20 December 2004

Behold the Virgin

Since I have become a liturgical Christian, I’ve really come to value
the role that Mary, the Theotokos (God-bearer), plays in the devotion
of many Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox
Christians.  It’s stirring and encouraging to ponder the
incredible idea that this young woman, although confused at the message
of the Angel Gabriel, had enough of whatever to respond, “I am God’s
servant.  My life lies in God’s hands.”  That takes a lot
when you get what is, by all reasonableness, a fairly ridiculous
message about having a child inviolate.


As
Br. Curtis said in a sermon about a year ago, “Lastly, you may find in Mary an intercessor. If the God whom Jesus called
Father is too hidden from you just now, too ferocious, too exacting, too awesome,
too silent, you might find some comfort in access to Mary, who seems to have
God’s ear: Mary, as someone to whom you can safely whisper your desires or
despairs… trusting that that message, through her, will get to where it belongs.”

I like that.

And I like Mary’s calm confidence in this text that John Tavener set to
music for Christmastide.  I know this is a bit early, but I won’t
be here in the blogosphere on Christmas.
 

Today the Virgin

Today the Virgin comes to the cave 
To give birth to the Word eternal:

Rejoice, O World 
With the Angels and the Shepherds
Give glory to the Child!
Alleluia!

Mary my wife, O Mary my wife! 
What do I see?
I took you blameless before the Lord
From the priests of the Temple
What do I see?

Refrain

Joseph the Bridegroom, O Joseph the Bridegroom!
Do not fear.
God in his mercy has come down to earth.
He takes flesh in my womb
For all the world to see.

Refrain

Mary, my Bride, O Mary my Bride,
What do I see?
You, a virgin giving birth.
Strange mystery!

Refrain

Joseph the Bridegroom. O Joseph the Bridegroom!
Do not fear.
God in his mercy has come down to earth.
He takes flesh in my womb
For all the world to see.

Refrain

Warned by the Angel we believe
That Mary gives birth inexplicable
To the infant, Christ, our God.

Words: Mother Thekla

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