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Author Topic: Question about the blessing/prayer to the Theotokos  (Read 347 times) Average Rating: 0
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Deborah
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« on: February 05, 2013, 11:06:16 PM »

"More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim"

What does this statement mean? 

Where does it come from - is it based on Scripture, something an ECF said, an ecumenical council, or somewhere else?

Thanks
Deborah
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 11:41:57 PM »

"More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim"

What does this statement mean? 

Where does it come from - is it based on Scripture, something an ECF said, an ecumenical council, or somewhere else?

Thanks
Deborah

The Mother of God conceived, carried, gave birth to, nursed and nurtured God Himself, willingly, humbly, and without being destroyed by the fire of Divinity within her - indeed, not only was she not consumed, but her virginity was preserved. There is nothing and no-one in all creation that surpassed, or could ever surpass the magnitude and glory of what she did.

No angel, not even of the highest rank and closest to the throne of God, could ever have done this.
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Byzantine2008
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 01:05:36 AM »

"More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim"

What does this statement mean? 

Where does it come from - is it based on Scripture, something an ECF said, an ecumenical council, or somewhere else?

Thanks
Deborah

The Mother of God conceived, carried, gave birth to, nursed and nurtured God Himself, willingly, humbly, and without being destroyed by the fire of Divinity within her - indeed, not only was she not consumed, but her virginity was preserved. There is nothing and no-one in all creation that surpassed, or could ever surpass the magnitude and glory of what she did.

No angel, not even of the highest rank and closest to the throne of God, could ever have done this.


Amen Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 12:47:26 PM »

What is "scary" is that beyond compare than the angels basically means infinitely apart from creation. We can all wonder about that... Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 02:52:55 PM »

"More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim"

What does this statement mean?  

Where does it come from - is it based on Scripture, something an ECF said, an ecumenical council, or somewhere else?

Thanks
Deborah

This line comes from the hymn called Axion Estin (it is truly right). The second part of the hymn is older, beginning with the line "More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim". It was written by St Cosmas the Hymnographer sometime in the eighth century I believe.  The first part of the current hymn, (it is truly right to bless you o Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure and the mother of our God) was allegedly given by an angel to a monk at Mount Athos.  

Axion Estin is intended to reflect that Mary is the greatest in honor of all created beings, preeminent among the Saints due to her perfect holiness, purity, humility and obedience to God, as well as due to her having conceived and given birth to Jesus, who of course was and is God himself, and the Savior of the world, thus making her the "Mother of God". She was made the holy vessel of His incarnation, and as such, the pride and joy of all of God's people, and the angels as well, as well as the Mother of the Church, according to Orthodox tradition.

The scriptural bases would be that at the annunciation the angel told Mary that she was "full of grace", "highly favored", and 'blessed among women", and Mary said herself to Elizabeth "all generations will call me blessed"

Bare in mind that I'm still basically a protestant and I'm still on the sidelines with the whole Mary thing. This is just my understanding of what the Orthodox faith believes.  Smiley

 

 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 03:08:10 PM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
choy
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 03:01:19 PM »

Remember we also say that her womb is wider than the heavens, because the God who is larger than all of creation was contained in it.  This is not to say that Mary is beyond or above creation, but she has that single privilege of bearing God in the flesh in her womb.  It is a mystery really, how can an infinite God be contained in the flesh and in the womb of a woman?
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Armchair Theologian
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 03:28:47 PM »

Yes indeed, and I should also point out that these statements about Mary are not intended to make her seem greater than or equal to Jesus Christ, only that of all the people of God her unique person and role in the great history of salvation and in bringing the Savior into the world makes her of the greatest honor, though of course not more honorable than the Savior Himself, who is her savior as well. Mary is seen as one who helps Christians follow her Son, by her example and through her prayers.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 03:46:06 PM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
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