Feast of St. Romanos the Melodist (October 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Bass Clef

Image in the Public Domain

SAINT ROMANOS THE MELODIST (CIRCA 490-CIRCA 556)

Priest and Hymn Writer

I, unlike many people around whom I grew up in rural South Georgia, USA, have a finely-honed sense of history.  In certain United Methodist congregations during the 1980s I heard many people speak of “old” songs.  “Old,” for them, indicated authorship in the late 1800s through the middle 1900s.  They had as much of a sense of history as a character from a 1980s low-budget film about an expert on early music.  In one scene the music historian identified himself as such  when a young woman asked him what he did for a living.  When she heard “early music,” she asked,

Do you mean Elvis?

I, with my sense of history in full gear, introduce you, O reader, to St. Romanos the Melodist (circa 490-circa 556).  He was born at Emesa (now Homs), Syria.  The saint became deacon at Beirut before moving to Constantinople and serving as a priest there, beginning during the reign of Emperor Anastasius I (491-518).  (For an account of church-state politics during the reign of Anastasius I, follow this link:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/feast-of-sts-flavian-ii-of-antioch-and-elias-of-jerusalem-july-20/.)  The saint composed over a thousand hymns, about eighty of which survive.  Among these is the Kontakion, a dialogue between St. Mary of Nazareth (the Theotokos) and the Magi.  The Orthodox Church, which has a strong sense of history, continues to use his works in its liturgies.

St. Romanos used a talent–hymn writing–for the glory of God in the beauty of worship, an orthodox specialty.  What beauty will you, O reader, contribute for the edification of others and the glory of God?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 17, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY CUTLER AND THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER, ANGLICAN PRIESTS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

St. Romanos the Melodist Society:

http://saintromanos.org/

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Saint Romanos the Melodist and all those who with words

have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior,

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–modified slightly from the Proper for Artists and Writers,

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Posted August 17, 2012 by neatnik2009 in October, Saints of the 500s

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