Nearly all Christian celebrations of worship will contain verses better known as hymns. This sort of poetry has been written for centuries upon centuries and continues to enjoy great favour with Christian believers everywhere. On Sunday we celebrate one of the greatest hymn writers of the early Church, St Ephraim the Syrian.
Ephraim was a deacon who lived in Damascus during the fourth century. The works he produced are voluminous but his best loved pieces were hymns. These celebrated the liturgy, the last judgement, and refuted heresies. But they also praised Our Lady in such glowing terms that Ephraim has been seen as a key catalyst in the development of devotion to Our Lady.
May has always traditionally been thought of as Mary’s month. We have many hymns both old and new which celebrate the importance of Mary and her place and significance in Christian thought and devotion. It might be a good idea to look at some of St. Ephraim’s hymns to here to remind ourselves of how Christians over seventeen hundred years ago celebrated their faith in the Immaculate mother of God.