Today is the FeastDay of St. Xenia! (A very special Saint who has greatly helped our family) Congratulations also, to goddaughter Xenia on your Saint’s Day. May God grant you many years!
Yesterday, after service, our youth choir rehearsedIt is Truly Meet to Bless Thee, O Theotokos… a hymn they’ll be singing for an upcoming liturgy. Sung from the heart, their pure, prayerful voices filled the air with spiritual fragrance – and arose like incense.
It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, Ever blessed and most pure, And the Mother of our God. More honourable than the cherubim, And more glorious beyond compare Than the seraphim, Who without corruption gavest birth To God the Word, True Theotokos we magnify thee.
“...Our place in God’s garden may be a very humble and sheltered spot; but, like the saints, we may keep our faces ever turned upward, and learn to grow, as they grew, like their Master, pure and straight and strong – fit flowers to blossom in the Garden of God...
Saints are like roses when they flush rarest, Saints are like lilies when they bloom fairest, Saints are like violets, sweetest of their kind.”
~ In God’s Garden Original Copyright 1907 by Amy Steedman; distributed by Heritage History 2009
Today is the special feast commemorating the 10th Century Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (Axion Estin) and its Ancient Hymn, that’s so special.
Congratulations on your Saint’s Day Nathaniel… Remembering how you were baptised in a beautiful garden, beneath the warm summer sky! May God grant you many years!
In Old English, the word sky was heofan, from which we get the modern word heaven.
Towards the end of evening vigil services, and after the Anaphora at Divine Liturgy, we sing a short, compelling, ancient hymn. Its history is amazing, for it was revealed by the Archangel Gabriel himself, posing as a monk while visiting a monastery on Mt. Athos during the 10th century!
When he began to sing before the Panagia Eleousa (Merciful) Icon of the Virgin Mary, it shone brilliantly. He then was asked by the brethren to write down this unknown beautiful hymn, but there was no paper available. Taking a piece of slate, and inscribing the words on it with his finger, as if the rock was as soft as wax, he vanished. The phrase it it truly meet (meet is old English), meaning it is truly fitting, proper and suitable.
This miracle is celebrated on June 24/11.
Ancient Hymn to the Theotokos It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos we magnify thee! ~ Axion Esti
There are many melodies to this hymn, and below are two English tunes from Youtube. The first part has women singing and the second part has men singing another melody of this hymn.
Listen time total – a short 2 minutes, 21 seconds.