Monday, December 18, 2017

Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity: a prayer in preparation for Christ's Nativity

The work of  Fr. Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery

Today the Virgin is on her way, to the cave where she will give birth to the Eternal Word of God in an ineffable manner. Rejoice, therefore, O Universe when you hear this news, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds Him who will appear as a new child, being God from all eternity.
The sacred sayings of the Prophets reach their fulfillment. See, a Virgin gives birth to God in the flesh in the city of Bethlehem within the Cave; let all creation be enriched, be glad and dance; the Master of all things is at hand to live among slaves, ransoming us, who are subject to corruption, from the power of the evil stranger, who sing:
Hail! Who from the beginning was the Word.
Hail! God with God, and Father’s Word.
Hail! Through Whom all things were made.
Hail! In Whom is Life, the Light of all.
Hail! Light in darkness.
Hail! Gloom’s dispeller.
Hail! Baptist’s sender.
Hail! Baptism’s goal.
Hail! In the world, but unknown.
Hail! Receiver of those who receive You.
Hail! Power of new birth.
Hail! Word made flesh among us dwelling.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.

Order stills chaos. The Abyss is no longer void. Darkness has fled away.
The Word of God, Who once spoke from without, is now heard within.
The command, “Let there be” has been heard in the woman who replied,
“Let it be done.
Creation has learned at last to be itself, to become the cave that now holds
its Creator,
Echoing the angels’ hymn: Alleluia!

Dead Adam arise; clothe yourself with praise. Eve lift up your voice and shake off your shame. See, the bruised heel walks toward Bethlehem. In the House of Bread she casts away the stones of grief, feasts on the Father’s Fish Who has crushed the serpent’s head. Do not cease your hymn, skin-clad dust, or the stones themselves will cry out:
Hail! Planter of the Tree of Life.
Hail! Nailed upon the Tree of Death.
Hail! Fruit most desired in all the garden.
Hail! Delight to the enclosed heart’s eyes.
Hail! Whose feet have walked with ours in the dusk.
Hail! Who comes searching out our hidden shame.
Hail! Enemy to cunning envy.
Hail! Friend to peace-filled love.
Hail! Sewer of our skins.
Hail! Looser of our sins!
Hail! Companion in our exile.
Hail! Welcome home through Eden’s doors.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.

Abraham was called out from his father’s house and from his own country;
Now Joseph returns to the land of his line, to David’s house.
Sarah once laughed at the thought of pleasure;
Mary now greets the sword of sorrow, forgetting anguish for the Child to be born,
Magnifying the Lord and crying:

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