He ascended…

This is essentially a re-blog except that I am adding my audio recording of this beautiful text. I often find that I like to listen and so I offer you that opportunity as we together reflect on the Ascension of the Lord.

Many thanks to Mark Armitage at enlargingtheheart.wordpress.com for seeking out and sharing this passage (and so many others).


 
(second version of recording – see comments)


 
(text, for those who wish to read)

1

Abandoning on earth the things of earth,
Leaving to the dust the things of ash,
Come, let us come to our senses and let us raise on high our eyes and minds.
Mortals, let us make our sight together with our senses
Fly to heaven’s gates.
Let us imagine we are standing on the mount of Olives
And that we bend our gaze on the Redeemer
As he rides upon a cloud.
For from where the Lord has hastened back to heaven
There too the One who loves to give has distributed his gifts
To his Apostles, cherishing them as a father and crying out to them,
‘I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.’

2

The One who came down to earth, as he alone knows how,
As he ascended from it, again as he knows how,
Took those he loved and led those he had gathered to a high mountain,
That, having mind and senses aimed on high,
They might then abandon all that seeks the ground.
And so, having climbed the hill of Olives,
They surrounded the Benefactor,
As Luke, the initiate, recounts,
While the Lord, raising his hands like wings,
Sheltered them, as an eagle the nest which it was warming,
And says to the nestlings, ‘I have sheltered you from all evils.
As I have cherished you, do you love me.
‘I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.’

3

High over you, my Disciples,
As God and Maker of the whole world
I stretch out my palms, which the lawless stretched out, bound and nailed.
And so, as you bow your heads beneath my hands,
Understand, know, my friends, what I command.
For as though baptising I lay my hands upon you now,
And having blessed you send you out
Enlightened, and made wise.
Upon your heads praise and majesty,
Upon your souls illumination, as it is written,
For I shall pour out upon you of my Spirit, and you will accepted by me,
Taught and chosen, faithful and my own.
‘I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.’

Romanos the Melodist (c.490-c.556): Kontakion on the Assumption, 1-3, trans. Archimandrite Ephrem Lash @ Anastasis.

 

2 thoughts on “He ascended…

  1. albert

    Thanks, Mary. shall listen each day this week, maybe twice on Thursday.

    P.S. I checked Anastasis. What a resource!
    This stanza is worth repeating too:

    So now, be joyful and radiant.
    And adopting an air of gladness.
    Sing a new song. For everything that may happen, happens for your sake.
    It was for you I came down and went through all,
    That I might please you, and you might receive me.
    It is for you again that I ascend to heaven,
    To prepare the place
    Where I must be with you.
    For there are many dwelling places on high with my Father,
    Some contain the fathers, others are filled with the just
    And others with the Prophets. But your dwelling no one yet knows.
    I shall prepare it and take you.
    I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.

  2. mary Post author

    That is indeed a beautiful stanza – I hadn’t gone back to the source.

    I like it so much, in fact, that I had to record it and add it on (for a second version of the recording). 🙂

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