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#420580 11/18/20 02:20 AM
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I am asking for help dissecting the parts of the 1st phrase of the following hymn:

O Joyful Light (1) of the holy glory (2) of the Father Immortal, the heavenly, holy, blessed One, O Jesus Christ, now that we have reached the setting of the sun, and see the evening light, we sing to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise in measured melody to you, O Son of God, the Giver of Life. Therefore, the universe sings your glory.

Presumably, "Joyful Light" = Jesus Christ, if so what does "holy glory" refer to? The Holy Spirit? The Church?

If "holy glory" refers to Jesus Christ, then what or who is the "Joyful Light"?

Devin

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Christ is in our midst!!

Devin,

Let me take a stab at this. Let's not dissect the phrase, but understand where it comes from.

First of all, it is difficult to translate from one language and way of expression to another. Greek is an effusive language from what I have been taught about it. It tries to capture the wonder of Who Christ is. And this beginning of this hymn is an example. English, on the other hand, is expressed best in short, pithy statements.

The whole phrase is about Who this Jesus is--Who He is as He reigns in the Glory of the Father that He had before all ages and before He came among us as One like us in all things but sin.

Christ is our Light; He is our Joy; He is the Glory of the Immortal, Beginning-less Father; He is the Holy, Heavenly, Blessed One. These are all adjectival, descriptive words that tell us of the breathless experience--or Divinely revealed idea--that the person who wrote this blessed hymn had when he thought about Who this Jesus is. I imagine it to be one of those moments like the Prophet Isiah had when he saw the Living God and thought he was undone because he had "soiled lips." A glimpse of who Christ is should leave us breathless; exhausted; nourished; sanctified. It should fill us to overflowing. I imagine myself speechless--which people who know me find utterly impossible to understand.

The translation I am most familiar with and have sung says "O Gladsome Radiance, of the Holy Glory, of the Father, Holy Heavenly Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, in that we have come from the rising to the setting of the sun and beheld the light of evening, we hymn Thee, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God, the Trinity One in Essence and Undivided."

Bob

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Originally Posted by Devin1890
I am asking for help dissecting the parts of the 1st phrase of the following hymn:

O Joyful Light (1) of the holy glory (2) of the Father Immortal, the heavenly, holy, blessed One, O Jesus Christ, now that we have reached the setting of the sun, and see the evening light, we sing to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise in measured melody to you, O Son of God, the Giver of Life. Therefore, the universe sings your glory.

Presumably, "Joyful Light" = Jesus Christ, if so what does "holy glory" refer to? The Holy Spirit? The Church?

If "holy glory" refers to Jesus Christ, then what or who is the "Joyful Light"?

Devin
As I read it, the holy glory is the Father's. Jesus is the light of that glory. A possible interpretation is that while we do not see the Father's glory directly we do see the light of that glory: Jesus, as God incarnate, the "image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15). In a similar way the creed has that Jesus is φῶς ἐκ φωτός, light from light.

The opening words of the hymn give rise to some interesting variations, translations with different shades of meaning. Consider:

Φῶς ἱλαρὸν ἁγίας δόξης ἀθανάτου Πατρός,

οὐρανίου, ἁγίου, μάκαρος, Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ,

All the red are in the genitive, the green is vocative. If there is no distinct vocative form in Greek then the vocative is the same as the nominative. In English the use of "O" can connote direct address. It seems to me that all the genitive pertain to the Father who is the μάκαρος, blessed-one. So, I get:

[O?] joyful light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, of the heavenly, of the holy Blessed-One, [O] Jesus Christ.

Interpreting this as direct address to Jesus Christ and all other forms as nominative (black) and genitive (red) and changing the word order to make it clearer in English, I propose (for meaning not actual translation where I like to keep word order if possible):

O Jesus Christ, (the) joyful light of the holy glory of the immortal, of the heavenly, of the holy Blessed-One, the Father.

See Phos Hilaron, especially the variation in translations.

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Father Deacon Tony [ajk],

Thank you for that post. I've sung the hymn all my life but never gave much consideration to it. I learn something each time you post.

John

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Originally Posted by Administrator
Father Deacon Tony [ajk],

Thank you for that post. I've sung the hymn all my life but never gave much consideration to it. I learn something each time you post.

John

Thank you John for your kind and encouraging words. -- DT

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Thank you both theophany and ajk!
Your answers have been a great blessing!


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