January 5, 2020

Exaposteilarion and Doxastikon of the Seventh Resurrection Eothinon Gospel for Sunday Matins

The following hymns from the Sunday Matins service are directly related to the Seventh Eothinon Resurrection Gospel (John 20:1-10) read before the Canon, which speaks of the encounter with the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene and the Apostles Peter and John. There are eleven eothina all together, and each Sunday is successively dedicated to one of them, then the cycle starts again. Each of the eleven eothina symbolizes one of the eleven disciples to whom the Lord appeared following His Resurrection.

The first of these series of hymns are the Exaposteilarion with its related Theotokion chanted after the Ninth Ode of the Canon. The word "exaposteilarion" comes from the Greek verb exapostello, which means "to send forth", referring to the sending forth of the apostles to proclaim the gospel throughout the world. In ancient times a chanter was sent out from the choir into the center of the church to chant this hymn to indicate the sending forth of the apostles. The author of the eleven exaposteilaria for each Sunday eothinon was the Roman Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (r. 913-959).

Following the Praises (Ainoi) of Matins is the Doxastikon. The word "doxastikon" comes from the Greek word doxa, which means "glory" or "glorification", referring to the fact that preceding the hymn the verse "Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" is chanted. Each doxastikon on Sunday is directly related to one of the eleven Sunday eothina read earlier in the service. The eleven doxastika of Sunday Matins were all composed by the Roman Emperor Leo VI the Wise (r. 886-912).



When Mary said that they had taken the Lord away, Simon Peter and the other disciple of Christ whom he loved both ran to the tomb. They found the grave clothes lying alone therein and the kerchief that had been about his head not with them but aside. They therefore kept silent again until they saw Christ.


Things great and exceeding strange have you done for me, O most merciful Christ. Unexplainably have you been born of a virgin Maiden and accepted the cross and endured death. You have risen in glory to set our nature free from death. Glory to your glory, O Christ, glory to your strength.


Eothinon 7
Grave Tone

Behold the darkness and early morning. What are you doing at the tomb, Mary, your mind filled with darkness? Why do you ask where Jesus has been laid? See the disciples run­ning forward with the grave clothes and the cloth, giving proof to the resurrection and recalling the Scriptures concerning this. With them and through them we also believe, and we sing praises to you, O Christ, giver of life.



Ότι ήραν τόν Κύριον, τής Μαρίας ειπούσης, επί τόν τάφον έδραμον, Σίμων Πέτρος, καί άλλος, Μύστης Χριστού, όν ηγάπα, έτρεχον δέ οί δύο, καί εύρον τά οθόνια, ένδον κείμενα μόνα, καί κεφαλής, ήν δέ τό σουδάριον χωρίς τούτων, διό πάλιν ησύχασαν, τόν Χριστόν έως είδον.


Μεγάλα καί παράδοξα, δι’ εμέ κατειργάσω, Χριστέ μου πολυέλεε, εκ Παρθένου γάρ Κόρης, ετέχθης ανερμηνεύτως, καί Σταυρόν κατεδέξω, καί θάνατον υπομείνας, εξανέστης εν δόξη, καί τήν ημών, φύσιν ηλευθέρωσας τού θανάτου, Δόξα Χριστέ τή δόξη σου, δόξα τή σή δυνάμει.


Εωθινό Ζ
Ήχος βαρύς

Ιδού σκοτία καί πρωϊ, καί τί πρός τό μνημείον Μαρία έστηκας, πολύ σκότος έχουσα ταίς φρεσίν; υφ’ ού πού τέθειται ζητείς ο Ιησούς. Αλλ’ όρα τούς συντρέχοντας Μαθητάς, πώς τοίς οθονίοις καί τώ σουδαρίω, τήν Ανάστασιν ετεκμήραντο, και ανεμνήσθησαν τής περί τούτου Γραφής. Μεθ’ ών, καί δι’ ών καί ημείς, πιστεύσαντες, ανυμνούμέν σε τόν ζωοδότην Χριστόν.