It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, the ever blessed, and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim, who without corruption gave birth to God the Word, the true Theotokos, we magnify you.” (Byzantine Hymn to the Mother of God)

I am praying this somewhat-surprising hymn today, as some of us prepare for the feast of the Dormition (Assumption) of the Mother of God, and others of us on the Old(er) Calendar are just preparing to enter the two-week Dormition Fast. Do we “overdo it,” when it comes to blessing and magnifying this Woman? No, we proclaim in this hymn: “It is truly right…” Ἄξιόν ἐστιν ὡς ἀληθῶς…

Why is it “truly right” to magnify Her above and beyond even the cherubim and seraphim? Because of Her unique synergy with God’s will for and in this world. Without Her role, which She willingly accepted, to give birth to God the Word, we would have no capacity ourselves, as Church, to become birth-givers of God’s Word in this world. Because that’s what the Church is: One who carries, in us, and gives birth to, God’s Word, into this world in every generation. So let me not shy away from this calling today, as I receive, internalize, and pass on His grace-filled Word throughout my day. And let me gratefully pray to Her, who made this salvific journey possible for me, when She accepted Her unique calling 2,000 years ago. “The true Theotokos, we magnify you.”

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