The Troparion begins with a lofty appeal of the Holy Hierarch Hermogenes that later came to be used in subsequent prayers to the Most Holy Mother of God. “Intercessor” means protectress, or patroness.
On September 1/14, Orthodox Christians celebrate the Ecclesiastical New Year, also known as the Beginning of the Indiction. We offer our readers a theological-philological commentary on the troparion and kontakion of the feast.
The texts for this feast are filled with numerous symbols that glorify the instrument of Christ’s victory over death, revealing the soteriological aspects of theology and speaking of the priceless gifts that believers have acquired through the salvific death of Jesus.
And in this holiness, in total devotion to God, the Most Holy Virgin showed an example of the highest life, which is possible for everyone. In holiness and purity, in ineffable motherhood, she has become so close to God that the Church ceaselessly turns to her as to an intercessor, a patroness, and places its hope on her and praises her as a “firm hope in … intercessions.”
From its very first verses, the hymn “By the Rivers of Babylon” reveals the whole meaning of Great Lent. We are in captivity to sin—“by the rivers of Babylon.” Like the Jews, we have to lay mirth aside and reflect upon our sins and remember Zion—the Heavenly Kingdom, or the Heavenly Jerusalem.
The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple was her manifestation to the world like Christ’s manifestation at Theophany. It was a silent preaching to the people of the imminent coming of Christ.