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The value of explaining the statements "God died," "God can't die," and "God didn't die."

rakovsky

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I like the forum staying active and find the discussions interesting, so I want to pick up on one of the recent discussions. On another thread "Responding to CARM's claims of Church Fathers who denied the Local Presence," (http://forums.orthodoxchristianity....rs-who-denied-the-local-presence.67930/page-2) we got into a tangent about whether the statement "God died" can be confusing.

Nicholas Myra, who has alot of familiarity with these topics and issues, wrote:
Setting the nature talk aside, God became a real human being and died. Orthodox hold to the Theopaschite formula which says that God suffered and died as a real human being. Anything that hints at frustrating this is unacceptable. For us, saying that God didn't die but only the human died either implies that Christ didn't really become human, or it is simply stupid (like saying "When that rock crushed my hand, I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt.")
To me, saying that "Anything that hints at frustrating this is unacceptable" is overstating the case, because making statements in the order of "When that rock crushed his hand, he didn't get hurt, only his hand got hurt. Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside" are not "simply stupid." This is because they mean that the event did not occur in a certain sense, eg. the person was not hurt in a spiritual or emotional sense. To give an analogy, the NT says things like, "Behold, I give you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you." (Luke 10:19). It is worth considering whether Christ meant that statement in a certain sense or way, since He also predicted that the apostles would be persecuted and the NT narrates that happening. Perhaps referencing the prediction in Luke 10, Acts 28 tells a story where a viper latched onto Paul's arm but he suffered no "ill effects." The sense must be that Paul did not get poisoned, but it's not clear that it means that there was literally no physical pain to his arm at all.

Referring to the statement that I underlined above, I replied:
Perhaps you are overstating the case. There was a controversy over Theopaschitism. Some version of it was not fully accepted either, or at least considered controversial. We don't typically say "God died", but rather "God died in the flesh".

You really can say: "I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt". It's like saying "Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside". The person is composed of spirit and body, which Cyril analogized to two natures. Your spirit could stay strong and unhurt even if your body is hurt.

Since God died in the flesh but not the Godhead, I think it can be confusing to make statements like "God died" or "...didn't die."
Nicholas of Myra replied:
We don't typically say "God died", but rather "God died in the flesh".
God died.
rakovsky said: You really can say: "I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt". It's like saying "Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside".
Jesus wept.
rakovsky said: The person is composed of spirit and body, which Cyril analogized to two natures. Your spirit could stay strong and unhurt even if your body is hurt.
IIRC Cyril said soul and body, not spirit and body. In any case, were you to distinguish between the state of your spirit and the state of your flesh, as Christ does, this is not the same as treating a part or aspect of you as undergoing something which
cannot be ultimately predicated of you as a subject.
rakovsky said: Since God died in the flesh but not the Godhead, I think it can be confusing to make statements like "God died"
Yes and it is a good confusion that strikes the open-eared and makes them want to hear more of this strange and shocking thing. Saying that God didn't die does nothing good but maintains the veil. As for "godhead" that is a truly vague word used in many ways.
The discussion on the statement "God died" was long and the last poster was Xariskai, who replied a few weeks ago with some relevant Orthodox quotes. To keep the conversation on track in that thread, I am opening this one and responding here.

  • rakovsky said: I find no profit in debating on this topic... I expect other Orthodox themselves could make various clarifications about these things.
E.g.
"Of course, the Church never had the slightest doubt that God had died...
"We would even accept that the churches, the temples, are “the tombs and graves of God.” Nevertheless … we recognize, experience and worship this God who has died...

"The death of God
overturned the powers of Hades; death itself was reduced to nothing more than a mere incident introducing humanity from death to Life. The Churches, those “tombs of God,” are the wide-open gates of divine love, the opened entrance to the Bridal chamber of God’s Son, who “came out of the tomb as from a Bridegroom,” while we faithful enter therein and “celebrate the death of death, the annihilation of Hades, the beginning of a new, eternal way of life; and, thus rejoicing, we offer hymns to the cause, namely the only blessed and glorious God of our fathers..."

"It is fortunate, then, that God died because His death became the source of our life and resurrection. It is fortunate that there are so many of His “tombs” throughout the world, so many sacred temples, where each of can freely enter when we are in pain, tired, and in need of consolation in order lay before God the burden of our suffering, agony, fear and insecurity – namely, in order to become rid of our death..."

-Partriarch Bartholomew

Cf. previous post
[/QUOTE]
It makes sense to me to say "God died" in the sense that he experienced death, since Christ who is God, being one of the three persons of the Trinity, experienced human death, as he was mortal, since he has always been a man. So I am not saying that the statement that "God died" is wrong. Rather, I find it better to explain what you mean, like you have, and to be more specific than to just say "God died" or "God did not die," for several reasons:

Reason #1) God is a Trinity and all three persons of the Trinity did not die,

Reason #2) Statements that "God did not die" and "The Lord did not die" are simplistic ways in common speech of expressing Christ-God's retention of his immortality. "God is immortal" is a correct statement, and "immortal" means "undying" or "cannot die." It reasons that Christ, due to His full divinity, retained the property of immortality despite His death. "Christ was raised by God" is a true statement, but it's also a correct statement that "Chrstos Voskres" - "Christ is risen," ie. that Christ rose by Himself, which is why Peter says in the NT that this fact shows that He is God. It is due to His undying nature that He rose.

Thus for example:
  • St. John Chrysostom, in his commentary on Acts 9 (Discussion 21), writes:
    “For every time,” says (the apostle), “when you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:26). Let us not approach lightly and think that it is done just so, without a purpose. And together we will commemorate the martyrs, and, moreover, with faith that the Lord did not die; but that He was dead, that this is a sign of the mortification of death.

    «Ибо всякий раз», говорит (апостол), «когда вы едите хлеб сей и пьете чашу сию, смерть Господню возвещаете» (1 Кор. 11:26). Не будем же приступать легкомысленно и думать, будто это совершается так, без цели. А вместе будем поминать и мучеников, и, притом, с верою, что Господь не умер; а что Он был мертвым, то это — знак умерщвления смерти. (https://predanie.ru/book/68217-tolkovanie-na-knigu-deyaniy/)
  • Whereas Nietsche wrote that "God is dead," and the modern movie "God Is Not Dead" is translated into Russian as "God did not die," "Бог не умер."
  • The Orthodox "Romanovsky Vestnik," (issue 29, p. 21) has a conversation where an altar boy explains: "Evil people, which got used to their word being taken as law didn't want to accept Him and killed Him, crucifying Him, you see, on a Cross... But the Lord did not die. He rose on the third day, being victorious over death in this way." (https://issuu.com/deivid40/docs/29)
  • Bp. Evgeniy, in his all-night vigil homily, commenting on why Mary Magdalene thought that a Gardener took Jesus' body, said, "It couldn't come into her mind that it could be otherwise- that the grave was empty not because someone stole the Risen Christ, but because the Lord did not did. More exactly, Christ died, but He resurrected.
 
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rakovsky

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Reason #3) Other Orthodox make qualifications that in a sense Christ did not "die", the reasoning seemingly being that he continued his existence uninterrupted.

Hiermonk Nikodim, a professor of Theology and Church of the Protection Cathedral under the Moscow Spiritual Academy explains:
There is, remember, a chant on Good Friday: "In the Flesh falling asleep..." The Lord did not die on the Cross, He fell asleep; as Adam fell asleep, so Christ fell asleep. The Lord voluntarily went to the Cross, to voluntary suffering.

Есть, помните, песнопение в Великую Пятницу: «Плотию уснув…» Господь не умер на Кресте, Он уснул; как Адам уснул, так и Христос уснул. Господь добровольно пошел на Крест, на добровольные страдания.
The Cathedral-Chapel of Archangel Michael website says similarly that Christ didn't die, but reposed, and that the same is true for people whose souls continue to exist:
On Holy Saturday, the Church changes its vestments for white ones because there is no mourning in the Church. The Lord did not die, but reposed. And a person, when his soul is separated from his body, does not die, but temporarily passes into another state of his existence: the soul, once receiving its beginning, is already indestructible.

В Великую Субботу Церковь меняет облачения на белые, потому что в Церкви траура нет. Господь не умер, а почил. И человек, когда его душа разделяется с телом, не умирает, а временно переходит в другое состояние своего бытия: душа, однажды получив свое начало, уже неуничтожима.

http://hram-arhangela-mihaila.ru/in...povedi-triodi-strastnoj/37-v-velikuyu-subbotu
Reason #4) "Theopassionism" (The teaching of "God suffering") is a term referring to two different heresies:
patripassianism
(From Lat. pater, "father," and passus, "having suffered") A 3d-century view that the Son (Jesus Christ) is a form of the Father and that therefore the Father actively suffered on the cross in the death of Jesus. It was considered heretical by the church as a form of modalism. Also called "theopassianism."

Theopaschites
(From Gr. theopaschites* "God suffering") A 6th-century A.D. Monophysite group which believed that the divine nature of Jesus Christ suffered on the cross."
What you mean when you say that "God died" is that God the Son experienced death as he was mortal due to his humanity, whereas these two versions of Theopassionism mean two other things: that God the Father died, or that Christ died in his divine nature. But even though you mean something orthodox, the same kind of terms: God dying or God suffering is still being used. That's why I find it helpful to be more specific.

John Henry Blunt's Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical Parties, and Schools of Religious Thought
THEOPASCHITES. A sect of the Monophysites who maintained that Christ having only one Nature which suffered [Theos, paskhein] at the Crucifixion. This opinion is mentioned by Philaster [Haer. xcii] and Augustine [Haer. LXXIII], but was first maintained in its extreme form by Peter Fullo, the Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch, who is alleged to have altered the Trisagion to the form "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Thou Who for our sakes wast crucified, have mercy upon us." The formula was accepted however by many of the orthodox as merely stating that one of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity suffered for us men and for our salvation. The Emperor Justinian issued an edict directing its use, and its rejection was condemned by the tenth anathema of the fifth General Council [AD 553], the second Council of Constantinople [Mansi, Concil. viii 765, ix. 384] But Theopaschism itself was condemned in a council held at Rome AD 862, which decreed that the Godhead of Christ could not suffer, and that He "passionem crucis tantummodo secundum carnem sustinuisse" [Mansi, Concil. xv. 658]. There is an orthodox modificiation of the opinion, to the effect that the Divine Nature of Christ and His Human Nature each partake of the operation of the other, and hence that in a certain sense the sufferings of Christ's Body and Soul were communicated to His Divinity. [ Dict. of Theol. Thendric Operation.]
One might respond that although the 5th Ecumenical Council banned the words "Thou Who for our sakes was crucified" after "Holy God" in the Trisagion version used by Peter the Fuller, the term "God who was crucified for us" does not necessarily mean that God suffered in his divine nature, but only that Christ, who is a Person of the Trinity, was crucified. However, in that case, the 5th Council must have banned the extra words in that version of the Trisagion because it took those words to have Divinity-Suffering as at least a possible meaning, as well as being the meaning intended by Peter the Fuller according to the context.

Fr. Viktor writes in his article defending Fr. Sysoev from the charge of Theopaschism:
The heresy of Theopaschism lies in the assertion that the Divinity (Divine nature) suffered. Because of the "communication of properties" we can say that God suffered on the Cross, but we do not say that God suffered with His Divinity, because the Divinity is dispassionate, but suffered with His humanity, which became His own. The subject of the sufferings was the God-man, whose "I" is the "I" of the Son of God, born from the Father before all ages.

ORIGINAL TRANSLATION
Ересь теопасхизма на самом деле заключается в утверждении о том, что страдало Божество (Божественная природа). По причине "общения свойств" мы можем говорить, что на Кресте страдал Бог, но мы не говорим, что Бог страдал Божеством, т.к. Божество бесстрастно, но страдал человечеством, которое стало Его собственным. Субъектом страданий был Богочеловек, "Я" Которого - "Я" Сына Божия, рожденного от Отца прежде всех век.
On the other hand, to say that "God did not die" is also potentially problematic. This is because for example Nestorius made the formula that
the incarnate God did not die; he raised up the one in whom he was incarnate. ... God saw the ruined nature, and the power of the Godhead took hold of it in its shattered state. God held on to it while himself remaining what he had been, and lifted it up high. ... Paul recounts all at once everything which happened, and the [divine] being has become incarnate and that the immutability of the incarnate deity is always maintained after the union. (Nestorius, Sermon against the Theotokos)
The kinds of statements like the first one above by Nestorius led his critics to think that he was teaching that Jesus and the Logos were two different persons in every sense, as opposed to being actually being one person who acted in two different ways (a divine way and a human way). And that is a problem with simply saying "God did not die." So I find it more helpful to be specific or explanatory when making statements on the topic of Christ's death in relation to his divinity.

To address the issue of formulas on the topic, the theologian Bishop Vigilius of Thapsus, wrote on the topic sometime before 484 AD in his work Against Nestorius and Eutyches (Adversus Nestorium et Eutychem Libri quinque pro defesione Synodi Chalcedonensis). Dana Viezure, in her dissertation "Verbum Crucis, Virtus Dei: A Study of Theopaschism from the Council of Chalcedon (451) to the Age of Justinian", writes that "Vigilius affirmed that the Miaphysites - their stubbornness in rejecting the words 'two natures' left aside - were essentially orthodox." Further, she wrote that "To Vigilius, Theopaschite [God-suffering] language is non-problematic as long as one accepts that it is used due to unio personae, not to proprietas naturae. Thus, saying that 'God died' and saying 'God did not die' are equally right", since God died in his humanity, but not in his Godhead. She quotes Virgilius to this effect:
Let Nestorius not be frightened when we say that God suffered and died, since we say it on account of the union of person. Also, let Eutyches not be afraid when we say that God did not suffer and did not die, because he is impassible, since we say it on account of the property of nature, and, what is more, it is not we who say it, but the Scriptures. (Against Eutyches, II, VIII, col. 0109A )
...
Indeed, the godhead took upon itself the insults, but the suffering only its flesh experienced. Therefore, to take up suffering belongs to each of the two natures; but to yield to suffering is not characteristic of each of the two natures, even though it belongs to one and the same person. ( Contra Eutychen II, IX)
...
Just as we say that a man heard a voice, but only with his ears; and saw light, but only with his eyes: so also we say that God suffered, but only in the flesh; and God did not suffer, but only in the divinity. And because Christ is one and he is God, he suffered on account of being man, and remained impassible on account of being God. Let me bring this brief discussion to an end: God suffered through the unity of person, he did not suffer through the property of nature. (Contra Eutychen II, IX.)
---------------------------------

In conclusion, the statement "God died" makes more sense when it's made to be more specific or explained in more detail. There are a lot of Christian apologists online dealing with this issue, like responding to Islamic polemicists who try to argue that Christ could not have died because "God is immortal" and "immortal" means "can't die."
 

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  • Bp. Evgeniy, in his all-night vigil homily, commenting on why Mary Magdalene thought that a Gardener took Jesus' body, said, "It couldn't come into her mind that it could be otherwise- that the grave was empty not because someone stole the Risen Christ, but because the Lord did not did. More exactly, Christ died, but He resurrected.
Correction:
Bp. Evgeniy, in his all-night vigil homily, commenting on why Mary Magdalene thought that a Gardener took Jesus' body, said,
  • It couldn't come into her mind that it could be otherwise- that the grave was empty not because someone stole the Risen Christ, but because the Lord did not die. More exactly, Christ died, but He is resurrected. He is already not dead. She converses with Him, and She does not recognize Him.
Original Translation:
  • Ей на ум не может прийти, что может быть по-другому. Что гроб пуст не потому что кто-то украл Воскресшего Христа, а потому что Господь не умер. Точнее, Христос умер, но Он — Воскрес. Он уже не мертвый. Он с Ней разговаривает, а Она Его не узнает.

SOURCE: https://tagileparhiya.ru/episkop-ev...-ravnoapostolnoj-marii-magdaliny-v-sele-laja/
 

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"We don't typically say 'God died', but rather 'God died in the flesh'" -rakovsky
"God died" -Nicholas Myra
"Of course, the Church never had the slightest doubt that God had died..." -Patriarch Bartholomew

"We worship your passion..." -Orthros for Holy Thursday



Your interest in dialogue with Islam is one I share; in reply to the obvious objections, however, we, I suspect, have very tactics. Given the choice I seldom am shy about the "radical side" which is likely to demand explanation and facilitate more questions and conversation (albeit not beyond what I regard as traditional elements which have such a quality) and less likely to gravitate to intellectual comfort zones or mushy middles -this is to some extent a matter of style and is topic dependent -actual mileage may vary.

Inclining to the need to explain something to Muslims (or others) as a criterion for our wording is not a bad thing per se, but there is a time and place for such as "criteriological,". Sometimes this is what we don't want, I believe.

It is currently Thursday evening of Holy Week. Tonight in Orthros we sang the words:

"We worship your passion...."

A Muslim would likely be confused by this.
If an inquirer is confused by something which leads us to the right questions.
A mocker or executioner is a different sort of animal. Again mileage may sometimes vary.

Out of curiosity, how would you personally view that remark? ("We worship your passion") Is the worship of Christ's passion something you can justify affirming? If so would you mind saying how (just to get more of an understanding of your personal standpoint).

Holy Thursday would not, I think, be what it is without our beautiful but startling hymnography such as:

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on a tree.
The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped in the face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the cross with nails.
The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a spear.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious resurrection.

He who clothes Himself with light as with a garment stood naked for trial.
He was struck on the cheek by hands that He himself had formed.
A people that transgressed the Law
Nailed the Lord of Glory to the cross.
Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Then the sun was darkened,
Unable to bear the sight of God outraged,
Before Whom all things tremble.
Let us worship Him.
The disciples denied Him,
But the thief cried out:
“Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!”


Not "the human nature of the Lord of glory" but the Lord of glory is nailed to a cross (cf. 1 Cor 2:8).
Natures do not die; persons do.

How much more boring it would be if we were shy about speaking what might provoke someone's incredulity or confusion. Likely there would be no Gospel at all at that rate, I think.
I'll stop very short here for now and await your reply on the short phrase from Orthros above.

Thanks for the invite to discuss further. Will try to write more later and touch on specific points raised; Apologies for the delay and present brevity -has been a busy Holy Week and I'm pretty exhausted for writing actually...,
 

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This mystery can be explained, but if it was, it wouldn't be a mystery.
 

xariskai

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"Nicodemus, Joseph and the bodiless hosts come together now to bear Thee, the Infinite, in their arms into a narrow grave of stone..." -LAMENTATIONS OF HOLY FRIDAY, First Stasis
"How is it that the Bestower of life is dead? How is it that God is closed up in a tomb?" -ibid
"The life-giving Seed of two natures on this day is planted in the furrows of the earth, watered by our tears; but tomorrow It shall blossom forth with life." -LAMENTATIONS OF HOLY FRIDAY, Second Stasis
"Adam, who did fall and is now raised, was terrified greatly when God did walk in the Garden of Paradise, but rejoiced when he came down to those in hell." -ibid
"...Thou wast laid in a grave of stone, O Ineffable and Everlasting God." -ibid
"Hades that dread foe,shook with terror when he looked upon Thee, O Daystar of Glory, only Immortal Lord; and he yielded up his captives then in haste." -ibid
"By Thy death, O Lord God, death itself hast Thou slain by Thy divine dominion... "
-LAMENTATIONS OF HOLY FRIDAY; Third Stasis
"Thou Who led’st Thy people with a cloud-like pillar art now led to a scaffold." -ibid


On this eve of Holy Friday our ancient and beautiful hymns of lamentation add much food for thought as rich as anything in our tradition germane to the topic at hand, I believe. Below are a few key excerpts.I will return God willing, next week to discuss the OP and some of these excerpts as they may relate to it in more detail, preferably after a bit of rest and with a belly full of bacon ;) (as my Orthodox brothers and sisters will understand). Meanwhile glory to Jesus Christ, who is crucified for our salvation!

_______________________
Excerpts from LAMENTATIONS OF HOLY FRIDAY, First Stasis:

In a grave they laid Thee O my Life and my Christ; and the armies of the angels were sore amazed, as they sang the praise of Thy submissive love. How, O Life, canst Thou die? Or abide in a grave?...

Thou Who didst establish the earth’s bounds dost now dwell in a small grave...

O my dear Christ Jesus, King and Ruler of all, why to them that dwell in Hades didst Thou descend?...

Lo, the Sov’reign Ruler of creation is dead and is buried in a tomb never used before
, He that emptied all the graves of all their dead.
In a grave they laid Thee, O my Life and my Christ. Yet, behold now by Thy death, death is stricken down, and Thou pourest forth life’s streams for all the world...

How could Hades, O Savior, bear Thy Presence divine and not rather be demolished in utter gloom, blinded by the splendor of Thy dazzling light? O my sweet Lord Jesus, my salvation, my Light, how art thou now hid within a dark sepulchre?

Lo, Thy burial surpasses human speech.

Angel-kind, O Master, and the bodiless hosts cannot understand the mystery, O my Christ, of thy burial ineffable and strange.


Lo, how strange these wonders, deeds amazing and new; for
the Giver of my life is born lifeless forth by the hands of weeping Joseph to his rest...

Unto all creation wast Thou made known, O Christ,
as the true King of the firmament and the earth, even though Thou was enclosed in a small grave...

He that holdeth all things in the grasp of His hand, in the flesh is now held dead in the depths of earth, thereby freeing all the dead from Hades’ grasp...

Nicodemus, Joseph and the bodiless hosts come together now to bear Thee, the Infinite, in their arms into a narrow grave of stone.


...All-devouring Hades, on receiving within as a mortal him that is the firm Rock of Life, did spew forth the dead swallowed from ancient times.

...All the earth was troubled and did tremble with fear, and the morning star, O Word, hit its brilliant rays, when they hid Thee in the earth, O Most Great Light.

...As a mortal, Savior, Thou didst willingly die
; but all mortal men that slept didst Thou raise, O God, from their tombs and from the mighty depths of sin.

...As the moon doth cover the whole disc of the sun, likewise, Savior, art Thou now hidden by the grave...

...He that governeth creation accepteth now pains of suffering, and dieth for our sakes.

...How is it that the Bestower of life is dead?
How is it that God is closed up in a tomb?


...Thou, O sweetest Jesus, Thou wast seen as one dead, yet alive, as God, Thou didst bring again from the earth unto Heaven all of them that fell therefrom. Though we see Thee as dead, yet Thou livest as God, and dost give new life to mortal men who had died; hence, my deadness hast Thou thereby put to death.

...Thou shonest forth Thy light in those dark depths.

...For our sakes, One Person of the Trinity came and endured a painful death in the flesh for all; hence, the sun doth tremble and the earth doth quake.

...Down to dreaded Hades Thou descendest, O Word, in obedience to Thy Father’s will, O Lord, and didst raise up all the race of mortal men.

...Word and God eternal, O my Joy and Delight, how shall I endure Thy three-day entombment, Lord?

...In the grave didst Thou will to be seen as one dead; but Thou livest and shalt raise up all mortal men by Thy Resurrection, as Thou hast foretold.

...God of all things art Thou, with Thy Father and Thy Spirit Most Holy praised; and we glorify Thy burial divine.

...we honor the burial suffered three days by thy Son Who is our God.

In a grave they laid Thee
O my Life and my Christ;
and the armies of the angels were sore amazed,
as they sang the praise of Thy submissive love.

_____________
Excerpts from LAMENTATIONS OF HOLY FRIDAY, Second Stasis:

...the sun concealed his face with darkness, for the light unwaning that hath shone forth from Thee, with Thy Body sank to darkness and the grave.

Thou hast slept, O Christ, in the grave the sleep that is lifegiving...

All the seraphim shuddered when thy saw Thee, O my Savior, Who above art with the Father insep’rable, though Thou liest dead within the earth below.

Lo, the temple’s veil was once rent at Thy dread crucifixion and the stars above in heaven did hide their light, seeing Thee, the Sun, now hidden in the earth.

By a word alone, Thou didst form the earth
in the beginning; yet now as a dead man, Thou art hid in the earth...

Thou, Who with Thy hand didst create man, hast sunk in earth’s bosom
..

...God’s Wisdom, who poured streams of life upon all mortal nature, pierceth to the very vitals of Hades’ realms, thereby quickening all those held in the grave.

...The life-giving Seed of two natures on this day is planted in the furrows of the earth, watered by our tears; but tomorrow It shall blossom forth with life.

...Adam, who did fall and is now raised, was terrified greatly when God did walk in the Garden of Paradise, but rejoiced when he came down to those in hell.

She that gave Thee birth poured libations of tears for Thee, Christ God, when Thou, in the flesh, wast laid in a tomb of stone; and she cried: Arise, O Christ, as Thou didst say.


...I see Thee slain unjustly, O Word of God.

...Sun of Righteousness, Thou dost set beneath the earth, O Savior. Hence, the Moon that gave Thee birth was eclipsed by grief; for she suffered the bereavement of Thy light.


...Thou, Logos, on arising after Thy death, shalt as from a bridal-chamber brightly shine.

...Lo, when Thou didst set,
the sin’s light set with Thee, O Light-maker; all creation was then seized in the bonds of fear, and proclaimed Thee as the Maker of all things.

...a mortal man doth hide God within a grave, as if God were mortal: Shake with fear, O earth!

...In the flesh didst Thou set beneath the earth, Thou, the Unwaning Morning Star,

...Seeing Thee, O Christ, the Unwaning and Unseen Light, lying hidden in a grave, without breath or comliness, the sun hid his face behind a veil of gloom.

...Word of God, Thy spotless Mother mourned Thee, when she saw that Thou wast laid in a grave of stone, O Ineffable and Everlasting God.

...Tarry not among the dead, O Life of all.

...Hades that dread foe,shook with terror when he looked upon Thee, O Daystar of Glory, only Immortal Lord;
and he yielded up his captives then in haste.

...Thou Who art the Cause of life, dost submit to death, wishing to grant life to all mankind, O God.

...O Eternal God, Word co-unoriginate and Spirit: Stablish Thou the faith and strength of the Orthodox against heresy and error, O Good One.

______________
Excerpts from LAMENTATIONS OF HOLY FRIDAY, Third Stasis

Ev’ry generation chanteth hymns of praise at Thy burial, O Christ God.

...O thrice-blessed Joseph, bury now the Body of Christ the Life-bestower.


...When the most pure Virgin saw Thee prone, O Logos, a mother’s dirge she sang Thee.

...Women to anoint Him with their myrrh, are come now to Christ, Who is Divine Myrrh.

...By Thy death, O Lord God, death itself hast Thou slain by Thy divine dominion.

...Joseph and the blessed disciple Nicodemus tend the life-giving body.


...Light more dear than seeing, O my most sweet Child, how doth a tomb now hide Thee?

...O sight most strange and awesome! How doth earth conceal Thee, O Word of God and Savior?

...Minds must tremble seeing, O Maker of creation, Thy strange and dire entombment.

...Ev’ry generation chanteth hymns of praise at Thy burial, O Christ God.
 

xariskai

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Although the service for Great and Holy Pascha, from which I have just returned emphasizes the resurrection there are further excerpts germane to our topic:

"Thou wast killed O Word, but wast not separated from the body which Thou dist share with us; for even though Thy temple was dissolved at the time of the Passion, the Person of thy Divinity and Humanity is one only; and in both thou art still a single Son, the Word of God, God and man." -6th Ode

"The tomb is happy, having become divine when it received within it the Treasure of life, the Creator..." -7th Ode

"The Godhead of Christ was one without separation in hades, in the tomb, in Eden, and with the Father and the Spirit, for our salvation..." -7th Ode

"...for behold, He who dwelleth in the highest hath been accounted among the dead and hath been a Guest in humble tomb..." 8th Ode

"And the gate-keepers of hades trembled at beholding me clothed with a robe spattered with revenge; for I being God, have vanquished mine enemies with the Cross, and I will rise again and magnify thee." -9th Ode

"When Thou didst submit thyself unto death, O thou deathless and immortal one, then thou didst destroy hell, with the Godly power. And when Thou didst raise the dead from beneath the earth, all the powers of heaven did cry aloud unto the, 'O Christ Thou Giver of Life, glory to Thee!'" -The Resurrection Apolytikion.

"Though Thou, O deathless one, didst descend into the grave, thou didst destroy the power of hell and, as Victor, didst rise again, O Christ our God..."

"In the grave with the body but in hades with the soul as God; in paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit was thou, O Christ, filling all things, thyself uncircumscribed. As life bearing, as more splendid than paradise, and more radiant than any royal chamber, O Christ, is shown forth thy tomb, the fountain of our resurrection."


"He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed 'Hades was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions' ...It took a body, and face to face met God!" -Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom

Will return again for discussion later this week;
Christ is Risen!
 
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