Commentaries from the Prayer of Vespers (Eleventh Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion

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If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall I the sinner appear? The burden and the heat of day I did not endure because of the weakness of my humanity. But O merciful God, count me with the fellows of the eleventh hour (Mat 20:1-16). For behold in iniquities I was conceived, and in sins my mother bore me. Therefore I do not dare to lift up my eyes to Heaven, but rather I rely on the abundance of Your mercy and love for mankind, crying out and saying, “God forgive me, a sinner, and have mercy on me.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 Hasten, O Saviour to open to me the fatherly bosoms, for I have wasted my life in pleasures and lusts, and the day has passed by me and vanished. Therefore, now I rely on the richness of Your never-ending compassion. So then, do not forsake a submissive heart which is in need of Your mercy. For unto You I cry, O Lord, humbly, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before You, and I am no longer worthy to be called Your son, so make me as one of Your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18-9)

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 Every iniquity I did with prudence and activity, and every sin I committed with eagerness and diligence, and of all torment and judgement I am worthy. Therefore, prepare for me the ways of repentance, O Lady the Virgin; for to you I appeal, and through you I seek intercession, and upon you I call to help me, lest I might be put to shame. And when my soul departs my body attend to me, and defeat the conspiracy of the enemies, and shut the gates of Hades, lest they might swallow my soul, O you blameless bride of the true Bridegroom.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of Vespers (Eleventh Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

 

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A short summary of the salvation of mankind – St. Athanasius the Apostolic

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What was God to do in face of this dehumanising of mankind, this universal hiding of the knowledge of Himself by the wiles of evil spirits? Was He to keep silence before so great a wrong and let men go on being thus deceived and kept in ignorance of Himself? If so, what was the use of having made them in His own Image originally? It would surely have been better for them always to have been brutes, rather than to revert to that condition when once they had shared the nature of the Word. Again, things being as they were, what was the use of their ever having had the knowledge of God? Surely it would have been better for God never to have bestowed it, than that men should subsequently be found unworthy to receive it. Similarly, what possible profit could it be to God Himself, Who made men, if when made they did not worship Him, but regarded others as their makers? This would be tantamount to His having made them for others and not for Himself.

Even an earthly king, though he is only a man, does not allow lands that he has colonized to pass into other hands or to desert to other rulers, but sends letters and friends and even visits them himself to recall them to their allegiance, rather than allow His work to be undone. How much more, then, will God be patient and painstaking with His creatures, that they be not led astray from Him to the service of those that are not, and that all the more because such error means for them sheer ruin, and because it is not right that those who had once shared His Image should be destroyed.

What, then, was God to do? What else could He possibly do, being God, but renew His Image in mankind, so that through it men might once more come to know Him? And how could this be done save by the coming of the very Image Himself, our Savior Jesus Christ? Men could not have done it, for they are only made after the Image; nor could angels have done it, for they are not the images of God. The Word of God came in His own Person, because it was He alone, the Image of the Father Who could recreate man made after the Image.

[St. Athanasius the Great, On the Incarnation of the Word (De Incarnatione Dei Verbi), Chapter 3, 13]

Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion

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O, Who tasted death in the flesh in the ninth hour for our sake, we the sinners, put to death our carnal lusts, O Christ, our God, and deliver us. Let my supplication draw close before You, O Lord; according to Your word give me understanding. Let my petition come before Your presence; according to Your word revive me.

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O You, who commended the spirit into the hands of the Father as You hung on the cross, in the ninth hour, and guided the thief who was crucified with You into entering the Paradise, do not neglect me, O Good One, nor reject me, I the lost one; but sanctify my soul and enlighten my understanding, and allow me to be a partaker of the grace of You life-giving mysteries. That when I taste of Your benevolences, I offer You praise without lukewarmness, longing for Your splendor above all things, O Christ our Lord, and deliver us.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 O You, who was born of the Virgin for our sake, and endured crucifixion, O Good One, and abolished death by Your death and manifested resurrection by Your resurrection, O God, do not turn away from those whom You have created with Your own hands, but manifest, O Good One Your love for mankind. Accept from Your mother an intercession on our behalf. Deliver, O Saviour, a humble people. Do not leave us to the end, and do not forsake us forever. Do not break Your covenant, and do not take away from us Your mercy, for the sake of Abraham Your beloved, Isaac Your servant, and Israel Your saint.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion

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“Lord, You know the alertness of my enemies, and as for my weakness, You are aware of it, My Creator. Therefore, I hereby place my soul into Your Hands. So cover me with the wings of Your goodness, lest I might sleep till death. Enlighten my eyes by the greatness of Your sayings, and raise me up at all times for Your glorification, for You alone are good and Lover of Mankind.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord, Your Judgement is dreadful; when men shall be rushed, the angels shall stand, the books shall be opened, the deeds shall be revealed, and the thoughts examined. What a Judgement mine will be, I who am entangled by sin! Who will quench the flames of fire about me? Who would enlighten my darkness, besides You, Lord? Have mercy upon me, for You are compassionate to mankind.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

O Theotokos (Mother of God), because we have put our trust in you, we shall not be put to shame, but shall be saved. And because we have attained your help and intercession, O pure and perfect one, we shall not fear, but shall drive out our enemies and shall disperse them. And, in all, we take your great help to protect us as if with a shield. We ask and entreat you, crying, O Theotokos to save us by your intercessions, and raise us up from the dark sleep, in order to powerfully glorify God Who took flesh from you.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil, The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

St. Mary is the Theotokos, Mother of God – St. Cyril the Pillar of the Faith

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And since the holy Virgin hath borne after the Flesh God united Personally to the Flesh, therefore we do say that she is also Mother of God, not as though the Nature of the Word had the beginning of It’s existence from flesh, for It was “in the beginning and the Word was God, and the Word was with God” [John 1:1], and is Himself the Maker of the ages, Co-eternal with the Father and Creator of all things: but (as we have already said) seeing that He united human nature to Himself Personally and underwent fleshly birth from the very womb, not as though by any necessity or for the sake of His own Nature needing the Birth in time and in the last times of the world, but in order to bless the very beginning of our being and that, because a woman bare Him united to the flesh, the curse against our whole race might at length be stopped, the curse which sends to death our bodies of earth, and the words, “in sorrows shalt thou bear children” [Gen. 3:16], through Him abolished, He might manifest that true which is uttered by the Prophet’s voice, “Death in its might is swallowed up, and God again removed every tear from off every face.” [Isa. 25:8 LXX] For this reason do we say that He economically blessed marriage itself also and when bidden in Cana of Galilee went thither together with the holy Apostles.

These things have we been taught to hold by the holy Apostles and Evangelists and the whole God-inspired Scripture, and by the true Confession of the blessed Fathers: to all of them must thy Piety too assent and consent without any guile.

The things which it is necessary that thy Piety anathematize have been annexed to this our Letter:

1. If any one confess not that Emmanuel is in truth God and that the holy Virgin is therefore Mother of God, for she bare after the flesh the Word of God made Flesh, be he anathema.

[St. Cyril the Alexandria, Third Letter to Nestorius]