THE PRAYER OF THE TRISAGION HYMN

Sunday, June 18, 2017

"O Holy God, Who is resting among the holy ones, praised by the Seraphim with the thrice-holy voice, glorified by the Cherubim, and worshiped by every celestial power, You have brought all things into being out of nothing. You have created man according to Your image and likeness and adorned him with all the gifts of Your grace. You give wisdom and understanding to the one who asks, and You overlook not the sinner, but have set repentance as the way of salvation. You have granted us, Your humble and unworthy servants, to stand even at this hour before the glory of Your holy Altar of sacrifice and to offer to You due worship and praise. Master, accept the Trisagion Hymn also from the lips of us sinners, and visit us in Your goodness. Forgive all our voluntary and involuntary transgressions, sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we may worship You in holiness all the days of our lives, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos and of all the holy ones (saints) who have pleased You throughout the ages." (Prayer of the Trisagion, Byzantine Divine Liturgy)

 

This prayer, usually read silently by the priest before he approaches the “High Place“ or throne behind the altar-table, and as the people or choir chant the Trisagion Hymn, develops two aspects of that hymn: 1. Praise of God’s divine attributes, and 2. Our openness to “repentance“ (“metanoia“ in Greek, i.e., a change of mind or change of focus).

 

So as we sing the Trisagion Hymn, let me become more present to God’s divine Presence as our One Creator, “of all things visible and invisible,“ – like all of us, God’s visible creation, and the invisible angelic powers. I also call to mind God’s willingness to “adorn“ all of us, including me, “with all the gifts of His grace,“ like “wisdom and understanding.“ Because He is the “Treasury of Good,“ open to me if only I open up to, and approach Him, just as the priest will be approaching the “High Place“ in a moment.

 

Let me also be open to “repentance,“ a change in my mindset wherever it needs to be changed, so I can more effectively respond to God’s voice or “call“ to me, in my specific “vocation.“ At this point in the Divine Liturgy we are about to listen to God’s voice in a special way, in the upcoming readings of the Epistle and Gospel, so my capacity to listen, and truly hear, in light of God’s kind of “wisdom and understanding,“ is especially important. O Holy God, help us be present to You today, as You are to us, in our both human and Divine Liturgy. Amen!

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