As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The First Kontakion on the Resurrection


Death was swallowed up in victory
At Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ.
Hence, glorying in Thy passion,
And always celebrating it, we rejoice.
With jubilation let us cry out,
“The Lord is risen.”

Once the host of lawless people handed over
Life to the tomb, God to death,
And the One who despoiled Hades to Hades;
With the result that a mortal made mortals immortal,
And One who was dead, at a word, raised up the dead.
They placed guards at the tomb of the One who rules all at His nod.
O the folly of you lawless ones!
If He is dead, have no fear.
If He is alive, pray to Him and cry with us,
“The Lord is risen.”

Encouraged by the senseless plan of the lawless,
The soldiers occupied the tomb,
And an army guarded the King.
Outside of the tomb were soldiers;
Within was war between Christ and Death.
As the former gained strength, the latter lost strength;
The One overpowered those below,
The latter cried out to those below,
“The Lord is risen.”

So while Death was being overpowered,
And while Hades was stirring up a tumult
The guards said, “Now what is the trouble?”
The first watch of the night, those within were quiet;
The second watch, they were at rest;
But on the third watch, they were shaken.
They mourn and rejoice at the same time;
They weep and they cry to one another, “Woe, alas!”
Then, rejoicing, they say to one another, “It is true,
The Lord is risen.”

The earth was shaken by great fear,
And the stone was rolled away from the tomb.
A soldier exclaimed,
“Is not this man who now raises up Adam
And is resurrected, is not He the same one
Whom formerly we guarded on the cross
When all were frightened?
Then He burst rocks apart; now He has moved this stone.
Furthermore, He is the same One
Who has rent the veil and opened the tomb while we were sleeping.
“The Lord is risen.”

For others a stumbling block, for us gain;
For the lawless shame, for us glory;
For them a scourge, for us life.
Because, in truth, the Lord is risen.
Even if those who guard the tomb took money
So that they would willingly keep silent,
The stones themselves will cry out
That without the aid of human hands
This stone cut from the mountain has risen,
Just as once from the womb of the Virgin,
So now from the tomb,
The Lord is risen.

Thou, O Savior, didst come forth unbegotten
From the Virgin’s womb, leaving her virginity unsullied;
Just so now Thou hast abolished Death in death.
Thou hast left in the tomb the fine linen of Joseph,
But Thou hast raised from the tomb the ancestor of Joseph;
For Adam came following Thee; Eve came after Thee,
All the earth is prostrate before Thee
As it sings the song of victory:
“The Lord is risen”

from the First Kontakion on the Resurrection
St. Romanos the Melodist, 6th century

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