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"Myrrh-Bearers": 4 Spelling Lessons

"Myrrh-Bearers": 4 Spelling Lessons

Tags: Religion, Christianity

The Myrrh Bearers at the Sepulcher

The reform of the Russian language 1918 of the year, greatly simplifying the spelling, at the same time made it difficult to understand certain words that have now become homonyms. Leaving aside the negative consequences of these changes, we will try to find in them a positive moment and, by virtue of our modest abilities, we will try to follow the divine advice heard by the prophet Jeremiah: "If you extract the precious from the worthless, you will be like My lips" (Jer. 15: 19 ).

Modern spelling allows us to find several options for reading the word "myrrh-bearer". In the old spelling this word could be written with three different letters filling it with different meanings, which are now contained in one word.

1. Mirrors.

Myrrh-bearers. Miniature

Writing through "izhitsu" - "ѵ", in which the word "Myrrh-bearers" is filled with the Gospel meaning. The bearers are those holy women who brought to the grave of the Resurrected Savior the mira (mѵro), an odorous, oily liquid, by which they intended to molest the holy body of the Lord. Since myrrh-bearing wives were an example of loyalty to their Divine Teacher, they themselves became a model of faith, hope and love for God.

2. Myrrh-bearers.

Photo: Y. Kostygov / Expo.Pravoslavie.Ru

Another variant of writing the word - through the Slavic "igra", which corresponds to the modern Russian "and" - is more familiar to us. In the old spelling, the word "peace" written through this letter had a narrower meaning, in comparison with modern. In the "Explanatory dictionary of the living great Russian language" by Vladimir Dal, it is defined as "the absence of strife, enmity, disagreement, war; harmony, harmony, friendship, goodwill; peace, tranquility. " This word is used in the name of the famous Tolstoy novel "War and Peace". The word "myrrh-bearer", which includes the root "peace", will denote women who bring peace and harmony to others. And the church's understanding of the world is deeper than secular. This is the world that only God can give: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you" (John 14: 27). This world is not passive, consisting in the absence of aggression. This is what transforms a person into a child of God, into a peacemaker who, even with his one presence, graciously affects others. It was about this world that the Monk Seraphim of Sarov used to say: "My joy, I pray you, get the spirit of peace, and then thousands of souls will be saved near you."

3. Mikronositsy.

The third variant of the word under discussion is its writing through the letter, which is called "and" in the Church Slavonic and pre-reform Russian alphabets, and is written as "i": "mironositsy." Here the word "world" denotes the totality of creation, the universe, the cosmos. And the word "myrrh-bearer", derived from this word "peace" (in modern orthography), will mean women whose works and prayers are held by our world, that is, the entire universe. This reading became especially relevant in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, when women increasingly have to take on the functions of degrading men and, most importantly, a prayer that today is perceived by many as almost a feminine affair. And in this sense, the myrrh-bearers become the likeness of caryatids, which bear on their worn shoulders the burden of the fallen atlas (or fleeing) Atlanteans.

4. But in addition to this meaning, the word "peace" ("mira") in patristic literature is a term denoting a set of passions: "The world is a collective name, embracing what is called passions. When in aggregate we want to name passions, we call them the world; and when we want to distinguish them by the difference in their names, we call them passions "[1]. And in this case the word "myrrh-bearer" is filled with negative meaning, and the miraculous bearer turns into a man who does not bring peace to his surroundings, but sin, vice, quarrels, hatred, passion, and becomes the antipode of those myrrhbearers, which were mentioned above.


On the day when the Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of holy Myrrh-bearers, I would like to wish all Orthodox women to embody in their life images of myrrh-bearers in the first and second meaning and as far as possible to move away from the realization of the last meaning of the word. We also want to wish and we, men, do everything we can to ensure that our women are not crushed beyond the reach of weak women's shoulders by a miracle.

[1] Isaak Sirin, pr. Suicidal instructions. Part 1. Manual 22.

Andrei Gorbachev
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