Desiring to Recall Adam: The Resurrectional-Dismissal Theotokion in Tone 6

Genesis 3; Deuteronomy 30, Psalm 138 (139 MT), Hosea Finally, we complete our study of the eight resurrectional-dismissal hymns for the Theotokos.  Tone 6 is similar to tone 8, in that these two alone address Christ rather than the Theotokos herself.  We sing this hymn during our celebration of St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzen) on January 25th; its lyrical and striking character offers an apt tribute to St. Gregory, who himself wrote…

Fourfold Joy! The Resurrectional Dismissal Theotokion in Tone Five for the Feast of Sts Athanasius and Cyril

Ezekiel 41:1-3; Psalm 130/131; Revelation 12; 21-22   Good things come to those who wait!  As we have been concentrating upon the resurrectional-dismissal hymns for the Theotokos in our Divine Liturgies from both Sundays and feast-days, we have waited some time for tone five come into play!  Finally, on January 18, when we remember Saints Athanasius and Cyril, it is offered to us. And what a feast!  Replete with biblical and theological…

Lamb in our Snow: A Western Carol to Treasure

(Link to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-W1tRHQLdY)   Edward Caswall (1814-1878) penned  buoyant words concerning the birth of the God-Man in 1858, after he had seen much sorrow.  See Amid the Winter’s Snow is a stirring carol that goes brilliantly with Salvation Army band music, as I first learned it. Its range of expression, from the contemplative to the celebratory, works well with the full range of brass instruments, from mellow flugel and alto…

The Treasure of our Resurrection: The Dismissal-Resurrectional Theotokion in Tone 7

Daniel 12, Proverbs 31, Psalm 44 (45), Psalm 131 (132), Isaiah 7 In the past few weeks, we have been blessed to remember numerous saints, and two of my favorites— one ancient, and one contemporary.  During our celebration of both St. Ambrose (last week) and St. Herman of Alaska (this week), we sang the resurrectional-dismissal hymn to the Theotokos—a deceptively simple prayer in tone 7: Since you are the treasure of our…

Somthing to Sing About! The Dogmatikon Theotokion in Tone Six

Isaiah 7; Daniel 12 For a few weeks, due to the liturgical rhythm, we have either repeated a dismissal-resurrectional Theotokion that we already considered in this series, or we have had this usual hymn replaced with something else. Considering the significance of this week, when we celebrate the entry of the Holy God-bearer into the Temple, I thought we could instead read closely a dogmatic hymn which we sing very frequently.  The…

Carrying Your Creator: The Dismissal-Resurrectional Theotokion in Tone One

Genesis 1-3, 1 Chronicles 16:8-36, Genesis 22:18 This week, we have had several feastdays, including October 31st, a day to remember the Hieromartyr John of Chicago.  His hymn, in tone one, leads to the dismissal-resurrectional Theotokion in tone one, as well. What a mysterious, provocative and joyful hymn this is!  It brings to life that great icon, frequently placed prominently over the apse, and commanding our attention. This icon, which typically includes…

Jesus in First Place: The Dismissal-Resurrectional Theotokion in Tone 8

Genesis 1-2; Hosea 8-13, Daniel 13, Colossians 1:15-20 For the next two weeks, we repeat, for dismissal, the beloved resurrectional Theotokion in tone four.  Since we have already looked closely at this hymn, we will look back to another of this series of hymns that concern Mary.  I am referring to the one that we heard a few weeks ago in worship:  the hymn in tone eight.  Alone, of the eight resurrectional-dismissal…