Monday, December 30, 2013

The Trisagion

Holy God, 
Holy Mighty, 
Holy Immortal One, 
Have mercy on us.

A simple and profound Orthodox prayer rises to my heart and lips this Christmastide. These are the words of the Trisagion. In this prayer we are brought back to God as God. God as Holy and Mighty. God the immortal One. When we spend three lines of a four line prayer looking at who God is, we rightly spend the fourth line asking for mercy, because we suddenly see that we are profane, weak, ephemeral. 

The more we fix our eyes on Jesus, the more we see that the Word made flesh dwelt among us, the more we know the righteousness of God, the more clearly we see ourselves. We cannot pretend that we are good or righteous when we see how far we fall short of God's goodness and righteousness. We can only ask for mercy and continue to set our eyes on the holiness of God. We must know holiness in order to become holy. No, to be made holy in His hands and by the breath of His mouth.

Take less than three minutes to listen to Fernando Ortega's lovely musical rendition of this ancient prayer. Take more than three minutes to reflect on God's holiness, might (throughout the ages and in your life), and immortality... And do not be afraid to spend a few minutes asking for God to have mercy on you. That leads perfectly into the Kyrie Eleison:

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy on us.

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