Author Topic: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"  (Read 3103 times)

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Offline scamandrius

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What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« on: November 24, 2009, 07:19:01 PM »
Whenever we "call to remembrance our most holy, pure, blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever virgin maiden Mary" should we say "Most HOly Theotokos, save us" or "Most Holy Theotokos, pray over us."  This Greek text I have (from newbyz.org) has a facing English translation that translates it as save, but the Greek clearly says "pray over us" (Presveve iper imon; sorry, I don't have a Greek font on this computer).  I've always been taught "save" and that "pray for us" is not accurate enough.  Is the Greek text I have wrong?
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Offline wynd

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 07:22:08 PM »
In all the recordings I've ever heard, it's "soson imas" ("save us").

Offline scamandrius

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 10:10:54 PM »
^Yeah, i've heard the same in recordings, so I'm not sure why this is the case here.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 11:35:00 PM »
Yes, the Greek text you are citing is wrong.  "Soson Imas," is the proper terminology.  As I recall, there was a movement in Greece in the late 18th century to enhance the understanding of the power of the Theotokos, for the common faithful, but the traditional language, "soson imas" prevailed in usage, as "presveve" highlighted that there could be a misunderstanding of her role.  When we chant, asking her to "save," we know that she is interceding for us.  (My language in this reply is not quite theologically correct, but it is essentially correct.)  You may wish to do a search for an elaborate thread on this forum from a few months back on this same matter.

"Iper Hagia Theotoke, Soson Imas."  "Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us."

"Pray over," by the way, is a terrible translation of "presveve," which is traditionally and commonly translated as "intercede."
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 11:40:47 PM by Basil 320 »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 12:33:33 AM »
I've heard "presveue yper imon" before, but much more rare that "soson imas" - in fact, I think I've only heard it on one recording, but I can't remember which recording from which Athonite monastery it was.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 03:06:24 AM »
Does anyone know when this practice started? Is it actually in the Typicon?

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Offline augustin717

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 03:17:37 AM »
In Romania the standard petition reads "have mercy on us", instead of "save us".
Do Greeks ever say:"Yperaghia Theotoke eleison imas"?

Offline Basil 320

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 03:28:18 AM »
Not that I can think of.
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2009, 10:04:05 AM »
Does anyone know when this practice started? Is it actually in the Typicon?

Truth be told, I've never seen EITHER σῶσον ἡμᾶς or πρέσβευε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν inserted in the petitions in any official liturgical books. Some chanters and choirs just add it.

My personal guess is that it was introduced some time relatively recently as a liturgical echo of the Akathist Hymn/Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos. The construction "Most Holy Theotokos, save us" or "Saint X, intercede for us" only appears in Canon-like liturgical poems.

In the Small Paraklesis itself, it's always σῶσον ἡμᾶς, an imperative meaning "save us", i.e. come to our aid, like one would call out if stuck in a burning building. I can think of one Theotokion that uses πρεσβεύω in a participial construct specifically because the imperative (save us) is directed at Christ and the "interceding" is done by the Theotokos "...δέξαι τὴν τεκοῦσάν σε Θεοτόκον, πρεσβεύουσαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, καὶ σῶσον, Σωτὴρ ἡμῶν..."
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: What does the Greek say? "Pray over" or "Save?"
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 01:21:09 PM »
Does anyone know when this practice started? Is it actually in the Typicon?

Truth be told, I've never seen EITHER σῶσον ἡμᾶς or πρέσβευε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν inserted in the petitions in any official liturgical books. Some chanters and choirs just add it.

My personal guess is that it was introduced some time relatively recently as a liturgical echo of the Akathist Hymn/Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos. The construction "Most Holy Theotokos, save us" or "Saint X, intercede for us" only appears in Canon-like liturgical poems.
Thats what I thought. Thanks pensateomnia.
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