Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maneeso of St. Severus - An update

Manisa or Maneeso of St. Severus is found as the heading of one of the first songs sung at Holy Qurbana . In Malayalam the hymn starts of like ' Nin Maathave vishudhanmar... ' . For the Malankara Orthodox Christians , We spend so much time in ensuring every one sings together in harmony and do not take time enough to really understand what we are singing about. This song descibes the fundamental faith on ' Who is Jesus Christ ' and it is so fitting that the song is attributed to one of the greatest Church father of the Orthodox Christians that did not see Chalcedon as ecumenical and spent a life time teaching the true faith.
This caught my attention today seeing it at the back of fourth standard Sunday school text book and found from the net that ' Manisa' mean ' Song of Praise '. This is so fitting, for is it not this - 'Sing Praise to God 'that we are to do most when we come together to worship God as Church . I am posting the English translation from the text book and hope this will be edifying.

"By the prayers of your mother who bought you forth and by those of all your saints: My Lord and King! I will magnify You, Only begotton Son, Word of the Heavenly Father, Immortal by nature; who by your grace did come down for the life and redemption of all mankind ,who did become incarnate of the Holy and glorious pure Virgin Mary, Mother of God,and who became man without changing your divinity, and was crucified for us. O Christ our Lord, who by your death did trample down our death and destroy it ,being One among the Holy Trinity, You are worshipped and glorified in the unity of Your Father and your Living Holy Spirit ; Have mercy on us. "

See the parallel in the Coptic Tradition

O only-Begotten Son, and the Word of God, the Immortal, before all ages, Who has accepted everything for our salvation - the Incarnate of the holy Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary.

Who without change became man; Who was crucified; the Christ God, Who has trampled death by His death; The one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

Holy God, Who for our sake became man without change, still being God;

Holy Mighty, Who through weakness has shown what is greater than might;

Holy Immortal, Who was crucified for us and endured death upon the Cross in His flesh, still being immortal; O Holy Trinity have mercy upon us.

(Translated by Hegomen Athanasius Iskander)

See the parallel in the Eastern Orthodox tradition , where the prayer is attributed to Emperor Justinian  considered as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox .

Only Begotten Son and Immortal Word of God ,
Who or our salvation didst will to be incarnate of the Holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary ,
Who without change didst become man and wast crucified, O Christ our God,
Trampling down death by death, Who art one of the Holy Trinity,
Glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

  It is proclaimed by Eastern Orthodox that Emperor Justinian  brought this to the to refrain from Nestorianism ( Heresy denying St. Mary  to be known as Theotokos  implying that  Jesus Christ  to be someone less than God). It was almost 100 years before this our beloved Saint  Dioscoros was tortured , deposed because he refused to acknowledge Jesus Christ continuing after his Incarnation in Two Natures - Human and Divine . He refused to accept this as this was exactly to him as the teaching of Nestorius  that was rejected by the Church as a whole and explained by St. Cyril . Also, lest History not forget that our beloved St. Severus was deposed as Patriarch  by Emperor Justinian in AD 518 . Perhaps God had to use Emperor Justinian to see the wisdom much later to see the truth that St. Severus and St. Dioscoros  was openly proclaiming the truth that Nestorianism had crept in their tradition.

See note below from Wikipedia on how the Church still proclaim and refuse Nestorianism

"... explained the union between the divine and human natures of Christ as "inward and real without any division, change, or confusion." He rejected the Antiochene theory of "indwelling,", or "conjunction" or "close participation," as insufficient. Thus the Alexandrian formula adopted by Cyril and Dioscorus was "one nature of God the Word Incarnate," which translates into Greek as mia physis tou theou logou sesarkomene, by which Cyril meant "one nature"—that Christ is at once God and man. On the other hand, the Antiochene formula was "two natures after the union," or "in two natures," which translates to dyo physis. This formula explained Christ as existing in two natures, God and man. Nestorius was condemned and deposed by the First Council of Ephesus, which approved of the Second Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius.He succeeded Cyril as Patriarch of Alexandria in 444.[2] ."

As we come closer to another Passion week, may we remember  pay attention and journey to Pascha seeking His mercy and cry out together Christ is  Risen ! , Indeed He is Risen !! . The Lord has been merciful and though the differences are being reconciled among hierarchs and teachers  from the Orthodox Christian traditions ( Eastern Orthodox and us labelled as Oriental Orthodox ) , In Calgary, Canada where the Lord has brought us  to pay attention for the first time melodiously in plain English  at an Eastern Orthodox tradition - ' Christ has risen from the dead trampling down death by death and today '

Calgary, Canada
March 15, 2016