Table of Contents
Contemplations on the recitative hymn of Tentheeno.
Arise, O children of the Light…
Arise, O children of the Light, Let us praise the Lord of Hosts.
Arise? Arise from what? Sleep? No, not just sleep, for I am awake and I have gathered with my brothers and sisters to praise in unison. Then what should I arise from? Arise from darkness, from sin, from death – for we are children of the Light. The Light is that of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have been buried with You, O Lord, and I rose in You when I was baptized, so I am no longer a child of darkness, but a child of Light – I am Your child. “For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light” (Eph. 5:8). As children of light, therefore, we never remain low, we never remain fallen, but we arise, and because we arise with the Light of salvation, we praise the author of our salvation – the Lord of Hosts. We live according to the light, and the fruit of this light is what is good and right and true (cf. Eph. 5:9). What is good and right and true, besides praising the Lord of Hosts?
That He may grant us….
That He may grant us the salvation of our souls.
As I stand to chant the hymns of praise, of glory and victory over sin and death, I have strong faith. It is my faith in You that results in praising and glorifying You, my Lord Jesus Christ, despite all the troubles of the world, and despite the trials I have to suffer daily. Although I have not seen the Lord, the outcome of faith is praising and glorifying, which are truly the salvation of our souls: “Although you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:8,9).
Whenever we stand….
Whenever we stand before You in the flesh.
The salvation of our souls does not mean that we are taken away from the flesh, or that salvation belongs to one part of our body and not to the other. I am standing in the flesh before the sanctuary of the Church, raising my heart, mind, and tongue up to You, the Lord of Hosts, who granted us salvation and freedom. Freedom? Yes, indeed – freedom! Our flesh is no longer in the bondage of sin, but it is free, because You, my Savior, assumed flesh and blessed our whole nature: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). My flesh that is free from the bondage of sin and death is what stands up here and raises its voice to praise You, O Lord, standing firm against the sins of the world, but praying for the world.
Cast away from our minds….
Cast away from our minds the slumber of sleep.
The thoughts of the sleep of death, O Lord, cast them away from my mind. Hear my prayer, as You have heard the Prophet David cry out to You saying: “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death” (Ps. 13:3). The sleep of death is when the enemy has prevailed against me – cast such a thought out of my mind, for I am a child of the Light, in Your Light shall I see Light. Your Light enlightens the Gentiles, O Lord – shall it not, then, cast away the dark thoughts of the mind? I have put my trust in You, the Lord of my salvation, and “I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me” (Ps. 13:5,6).
Grant us sobriety….
Grant us sobriety, O Lord, That we may know how to stand Before You at times of prayer.
To be sober is to follow Your Law and commandments, O Lord. And what is Your commandment? Is it not to love You and my neighbor? Is not this love the fulfillment of the whole Law (cf. Mk. 12:33, Rom 13:10)? Grant me to fulfill Your Word, O Lord. Grant that I may always love You as You have loved me first, and grant that I love my neighbor and not deal with him in anger – for if I am angry and do not forgive the trespass of my neighbor, I can never stand before You at times of prayer. Grant me, O Lord, to remain sober and to have true love, for by the fruit of this love I will be able to stand before You at times of prayer. Grant this, O Lord, for it is good and useful, and by love we can trample on serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy.
And send unto You….
And send unto You A befitting glorification And win the forgiveness of our many sins, Glory is Yours O Lover of mankind.
You have given me salvation over sin, and You have given me victory over death. You have made me a child of Light, and gave me the grace to be sober and fulfill Your commandments. You have taught me love, for You are love, O Lord. For this reason I stand here and praise in unison with all Your children, affirming Your glory through our glorification, for You are the Lover of mankind. Through Your love we love one another, and stand here to praise You, O Lord, in the hope of winning the forgiveness of our many sins, for You do not wish to death of a sinner, but that he repents and lives. Glory is Yours, O You who loves the righteous and the sinner.
Behold, bless the Lord….
Behold, bless the Lord, O you servants of the Lord, Glory…
I stand here among my brothers and sisters. I do not stand in silence, though, but I stand here to bless and praise the Lord. Also, we do not stand to communicate to one another, but we stand to communicate with God with one another. In a choir, praising in unison, we proclaim that the glory is truly Yours, O Lord our God. Glory is Yours, my God, for You have brought us, your servants, together in peace, and gave us Your peace.
You who stand….
You who stand in the house of the Lord, In the courts of the house of our God, Glory…
I am not only standing in the house of the Lord, but in the courts of the house of our God. I stand in the house because You loved us and by Your blood we have been purified and made worthy of standing with the angels to praise You. Furthermore, I stand in the courts of the house of God because I am not standing alone, but standing with a choir, for the word “courts” implies a spacious area, where many people are standing. This means that I can stand in the courts only if I first love my neighbor in truth. I stand in the courts of the house of God with a choir joined by love, because God loves us and we love Him and one another. Glory is Yours, O You who loved us and taught us to love one another, and made me worthy of standing in the courts of Your house.
By night lift up your hands….
By night lift up your hands, O you saints and bless the Lord, Glory…
It is a challenge, really, to lift up our hands to bless the Lord by night. The night signifies the evil of the world that is always attacking us. Grant that I may always bless You, my Lord and my God, by night and in times of hardship, and not only in the daylight, as all your saints arose and blessed the Lord by night as well. Was not Job suffering by night? Yet he lifted his hands and blessed the Lord despite all his troubles. Glory is Yours, my Lord, at all times, for You love mankind and do not slumber nor sleep by night. Glory is Yours, O You who are the shepherd of the saints.
The Lord bless you….
The Lord bless you from Zion, He who created heaven and earth, Glory…
Are You not the Creator of heaven and earth? Then surely You have the power and might over all, my God. Thus, you will not leave me in darkness and by the night for long. Your light will shine and eliminate the darkness that covers the world. You did not just command that light, but You Yourself are the Light. To Zion you came, my Lord Jesus Christ, and You blessed us from Zion. You became one like us and suffered like us, so that we may be blessed and be united to Your Light. You who created heaven dwelt in Zion; You who created earth became flesh. Glory is Yours, O Emmanuel, for You came and dwelt in us.
Let my cry come near….
Let my cry come near before You, Give me understanding according to Your Word, Glory…
My cry is in the night, but I know that I am in Your presence, O Lord. For You, O Christ, the true Word of God, promised that You shall be with me always: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20). In Your presence, my beloved Savior, you wipe off the tears of my cries. Help me understand Your Word, Your promises. Give me understanding by night, and may I live with the faith that I am always in Your presence. Glory is Yours, O Emmanuel, to whom I cry out and in whom I trust.
Let my supplication come….
Let my supplication come before You, Deliver me according to Your Word, Glory…
When I supplicate by night, and lift up my hands to ask You, O Father, to deliver me from evil, I add in my prayer: “in Christ Jesus our Lord”. I ask You to deliver me from evil in Christ, according to the power of Your Word. I trust in Your deliverance, and I have no fear, for I am Your child and I know that You are my God. Did not Your Word say to me: “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Is. 41:9,10). Glory is Yours, O Holy and Mighty One, for You deliver me and strengthen me with Your victorious right hand according to Your Word.
My lips shall overflow….
My lips shall overflow with praise, Because You have taught me Your statutes, Glory…
You teach me Your statues, O my King, and when I live by them I am righteous. But this righteousness is not of myself, but it comes from You. I cannot boast in my own righteousness, because righteousness is according to the statutes that You have made. I cannot boast in my knowledge of Your statutes, because it was You who taught them to me, and only then have I come to understand and live by them: “Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord” (Jer. 9:23,24). He who boasts does not boast in himself, but in the Lord, and bursts forth in praise. Thus, my lips do not flow with praise for myself, but instead they overflow with praise to You, O my Lord, for it is You who taught me and made me alive and righteous through Your love. Glory is Yours, O You who acts with steadfast love.
My tongue shall speak….
My tongue shall speak of Your words, For all Your commandments are righteousness, Glory…
Now that You have taught me Your statutes, because You love me, I cannot keep those words to myself. I spread the words of my Teacher to everyone, for I know that all Your commandments are righteousness. Although I am a minister of Your words, O Lord, I only plant and water the seeds when my tongue speaks of Your words, but the increase comes from You and You alone. You, O Lord, teach within, and allows the seed to grow and multiply. Glory is Yours, O You who teaches us to love and serve one another.
Let Your hand help me….
Let Your hand help me For I have chosen Your precepts, Glory…
I have chosen Your precepts, O Lord. I have chosen Your hand. I have chosen Christ my Savior. My Lord Jesus Christ, my good Savior, come close and hold me by my hands, and help me arise. I have no power on my own to rise, but I humble myself so that You may come to my aid, as St. Peter said: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6,7). Glory is Yours, O Christ, who cares for mankind and lets His hand come to my help.
I have longed for….
I have longed for Your salvation, O Lord, And Your Law is my delight, Glory…
Have not the prophets and righteous men of the Old Testament longed for Your salvation, O Lord? Is not the Church also longing for Your salvation, O Lord? I also long in Your salvation, because Your Law is my delight. Your salvation is Christ, and the Law gives testimony to Christ. I long, along with the Church, for Christ, for I delight in Him alone. With the Church, I long for the Second Coming of my Lord Jesus Christ from the clouds, and await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the coming age. Glory is Yours, Jesus Christ, whom I long for daily, for You granted us life in You, and so You are truly everyone’s delight.
Let my soul live….
Let my soul live and it shall praise You, And let Your judgments help me, Glory…
I long for the resurrection daily, but I also sin. Help me, O Lord, to rise up from my sleep and laziness, to repent and arise and start anew. Let my soul live and not remain in death, and surely, because of Your gracious judgments, my soul will continuously praise Your holy Name. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my help and my God” (Ps. 43:5). Glory is Yours, O my help and my God, who lets my soul live to praise you: “Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long” (Ps. 146:1,2).
I have gone astray….
I have gone astray like a lost sheep, Seek Your servant for I do not forget Your commandments, Glory…
I am lost in the world, but my Shepherd will leave the ninety nine sheep to look for me, for He loves me. He will not let the wolves and the lions devour me. I, too, despite getting lost, do not forget Your commandments… I do not forget my Shepherd, Jesus Christ. When I see Him, I’ll run towards my beloved, because I know Him very well, for He came to rescue me from evil and death. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (Jn. 10:14). I do not forget Your commandments, and I do not forget Your voice: “the sheep follow him because they know his voice” (Jn. 10:4). Glory is Yours, O Good Shepherd, who shepherds His flock and gives His life for their sake.
Glory is to the Father, the Son, And the Holy Spirit, Glory… Now and forever, And unto the age of all ages. Amen, Glory… Glory is to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Now and forever and ever. Amen. Glory…
Glory is Yours, O Father, who, because of Your compassionate and loving will, sent His Son, who was incarnate of the Virgin and the Holy Spirit, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures. Glory is Yours, O Only-Begotten Son of the Father, who, out of love, took the form of servant and taught us the way of salvation, the way of the Cross, the way of eternal life, the way of love. Glory is Yours, O Holy Spirit, who comforts us and helps us in our path to the Kingdom of Heaven, who dispenses His free gifts on all those who are baptized and believe in God, who brings us to repentance and into the Light that shines unto the world. Glory is Yours, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit at all times. Glory is Yours, O Lover of mankind.
Glory is Yours, O Good One….
Glory is Yours, O Good One, The Lover of mankind, Glory to Your Mother, the Virgin, And all Your saints, Glory…
The glory that is Yours, O Lord, you have shared with Your beloved saints. You gave them Your glory, and we see Your Light through them. As I stand before You, O Lover of mankind, Your angels and saints come with You. I stand with my brothers and sisters in the choir of the heavenly and the earthly, for You have made the two into one. Glory is Yours, O Good One, whose Light shines forth through all the saints and blessed ones.
Glory is Yours, O Only-Begotten One….
Glory is Yours, O Only-Begotten One, O Holy Trinity have mercy upon us, Glory…
Have mercy on us, O God, the all-holy Trinity, and have mercy on us. We beseech You, O Only-Begotten One, Jesus Christ, to “renew within us a righteous and life-giving Spirit: a Spirit of prophecy and chastity, a Spirit of sanctification, righteousness and authority, O Pantocrator” (Agpeya, Prayer of the Third Hour, Second Litany). Glory is Yours, O Lover of mankind, the Light of our souls, who enlightens every man that comes into the world. Have mercy on us.
Let God arise….
Let God arise and let all His enemies be scattered, And let all who hate His holy Name flee from before His presence. Glory…
Who can flee from before Your presence, O Lord? Is it not written: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?” (Ps. 139:7)? Hence, those who flee from Your presence, O God, do not hide from You, but are afraid of You and are ashamed at being compelled to behold You. I pray that I never be counted as an enemy, O Lord, as the Prophet David chanted: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23,24). Glory is Yours, O Pantocrator, whose Light shines upon the righteous and the sinner.
As for Your people….
As for Your people, let them be blessed, A thousand thousand fold and then thousand ten thousand fold, Doing Your will.
Behold, we stand together as a choir chanting in unison, even with the angels of heaven! Are we not blessed, then? We, who do His will, who live according to the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, are certainly blessed, and for this we stand together to praise Him. Yet, we ask for further blessings – not just for us, we who stand in His presence, but to include everyone among the Gentiles – the whole earth even! “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be His glorious name forever; may His glory fill the whole earth” (Ps. 72:18,19).
O Lord, open my lips….
O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth will declare Your praise.
The Lord who has delivered me and saved me, it is to Him that I declare His praise. To the God of my salvation my tongue chants aloud of His righteousness. But the praises I chant are not of my own capacity, but it is through the Lord Himself that I declare His praise. As St. Ignatius of Antioch said, we take our pitch from God when we are standing to praise Him (Epistle to Ephesians, 4). Everything is through You, my God, and for You. Open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise…
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him is the glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).