Christ, We Turn Our Eyes to Thee

This hymn is a translation of Ode IV of the Canon at Orthros on St. Thomas Sunday, which is the First Sunday following Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) in the Byzantine Liturgy.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862). The variations in the text in the 5th edition are as indicated below:

Christ, we turn our eyes to Thee,
And this mighty mystery!
Habakkuk(1) exclaimed of old,
In the Holt Spirit bold,
‘Thou shalt come in time appointed,
For the help of Thine anointed!’

Taste of myrrh He deign’d to know,
Who redeem’d the source of woe:
Now He bids all sickness cease
Through the honey-comb of peace:
And to this world deigns to give
That sweet fruit by which we live.

Patient Lord! with loving eye
Thou invitest Thomas nigh;
Showing of that Wounded Side:
While the world is certified,
How the third day, from the grave,
Jesus Christ arose to save.

Blest, O Didymus, the tongue
Where that first confession hung:
First the Saviour to proclaim,
First the Lord of Life to name:
Such the graces it supplied,
—That dear touch of Jesu’s side!

Words: St. John of Damascus, ca. 8th Century; tr. John Mason Neale, 1862.
Tune: “Fred Til Bod” L.M. Lindeman, 1812-1887.

(1) The 5th edition uses a simple transliteration of the Greek – “Abbakoum” – here.

Here is St. John of Damascus’ original Greek text:

Κανών α’, ᾨδὴ δ’, τῆς Ἑορτῆς 
Ἦχος α’ 
Ὁ Εἱρμὸς
«Μέγα τὸ μυστήριον, τῆς σῆς Χριστὲ οἰκονομίας! τοῦτο γὰρ ἄνωθεν προβλέπων, θεοπτικῶς ὁ Ἀββακούμ. Ἐξῆλθες ἐβόα σοι, εἰς σωτηρίαν λαοῦ σου φιλάνθρωπε».

Χολῆς μὲν ἐγεύσατο, τὴν πάλαι γεῦσιν ἰώμενος, νυνὶ δὲ σὺν κηρίῳ μέλιτος, τοῦ φωτισμοῦ μεταδιδοὺς Χριστὸς τῷ Προπάτορι, καὶ τῆς αὐτοῦ γλυκείας μεθέξεως.

Χαίρεις ἐρευνώμενος· διὸ φιλάνθρωπε πρὸς τοῦτο, προτρέπεις τὸν Θωμᾶν, προτείνων τῷ διαπιστοῦντι τὴν πλευράν, κόσμῳ πιστούμενος, τὴν σὴν Χριστὲ τριήμερον Ἔγερσιν.

Πλοῦτον ἀρυσάμενος, ἐκ θησαυροῦ τοῦ ἀσυλήτου, τῆς θείας Εὐεργέτα, λόγχῃ διανοιγείσης σου πλευρᾶς, σοφίας καὶ γνώσεως, ἀναπιμπλᾷ τὸν κόσμον ὁ Δίδυμος.

Σοῦ ἡ παμμακάριστος, ὑμνεῖται γλῶσσα ὦ Δίδυμε· πρώτη γὰρ εὐσεβῶς κηρύττει τὸν ζωοδότην Ἰησοῦν, Θεόν τε καὶ Κύριον, ἐκ τῆς ἁφῆς πλησθεῖσα τῆς χάριτος.
«Ἐπὶ τῆς θείας φυλακῆς, ὁ θεηγόρος Ἀββακούμ, στήτω μεθ’ ἡμῶν καὶ δεικνύτω, φαεσφόρον Ἄγγελον, διαπρυσίως λέγοντα· Σήμερον σωτηρία τῷ κόσμῳ, ὅτι ἀνέστη Χριστός ὡς παντοδύναμος».

About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Byzantine Liturgy, Easter, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Greek Hymns, Horologion, Hymns By The Greats, John Mason Neale, Liturgies of the Various Eastern Churches (Byzantine, etc.), Non-English Hymns, Orthros, Pentecostarion, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), St. John of Damascus, The Church Year, The Liturgy of the Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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