Theotoke Parthene, Khere! (Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, χαίρε)

At the Greek Orthodox Church on Sunday there was a fortunate find on the used book / goodwill offering shelf: a 1962 booklet of all the favorite Orthodox prayers. The book showed Greek text, phonetic spelling, and translation into English. Nice!

Last night after work I was strolling to the library cradling my new book, glancing down every few steps to start learning the Hail Mary, or Theotoke Parthene, Khere! — God-Bearer Virgin, Hail!

Then, running right across 6 lanes of traffic from the gas station convenience store, a young man began staggering and reeling all over the sidewalk.
A deep-level instinct alerted me that he did not have any negative intentions; but he had been drinking a great deal, and his actions and words were not balanced with wheels on the rails. Clearly he himself had no idea how to manage on the street, or how to react when he spotted me. My instinct advised that this encounter could take any of several outcomes. The instinct further directed me not to try walking or running out of the way, but to stop and stand square and balanced, hang on to the little book, and keep that Greek phrase of prayer firmly in mind no matter what.

He got in my face too fast and too close, with an excited monologue about having an item to sell. As he turned away to rummage in his bag, that gave me a moment to reach for some money and hand it over.

He was so amazed at ending up with both some cash and also his belongings that he launched himself at me with a huge hug.

Standing still I gave his shoulder a solid pat, but then drew his attention to the book. For a moment we stood under the street light reading the Hail Mary. He examined the Greek and English in surprise and interest. On hearing my explanation that this very same Blessed Virgin had wanted him to have this money, he went rejoicing, sprinting toward the gas station.

A good outcome, considering. It certainly reinforced the memorization of prayer for me.

Would you like to hear how “Hail Mary” sounds in Greek? Here it is, as the very opening of the prayer chanted here by Mr. Meletios Kashinda.

Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, χαίρε κεχαριτωμένη Μαρία.

About maryangelis

Hello Readers! (= Здравствуйте, Читатели!) The writer lives in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths and the English and Russian languages, working in an archive by day and writing at night. Her walk in the world is normally one human being and one small detail after another. Then she goes home and types about it all until the soup is done.
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2 Responses to Theotoke Parthene, Khere! (Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, χαίρε)

  1. wendyrud says:

    Just…wow! Mother Mary is there for us! Love the chanted prayer.
    Wendy

    • maryangelis says:

      Thank you, hello! Since then it saddened me a little to think that women still don’t get a say in whether strange men tackle them on the street. But at least this was the best outcome. Ave Maria! Blessings, M

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