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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Gloria, laus et honor

Some verses from J. M. Neale's Translation, which do not appear in our hymnals:

They by their birth were Hebrews
but by thy saving grace,
we, in thy death adopted,
are made thy chosen race.

We to high heaven ascending
leave earthly things below,
and learn from sweeter virtues
foul vices to forego.

So in our fathers' footsteps
may we by faith uphold
the innocence of children,
the wisdom of the old.

Our fathers' pious customs
let us then not neglect;
so may thy grace abounding
in heavenly paths direct.

Will anybody be taking the Blessed Sacrament in Procession on Sunday? I believe that in most of the continent, the Cross was seen as the symbol of Christ in the Palm Sunday Procession, in Germany, it was a palmesel (a wooden figure of Christ on a donkey, carted on wheels), and at Sarum, it was the Blessed Sacrament. Does anybody maintain any of these practices?

6 comments:

Ian said...

We processed with icons, it being the Sunday of Orthodox [restoration of the icons]. What did your parish do?

The Assyrian churches [often termed "Nestorian"] near me had palms galore on their fences and near the entrances. Very festive.

Anonymous said...

We didn't follow the traditional practice, but still, it was rather good. We carried the Cross as the symbol of Christ entering Jerusalem, although I still think that the symbolism is much clearer when the Sacrament is carried.

In taking the branches of palm, the Hebrews were, presumably, using what they had to hand, and it makes sense for us to do to do the same. Traditionally, in England, branches of box and pussy willow are carried, for this very reason. Instead, we used imported, brown, dried out branches of palm, folded into Crosses.

Needless to say, I didn't bring one home with me.

Anonymous said...

Pussy willows are used in Russia, too, Anonymous! Obviously it would be very difficult to get palms in that cold a climate.

However, in the days of the Tsars, palms were brought from the Holy Land just for the Tsar, and on Pascha, there was a fast steamship waiting in Haifa harbor for the messenger who would bring a long-burning candle lit from the New Fire at the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre).

Of course, our Great Lent just started on the 14th of this month, and today is the Sunday of Orthodoxy. I love our processions because we always have the icons carried by little children--some of them are thrilled to be able to carry icons that have been in their families for hundreds of years and are very precious to everyone. Their serious little faces and careful steps always bring a tear to my eye.

Leetle Masha

Aristibule said...

Aye - same here, having attended a Byzantine service, but also I agree that with Western Rite, I (again) prefer the Sarum tradition as being theologically clearer (and all the more necessary in our times, with lack of belief in the Body and Blood of Christ being just so.)

frbader said...

There is a very nice Palmesel in the Cloisters Museum in New York. We take Parish trips there every few years.

I like the idea of carrying the Blessed Sacrament in procession on Palm Sunday. Maybe next year.

So many hymns have good verses that are omitted from today's hymnals. One of my favourites is one commonly omitted from "I Bind Unto Myself Today."

"Against all Satan's spells and wiles, Against false words of heresy, Against the knowledge that defiles, Against the heart's idolatry, Against the wizard's evil craft, Against the death-wound and the burning, The choking wave, the poisoned shaft, Protect me, Christ, till thy returning."

Anonymous said...

Could you please post the source of the Neale hymn ASAP? Preferably in such a way they could be cited for a paper? (Hint-hint). Thank you!