Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Archbishop Raya (of blessed memory) on the Immaculate Conception

The Byzantine Tradition celebrates the Fest of the Immaculate Conception as "the Maternity of St Anna," the mother of the Theotokos. The feast is held on 9 December. Below is Archbishop Raya's comment from Byzantine Daily Prayer.

The soul of the Virign Mary whom God had chosen from all eternity to be the Mother in the flesh of the Incarnate Word was created full of grace and free from original sin, united to a body formed according to the laws of nature through the operation of love of her parents, Joachim and Anna. This privilege, accepted throughout the centuries, was officially proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Piux IX in the year 1854. It is known in the Roman Church as the Immaculate Conception. (Byzantine Daily Worship, p. 537)
Note also the Ninth Ode of the Second Canon of Orthros for the feast from the December Menaion:

The Son of the Eternal Father, our Lord and our God, took flesh from the Virgin and appeared to us to bring light to those in darkness and to gather together those who were scattered. O Theotokos, worthy of all praise, we magnify you!

Today let the prophets, the chosen ones, rejoice, for their prophecies announcing the grace of God, have begun to be fulfilled in the venerable conception of the pure Mother of God who will bring forth the joy of the world.

The throne of glory has been prepared for the Lord; the gate of salvation has now been announced, the passage reserved for the Master and Creator alone. Through her, we shall attain eternal life.

With Anna, Joachim cries out: You alone have heard our voice in supplication, O Lord and Creator; in granting an end to our sterility You have given us the Root of immortality. We glorify you!

The ladder is now prepared: by it, the Lord and Creator will come down to lift up the human race. Heaven rejoices with the angels! The human race exults with all creation because of the grace of deification.

I sing of your unequaled good will, O Lady: you are my illumination, my glory and my pride, my source of wisdom, the cause of my joy, my expectation and my hope, my fortress, my rampart and my defense.
Our community is celebrating the Feast of the Maternity this year with a Divine Liturgy devoted to the cause of Life, from conception to natural death. Given the love of the Theotokos for all of God's children, I am happy that we are connecting the cause of life to her holy conception.


Anonymous said...

Love the blog Father!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog Father!