I quite enjoyed singing these today. I thought you might enjoy reading them as well. I wish someone would do a children's book based on the hymnody of Matins and Vespers. There is so much to learn from them and it is so approachable that they would almost certainly get something out of it. The use of parallels, quite important and pervasive in the Psalter is also integral to St. Romanos the Melodist's hymns, helps paint pictures with striking contrasts that young and old can understand. In addition, the imagery comes from different angles so that if one musical picture drawn doesn't make sense, another hopefully will. Someone, please take this on as a labor of love. Enjoy.
v. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His exceeding
greatness! (Ps 150:2)
A harlot recognized You as God, O Son of the Virgin.
With tears equal to her past deeds, she besought You, weeping:
“Loose my debt, as I have loosed my hair!
Love the woman who, though justly hated, loves You!
Then with the publicans will I proclaim You,//
O Benefactor, Who love mankind.”
Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! (Ps 150:3)
The harlot mingled precious myrrh with her tears.
She poured it on Your most pure feet and kissed them.
At once You justified her.
O Lord, Who suffered for our sakes,//
forgive us also, and save us!
Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with strings
and pipe! (Ps 150:4)
As the sinful woman was bringing her offering of myrrh,
the disciple was scheming with lawless men.
She rejoiced in pouring out her precious gift.
He hastened to sell the priceless One.
She recognized the Master, but Judas parted from Him.
She was set free, but Judas was enslaved to the Enemy.
How terrible his slothfulness!
How great her repentance!
O Savior, Who suffered for our sakes,//
grant repentance to us also, and save us!
Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing
cymbals! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Oh, the wretchedness of Judas!
He saw the harlot kiss the footsteps of Christ,
but deceitfully he contemplated the kiss of betrayal.
She loosed her hair while he bound himself with wrath.
He offered the stench of wickedness instead of myrrh,
for envy cannot distinguish value.
Oh, the wretchedness of Judas!//
Deliver our souls from it, O God!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit...
The sinful woman ran to buy the precious myrrh
with which to anoint her Savior.
She cried to the merchant: “Give me myrrh,//
that I may anoint Him Who has cleansed all my sins!”
... now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
The woman who was engulfed in sin
found in You a haven of salvation.
She poured out myrrh with her tears and cried to You:
“Behold the One Who brings repentance to sinners!
Rescue me from the tempest of sin, O Master,//
through Your great mercy!”