"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?
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.