Archive for February 11th, 2010

By the Waters of Babylon

February 11, 2010

A traditional hymn from the Lenten season.

By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Alleluia.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. Alleluia.
For there they that had taken us captive required of us a song;
and they that had carried us away required of us a hymn, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. Alleluia.
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? Alleluia.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Alleluia.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem as my chief joy. Alleluia.
Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem;
who said, Down with it, down with it, even to the foundation thereof. Alleluia.
O wretched daughter of Babylon, happy shall he be that shall reward thee as thou hast served us. Alleluia.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

In Orthodox tradition, the fathers interpret the last verse as a reference to the “little thoughts – the logismoi” and dashing them against the Rock, who is Christ. Thus we rise early in the day and dash our wayward thoughts against the Rock of Christ who frees us from their tyranny. Alleluia.

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