Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hymns of the Arimathean

On Thursday evening, the eve of my name day, I attended Vespers at Holy Cross, hoping to hear a few hymns of my patron saint, and I was not disappointed. He shares his feast day with St. Germanus of Auxerre and the Forefeast of the Procession of the Precious Cross, so not all the hymns were about St. Joseph. After the service, I made copies of most of the hymns of St. Joseph of Arimathea for myself, with the exception of the canon (yes, he even has his own canon!). These all come from the appendix to the July Menaion, as published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. I will share a few of my new favorite hymns.

Doxastikon of Saint Joseph. Plagal of Second Tone.
All generations call thee blessed, O Noble Counsellor; for thou wast deemed worthy to minister to the divine dispensation of the universal salvation of our race. Thou didst pluck that ever-living Flower of Forgiveness that burst into bloom on the trellis of the Cross, and hast delighted the whole world with the sweet fragrance of our restoration to God. Since thou art glorified by Christ as his disciple and friend, O Joseph, intercede with him to save them that keep thy memorial with faith and love.

Another Apolytikion of Saint Joseph. Plagal of First Tone.
Let us honour the man that gave burial to God and showed compassion to him by whose mercy all things exist: Christ the Angel of Great Counsel's Noble Counsellor: who gave his narrow grave to Christ and received as recompense the vast spaciousness of Heaven, where he entreateth the Saviour to show his mercy to those praising him.

Exapostilarion of Saint Joseph. Third Tone.
When the Apostles faltered, the Noble Counsellor valiantly went in, obtaining of Pilate that Body which shook all the world. Now he obtaineth forgiveness for all who keep his remembrance.

Fourth Sticheron of Saint Joseph at the Praises. Plagal of Fourth Tone.
Blessed are thine eyes, which looked on Christ; O Joseph, blest are thy hands, which conveyed him from off the Cross to that quickening Sepulchre where our race was reborn to God. Blest is thy heart, which was rended at his death, wherein he dwelt always, filling it with grace. O Noble Counsellor, as we honour thee with songs of hearfelt joy, intercede unceasingly with God to save us all.

Theotokion. Grave Tone.
A virgin womb, conceiving thee, revealed thee; a virgin tomb, receiving thee, concealed thee. We glorify her from whom thou didst receive a beginning in time, and we honour him that ministered to the end of thine earthly life for our sakes, asking that through their prayers, O merciful Saviour, we might be deemed worthy of thy Kingdom of the Heavens.

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