Ephrem of Edessa, Deacon
A hymn by Ephrem of Edessa – sung today at the Holy Eucharist –
From God Christ’s deity came forth,
His manhood from humanity;
his priesthood from Melchizedek,
his royalty from David’s tree:
praised be his Oneness.
He joined with guests at wedding feast,
Yet in the wilderness did fast;
he taught within the temple’s gates;
his people saw him die at last:
praised be his teaching.
The dissolute he did not scorn,
Nor turn from those who were in sin;
he for the righteous did rejoice
but bade the fallen to come in:
praised be his mercy.
He did not disregard the sick;
To simple ones his word was given;
and he descended to the earth
and, his work done, went up to heaven:
praised be his coming.
Who then, my Lord, compares to you?
The Watcher slept, the Great was small,
the Pure baptized, the Life who died,
the King abased to honor all:
praised be your glory.
~By Ephrem of Edessa, translated by John Howard Rhys, Adapted and altered by F Bland Tucker, (Episcopal) The Hymnal 1982