Today it smells like springtime, * and new creation is dancing. * Today the locks are removed * from the doors and the disbelief * of Thomas the friend who cries out, * "You are my Lord and my God.”
Text by permission of AGES Initiatives: https://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/dcs.html
This hymn is from the Sunday of Thomas (one week after Pascha). It is an exaposteilarion, a hymn of dismissal that follows the canon in matins. The exaposteilarion on Sundays refers back to the matins gospel—there are 11 texts that repeat and all are stories of the resurrection. These hymns are dramatic, and if you hear it live during matins, you will recognize the tones and that they are important parts of the story.
I love that this hymn begins with “smells like springtime.” Before I was Orthodox, I don’t think I associated smell with worship very much, but we have lots of potent smells in our church—different kinds of incense, the smell of rose oil, basil leaves, beeswax candles, and flowers. I sometimes take my sense of smell for granted, but it’s important, and I have read that smells connect powerfully with the parts of our brain related to emotion and memory.
The hymn is connected with the story of Thomas, who is skeptical but believes once he has seen and touched; and with the text of the hymn, we can imagine the relief of his belief, the unlocking of the doors of his (and our) hearts, and the fresh, warm air of spring!