Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

St. Ephrem the Syrian—Hymns on Faith | Hymn Ten: Fire and Spirit

By James T. Majewski ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 03, 2021 | In Catholic Culture Audiobooks (Podcast)

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“In your bread is hidden the Spirit which cannot be eaten.

In your wine dwells the fire that cannot be drunk.

Spirit in your bread, fire in your wine:

It is a distinct wonder that our lips have received!”

Born in the year 306, Ephrem lived in Nisibis (in modern-day Turkey), at what was then the border between the Roman and Persian empires.

Ephrem was a deacon and a prolific writer, and he is to this day among the most notable hymnographers in Eastern Christianity. He has been called, in fact, the lyre of the Holy Spirit, and in 1920 he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XV.

This short hymn is one of Ephrem’s Eucharistic hymns, and also contains some resonance with Pentecost.

Learn more about Ephrem the Syrian in Episode 28 of Way of the Fathers with Mike Aquilina.


St. Ephrem, Hymns on Faith:

Ep. 28—Ephrem, Symbolist—Way of the Fathers with Mike Aquilina:

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Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.

James T. Majewski is Director of Customer Relations for, the “voice” of Catholic Culture Audiobooks, and co-host of Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. Based in New York City, he holds both a BA in Philosophy and an MFA in Acting. See full bio.

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