Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Prayer before the Mother of God ~ Joyful




THIS ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD is called simply, Joyful. Sometimes it is titled: Mother of God ~ Child Leaping for Joy.  Mary's joy is that she stands in God's soft yellow light - the Holy Child plays in her arms. 

Nothing is known of the icon's history except that miracles are attributed to it. The world needs miracles, especially the miracles which heal the darkness and hate of human hearts. 

When we click on the icon below we hear priest-monk Vasily Mosgovoy of the Optina Monastery sing the Phos Hilaron. This is a third century hymn sung at Saturday Vespers (evening prayer) as the candles are lit and Sunday, the Day of Resurrection, is welcomed. The English translation appears at the bottom of the icon. 

We might listen to the hymn several times - allowing the icon's light and prayer-words to melt into us, like the snow's melting we await. Monks sing without instrumental accompaniment. The intense hum before and during the hymn is made by the monastic choir. The human voice is the only instrument and has a great unifying function.








8 comments:

  1. I was joyful to find this in my newsfeed this cold morning. While listening, I understood your words of allowing the hymn to melt into us. So very beautiful.

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  2. A wonderful enhancement to my prayer life. I can see myself listening to this over and over again as you suggest and can only use the word 'captivated' to describe how it makes me feel. Thank you for showing g us the many forms of prayer.

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  3. At first I wondered how this piece would help me to pray. Then an understanding came as a opened my mind. I can feel the words surround me. I can live the words. I can praise God with these words. Amen.

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  4. Beautifully done.Blessings to you Father Morris for your continued efforts to spread the word of faith in all forms, broadening our knowledge of prayer, reflectively and meditatively.

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  5. Icons, as a part of Christian worship and prayer, lift the heart and mind into God's heavenly kingdom. That you are able to merge the East and the West, tradition with new thinking. and our sensory perceptions to create in us a thoughtful prayer life that can carry us from this life to the next is a gift that I am grateful to partake in.

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  6. When you view this in full screen mode, the icon remains so clear and beautiful. I feel like I am standing in front of it with you at my side Father, ready to point out the details of the icon. I so miss your physical presence in our lives, but being able to read your blog reminds me of the special priest that you are and how lucky we were to have you touch our lives. Peace and happiness to you Father Stephen, always and forever.

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  7. Isn't the full screen marvelous! It's snowing hard now here in Pennsylvania and promises to continue through Tuesday. It is very beautiful. Your kind thoughts come as a blessing as well. I send a grateful blessing!

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  8. Beautifully done Father. I love what you do here.

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