Concealed, You Know

From Hymns ‘On the Nativity’ 6:12-16

Praise to you, Son of the Most High, who has put on our body!

Into the holy temple Simeon carried the Christ-child

and sang a lullaby to him:

 You have come, Compassionate One,

having pity on my old age, making my bones enter into Sheol in peace.

By you I will be raised out of the grave into paradise.

Anna embraced the child; she placed her mouth upon his lips,

and then the Spirit rested upon her lips,

like Isaiah, whose mouth was silent until a coal drew near to his lips and opened his mouth.

Anna was aglow with the spirit of his mouth.

She sang him a lullaby:

 Royal Son, despised son, being silent, you hear;

hidden, you see; concealed, you know;

God-man, glory to your name.


The barren woman Elizabeth cried out as she was accustomed,

Who has granted to me, blessed woman,

to see your Babe by whom heaven and earth are filled? Blessed is your fruit

that brought forth the cluster on a barren vine.’

Praise to you, Son of the Most High, who has put on our body.

Ephrem of Edessa (ca. 306-373) was a teacher and poet, who established a school of theology at Nisibis and then at Edessa, in present-day Turkey. He is considered the finest poet of Christian antiquity and was known as the ‘Harp of Syria.’ His hymns play a central role in the liturgies of Syriac Christianity. In the churches of the East his feast day is generally January 28 and in the West it is observed on June 9 or 10.


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