Unfading Rose (Ρόδον τό Ἀμάραντον): As a Byzantine youth choir, we were interested in selecting a name from the rich hymnology of the Church. There are hundreds of literary names, terms and expressions that have deep theological meanings.
Our hope, as a choir, is to connect the busy life of family with the eternal life within the Church. We wanted our name to make that connection. Liturgical names are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and would be a rich blessing for our Choir. It would also give us an opportunity to introduce people to more of our Church’s hymnologic and iconographic wealth.
The term Unfading Rose has two references. The first is found in the troparion of the Akathist Hymn. There the Unfading Rose is Christ Himself as the offspring of the Theotokos. ‘Ροδον το αμαραντον χαιρε η μονη βλαστησασα’. (Rejoice, O thou who alone hast blossomed forth the unfading Rose).
The second references is of an icon of the Theotokos, holding Christ and offering a rose to Him.
According to tradition, the rose is the Theotokos’ virginity and purity offered to her Son. We felt this name suited our girls’ choir. In a world where purity is, often, not considered a virtue, we felt that this name will help promote the ideal of purity amongst young people and children. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). Additionally, during our endeavor, we depended so much on the strength that the Theotokos provided us with, that it was most natural that the name of the choir should be a reference to the Panagia, the Mother of all. She inspired our children to learn the hymns. She empowered us to overcome the difficulties of a large twenty hour distance between our families and nurtured a collaboration of love and respect. We made her our guide and protectress of our effort. May her great blessing be with all who find a spiritual benefit by listening to this CD.
You can see the icon of The Unfading Rose, Ροδον το Aμαραντον, displayed in Churches, during the Salutation Services on Fridays during Great Lent. The Feast day for the icon, Unfading Rose, is April 3rd.
This is from the website akathistofthanksgiving.com [no longer in service]
The time of the appearance of this icon in Russia is unknown. Its name, 'The Unfading Flower," is related with hymns dedicated to the Mother of God, The original miracle-working icon shows the Most Holy Theotokos with the Pre-Eternal Infant on Her left arm, holding in Her right hand a flower of the lily symbolizing "the unfading flower of virginity of the Most Pure and All-Immaculate Virgin Mary. Sometimes roses and other flowers are painted instead of the lily. As a rule, miraculous icons of this iconographic type were locally revered and were popular over the area from the Perm Gubernia in the Urals to the Poltava Gubernia in the Ukraine. They have healed a great number of sick people-Feast day: April 3/16.
Ρόδον τό Ἀμάραντον