From: Ben Crick (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Oct 19 1999 - 09:24:47 EDT
On Tue 19 Oct 1999 (02:57:20), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Psalm 117:26 (118:26) is sung during the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in
> the Orthodox tradition right before we receive communion. The Priest
> presents the chalice with the bread and wine to the people and declares
> "Approach with the fear of God and with faith!" The people respond
> "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! God the Lord has
> revealed Himself to us!"
Steve has certainly illuminated this verse for me with his explanation
of its use in the Orthodox Liturgy of St Chrysostom.
It is used in the Anglican liturgy in /The Alternative Service Book/, 1980,
page 131. It is of course derived via the Sanctus and Benedictus from the
Latin Mass, and is accompanied by the Hosanna! of Psalm 117(118):25.
In context in the Psalm, which is a Pilgrim Psalm, the priests in the Temple
are welcoming the entering pilgrims: "Blessed in the name of YHWH be he
that enters". So "In the name of YHWH" is connected with "blessed".
Compare Psalm 128(129):8, EULOGHKAMEN hUMAS EN ONOMATI KURIOU. And compare
Deuteronomy 21:5, KAI EULOGEIN EPI TWi ONOMATI AUTOU. We find it again in
2 Kings(2 Samuel) 6:18, KAI EULOGHSE TON LAON EN ONOMATI KURIOU TWN DUNAMIWN.
So in the Gospel (Matthew 21:9) we have WSANNA TWi hUIWi DAUID: EULOGHMENOS
hO ERCOMENOS EN ONOMATI KURIOU. Out of the "mouths of babes and sucklings"
the words of Psalm 117(118):25-27 are applied to the One "suddenly coming to
his Temple" (Malachi 3:1) to offer Himself as the Sacrifice to be bound to the
horns of the altar. "He that cometh" hO ERCOMENOS is a title of the Messiah
(Matthew 11:3). Mark and Luke expand the quotation from Psalm 117(118) to
give EULOGHMENOS hO ERCOMENOS *hO BASILEUS* EN ONOMATI KURIOU, KTL (Luke
19:38), and more still, EULOGHMENH hH ERCOMENHi BASILEIA TOU PATROS hHMWN
DAUID (Mark 11:10).
So in the Liturgy the Blessing is not pronounced upon the worshippers arriving
for the service, but is ascribed by a sort of metathesis to the invisible Host
presiding over the service. hO ERCOMENOS is no longer the Pilgrim, but the
WSANNA is not a shout of "Hurrah!" but an earnest prayer for redemption:
'aNNa' YHWH HoShiYa` Nna' W KURIE SWSON DH. "Save now O LORD". This
salvation is connected with the sacrifice about to be offered hEWS TWN
KERATWN TOU QUSIASTERIOU. Hence no doubt the "enthusiasm" of the children!
The KERAS of the altar has become for hO ERCOMENOS the STAUROS of the
Crucifix. And hO ERCOMENOS has become for us the Lord Himself.
I trust I'm not repeating stuff already archived.
-- Revd Ben Crick, BA CF <email@example.com> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK) http://www.cnetwork.co.uk/crick.htm
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