Shine, shine (Φωτίζου, φωτίζου, Светися, светися), O New Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Dance now and be glad, O Sion, and you rejoice, pure Mother of God, at the arising of Him to Whom you gave birth.” (Paschal Canon, Irmos of Ode 9)

Here are some fun facts about this well-known hymn of our Paschal services. It begins by paraphrasing the words of Isaiah 60: 1, according to the Septuagint: “Shine, shine, O Jerusalem (Φωτίζου, φωτίζου, Ιερουσαλημ),” says Isaiah, “for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.” The hymn is referring these words to the “new” Jerusalem or Sion, – the Church, – in other words, all of us.

And finally the hymn addresses yet another image of the Church, the Mother of God. She classically signifies the Church, because the Church, i.e., each of us, is called to give birth to the Word of God in this world. So let me do so today, and let me “shine,” as I am called to, with and in my risen Lord. Because “my light is come,” as prophesied by Isaiah, and He is risen indeed!

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