The Hymn of Praise of Mar Babai the Great

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This hymn of praise that is sung during the seasons of the Annunciation and the Nativity {the form on this page is for “the day of His birth”}, was written by Mar Babai the Great.  In this hymn, the Christology of the Church is plainly expressed in a manner that cannot be accused of any unorthodox language.  As the Church believes, so it also prays singing.
The Hymn of Praise of Mar Babai the Great
Blessed is the Merciful One who, in his grace,
   has provided for our lives through prophecy.
Isaiah saw with a spiritual eye the amazing child of virginity.
For Mary gave birth to Emanuel, the Son of God, without copulation.
From her the Holy Spirit fashioned the united body, as it is written,
to become a dwelling and an adorable temple
   for the Radiance of the Father in one Sonship,
and from the beginning of his incredible conception,
   unite it to himself in one adoration,
that everything that is His will be fulfilled in it
   for the salvation of the people,
   as is fitting for him.
The angels glorify him on the day of his birth,
   with their praises in the heights above.
The earthly also offer adoration with their offerings in one honor.
Christ is one – the Son of God, more honored than all, in two natures.
In his Divinity he was born of the Father,
   without beginning and above time.
In his humanity he was born of Mary, in the latter times with a united flesh.
Neither is his Divinity from the nature of the mother,
   nor his humanity from the Nature of the Father
The natures are protected in their qnome, in one Person of one Sonship.
And wherever there is divinity, there are three Qnome and one Existence.
Thus is the Sonship of the Son: in two natures, one Person.
Thus has the holy Church learned of the faith of the Son who is the Messiah.
We adore you, O Lord, in your Divinity
   and in your humanity which are without division.
Mar Babai the Great was a saint and teacher of our Chaldean Church at the turn of the 7th century.  In his works, he clearly defines the terminology of the Church of the East in Trinitarian as well as christological contexts.  This was an important undertaking in the context of the great christological controversies that had been at the center of the Western world since the 5th century and which had spilled over into the realm of the Persian Church.
Much scholarship and dialogue has taken place in the last half a century to defend the christology of the Church of the East fathers {refer to the Pro-Oriente unofficial dialogues among the Syriac Churches for the latest scholars from the respective Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac, Assyrian and other Churches}.   For a better understanding of the terminology, refer to Fr. Andrew Younan’s lecture.

 

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3 Responses to “The Hymn of Praise of Mar Babai the Great”

  1. Ian Says:

    “In his Divinity he was born of the Father,
    without beginning and above time.
    In his humanity he was born of Mary, in the latter times with a united flesh.”

    Beautiful; thank you for sharing. Hopefully I’ll remember to return to this hymn as the Nativity season approaches!

    I’ll look at the lecture later this week…are parts 1 and 2 available? [tried changing the 3 in the URL to no success]

  2. antgaria Says:

    Dear Ian, Great point! It would be well to list all three parts.

    The complete course list can be found at: http://www.kaldu.org/joomla/index.php/liturgy/diocesantheologycourses

    The entire course list for that year is at:
    http://kaldu.org./Theology_Course_2007/Entire_Course.html

    As for the specific Christology parts of Fr. Andrew:
    Christology in the Patristic Period.
    Part I – History:
    http://kaldu.org./Theology_Course_2007/03_B_PChristology_01_Video.html
    Part II – Councils & Synods:
    http://kaldu.org./Theology_Course_2007/05_B_PChristology_02_Video.html
    Part III – Christ in the East:
    http://kaldu.org./Theology_Course_2007/06_B_PChristology_03_Video.html

  3. Ian Says:

    Ohhhhhh! Thank you. Lots of goodies there to keep me busy on the cold winter nights down here. 😉

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