The Divisions of the Midnight Praises
The First Canticle (hos):
It is the praise of Moses the Prophet after crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 15). “Let us praise the Lord for with glory he is glorified…” The Red Sea was a symbol of baptism which is considered a complete barrier between Pharaoh and his soldiers and between the people that passed through the wilderness with their God.
Also, the Church with the baptismal crossing of its children, currently in the wilderness of this world, sings the praise of victory and salvation (the song of Moses). It sings it every day until it sings it in complete victory and triumph in eternity.
“And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb…” (Rev 15:1-4).
From what preceded, we see a powerful connection between the church of the Old Testament in its symbols and the New Testament with its perfection in the heavenly glory. Indeed, today’s Church sings the song of victory while it is passing the sea of this world in assurance of triumph and lifting of its spiritual soul in its unseen war with Satan and assurance of God’s power in it and assurance of the insignificance of Satan who plunged as lead in the sea and has no rest –in the baptismal font.
Read (Exodus 15) and learn it and sing it every night. You will find your spiritual life in the power of victory and triumph and the lifting up of the spirit the length of the journey of our lives for the sake of our faith in God who conquered Satan with the Cross. This high spirit will give us certain victory and power in our spiritual war.
The Second Canticle (Psalm 135):
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” It is the praise of thanksgiving which the Church offers to God for the sake of His love for us — which saved us when it crossed with us the sea of death. He sustained us and supports us today in the wilderness and nourishes us with His body and His blood and His love and His tenderness, and guides us with His Holy Spirit dwelling in us. This is the Spirit which takes from what is Christ’s and gives to us…
Indeed, thankfulness is the nature of the struggling Church every day since it “is not a gift without surplus except that which is without thanks.” (Mar Isaac) We thank Him because He bears our bodily weaknesses and the weakness of our nature, and He washes our feet from the filth of the world with repentance and confession, and He leads us from glory to glory.
For Part 2 of The Praise Click Here – http://www.vimeo.com/8053842
Fr Bishoy Kamel