Friday, 3 April 2015

Kosta Simic: Poetic Treatments of the Hypapante: Christology or Mariology?

Certain ambivalence can be observed in both liturgical practice and scholarship as to whether the Hypapante should be regarded as a Mariological or Christological feast. While an answer to the question of its character has mostly been sought in homilies delivered on 2 February, in this paper I turn to the hymnography of the feast. In my treatment of this feast, I will focus on several other sources, including early lectionaries, which containincipits of both the biblical readings and poetry required for the performance of liturgical services; the earliest collections of hymnographic texts known as tropologia; and other poetic material from the early Byzantine period (up to the ninth century) intended to be read or chanted on the annually liturgical commemoration of the feast. As a point of departure, I take an unpublished kanon on theHypapante, attributed to the Patriarch Germanos I (715-730). Special attention will be paid to frequent poetic treatments of Jesus’s Presentation in the Temple as his corporeal manifestation par excellence in the world. It will be argued that on several occasions the emphasis on Christ’s corporeality should be seen in the light of anti-iconoclast polemic.

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