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EkhristosAnesti
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« on: September 18, 2005, 12:04:50 PM »

According to the Liturgical Tradition of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the clause modifying the Trsiagion (click here to listen), which reads: "Who was Crucified for us, have mercy upon us", originated at the burial of our Lord Christ, by Sts. Nicodemus and Joseph. Fr Athanasius Iskander briefly summarises the event in his article on the Holy Liturgy, stating that as St.s Nicodemus and Joseph were burying the Lord, "doubts entered their minds concerning His Divinity. Suddenly, a choir of angels appeared to them singing defiantly, “Holy God, Holy mighty, Holy immortal.”  The two righteous men realizing their error, joined in the singing, and then as if to confess their sin and to ask for mercy and for­giveness, they added to the angelic hymn the phrase, “O Thou Who was crucified for us have mercy on us.”

This Tradition is preserved in the famous and ancient hymn Goglotha (click here to listen), which is chanted at the Good Friday Pascha service. The relevant part of this Coptic hymn reads: "The righteous Joseph and Nicodemus came and took away the Body of Christ, wound it in linen cloths with spices, and put it in a spulchre and praised Him saying: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us."

I was wandering if any of the other Oriental Orthodox Church's identify with this Tradition or possess a similar one even?

Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2005, 02:51:25 PM »

Yeah, that's our story for how it came about. 
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 10:04:45 PM »

Would you able to locate the source of this Tradition in your Church?

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2005, 11:48:53 AM »

I was just reading this in today's Synaxarion:

Quote:

The same day (Sept. 25), Commemoration of the Great Earthquake at Constantinople AD 447, and of the Miracle of the TRISAGION

In the reign of the Emperor Theodosius II (408-50) God, bountiful and rich in mercy, caused the ground to shake dreadfully for almost four months to warn Christian people to be always ready for the Great Day when the dead shall be raised, heaven and earth shall be changed into a new form, and every man shall be summoned to judgment upon the uprightness of his faith and the purity of his life. Fear gripped the entire City. The Emperor, the Patriarch Saint Proclus (20 Nov.) and all the people of Constantinople, went in procession barefoot to the parade ground of the Hebdomon, where they made earnest prayer to God for their safety. About the third hour, the ground once more began shaking, and a young boy was suddenly taken up into the skies by the strength of the Almighty, while the terrified people cried: Kyrie eleison with redoubled fervor. When he came down from on high, the child declared he had been taken up amid the choirs of angels, who were singing: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us! and that a voice had commanded him to tell the Patriarch that the people ought to make their supplications to God in this way, without adding anything. The Patriarch instructed the chanters and people to intone this hymn, that joins confession of the three Divine Persons, to the cry of the Seraphim in the vision of Isaiah (Isa. 6:3). Whereupon the earth stopped shaking and the child gave up his soul to God.

The most pious Empress Pulcheria (10 Sept.) enjoined Saint Proclus to order this hymn to be solemnly chanted henceforth in the Liturgy. At the holy Council of Chalcedon (451), the Fathers from the Roman diocese of Asia greeted the proclamation of the true Faith by chanting the Trisagion, which has since become an essential element in the private as well as in the common prayer of Orthodox Christians.

When Peter the Fuller, the usurping Patriarch of Antioch, wanted to spread the poison of the theopaschite heresy (a type of Monophysism), he had the expression: who was crucified for us, added to the Thrice-holy hymn (c. 468). The Orthodox remembered that when the child was miraculously taken into heaven, the divine voice had distinctly forbidden any addition to the hymn, and they strove hard to maintain the Trinitarian understanding of the Trisagion against a Christological interpretation. So by right glorification of the one only God in three Persons the Orthodox Faith was kept.

/end of quote
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2005, 06:49:58 PM »

Icxn,

I would simply interpret the Chalcedonian account of the Trisagion hymn (as it is accounted for in your synaxarium) as a polemical account against the non-Chalcedonian Oriental Orthodox Church’s opposing, yet Orthodox understanding of it (which you may in turn interpret as a non-Chalcedonian polemical defence against Chalcedonianism). Obviously our ancient traditions behind explaining the context of its employment are at odds, though we (the Oriental Orthodox Church) claim the origin of our tradition (which likewise involves the declaration of Angels, and even the declaration of mutually recognized Saints) to be approximately 4 centuries earlier than the claimed origin of yours — to the day of the burial of our Lord Christ by Saints Nicodemus and Joseph (nothing to do with Peter the Fuller).

Regardless of all this, any Chalcedonian charge of theopaschitism against the context of the OO’s employment of the Trisagion, simply has no rational basis to it (an issue that has been discussed elsewhere on this forum): That Christ, The Son of God, is Holy, God, Mighty, and Immortal, is an undisputed fact — we can easily find a basis for these appellations of Christ in Orthodox Tradition. That Christ, The Son of God, Who is Holy, God, Mighty, and Immortal, was crucified for us, likewise has a strong basis in Tradition — the Scriptures, Patristic writings, and the Ecumenical Councils (Ephesus 431 for us; Ephesus 431 + Constantinople 533 for the Chalcedonians). In fact, according to both our traditions, He who fails to confess that Christ, The Word, the Holy God and Lord of Glory, was crucified in the flesh, is anathematised.

Peace.
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2005, 07:03:21 PM »

I have no opinion of my own on all these issues other than what the Church I belong to teaches:

The Word of God then itself endured all in the flesh, while His divine nature which alone was passionless remained void of passion. For since the one Christ, Who is a compound of divinity and humanity, and exists in divinity and humanity, truly suffered, that part which is capable of passion suffered as it was natural it should, but that part which was void of passion did not share in the suffering. For the soul, indeed, since it is capable of passion shares in the pain and suffering of a bodily cut, though it is not cut itself but only the body: but the divine part which is void of passion does not share in the suffering of the body. (St. John Damascene, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith)

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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2005, 07:12:52 PM »

According to the Liturgical Tradition of the Coptic Orthodox Church...

That's a beautiful tradition.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2005, 07:29:53 PM »

icxn,

The excerpt that you paste from St John of Damascus is not one that any Oriental Orthodox believer would contend with (as far as it concerns the impassibility of Christ's divinity), so I do not really see the problem here. When the Oriental Orthodox Church chants "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Imoortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us" we are simply affirming the fundamental Orthodox principle that the divine person of the Word (who is Holy, God, Mighty and Immortal) became the subject of His incarnate experiences. This is not only in concordance with St Cyril's 12th anathema against Nestorius (vindicated at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431), but also with the 10th anathema of your own Constantinople 533 which reads: "If anyone does not confess that our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified in the flesh is true God and the Lord of Glory and one of the Holy Trinity; let him be anathema."

We do not believe (and never have believed) that Christ suffers according to His naked impassible divinity; we recognise the paradox that "He it was Who suffered and yet suffered not. Suffered, because His own body suffered; suffered not, because the Word, being by nature God, is impassible" (St Athanasius, Letter to Epictetus, par. 6, N.& P.N. Fathers, Oct. 1987, Vol. IV, p.572), thus I fail to see why your Church would have a problem with the context of the Oriental Orthodox Church's understanding of the Trsiagion.

Peace.
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2008, 05:05:42 PM »

I must make the statement that from the EO point of view the addition to the Trisaigion by the Peter the Fuller is an innovation because the Trisaigion is thought to refer to the Holy Trinity from our view, and that of the Holy Fathers. I am well aware that the OO believe that the Hymn refers to Christ, however we would say that this is acceptable from a Chalcedonian view, but not a non-Chalcedonian view. We must ask, what nature do you believe suffered when you say "who was crucified for us"?
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 05:57:18 PM »

^ Both natures suffered.
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 07:10:44 PM »

what nature do you believe suffered when you say "who was crucified for us"?

You're speaking of "nature" like it is a person.  Natures don't suffer.  Persons suffer.  So I guess I should ask you which person you believe suffered.

Also, which "nature" do you believe was born of the Virgin Mary?  Keep in mind that divinity can't be born any more than it can suffer. 
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 10:34:54 PM »

You're speaking of "nature" like it is a person.  Natures don't suffer.  Persons suffer.  So I guess I should ask you which person you believe suffered.
I would say the Incarnate Logos, as would any Orthodox person.
Also, which "nature" do you believe was born of the Virgin Mary?  Keep in mind that divinity can't be born any more than it can suffer. 
Obviously the human nature.
--------------------------------------------------------
I think that you are missing my question (I did word it poorly). Christ upon the Cross suffered in His human nature. We cannot allow it to be said that in any way His Divine nature suffered. Now of course we can say that God suffered, yet not in His un-suffering Godhead. So if we hold that Christ died upon the Cross (of course we all do) and that He had one nature, and His nature is Divine/human, did His Divinity suffer along with His humanity? If only the human "part" of His nature suffered, then His nature has been split into two, and we might as well say that He has two natures. 
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 10:46:03 PM »

Also, which "nature" do you believe was born of the Virgin Mary?  Keep in mind that divinity can't be born any more than it can suffer. 
Obviously the human nature.

Interesting.  That is exactly what my Protestant friends say when they tell me that the Virgin Mary can't be called "Mother of God."
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2008, 10:49:57 PM »

Interesting.  That is exactly what my Protestant friends say when they tell me that the Virgin Mary can't be called "Mother of God."
So you hold that the Divine nature's origin was from the Theotokos?
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2008, 10:52:01 PM »

----------------------------------------------
I think that you are missing my question (I did word it poorly). Christ upon the Cross suffered in His human nature. We cannot allow it to be said that in any way His Divine nature suffered. Now of course we can say that God suffered, yet not in His un-suffering Godhead. So if we hold that Christ died upon the Cross (of course we all do) and that He had one nature, and His nature is Divine/human, did His Divinity suffer along with His humanity? If only the human "part" of His nature suffered, then His nature has been split into two, and we might as well say that He has two natures. 

I just have a question to see where you are coming from.  Do you believe it was Christ's human nature that cried out on the cross, "My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" and that He was talking to His divine nature?
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2008, 10:56:38 PM »


So you hold that the Divine nature's origin was from the Theotokos?

That is exactly the question that my Protestant friends ask me when I defend the Mother of God's title.  This is just weird.  Are you sure you are Orthodox?

Of course we don't believe His divinity originated with the Mother of God.  We call her that because we believe she gave birth to a Person, rather than a nature, and that the Person was God the Incarnate Word.  She gave birth to God, even though divinity can't be born.  That is the miracle of the incarnation.  So it is that we can also say that One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh. 
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2008, 10:58:35 PM »

I just have a question to see where you are coming from.  Do you believe it was Christ's human nature that cried out on the cross, "My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" and that He was talking to His divine nature?
No one person would not talk to themselves. Obviously at no point was the Divinity separated from the humanity, and God can not be forsaken from Himself.
Of course we don't believe His divinity originated with the Mother of God.  We call her that because we believe she gave birth to a Person, rather than a nature, and that the Person was God the Incarnate Word.  She gave birth to God, even though divinity can't be born.  That is the miracle of the incarnation.  So it is that we can also say that One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh. 
I agree with what you have said. However there is a difference between saying "the Divine nature of the Godhead died" and saying "the Incarnate Logos, One of the Holy Trinity died". Do you see my point?
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2008, 11:02:29 PM »

"the Divine nature of the Godhead died"

The Oriental Orthodox have absolutely never believed that.  To read that into our version of the Trisagion is to grossly misrepresent what we believe. 
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2008, 11:05:27 PM »

The Oriental Orthodox have absolutely never believed that.  To read that into our version of the Trisagion is to grossly misrepresent what we believe. 
I didn't say you believed that. My point was that would you say that Christ's nature died upon the Cross?
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2008, 11:16:30 PM »

We believe a Person was crucified.  That Person is the Incarnate Word of God.  We don't talk about natures doing things that persons do.  That would be using "nature" as a synonym for "person." 
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2008, 01:01:58 AM »

^ Both natures suffered.

To clarify: Father, Son and Holy Spirit suffered on the Cross.  The sky grew dark, the earth quaked, the curtain in the temple was torn in half and people rose from the dead.  The Holy Trinity suffered on the Cross rather than only Christ the man or Christ the God.

Forgive me for my lapse in theology....
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2008, 01:08:10 AM »

We believe a Person was crucified.  That Person is the Incarnate Word of God.  We don't talk about natures doing things that persons do.  That would be using "nature" as a synonym for "person." 
Okay finally. You answered my question. Thank You. Smiley
To clarify: Father, Son and Holy Spirit suffered on the Cross.  The sky grew dark, the earth quaked, the curtain in the temple was torn in half and people rose from the dead.  The Holy Trinity suffered on the Cross rather than only Christ the man or Christ the God.
I don't mean to be harsh, but St. John of Damascus does not agree with you.

"...as though the Holy Trinity was considered possible, and the Father and the Holy Spirit suffered on the Cross along with the Son. Have done with this blasphemous and nonsensical interpolation!" (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith; 3:10)
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2008, 01:13:12 AM »

^ Both natures suffered.

To clarify: Father, Son and Holy Spirit suffered on the Cross.  The sky grew dark, the earth quaked, the curtain in the temple was torn in half and people rose from the dead.  The Holy Trinity suffered on the Cross rather than only Christ the man or Christ the God.

Forgive me for my lapse in theology....
For once, I have to agree with HC on this.  This idea that the Holy Trinity suffered as One on the Cross strikes me as very heretical.  But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt by asking if you mean to communicate something else with the above theological statement and are just not communicating it well. Wink
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2008, 01:16:26 AM »

HC, Stop your proof-texting!

Quote
And, nevertheless, we follow Gregory the Theologian(3) when he says, "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit, in Whom are all things:" for the words "of Whom" and "through Whom" and "in Whom" do not divide the natures (for neither the prepositions nor the order of the names could ever be changed), but they characterise the properties of one unconfused nature. And this becomes clear from the fact that they are once more gathered into one, if only one reads with care these words of the same Apostle, Of Him and through Him and in Him are all things: to Him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen
Source

All creation suffered with the Crucifixion of Christ including the Father and the Holy Spirit.  You don't have to witness actual suffering by an entity NO ONE HAS SEEN
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2008, 01:17:02 AM »

^ Both natures suffered.

To clarify: Father, Son and Holy Spirit suffered on the Cross.  The sky grew dark, the earth quaked, the curtain in the temple was torn in half and people rose from the dead.  The Holy Trinity suffered on the Cross rather than only Christ the man or Christ the God.

Forgive me for my lapse in theology....

I'm no theologian, but I also don't think that is correct.  I think that may lead to another heresy, called Sabellianism, or perhaps Patripassianism.
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2008, 01:18:16 AM »

Salpy & PtA,

Please read reply #23 for I think I clarified what I wanted to say.   Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2008, 01:26:25 AM »

Source

All creation suffered with the Crucifixion of Christ including the Father and the Holy Spirit.  You don't have to witness actual suffering by an entity NO ONE HAS SEEN
Again, I think you're veering off track.  Yes, all of creation did suffer with the Crucifixion of Christ, or so our hymns say, but the Father and the Holy Spirit are not part of creation.  BTW, how are you NOT prooftexting with the above link? Wink
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2008, 01:31:40 AM »

but the Father and the Holy Spirit are not part of creation.

Yes, as uncreated beings (along with the pre-Incarnate Christ) they created "creation."  The Father & Holy Spirit, as uncreated beings, do not suffer.  There's my V8 Moment for today (smacks self upside the head).   Wink  Forgive me for another lapse in judgment and thanks for tolerating said lapses in judgment.   Smiley

BTW, how are you NOT prooftexting with the above link? Wink

Sorry.  No excuses other than having a lot on my mind....   angel
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2008, 01:34:12 AM »

Yes, as uncreated beings (along with the pre-Incarnate Christ) they created "creation."  The Father & Holy Spirit, as uncreated beings, do not suffer.  There's my V8 Moment for today (smacks self upside the head).   Wink  Forgive me for another lapse in judgment and thanks for tolerating said lapses in judgment.   Smiley
Just don't cave your forehead in. Wink
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2008, 01:41:15 AM »

Just don't cave your forehead in. Wink

My 27 minute date with heresy was enough pain and suffering for one day.   Wink
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2008, 02:18:44 AM »

Well this stuff does get confusing.   Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2008, 02:54:15 AM »

Salpy

Quote
That would be using "nature" as a synonym for "person." 

But that's one of the charges they make against non-chalcedonians, that you supposedly do equate nature with person--or at least Severos supposedly did, and by implication you still do.
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2008, 01:25:00 PM »

But that's one of the charges they make against non-chalcedonians, that you supposedly do equate nature with person--or at least Severos supposedly did, and by implication you still do.
Could we have a quick non-Chalcedonian definition of physis, ouisa, hypostasis, prosopon?
I'm no theologian, but I also don't think that is correct.  I think that may lead to another heresy, called Sabellianism, or perhaps Patripassianism.
No you are correct. To say the entire Holy Trinity suffered upon the Cross is Sabellianism. Because it confuses the persons of the Holy Trinity, and attempts to make them one, or to at least do away with their differences. I believe that any Orthodox person would say One of the Holy Trinity suffered on the Cross.
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« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2008, 01:44:33 PM »

Whilst admittedly I haven't read all of this, has the issue of the fact that the Coptic Church says the entire Trisagion in Greek (including the "who..." parts) seem significant to anyone?
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« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2008, 01:47:59 PM »

Whilst admittedly I haven't read all of this, has the issue of the fact that the Coptic Church says the entire Trisagion in Greek (including the "who..." parts) seem significant to anyone?
Unless it makes a grammatical difference, I would probably say no. Does language that the Trisagion is said in really make a difference?
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« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2008, 01:59:16 PM »

The Coptic Church traditionally says its own liturgy in Coptic.
The only parts said in Greek are those parts which were received while Egypt was still being evangelised.
In other words, the Copts would not say these extra parts in Greek unless Greek speaking missionaries had taught them to do so.

(So you're aware, I'm an Aussie convert; hence my referral to the Copts in the third person. No offence intended it's just that I'm no more Coptic [ethnically] than Chinese.)
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« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2008, 04:52:15 PM »

Fr. Athanasius Iskander sent a few emails titled "Can God Suffer?" and it touches on these topics...
Quote
CAN GOD SUFFER?

For He Himself, just like His Begetter is unalterable and immutable, and was never capable of any passibility (susceptibility to pain). But when He became flesh, that is became man, He appropriated the poverty of humanity to Himself; firstly, because even though He became man, He still remained God; and secondly, because He accepted the form of a servant even though He is free in His own Nature. And even though He Himself is the Lord of glory, He is said to receive glory.  And even though He Himself is Life, He is shown to be brought back to life. And even though He Himself is King of all, He receives dominion over all. Even though He is equal to God the Father, He obediently endured His sufferings and the Cross. Because all these things were part and parcel of the human condition He adopted them as being implied along with the flesh,  and so He fulfilled the economy, though always remaining what He was.1

    It is fitting to understand the union of Emmanuel to be such as the soul of a man might be thought to have with its own body. For the soul appropriates the the things of the body even though in its proper nature it is apart from the body’s natural passions, as those which impinge on it from without. For the body is moved to physical desires, and the soul which is within it feels these things too, because of the union, but in no way does it participate in these things, except in so far as it takes the fulfilment of desire as its own gratification. If the body was struck by a sword, or tortured on an iron grid, then the soul would share in its grief, because it is its own body which is suffering. But in its own nature the soul does not suffer anything of these things.
    This indeed is how we attribute the union to Emmanuel. For it was necessary that the soul united to it should share in the grief of its own body, so that rising above these sufferings it could submit itself as obedient to God. But it is foolish to say that God the Word shared in feeling the sufferings. For the Godhead is impassible and is not in our condition. Yet [the Word] was united to the flesh endowed with a rational soul, and when the flesh suffered, even though He was impassible, He was aware of what was happening within it, and thus as God, even though He did away with the weakness of the flesh, still He appropriated those weaknesses of his own body. This is how He is said to have hungered, and to have been tired, and to have suffered for our sake.
    Accordingly, the union of the Word with humanity can reasonably be compared with our condition. Just as the body is of a different nature to the soul, still from both we say that one man results, so too from the perfect hypostasis of God the Word and from a humanity perfect in its own right there is one Christ, and the selfsame is at once God and man. As I said earlier, the Word appropriated the affairs of his own flesh because it is his body, no one else's. And He communicates, as to his own flesh, the operation of his own divine powers. This was how He was able to give life to the dead, and to heal the sick.2

    And so, even though He said through the holy prophets; “I gave My back to the scourge, My cheeks to their blows. I did not turn away My face from the shame of their spitting”  (Is.50.6); and again: “They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones” (Ps.21.17-18); and again: “They gave Me hyssop for food, and in My thirst they offered Me vinegar” (Ps.68.22); even so we attribute all these things to the Only Begotten himself. For He suffered them economically in the flesh for our sake and in accordance with the scriptures: “For by his wounds we have been healed, and He himself was wounded because of our sins” (Is.53.5). We recognise, however, that He was impassible by nature, yet if, as I have just said, the same one was at once God and man, then the sufferings certainly belonged to his humanity, while it was the proper characteristic of God to be understood to be impassible.
    If we think like this, we will preserve piety, and shall come, by means of these orthodox thoughts and opinions, to arrive at “the prize of our heavenly calling” (Phil.3.14) in Christ: through Whom and with Whom, to God the Father be glory, with the Holy Spirit, through the ages of ages. Amen.3

1. Saint Cyril of Alexandria: Scholia on the Incarnation, in:  John McGuckin: Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy p. 298. Available from:
amazon.com  an excellent deal at $22.95 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping,   ***** reviews.

2. Ibid, p 300,301.

3. Ibid, p 335.
There is an older translation of St. Cyril's work on the Incarnation available online

And the second one:
Quote
CAN GOD SUFFER II

We say that He both suffered, and rose again, not meaning that the Word of God suffered in His own nature .... but in so far as that which had become His own body suffered, then He Himself is said to suffer these things, for our sake, because the Impassible One was in the suffering body.1

(God) ever remains what He is and does not change or undergo alteration. Moreover all of us confess that the divine Word is impassible, even if in His all-wise economy of the mystery he is seen to attribute to Himself the sufferings that befall His own flesh (I Pet. 4.1.). He bears the suffering of His own flesh in an economic appropriation to Himself, as I have said, so that we may believe Him to be the Saviour of all.2

In these statements Saint Cyril explains to us that although God the Word is impassible (not susceptible to suffering), yet according to the economy (God’s plan for saving us), it can be said that God the Word Incarnate suffered, because he economically appropriated unto Himself the sufferings of the flesh. In the same way, we can say that God died for us (in the flesh) even though as God, He is Life.

The Word became flesh in the senses already exposed by us so often before. He has laid down His life for us, for since His death was to be the salvation of the world He “endured the cross, scorning the shame” (Heb.12.2)  even though, as God, He was Life by nature. How can Life be said to die? It is because Life suffered death in its very own body that it might be revealed as Life when it brought the body back to life again.
    Come now, and let us carefully examine the manner of our own deaths. Is it not the case that men of good sense say that souls are not destroyed at the same time as are bodies that come from the earth? In my opinion this is something no one questions. However, what befalls us is still called the “death of a man”. This is how you should understand in the case of Emmanuel. For He was the Word in His own body born from a woman, and he gave it to death in due season, but He suffered nothing at all in His own nature for as such He is Life and Life-giver. Nonetheless he made the things of the flesh His own so that the suffering could be said to be His. The same is true in the rising up on behalf of all, having died for the sake of all to redeem all that is under heaven with His own blood, and to acquire for God the Father all that is on the face of the earth. ... For if He had not suffered for us as man He would not have achieved our salvation as God.3

The Word of God the Father is impassible and immortal. for the divine and ineffable nature is above all suffering, and this it is which gives life to all things and is greater than corruption or anything else that can normally cause us grief. Yet even though the Word of God the Father is so by his own being, He made His own the flesh which is capable of death so that by means of this which is accustomed to suffer He could assume sufferings for us and because of us, and so liberate us all from death and corruption by making His own body alive, as God, and by becoming the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep, and the first born from the dead (1 Cor. 15.20)4

In this sense Saint Cyril is following faithfully in the footsteps of his great master Saint Athanasius:

Whence it was that, when the flesh suffered, the Word was not external to it; and therefore is the passion said to be His.5

Let no one then stumble at what belongs to man, but rather let a man know that in nature the Word Himself is impassible, and yet because of that flesh which He put on, these things are ascribed to Him, since they are proper to the flesh, and the body itself is proper to the Saviour. And while He Himself, being impassible in nature, remains as He is, not harmed by these affections, but rather obliterating and destroying them, men, their passions as if changed and abolished in the Impassible.6

For in the incorporeal, the properties of body had not been, unless He had taken a body corruptible and mortal; for mortal was Holy Mary, from whom was His body. Wherefore of necessity when He was in a body suffering, and weeping, and toiling, these things which are proper to the flesh, are ascribed to Him together with the body.7

Whence, as I said before, the Word, since it was not possible for Him to die, as He was immortal, took to Himself a body such as could die, that He might offer it as His own in the stead of all, and as suffering, through His union  with it, on behalf of all, "Bring  to nought him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb 2.14)8

But, to both Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril, it was not only that the Word appropriated to Himself the things of the flesh, but He also did His divine works through the body. This is called "The Communication Of Properties".

Being God, He had His own body, and using this as an instrument, He became man for our sakes. And on account of this, the properties of the flesh are said to be His, since He was in it, such as to hunger, to thirst, to suffer, to weary, and the like, of which the flesh is capable; while on the other hand the works proper to the Word Himself, such as to raise the dead, to restore sight to the blind, and to cure the woman with an issue of blood, He did through His own body. And the Word bore the infirmities of the flesh, as His own, for His was the flesh; and the flesh ministered to the works of the Godhead, because the Godhead was in it, for the body was God's.9

Whence it was that, when the flesh suffered, the Word was not external to it; and therefore is the passion said to be His: and when He did divinely His Father's works, the flesh was not external to Him, but in the body itself did the Lord do them. Hence, when made man, He said, “If I do not the works of the Father, believe Me not; but if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works, that ye may know that the Father is in Me and I in Him.” (John 10.37, 38) And thus when there was need to raise Peter's wife's mother, who was sick of a fever, He stretched forth His hand humanly, but He stopped the illness divinely. And in the case of the man blind from the birth, human was the spittle which He gave forth from the flesh, but divinely did He open the eyes through the clay. And in the case of Lazarus, He gave forth a human voice as man; but divinely, as God, did He raise Lazarus from the dead. These things were so done, were so manifested, because He had a body, not in appearance, but in truth; and it became the Lord, in putting on human flesh, to put it on whole with the affections proper to it; that, as we say that the body was His own, so also we may say that the affections of the body were proper to Him alone, though they did not touch Him according to His Godhead. If then the body had been another's, to him too had been the affections attributed; but if the flesh is the  Word's (for “the Word became flesh”), of necessity then the affections also of the flesh are ascribed to Him, whose the flesh is. And to whom the affections are ascribed, such namely as to be condemned, to be scourged, to thirst, and the cross, and death, and the other infirmities of the body, of Him too is the triumph and the grace. For this cause then, consistently and fittingly such affections are ascribed not to another, but to the Lord; that the grace also may be from Him, and that we may become, not worshippers of any other, but truly devout towards God, because we invoke no originate thing, no ordinary man, but the natural and true Son from God, who has become man, yet is not the less Lord and God and Saviour.10 

More than a century earlier, Saint Hippolytus, bishop of Rome, wrote almost the same:

But the pious confession of the believer is that, with a view to our salvation, and in order to connect the universe with unchangeableness, the Creator of all things incorporated with Himself a rational soul and a sensible body from the all-holy Mary, ever-virgin, by an undefiled conception, without conversion, and was made man in nature, but separate from wickedness: the same was perfect God, and the same was perfect man; the same was in nature at once perfect God and man. In His deity He wrought divine things through His all-holy flesh,-such things, namely, as did not pertain to the flesh by nature; and in His humanity He suffered human things,-such things, namely, as did not pertain to deity by nature, by the upbearing of the deity. He wrought nothing divine without the body; nor did the same do anything human without the participation of deity.11
1. Saint Cyril Of Alexandria: Second Letter To Nestorius in:  John McGuckin: Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy p 203
2. Saint Cyril Of Alexandria: Letter to John of Antioch in John McGuckin: Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy p 203
3. Saint Cyril Of Alexandria: Letter to the Monks of Egypt in: John McGuckin: Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy pp 259, 260
4. Saint Cyril Of Alexandria: Explanation of the Twelve Anathemas in John McGuckin: Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy p 292
5. Saint Athanasius, Four Discourses Against The Arians, Discourse III, 32,  Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Volume IV
6. Saint Athanasius, Four Discourses Against The Arians, Discourse III, 34, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Volume IV
7. Saint Athanasius, Four Discourses Against The Arians, Discourse III 56, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Volume IV
8. Saint Athanasius, On The Incarnation  Of The Word of God 20.6, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Volume IV
9. Saint Athanasius, Four Discourses Against The Arians, Discourse III 31, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Volume IV
10. Saint Athanasius, Four Discourses Against The Arians, Discourse III 34, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Volume IV, read online
11. Saint Hippolytus, Extant works and fragments, Part II. E. Fragment VIII, Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume V, read online

Sorry it's so long... I don't actually know anything about this though lol (this is in my "stuff to read" pile), so if you have any questions, I would recommend emailing Fr. Athanasius.
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« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2008, 07:58:08 PM »

^^So you posting something without even knowing what you posted?  Tongue
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« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2008, 12:20:25 AM »

^^So you posting something without even knowing what you posted?  Tongue

I skimmed it, and I think it's relevant to the conversation. But don't tell on me! I'll get on reading those emails... eventually hahaha.

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« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2008, 12:25:29 AM »

That's okay, I think you did good anyway Wink
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« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2008, 12:27:41 AM »

Faith,

I always appreciate your contributions here.  You have much to say.  Please post more often.   Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2008, 06:59:44 PM »

I want to try and re-express what I had meant, because I can see that I made a mistake. The whole issue about the Trisagion was with who it was referring to. We Eastern Orthodox could accept the addition of the words "who was crucified for us" assuming that the hymn was in reference to Christ, and not the Holy Trinity. However from the Eastern Orthodox point of view the Trisagion is referring to the Holy Trinity and not Christ. However I think that the Trisagion really just emphasizes a divergence between the Orthodox and non-Chalcedonian understanding of Theopaschitism.

- Holden
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« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2008, 09:31:13 PM »

Holden, you bore me.
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« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2008, 10:18:26 PM »

I want to try and re-express what I had meant, because I can see that I made a mistake. The whole issue about the Trisagion was with who it was referring to. We Eastern Orthodox could accept the addition of the words "who was crucified for us" assuming that the hymn was in reference to Christ, and not the Holy Trinity. However from the Eastern Orthodox point of view the Trisagion is referring to the Holy Trinity and not Christ. However I think that the Trisagion really just emphasizes a divergence between the Orthodox and non-Chalcedonian understanding of Theopaschitism.

- Holden

No, it express the difference that the EO interpret the Trisagion as Trinitarian and so don't insert the verses, and the OO interpret it as Christological and insert them.
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« Reply #44 on: December 14, 2008, 10:32:54 PM »

No, it express the difference that the EO interpret the Trisagion as Trinitarian and so don't insert the verses, and the OO interpret it as Christological and insert them.
That's pretty much just what I said.
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