TROPARION “O ONLY BEGOTTEN”
O Only Begotten Son and the Word of God the immortal and everlasting, accepting everything for our salvation, was incarnated from the Theotokos the ever-Virgin Saint Mary, without change, Christ the God became Man, was crucified, through death trampled death, One of the Holy Trinity who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Save us.
This familiar Monostrophic troparion of the Byzantine liturgy, which is found in the Greek liturgies of St. Mark and St. James, does not occur in any of the three liturgies of the Coptic Church. It is sung, however, in the Coptic Church on three occasions: namely, at the consecration of bishops, the consecration of the holy chrism, and the Canonical Hour of Sext on Good Friday.
The unique finite verb of this hymn is the last word “save.” It is true that the hymn-writer of this troparion selected almost all his vocabulary from various sources and combined them to form a pattern that became traditional from the earliest times. Yet this is not a combination of selections, but one in which a fine balance of phrases and sentences is created and in which a definite pattern of verbal repetition is cleverly constructed. This hymn is a compilation of the faith symbols of Nicaea-Constantinople and Chalcedon that could be accepted by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian churches alike. The text is attributed to either the Patriarch of Antioch, Severus, or to the Emperor Justinian (between 535 and 536).