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Author Topic: Orthodox Christology in the Theotokias  (Read 1415 times) Average Rating: 0
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'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
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Pope St Kyrillos VI

« on: December 10, 2006, 10:24:42 PM »

I think i'll take this opportunity to introduce everyone to my new blog by starting a new thread on the subject of my first blog entry:


The Oriental Orthodox Church's fidelity to the doctrine of the integrity and perfection of Christ's Humanity, is not only evidenced in the theological treatises of Her Fathers, but is also consistently testified to in Her very Liturgical life. This is particularly evident in certain segments of certain Theotokias* of the Tasbeha** service of the Coptic Orthodox Tradition.

Segment of Part 2 of the Sunday Theotokia (click on the lyrics to download an english recording of this segment):

(Audio recording by St. Anthony the Great's Coptic Orthodox Monastery in California)

The Oriental Orthodox Church has always maintained that the formula "One Nature of Two Natures" reflects the Dogmatic Principle that the distinction and perfection of Christ's Divinity and Humanity are maintained by the One Incarnate Nature that their Union constitutes. The homoousios formula which served as the stronghold for the perfection of Christ's Divinity at First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.), is likewise employed in the Theotokias as a defence of the perfection of Christ's Humanity, hence refuting any notion of Christ's One Incarnate Nature being the product of a confusion between Christ's Divinity and Humanity, for such a confusion would necessarily lead to the imperfection of either Christ's Humanity or Divinity as a result of their corollary alteration.

Thus, not only is the state of Christ's Humanity and the state of His Divinity in the Hypostatic Union expressed positively in terms of what those states are (i.e. perfect and consubstantial with mankind and the Father, respectively), but also negatively in terms of what those states are not i.e. altered and mingled.

The first polemical attacks against Orthodox Miaphysitism were launched from within the Nestorian camp against the Alexandrine Orthodox Christians (particularly St. Cyril of Alexandria). The Nestorians often accused Orthodox Miaphysites of being Apollinarian on account of the false belief that Orthodox Miaphysitism entailed a compromise of the integrity of Christ's Humanity to the point of challenging the existence of His soul. The Tuesday Theotokia thus emphasises what the homoousios formula--employed in reference to the relationship between Christ's Humanity and that of mankind--already implies: that Christ indeed possessed a rational soul, likewise preserved within the Hypostatic Union and hence the One Incarnate Nature of God the Logos.

* A Theotokia is a Glorification of the Theotokos St. Mary.
** The Tasbeha service is the service of the Midnight Praise.

NOTE: This thread serves the mere purpose of revealing and explaining Oriental Orthodox Christology as witnessed through her Liturgical life.

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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Saint Severus of Antioch - the Eloquent Mouth

« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 10:20:05 PM »

I am bumping this thread because I would like to give other examples of Orthodox Christology in OO hymns. Please post more examples, people!

Armenian version of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father.

God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten and not made; of the same nature of the Father, by whom all things came into being in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible;

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, took body, became man, was born perfectly of the holy Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.

The Syrian Fraction

Thus truly the Logos of God suffered in the flesh and was sacrificed and broken on the Cross. His soul parted from His body,

while His divinity in no way parted either from His soul or from His body.

He was pierced in His side with a spear; blood and water flowed from Him for the forgiveness of the whole world. His body was smeared in them, and His soul came and was reunited with His body.

On behalf of the sins of the whole world, the Son died on the Cross.

He turned us from the way on the left towards the right. Through the blood of his Cross, He established the reconciliation of the heavenly with the earthly, and united the people with the peoples and the soul with the body.

And on the third day He rose from the tomb.

One is Emmanuel who cannot be divided after the union; there is no division into two natures. Thus we believe, thus we confess, and thus We affirm that this Body belongs to this Blood, and this Blood belongs to this Body.

You are Christ Our God, who for our sake were pierced in Your side with a spear on the heights of Golgotha in Jerusalem.

You are the Lamb of God who take away the sin of the world.
Absolve us of our transgressions and make us stand at Your right hand side.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who are blessed by the Cherubim, hallowed by the Seraphim, and exalted by thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand of the rational servants;

who sanctify and complete the gifts and the fullness of the fruits that have been brought to You as a sweet savor; sanctify also all of our bodies, our souls, and our spirits,

so that with a pure heart and an unashamed face, we may call upon You, O God the Father who are in the heavens, and pray, saying,

Our Father...

The Liturgy of the Believers (St. Basil's liturgy in the Coptic Orthodox Tradition); the Confession

Amen. Amen. Amen. I believe, I believe, I believe and confess to the last breath that this is the life-giving Flesh that Your only-begotten Son, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, took from our lady, the Lady of us all, the holy Theotokos, Saint Mary. He made It One with His divinity without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration.

He confessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate. He gave It up for us upon the holy wood of the Cross, of His own will, for us all. Truly I believe that His divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment, nor a twinkling of an eye; given for us for salvation, remission of sins, and eternal life to those who partake of Him. I believe, I believe, I believe that this is true. Amen.


"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (Cf. St. John 16:33)
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Saint Severus of Antioch - the Eloquent Mouth

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 09:36:16 PM »

The Prayer of Reconciliation from the Coptic Orthodox Gregorian Liturgy:

O You, THE BEING, who were and who abides forever, the eternal, co-essential, co-enthroned, and co-creator with the Father.

Who for the sake of goodness only brought man into existence out of nonexistence, and put him in the paradise of joy. And when he fell through the deception of the enemy and the disobedience of Your holy commandment.

You desired to renew him and to restore him to his first estate. Neither an angel nor an archangel, neither a patriarch nor a prophet, have You entrusted with our salvation, but You, without change, were incarnate and became man and resembled us in everything, except for sin alone, and became for us a mediator with the Father, and the middle wall You have broken down and the old enmity You have abolished.

You have reconciled the earthly with the heavenly and made the two into one, and fulfilled the economy in the flesh. And at Your Ascension into the heavens in the body, having filled all with Your divinity.

You said to Your holy disciples and apostles,
"My peace I give to you; My peace I leave with you." The same also, now grant to us, O our Master.

And cleanse us from all blemish, all guile, all hypocrisy, all evil, all malice, and the remembrance of evil entailing death.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 10:03:05 PM by Severian » Logged

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (Cf. St. John 16:33)
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Saint Severus of Antioch - the Eloquent Mouth

« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 09:39:20 PM »

A "madeha" or Praise to the Virgin St.Mary:

I start this song with words of peace,
About a full moon and the greatest of dreams,
I wish it continues permanently,
About Virgin Mary who helps quickly,
I reveal and speak my mind openly.

How can I speak and how can I say,
About the mystery of her virginity,
A great virgin and her pregnancy,
It is impossible to explain and say,
Even the scholars could not find a way.

Ezekiel the prophet spoke about her,
He gave his peace and said about her,
Jesus the king will come to her,
He is her Lord and the Creator,
He loved her before He had made her.

All the arts and all the wonders,
Even the sayings of the scholars,
Her virginity we should not ponder,
Our Almighty Lord is the real wonder,
Who came to her womb as a Child to her.

By His will He suffered and was crucified,
He rose from the dead after He died,
The Son of man raised men who died,
From the depth of Hades to the Paradise,
He returned man to the Paradise of light.

The salvation of the creation appeared from,
The pure and chosen Virgin Mount Zion,
Her pregnancy is a mysterious one ,
To my heart and to my conscience,
But nothing is impossible for the Lord the One.

Moses the prophet spoke a great saying,
With an old prophesy that was amazing,
He said that God will truly bring,
A great prophet with no equal being,
Who created the end and the beginning.

He saw you in a burning bush with flames,
He became amazed and was marveled,
Many prophesied what would happen,
This is a known symbol of Mary,
John the Evangelist preached and said.

All my life I glorified,
And I could not hold back my voice,
The mysteries of the Christ suffering,
I was trusted to evangelize,
Regardless of any circumstances.

Solomon spoke of you in the Song of Songs,
My sister welcome and to you I need,
The aroma of your clothes is sweet,
Truly John the Evangelist spoke,
About the Virgin Mary in many words.

He testified saying “I saw a lady,
Clothed in garments full of light,
Surrounded with the sun and the moon under her feet,
And around her head twelve stars shining,
Then being with a child, she cried out in labor.

There is no doubt that this is true,
The moon is no one but John the Baptist,
And the twelve stars are the twelve apostles,
And surely the Sun is the Child Jesus,
This a simple act for the mighty God.

My heart and mind are attached to you,
I have never seen anyone like you,
I always confess and do not deny,
You are my fortress and my refuge,
A harbor to those who are in distress.

We asked and we were given,
We reached the shore of enlightenment,
For we believed with all understanding,
And became righteous and carried the yoke,
Of Jesus the mighty One to His people.

The Logos appeared from you in a great mystery,
An honorable divinity and humanity,
And you became like the Ark of the Covenant,
That was made with wood that would not decay,
And covered with gold and clothed in silk.

You were exalted to the heaven of God,
And you were raised to be a heaven,
And truly you surpassed all the ranks,
And you became a lampstand with a great light,
Your praise is greatly valuable.

Your Son is the One who created you,
You carried Him on your hands as a babe,
You mourned at His passion,
There is no other King glorified like Him,
He created everything with His own hands.

And if my ink were as the Euphrates,
And my paper as a great valley,
And my pens similar to a great field,
And continue in this praise for a great while,
I am incapable of completing my task.

The eternal the mighty and unchangeable,
He descended from heaven to the Virgin’s womb,
His miracles were beyond understanding,
The thoughts of men were known to Him,
He healed the paralytic and he carried his bed.

Many are the wonders of Jesus Christ,
The mind of scholars cannot understand,
He accepted the sinners and raised the dead,
He healed the sick and paralytic,
And from the naked one He cast out devils.

I gave my life to describing you,
And took the harsh roads toward this ending,
So that I may describe and I alone,
But I do not have the energy,
I took this road without a guide.

Mary you are called the highest heaven,
This you were called and your name is sweet,
And my speech cannot describe you,
Or even from my first days to the last,
My tongue is incapable and my time is short.

I went into the sea of knowledge,
I found it a difficult journey,
I could not float and I could not swim,
And I did not have a ship to go through the sea,
So that I may reach the harbor of peace.

The true God was crucified on the cross,
And truly endured the oppression of the Jews,
What great sacrifice despite denial,
What great injustice that was not seen,
They gave Him gall vinegar and wine to drink.

He fulfilled His eternal promise,
He took our likeness and became Man,
And in everything He resembled us,
Except sin so that we may not live,
By the judgment of the wily devil.

He came to us a humble Man,
And Judas His disciple betrayed Him,
He willfully submitted to the sufferings,
Rose ascended and crushed the gates of Hades,
And released Adam from Hades.

Indescribable is the Mother of God,
And she is capable to intercede to Him,
Oh our advocate on judgment day,
Abo-el-Saad your servant is unworthy,
Waiting for your promise to be my helper.

Hail to you and our duty is to praise you,
All people and ranks offer you praise,
And every father asking on our behalf always,
Patriarch bishops and priests,
And all the laymen elders and young.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 10:05:16 PM by Severian » Logged

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (Cf. St. John 16:33)
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 08:20:34 AM »

The Prayer of Reconciliation from the Coptic Orthodox Gregorian Liturgy:

O You, THE BEING, who were and who abides forever, the eternal, co-essential, co-enthroned, and co-creator with the Father.

Can someone please explain why we started adding THE BEING to our Liturgy? It may be a more grammatically correct translation of the original Greek/Coptic, I don't know, but sounds awful to me. I cringe every time I hear my priest say it. 

This is how I've always heard it translated until relatively recently:

“O You, Who are, Who were, Who continue unto the age,
the Self-existent, Consubstantial, Co-enthroned
and Co-creator with the Father."


"Be oppressed, rather than the oppressor. Be gentle, rather than zealous. Lay hold of goodness, rather than justice." -St. Isaac of Nineveh

“I returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church with affection, finding in her our tormented and broken history“. -Salama Moussa
Tags: Christology Theotokos Coptic Orthodox Church NVM was here 
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