THE FURNACE

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Who from the fiery furnace saved the Three,
Suffers as mortal; that, His passion o’er,
This mortal, triumphing o’er death, might be
Vested with immortality once more.
He Whom our fathers still confessed
God over all, forever blest.

The women with their ointment seek the tomb,
And Whom they mourned as dead, with many a tear.
They worship now, joy dawning on their gloom,
As Living God, as mystic Passover;
Then to the Lord’s Disciples gave
The tidings of the vanquished grave.

We keep the festal of the death of death;
Of hell overthrown; the first-fruits, pure and bright,
Of life eternal; and, with joyous breath,
Praise Him that won the victory by His might;
Him Whom our fathers still confessed
God over all, forever blest.

All-hallowed festival, in splendor born!
Night of salvation and of glory! Night
Foreheralding the Resurrection morn!
When from the tomb the everlasting Light,
A glorious frame once more his own.
Upon the world in splendor shone.

-ST. JOHN DAMASCENE.