Micah Hayes - A Hymn of St. Ephrem for Mixed Choir (SATB) and Organ. A Hymn of St. Ephrem: Anthem for the Baptism of Christ sets the poetry of St. Ephrem the Syrian and uses text from his Fifteen Hymns for the Feast of the Epiphany. Ephrem's poetry sets a dialogue with Jesus and John while creating a scene for the baptism of Jesus. It was first performed by the parish choir at St. Mark's Episcopal Church (Arlington, Texas, USA) by Kathy Fox Powell (conductor) and Linton Powell (organist).
A Hymn of St. Ephrem:
Hymn XIV: concerning our Lord and John of Fifteen Hymns for the Feast of the Epiphany
St. Ephrem the Syrian, translated by Philip Schaff
(Resp.—Glory to You my Lord, for You heaven and earth joyfully worship!)
My thought bore me to Jordan and I saw a marvel there: the glorious bridegroom who shall bring freedom and holiness.
I saw John filled with wonder and the people standing about him, and the glorious bridegroom bowed down that he might baptize him.
Then the bridegroom revealed himself and to John at the voice He drew near, and John was moved and said of Him: “This is the Bridegroom Whom I proclaimed.”
[John]: “How, my Lord, willest Thou to be baptized; Thou Who in Thy baptism atonest all?”
[Jesus]: “I will it so. Draw near and baptize me."
[John]: “Small is the river whereto Thou art come, that Thou should lodge therein. The heavens suffice not for Thy mightiness; how much less shall baptism contain Thee!”
[Jesus]: “The womb is smaller than Jordan yet I was willing to lodge in the virgin; and as I was born from woman, so too shall I be baptized in the Jordan.”
[John]: “I hearken, my Lord, according to Thy Word: come to baptism as Thy love constrains Thee!”
The heav'nly ranks were silent as they stood, and the glorious Bridegroom went down into Jordan; the Holy One was baptized and straightaway went up, and His Light shone forth on the world.
The doors of the highest were opened and the voice of the Father was heard: “This is my Beloved in Whom I am well pleased. All people come and worship Him.”
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