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St. Ephrem -- Deacon and Doctor

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1 St. Ephrem -- Deacon and Doctor on Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:57 am

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St. Ephrem (also spelled Ephraem and Ephraim) was born around 306 A.D. in Nisibis, Mesopotamia. He is the only Syrian father who is honoured as a doctor of the Universal Church. His feast day in the Roman calendar is celebrated on June 9.

In one source, it is suggested that Ephrem had Christian parents. He is reported to have said: "I was born in the way of truth. Although my boyhood did not understand the greatness of it, I knew it when trial came." He was baptized at the age of eighteen and became a disciple of the famous bishop of Nisibis, St. Jacob. He is also said to have accompanied St. Jacob to the Council of Nicaea in 325. Because of his great knowledge of the Church and doctrine, Ephrem was put in charge of a school of theology in Nisibis. After the death of St. Jacob, Ephrem remained in close relation with the three succeeding bishops. During this period, he lived through three sieges laid to Nisibis by the Persians. Although the Persians failed to capture the town by direct attack, they obtained it in 363 as part of the price of a peace settlement after the defeat and death of the Emperor Julian. The Christians then abandoned the city and Ephrem retired to a cave in a rocky height overlooking Edessa.

In Edessa, Ephrem led an austere life, sustained only by a little barley bread and a few vegetables. It was here that he wrote the greater part of his spiritual works. His appearance was that of an ascetic. We are told that he was of small stature, bald, beardless, and with skin shrivelled and dried up like a potsherd. His gown was all patches and the colour of dirt. He is said to have wept much and never laughed.

He wrote countless poems and hymns in his native Syriac, close to the Aramaic language spoken by Christ. He vigourously defended Christian doctrines against the heresies of his day. (There were ten different heresies thriving in Edessa alone.) He addressed his works against the Arians, the Bardesanes, the Gnostics, the Novatians, and others. He insisted on the true knowledge of Christ's divinity and perfect humanity, unified in the one Person of Christ. His writings greatly influenced the Church, especially in the East, and his works were translated into Greek, Armenian, Coptic, Arabic, and Ethiopic. In later centuries, they were also translated into French, German, Italian, and English.

Ephrem recognized the potentialities of sacred song as an adjunct to public worship. Partly because of his own prestige but largely through the superior merit of his own compositions, which he caused to be sung in church by a women's choir, he succeeded in completely supplanting Gnostic hymns by his own.

He wrote on many topics, such as the love of God, morals, the Incarnation, the Eucharist, and original sin. His works were described as "a storehouse of treasures," and he was called -- "Harp of the Holy Spirit," "Doctor of the world," and "Pillar of the Church."

It was not until late in life that Ephrem was raised to the diaconate. Humility had made him shrink from ordination. About the year 370, he undertook a journey from Edessa to Caesarea in Cappadocia in order to visit St. Basil, of whom he had heard much. He was ordained a deacon by this saint but refused to become a priest or a bishop.

The date of his death is given by the Chronicle of Edessa and the best authorities as 373, but some writers have asserted that he lived until 378 or 379.

In his listing of illustrious Christians, the contemporary St. Jerome said: "Ephrem, deacon of the church of Edessa, wrote many works in Syriac and became so famous that his writings are publicly read in some churches after the Sacred Scriptures. I have read in Greek a volume of his on the Holy Spirit; though it was only a translation, I recognized therein the sublime genius of the man."

No one in the early Church wrote more about Mary than Ephrem. He called devotion to her "the unlocking of the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem." He wrote of her virginity, of her being the Mother of God, of her many qualities given to her by Christ. In one example, penned in 370, he wrote: "Thou and Thy Mother are the only ones who are in every way perfectly beautiful, for in Thee, O Lord, there is no stain; no stain also in Thy Mother."

(The Church celebrates the feast of St. Ephrem on June 9.)

http://www.deacons.net/Deacons_before_us/ephrem.html


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2 Re: St. Ephrem -- Deacon and Doctor on Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:06 am

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Ephrem the Syrian

Saint Ephrem the Syrian


Deacon, Confessor and Doctor of the Church; Venerable Father
Born c. 306, Nisibis
Died June 9 373, Edessa, (Modern-day Turkey)
Venerated in All Christianity, especially in Syriac Christianity
Feast 28 January (Eastern Orthodox Church, Antiochian Catholic Church in America)
7th Saturday before Easter (Syriac Orthodox Church)
June 8 (Scottish Episcopal Church)
June 9 (Roman Catholic Church and Church of England)
June 10 (Church in Wales and Episcopal Church in the USA)
June 18 (Maronite Church and on some local calendars)
Attributes Vine and scroll, deacon's vestments and thurible; with Saint Basil the Great; composing hymns with a lyre
Patronage Spiritual directors and spiritual leaders
Ephrem the Syrian (Aramaic / Syriac: ܐܦܪܝܡ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ, Mor Afrêm Sûryāyâ; Greek: Ἐφραίμ ὁ Σῦρος; Latin: Ephraem Syrus; ca. 306 – 373) was a Syriac deacon and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the 4th century. He is venerated by Christians throughout the world, and especially among Syriac Christians, as a saint.
Ephrem wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons in verse, as well as prose biblical exegesis. These were works of practical theology for the edification of the church in troubled times. So popular were his works, that, for centuries after his death, Christian authors wrote hundreds of pseudepigraphous works in his name. Ephrem's works witness to an early form of Christianity in which western ideas take little part. He has been called the most significant of all of the fathers of the Syriac-speaking church tradition.


Newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis, where Ephrem taught and ministered.
Ephrem was born around the year 306 in the city of Nisibis (the modern Turkish town of Nusaybin, on the border with Syria, which had come into Roman hands only in 298). Internal evidence from Ephrem's hymnody suggests that both his parents were part of the growing Christian community in the city, although later hagiographers wrote that his father was a pagan priest. Numerous languages were spoken in the Nisibis of Ephrem's day, mostly dialects of Aramaic. The Christian community used the Syriac dialect. The culture included pagan religions, Judaism and early Christian sects.
Jacob, the first bishop of Nisibis, was appointed in 308, and Ephrem grew up under his leadership of the community. Jacob of Nisibis is recorded as a signatory at the First Council of Nicea in 325. Ephrem was baptized as a youth, and almost certainly became a son of the covenant, an unusual form of Syrian proto-monasticism. Jacob appointed Ephrem as a teacher (Syriac malp̄ānâ, a title that still carries great respect for Syriac Christians). He was ordained as a deacon either at his baptism or later.[2] He began to compose hymns and write biblical commentaries as part of his educational office. In his hymns, he sometimes refers to himself as a 'herdsman' (ܥܠܢܐ, ‘allānâ), to his bishop as the 'shepherd' (ܪܥܝܐ, rā‘yâ) and his community as a 'fold' (ܕܝܪܐ, dayrâ). Ephrem is popularly credited as the founder of the School of Nisibis, which in later centuries was the centre of learning of the Church of the East.
In 337 Emperor Constantine I, who had legalised and promoted the practice of Christianity in the Roman Empire, died. Seizing on this opportunity, Shapur II began a series of attacks into Roman North Mesopotamia. Nisibis was besieged in 338, 346 and 350. During the first siege, Ephrem credits Bishop Jacob as defending the city with his prayers. In the third siege, of 350, Shapur rerouted the River Mygdonius to undermine the walls of Nisibis. The Nisibenes quickly repaired the walls while the Persian elephant cavalry became bogged down in the wet ground. Ephrem celebrated what he saw as the miraculous salvation of the city in a hymn which portrayed Nisibis as being like Noah's Ark, floating to safety on the flood.
One important physical link to Ephrem's lifetime is the baptistery of Nisibis. The inscription tells that it was constructed under Bishop Vologeses in 359. In that year Shapur attacked again. The cities around Nisibis were destroyed one by one, and their citizens killed or deported. Constantius II was unable to respond; the campaign of Julian ended with his death in battle. His army elected Jovian as the new emperor, and to rescue his army he was forced to surrender Nisibis to Persia, and permit the expulsion of the entire Christian population.
Ephrem with the others went first to Amida (Diyarbakır), eventually settling in Edessa (modern Şanlıurfa) in 363. Ephrem, in his late fifties, applied himself to ministry in his new church, and seems to have continued his work as a teacher, perhaps in the School of Edessa. Edessa had always been at the heart of the Syriac-speaking world and the city was full of rival philosophies and religions. Ephrem comments that orthodox Nicene Christians were simply called 'Palutians' in Edessa, after a former bishop. Arians, Marcionites, Manichees, Bardaisanites and various Gnostic sects proclaimed themselves as the true church. In this confusion, Ephrem wrote a great number of hymns defending Nicene orthodoxy. A later Syriac writer, Jacob of Serugh, wrote that Ephrem rehearsed all-female choirs to sing his hymns set to Syriac folk tunes in the forum of Edessa. After a ten-year residency in Edessa, in his sixties, Ephrem succumbed to the plague as he ministered to its victims. The most reliable date for his death is 9 June 373.

Over four hundred hymns composed by Ephrem still exist. Granted that some have been lost, Ephrem's productivity is not in doubt. The church historian Sozomen credits Ephrem with having written over three million lines. Ephrem combines in his writing a threefold heritage: he draws on the models and methods of early Rabbinic Judaism, he engages skillfully with Greek science and philosophy, and he delights in the Mesopotamian/Persian tradition of mystery symbolism.
The most important of his works are his lyric, teaching hymns (ܡܕܖ̈ܫܐ, madrāšê). These hymns are full of rich, poetic imagery drawn from biblical sources, folk tradition, and other religions and philosophies. The madrāšê are written in stanzas of syllabic verse, and employ over fifty different metrical schemes. Each madrāšâ had its qālâ (ܩܠܐ), a traditional tune identified by its opening line. All of these qālê are now lost. It seems that Bardaisan and Mani composed madrāšê, and Ephrem felt that the medium was a suitable tool to use against their claims. The madrāšê are gathered into various hymn cycles. Each group has a title — Carmina Nisibena, On Faith, On Paradise, On Virginity, Against Heresies — but some of these titles do not do justice to the entirety of the collection (for instance, only the first half of the Carmina Nisibena is about Nisibis). Each madrāšâ usually had a refrain (ܥܘܢܝܬܐ, ‘ûnîṯâ), which was repeated after each stanza. Later writers have suggested that the madrāšê were sung by all women choirs with an accompanying lyre.
Particularly influential were his Hymns Against Heresies.[3] Ephrem used these to warn his flock of the heresies which threatened to divide the early church. He lamented that the faithful were "tossed to and fro and carried around with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness and deceitful wiles."[4] He devised hymns laden with doctrinal details to inoculate right-thinking Christians against heresies such as docetism. The Hymns Against Heresies employ colourful metaphors to describe the Incarnation of Christ as a fully human and divine. Ephrem asserts that Christ's unity of humanity and divinity represents peace, perfection and salvation; in contrast, docetism and other heresies sought to divide or reduce Christ's nature, and in doing so would rend and devalue Christ's followers with their false teachings.
Ephrem also wrote verse homilies (ܡܐܡܖ̈ܐ, mêmrê). These sermons in poetry are far fewer in number than the madrāšê. The mêmrê are written in a heptosyllabic couplets (pairs of lines of seven syllables each).
The third category of Ephrem's writings is his prose work. He wrote biblical commentaries on the Diatessaron (the single gospel harmony of the early Syriac church), on Genesis and Exodus, and on the Acts of the Apostles and Pauline Epistles. He also wrote refutations against Bardaisan, Mani, Marcion and others.
Ephrem wrote exclusively in the Syriac language, but translations of his writings exist in Armenian, Coptic, Georgian, Greek and other languages. Some of his works are only extant in translation (particularly in Armenian). Syriac churches still use many of Ephrem's hymns as part of the annual cycle of worship. However, most of these liturgical hymns are edited and conflated versions of the originals.
The most complete, critical text of authentic Ephrem was compiled between 1955 and 1979 by Dom Edmund Beck OSB as part of the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium.
"Greek Ephrem"

Ephrem's artful meditations on the symbols of Christian faith and his stand against heresy made him a popular source of inspiration throughout the church. This occurred to the extent that there is a huge corpus of Ephrem pseudepigraphy and legendary hagiography. Some of these compositions are in verse, often a version of Ephrem's heptosyllabic couplets. Most of these works are considerably later compositions in Greek. Students of Ephrem often refer to this corpus as having a single, imaginary author called "Greek Ephrem" or Ephraem Graecus (as opposed to the real Ephrem the Syrian). This is not to say that all texts ascribed to Ephrem in Greek are by others, but many are. Although Greek compositions are the main source of pseudepigraphal material, there are also works in Latin, Slavonic and Arabic. There has been very little critical examination of these works, and many are still treasured by churches as authentic.
The best known of these writings is the Prayer of Saint Ephrem which is recited at every service during Great Lent and other fasting periods in Eastern Christianity.

Soon after Ephrem's death, legendary accounts of his life began to circulate. One of the earlier 'modifications' is the statement that Ephrem's father was a pagan priest of Abnil or Abizal. However, internal evidence from his authentic writings suggest that he was raised by Christian parents. This legend may be anti-pagan polemic or reflect his father's status prior to converting to Christianity.
The second legend attached to Ephrem is that he was a monk. In Ephrem's day, monasticism was in its infancy in Egypt. He seems to have been a part of the members of the covenant, a close-knit, urban community of Christians that had 'covenanted' themselves to service and refrained from sexual activity. Some of the Syriac terms that Ephrem used to describe his community were later used to describe monastic communities, but the assertion that he was monk is anachronistic. Later hagiographers often painted a picture of Ephrem as an extreme ascetic, but the internal evidence of his authentic writings show him to have had a very active role, both within his church community and through witness to those outside of it. Ephrem is venerated as an example of monastic discipline in Eastern Christianity. In the Eastern Orthodox scheme of hagiography, Ephrem is counted as a Venerable Father (i.e., a sainted Monk). His feast day is celebrated on 28 January and on the Saturday of the Venerable Fathers (Cheesefare Saturday), which is the Saturday before the beginning of Great Lent.
Ephrem is popularly believed to have taken legendary journeys. In one of these he visits Basil of Caesarea. This links the Syrian Ephrem with the Cappadocian Fathers, and is an important theological bridge between the spiritual view of the two, who held much in common. Ephrem is also supposed to have visited Saint Pishoy in the monasteries of Scetes in Egypt. As with the legendary visit with Basil, this visit is a theological bridge between the origins of monasticism and its spread throughout the church.
On 5 October 1920, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed Ephrem a Doctor of the Church. This proclamation was made before critical editions of Ephrem's authentic writings were available.
The most popular title for Ephrem is Harp of the Spirit (Syriac: ܟܢܪܐ ܕܪܘܚܐ, Kenārâ d-Rûḥâ). He is also referred to as the Deacon of Edessa, the Sun of the Syrians and a Pillar of the Church.
Today, Saint Ephrem presents an engaging model of Asian Christianity, which might prove a valuable source of theological insight for Christian communities that wish to break out of the European cultural mold. Ephrem also shows that poetry is not only a valid vehicle for theology, but is in many ways superior to philosophical discourse for the purpose of doing theology. He also encourages a way of reading the Bible that is rooted more in faith than in critical analysis. Ephrem displays a deep sense of the interconnectedness of all created things, which could develop his role in the church into that of a 'saint of ecology'. There are modern studies into Ephrem's view of women that see him as a champion of women in the church. Other studies have focused on the importance of 'healing' imagery in Ephrem. Ephrem, then, confronts the contemporary church as an orthodox saint engaged in a theology that is at once non-western, poetic, ecological, feminist, and healing[neutrality is disputed].
His feast day of 9 June conforms to his date of death. For 48 years (1920-1969) it was on 18 June.
[edit]Quotations

"The greatest poet of the patristic age and, perhaps, the only theologian-poet to rank beside Dante." — Robert Murray.
"The boldness of our love is pleasing to you, O Lord, just as it pleased you that we should steal from your bounty." — Ephrem the Syrian, "Hymns on Faith" 16:5.
"You (Jesus) alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?" — Ephraim the Syrian, Nisibene Hymns 27:8; ca. 361 AD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephrem_the_Syrian


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3 Prayer of Saint Ephrem on Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:13 am

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The Prayer of Righteous Ephrem (Greek: Εὐχἠ τοῦ Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ, Euchē tou Hosiou Ephraim), is a prayer attributed to Saint Ephrem the Syrian used with emphasis during the Great Lent, by the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches that use the Byzantine rite. This prayer is considered, in the Byzantine tradition, to be the most succinct summation of the spirit of Great Lent and is hence the Lenten prayer 'par excellence', prayed during all Lenten weekday services, such as the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, and many more times in private. There are historically two variant versions of the prayer - the Greek and the Slavonic, with modern English transations taken either from the Greek, the Slavonic, or attempting to combine the two.[1] As Ephrem wrote solely in Syriac and this prayer is a Greek original, it is almost certain that it was not written by him. However, the Prayer of Saint Ephrem appears to belong to the large body of Greek penitential and ascetic literature that was composed in Ephrem's name during the century after his death in 373.

Greek version

Κύριε καὶ Δέσποτα τῆς ζωῆς μου, πνεῦμα ἀργίας, περιεργίας, φιλαρχίας, καὶ ἀργολογίας μή μοι δῷς.
Πνεῦμα δὲ σωφροσύνης[1], ταπεινοφροσύνης, ὑπομονῆς, καὶ ἀγάπης χάρισαί μοι τῷ σῷ δούλῳ.
Ναί, Κύριε Βασιλεῦ, δώρησαι μοι τοῦ ὁρᾶν τὰ ἐμὰ πταίσματα, καὶ μὴ κατακρίνειν τὸν ἀδελφόν μου, ὅτι εὐλογητὸς εἶ, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.

This Greek version is the standard form of the prayer, to be found in the Greek Orthodox Church and all those churches that utilise Greek or Arabic in their services. Minor variations from this text have been found in very early manuscripts.


In English

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity/meddling, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity/integrity, humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


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4 Church Slavonic versions on Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:15 am

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Pre-Nikonian
In the earliest Church Slavonic translations, this is:
Господи и владико животѹ моемѹ, духъ оунынїѧ, небре жεнїѧ, срεбролюбїѧ и празднословїѧ ѿжεни ѿ мεнε.
Духъ же цѣломѹдрїѧ, смиренїѧ, терпѣнїѧ и любве дарѹй ми рабѹ твоемѹ.
Ей Господи Царю, даждь ми зрѣти моѧ согрѣшенїѧ, и еже не ωсуждати брата моегω, якω благословенъ еси во вѣки. Аминь
In English, this is:
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity/integrity, humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen.
There are two intriguing differences between the Greek and Slavonic texts of the first line of the prayer.
First, regarding the spirit of sloth..., the Greek has μή μοι δῷς meaning give me not, but the Slavonic has ωтжεни ωт мεнε meaning take away from me. Next, where the Greek has 'περιέργια/periergia' meaning 'idle curiosity’ or 'meddling', the Slavonic has 'небрежεнїѧ/nebrezheniya' meaning ‘faint-heartedness’ or 'despondency', which in Greek is 'ακηδία/akêdia', the classic monastic sin. Whether these differences are attributable to a different original or a reflection of differing national temperaments is, as yet, unclear.
This version was superseded in Russia in 1656 by the liturgical reforms of Patriarch Nikon, but remains in use among the Old Believers today.
[edit]Kievan version of 1639
Господи и владыко живота моегω, духъ оунынїѧ, небрежεнїѧ, любоначалїѧ и празднословїѧ ѿжεни ѿ мεнε.
Духъ же цѣломѹдрїѧ, смиреномѹдрїѧ, терпѣнїѧ и любве, дарѹй ми рабѹ твоемѹ.
Ей Господи Царю, даждь ми зрѣти моѧ согрѣшенїѧ, и не ωсуждати брата моегω, якω благословенъ еси во вѣки вѣковъ. Аминь
This version is to be found in the Liturgicon (Sluzhebnik) or Priest's Service Book, published in Kiev in 1639 by St Peter Mohyla. Substantially it is similar to the earlier version, but with some of the case-endings updated, as by that time, use of the dative case (животѹ моемѹ) to mark possession was considered distinctively archaic, and use of the genitive case (живота моегω) felt to be more correct. It retains the distinctive differences that the earlier version has from the Greek, with none of the more drastic changes that may be found in the next version.
This version was once used throughout the Kievan metropolia, as well as the Orthodox Churches of Central Europe (Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and so on), but later dropped out of use, and the next version adopted. It is currently only used (either in the original Slavonic or in vernacular translations by those churches that use the Ruthenian[disambiguation needed] recension - the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Ruthenian Catholic Church, the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church, the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, and the Slovak Greek Catholic Church.
[edit]Nikonian version of 1656
Господи и владыко живота моегω, духъ праздности, оунынїѧ, любоначалїѧ и празднословїѧ не даждь ми.
Духъ же цѣломѹдрїѧ, смиренномѹдрїѧ, терпѣнїѧ и любве, дарѹй ми рабѹ твоемѹ.
Ей Господи Царю, даруй ми зрѣти моѧ прегрѣшенїѧ, и не ωсуждати брата моегω, якω благословенъ еси во вѣки вѣковъ. Аминь
This is the version found in the editions of the liturgical books published in 1656 by Patriarch Nikon of Moscow, and given his wish that every difference in usage between Muscovite and Greek books be eliminated, it is no surprise that this corresponds word-for-word with the Greek version. This is the version currently in use by the Russian Orthodox Church (both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), the Ukrainian Orthodox Church[disambiguation needed], the Belarusian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and all other Slavic Orthodox Churches.
[edit]Bows & Prostrations

The prayer is accompanied by prostrations. The most common practice has one after each line of the prayer, a number of bows/prostrations either in silence or accompanied by short ejaculatory prayers then follows (the exact number of which varies between ethnic traditions), followed by one at the end of a repeat of the entire prayer, with a final prostration.
The current Russian Orthodox practice, such as in ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate, is to perform twelve bows between the repeats of the prayer, saying at each bow, 'Боже, ѡчисти мѧ грѣшнаго (грѣшнѹю if one is female) - O God, cleanse me a sinner'. When the prayer is prayed in the course of a church service, the priest alone says 'O God, cleanse me a sinner' as everyone makes bows. In the common usage of ROCOR, the last (twelfth time) he adds, "...и помилѹй мѧ/and have mercy on me." Though this last addition is not written in the service books, it does help all of those present to know that it was the last bow.
The tradition of the Old Believers is similar, but instead of twelve bows in silence, they have thirteen prostrations, each time reciting the Jesus Prayer or the following prayers:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner ('Господи Ісусе Христе Сыне Божїй помилѹй мѧ грѣшнаго/грѣшнѹю')
God be merciful to me a sinner. ('Боже милостивъ буди мнѣ грѣшномѹ')
God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me. ('Боже ѡчисти грѣхи моѧ и помилѹй мѧ')
Thou has created me; Lord, have mercy on me. ('Создавый мѧ Господи, помилѹй')
I have sinned immeasurably; Lord, forgive me. ('Безъ числа согрѣшихъ, Господи прости мѧ')
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner
God be merciful to me a sinner.
God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
Thou has created me; Lord, have mercy on me.
I have sinned immeasurably; Lord, forgive me.
God be merciful to me a sinner.
Thou has created me; Lord, have mercy on me.
I have sinned immeasurably; Lord, forgive me.
The Ruthenian tradition, again, differs slightly, retaining some aspects closely related to Old Believer usage. The 1639 Liturgikon (Sluzhebnik) of St Peter Mohyla prescribes twelve waist-bows, repeating the following three lines to make twelve:
God be merciful to me a sinner. ('Боже милостивъ буди мнѣ грѣшномѹ')
God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me. ('Боже ѡчисти грѣхи моѧ и помилѹй мѧ')
I have sinned immeasurably; Lord, forgive me. ('Безъ числа согрѣшихъ, Господи прости мѧ')
[edit]In Other Languages

[edit]Belarusian
In the Cyrillic orthography:
Госпадзе і Ўладару жыцьця майго, духа ленасьці, нуды, уладалюбства і марнаслоўя ня дай мне.
Духа чысьціні, пакоры, цярплівасьці і любові дай мне, слузе Твайму.
Так, Госпадзе Ўладару! Дай мне бачыць мае правіны і не асуджаць брата майго, бо Ты блаславёны на вякі вякоў. Амін.
In the Latin orthography:
Hospadzie i Ŭładaru žyćcia majho, ducha lenaści, nudy, uładalubstva i marnasłoŭja nia daj mnie.
Ducha čyścini, pakory, ciaplivaści i lubovi daj mnie, słuzie Tvajmu.
Tak, Hospadzie Ŭładaru! Daj mnie bačyć maje praviny i nie asudža brata majho, bo Ty błasłaviony na viaki viakoŭ. Amin.

[edit]Georgian
უფალო და მეუფეო ცხოვრებისა ჩემისაო, სულსა უქმობისასა და მიმომწვლილელობისასა, მთავრობის მოყვარებისასა და ცუდად მეტყველებისასა ნუ მიმცემ მე.
ხოლო სული სიწმიდისა, სიმდაბლისა, მოთმინებისა და სიყვარულისა მომმადლე მე, მონასა შენსა.
ჰე, უფალო, მომანიჭე მე განცდაი თვისთა ცოდვათა და არა განკითხვად ძმისა ჩემისა, რამეთუ კურთხეულ ხარ შენ უკუნისამდე. ამინ
Transcription into the Latin alphabet, with apostrophe for glottalization: upalo da meupeo tskhovrebisa chemisao, sulsa ukmobisasa da mimomts'vlilelobisasa, mtavrobis moqvarebisasa da tsudad met'kvelebisasa nu mimtsem me.
kholo suli sits'midisa, simdablisa, motminebisa da siqvarulisa mommadle me, monasa shensa.
he, upalo, momanich'e me gantsdai tvista tsodvata da ara gank'itkhvad dzmisa chemisa, rametu k'urtkheul xar shen uk'unisamde. amin
[edit]Romanian
Doamne şi Stăpânul vieţii mele, nu-mi da mie duhul trândăviei, al grijii de multe, al iubirii de stăpânire şi al grăirii în deşert
Ci dăruieşte-mi duhul curăţiei, al gândului smerit, al răbdării şi al dragostei.
Aşa Doamne, Împărate, dăruieşte-mi ca să-mi văd greşalele mele şi să nu osândesc pe fratele meu, că binecuvântat eşti în vecii vecilor. Amin
The Romanian text follows the Greek version.
[edit]Ukrainian
Господи і Владико життя мого, дух млявости, недбайливости, владолюбства й пустослів’я віджени від мене.
Дух же доброчесности і смиренномудрія, терпіння й любови даруй мені, недостойному рабові Твоєму.
Так, Господи Царю, дай мені зріти мої прогрішення і не осуджувати брата мого, бо Ти благословен єси на віки віків. Амінь.
The Ukrainian version appears to follow the Mohyla version closely.
[edit]Footnotes

^ The Greek word "σωφρόσυνη/sōphrosunē" is usually translated as "chastity," however, the word carries the meaning of "whole mindedness." Therefore the prayer here asks for the restoration of wholeness. (See Alexander Schmemann's article The Lenten Prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian and his book Great Lent)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Ephrem


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5 Re: St. Ephrem -- Deacon and Doctor on Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:07 pm

trust in him



Selections from the Hymns of St. Ephrem the Syrian on the
Nativity of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ in the Flesh

Priest: In the days of the king who enrolled people
For the poll tax, our Savior descended
And enrolled people in the Book of Life.
He enrolled them, and they enrolled Him. On high He enrolled us;
On earth they enrolled Him. Glory to His Name!

Faithful: Glory to His Name!

Priest: Blessed be the Child Who today delights Bethlehem.
Blessed be the Newborn Who today made humanity young again.
Blessed be the Fruit Who bowed Himself down for our hunger.
Blessed be the Gracious One Who suddenly enriched all our poverty and
filled our need.
Blessed be He Whose mercy inclined Him to heal our sickness.

Faithful: Blessed be the Holy Child of Bethlehem!

Priest: Glory to the Heavenly One Who mingled his salt with our mind, His
milk with our souls. His body became bread to revive our mortality.
Whoever eats the bread of the Heavenly One will become heavenly without
doubt.
Great is the treasure house of Thy birthday. [Hymn 4]

Faithful: Great is the treasure house of Thy birthday O Christ!

Priest: Glorious is the Wise One Who allied and joined Divinity with
humanity, one from the height and the other from the depth. He mingled the
natures like pigments and an image came into being: the God-man.[Hymn 8]

Faithful: Glory to the God-Man!

Priest: This is the night of reconciliation; let us be neither wrathful nor
gloomy on it.
Faithful: Neither wrathful nor gloomy!
Priest: On this all-peaceful night let us be neither menacing nor boisterous.
Faithful: Neither manacing nor boisterous!
Priest: This is the night of the Sweet One; let us be on it neither bitter nor
harsh.
Faithful: Neither bitter nor harsh!
Priest: On this night of the Humble One, let us be neither proud nor
haughty.
Faithful: Neither proud nor haughty!
Priest: On this day of forgiveness let us not avenge offenses.
Faithful: Let us not avenge offenses!
Priest: On this day of rejoicings let us not share sorrows.
Faithful: Let us not share sorrows!
Priest: On this sweet day let us not be vehement.
Faithful: Let us not be vehement!
Priest: On this calm day let us not be quick-tempered.
Faithful: Let us not be quick-tempered!
Priest: On this day on which God came into the presence of sinners, let not
the just man exalt himself in his mind over the sinner.
Faithful: Let us not exalt ourselves!
Priest: On this day on which the Lord of all came among servants, let the
lords also bow down to their servants lovingly.
Faithful: Let us bow down to others!
Priest: On this day when the Rich One was made poor for our sake, let the
rich man also make the poor man a sharer at his table.
Faithful: Let us share with the poor!
Priest: On this day a gift came out to us without our asking for it; let us then
give alms to those who cry out and beg from us.
Faithful: Let us give alms!

Priest: This is the day when the high gate opened to us for our prayers; let
us also open the gates to the seekers who have strayed but sought
forgiveness.
This Lord of natures today was transformed contrary to His nature; it is not
too difficult for us also to overthrow our evil will.
Today the Deity imprinted itself on humanity, so that humanity might also
be cut into the seal of Deity. [Hymn 1]

His swaddling clothes gave a robe of glory to human beings. [Hymn 5]

Priest: Christ is born!
Faithful: Glorify Him!


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Jesus we trust in you.
If we have Mary, we posses everything ( St. Griel Possenti )

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