniel, the man greatly beloved, wherefrom is cut without man's hands the corner-stone, that is, Christ, which hath smitten in pieces the parti-coloured image of the old serpent. I honour thee as the unpolluted fountain, I proclaim that thou art full of grace, I praise thee as the clean and undefiled tabernacle of God. Verily, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. As by a woman death entered into the world, by a woman came the power to rise again. The serpent gave us to eat deadly fruit, but that fall hath ended in the lifegiving Bread of Immortality. Eve, our first mother, brought forth Cain the first murderer; thou, O Mary, hast brought forth Christ, the first-fruits of life and of the resurrection. Ear hath not heard the like. It hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive this new thing. Blessed be the unspeakable depths of the Wisdom of God.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. My soul doth magnify the Lord;
* For He That is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name.
V. For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
R. For He That is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. For He That is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name.

V. Grant, Lord, a blessing.
Benediction. May He that is the Angels' King to that high realm His people bring. Amen.

Reading 9
And now we, the people of God, a holy generation, an acceptable congregation, the nestlings of the dove of peace, children of grace, do with purified minds and unpolluted lips, praise God in the tongues of all nations in this joyful solemnity of the Virgin. This is a noble Feast wherein the Angels keep holiday and men do most fitly offer praise, even a feast wherein we echo with reverence and joy that salutation first spoken by Gabriel. Hail Mary! Hail, thou Paradise of God the Father, whence the knowledge of Him floweth in broad rivers to the ends of the earth! Hail, Dwelling-place of God the Son, whence He came forth clothed in flesh! Hail, mysterious Tabernacle of God the Holy Ghost! Hail, thou that art holier than the Cherubim! Hail, thou that art more glorious than the Seraphim! Hail, thou that art nobler than the heavens! Hail, thou that art brighter than the sun! Hail, thou that art fairer than the moon! Hail, manifold splendour of the stars! Hail, light cloud, dropping the dew of heaven! Hail, holy breeze, clearing the air of the vapours of sin! Hail, royal theme of the Prophets! Hail, sound of the Apostles gone out into all the earth! Hail, most excellent confession of the Martyrs! Hail, just hope of the Patriarchs! Hail, peculiar honour of all the Saints! Hail, source of health to dying creatures! Hail, O Queen, ambassadress of peace! Hail, stainless crown of motherhood! Hail, advocate of all under heaven! Hail, restoration of the whole world! Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, even the Lord that is before thee, and from thee, and that is with us. To Him, with the Father, and the most holy and Life-giving Spirit, be ascribed all praise, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

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