Blessed be the Child who today delights Bethlehem.
Blessed be the Newborn who today made humanity young again.
Blessed be the Fruit who bowed himself down for our hunger.
Blessed be the Gracious One who suddenly enriched
all of our poverty and filled our need.
Blessed be he whose mercy inclined him to heal our sickness.
Thanks for the Fountainhead sent for our salvation.
Thanks to the one who violated the Sabbath in its fulfillment.
Thanks to the one who rebuked leprosy and it remained not.
Fever also saw him and departed.
Thanks to the Compassionate One who bore our pain.
Glory to your coming that restored humankind to life.
Glory to that one who came to us by his firstborn.
Glory to that Silent One who spoke by means of his voice.
Glory to the Sublime One who was seen by means of his dawn.
Glory to the Spiritual One who was well-pleased
that his child should become a body so that through him his power might be felt,
and the bodies of his kindred might live again.
Glory to that Hidden One whose child was revealed.
Glory to that Living One whose Son became a mortal.
Glory to that Great One whose Son descended and became small.
Glory to that One Power who fashioned him,
the Image of his greatness and Form for his hiddenness.
With the eye and the mind—with both of them we saw him.
Glory to that Hidden One who even to the mind
is utterly imperceptible to those who investigate him.
But by his grace through his humanity
a nature never before fathomed is now perceived.
His hands bound and fettered, his feet nailed and fastened,
by his own will he clothed himself with a body for those who seized him.
Blessed is he whom freedom crucified, when he permitted it.
Blessed is he whom also the wood bore, when he allowed it.
Blessed is he whom even the grave enclosed, when he set limits to himself.
Blessed is he whose will brought him
to the womb and to birth and to the bosom and to growth.
Blessed is he whose changes revived our humanity.
Blessed is he who engraved our soul and adorned and betrothed
her to himself.
Blessed is he who made our body a tabernacle for his hiddenness.
Blessed is he who with our tongue interpreted his secrets.
Let us give thanks to that voice whose praise on our lyre
and whose power on our zither are sung.
The peoples came together to listen to his melodies.
Glory to the Son of the Gracious One, rejected by the sons of the evil one.
Glory to the Son of the Just One, crucified by the sons of the wicked one.
Glory to the One who released us and was bound in place of us all.
Glory to the One who pledged himself to pay the debt.
Glory to the Beautiful One who portrayed us in his similitudes.
Glory to the Serene One who looked not at our blemishes.
Glory to that One who begot his Light in the darkness,
and the darkness was hidden by its vices that concealed its secrets,
but the Light stripped off and took away from us the garment of blemishes.
Glory to the Heavenly One who mingled
his salt with our mind, his milk with our souls.
His body became bread to revive our mortality.
Thanks be to the Rich One who paid the debt in place of us all,
something he did not borrow, but he signed and became indebted for us again.
By his yoke he brought away from us the shackles that held us captive.
Glory to the Judge who was judged,
but he had his twelve sit down for the judgment of the tribes.
Yet he was found guilty by the ignorant, the scribes of that people.
Glory to the One who never before could be measured by us;
our heart is too small for him and our intellect too weak.
He dazzles our smallness by the wealth of his forms.
Glory to the All-knowing who cast himself down,
and asks to hear and to learn what he already knew,
to reveal by his questions the treasure of his benefits.
Let us worship the One who enlightened our intellect by his teaching
and prepared in our hearing a path for his words.
Let us thank the One who gave to taste his fruit on our tree.
Thanks be to the One who sent his Heir
to draw us toward himself by him and to make us heirs with him.
Thanks be to that Gracious One, the cause of all our virtues.
Blessed is he who did not reproach, for he was the Gracious One.
Blessed is he who did not avert his gaze, for he is also the Just One.
Blessed is he who was silent and reproached: He restored life by both.
Powerful is his silence, and reproachful.
Gentle is his strength even though he accuses,
for he reproached the false one, but he kissed the thief.
Glory to the Farmer, the Hidden One of our thought.
His seed fell on our earth and enriched our intellect.
Its harvest was a hundredfold for the storehouse of our souls.
Let us worship the One who sat down and rested,
who walked within the way, and he was the Way on the way
and the Gate of entry for those who enter the kingdom.
Blessed is the Shepherd who became the sheep for our absolution.
Blessed is the Vineshoot that became the cup of our salvation.
Blessed also is the Cluster, the source of the medicine of life.
Blessed is also the Ploughman who himself became
the grain of wheat that was sown and the sheaf that was reaped.
He is the Master Builder who became a tower for our refuge.
He is he who himself constructed the senses of our minds
so that we might sing on our lyre something that the mouth of the bird
is unable to sing in its melodies.
Glory to the One who saw that we had been pleased
to resemble the animals in our rage and greed,
and so he descended and became one of us that we might become heavenly.
Glory to him who never needs us to thank him.
Yet he became needy, for he loves us; and he thirsted, for he cherishes us.
And he asks us to give to him so that he may give us even more.
His Fruit was mingled with our human nature
to draw us out toward him who bent down to us.
By the Fruit of the Root he will graft us onto his tree.
Let us thank him who was beaten and who saved us by his wound.
Let us thank him who took away the curse by his thorns.
Let us thank him who killed death by his dying.
Let us thank him who was silent and vindicated us.
Let us thank him who cried out in death that had devoured us.
Blessed is he whose benefits have laid waste the enemies of God.
Let us glorify him who watched and put to sleep our captor.
Let us glorify the One who went to sleep and awoke our slumber.
Glory to God the Healer of human nature.
Glory to the One who plunged in and sank
our evil into the depth and drowned our drowner.
Let us glorify with all our mouths the Lord of all means of salvation.
Blessed is the Physician who descended and cut painlessly
and healed the sores with a mild medicine.
His Child was the Medicine that takes pity on sinners.
Blessed is the One who dwelt in the womb, and in it he built
a palace in which to live, a temple in which to be,
a garment in which to be radiant, and armor by which to conquer.
Blessed is the One whom our mouth is not sufficient to thank,
whose gift is too great for those gifted with speech.
Nor are the senses sufficient to give thanks for his grace,
for however much we thank him, it is too little.
And because it is of no use for us to be silent and unnerved,
let our weaknesses return to God a song of thanksgiving.
Gracious One who does not demand more than our strength,
how much was your servant judged by principal and interest—
he who did not give what was sufficient and withheld what he owed?
Sea of glory without needs,
receive in your graciousness a drop of thanksgiving,
for by your gift you have moistened my tongue to praise you!
Ephrem the Syrian
Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306-373) was from the region of Turkey/Syria. He was a deacon, theologian, and prolific writer of hymns in the Syriac language. Ephrem wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons in verse, as well as prose biblical exegesis. These were works of practical theology for the edification of the church in troubled times. He is considered one of the best examples of a Christianity that existed with very few ideas from the West. Ephrem has also been called the most significant of all the fathers in the Syriac-speaking church tradition.