In the name of the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit and one God, Amen!
Yared the kinsman of Abba Gideon was a poet and a hymn writer. He was also a blessed student of Abba Gideon who is a priest of the first church that was built in Ethiopia, Aksum. The church was dedicated to our Holy Lady, the Virgin Mary. Abba Gideon was a tough teacher, as a result, Yared suffered to the point of quitting. Yared fled into the desert and took up his abode under a tree. As he sat under the tree he saw a worm struggling to climb up a tree and falling but never giving up. Yared was inspired by the perseverance of the worm, so he repented in his soul and returned to his teacher. He asked Abba Gideon, “Forgive me, O father, and dispose of me as thou wish.” His teacher, a spiritual man accepted his apologies and asked God to open thoughts of Yared’s understanding. As a result, Yared learned the Old and the New Testaments in one day and became a deacon.
Back then, there was no singing of hymns and spiritual songs in a loud voice to well-defined tunes. Instead, men murmured hymns in a low voice. However, on one miraculous day, God sent Yared three birds from the Garden of ‘Edom who talked to him and took him to the heavenly Jerusalem. There he learned the songs of the Four and Twenty Priests of heaven. When he returned, he went into the First Church in ‘Aksum, at the third hour of the day, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Hallelujah to the Father, Hallelujah to the Son, Hallelujah to the Holy Spirit.” He called the first Hallelujah he made “Zion.” In the second Hallelujah, he showed forth how Moses carried out the work of the Tabernacle, and this he called “Song of the heights.” When the king, queen, bishop, priests, and the king’s nobles heard the sound of his voice, they ran to the church and spent the day listening to him.
Saint Yared arranged hymns for each season of the year; festivals, Sabbaths, for the days of the Angels, the Prophets, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. He separated the hymns in three modes. The first mode to be used on ordinary days, the second mode to be used on fasting days and days of mourning, and the third mode to be used during festivals. The three modes are made by men, birds, and beats. One day Saint Yared was singing by the footstool of King Gebre Meskel, the king (died A.D. 1344) was so deeply absorbed by Yared’s voice, that he drove his spear into the flat part of Yared’s foot with such force that much blood spurted out. But Saint Yared did not know of it until he had finished his song. The king who observed this was dismayed. He drew his spear out of his foot, and said unto him, “Ask me whatever reward thou wishe for in return for this blood which hath been shed.” Saint Yared said unto him, “Swear to me that thou wilt not refuse me.” When the king had sworn, Saint Yared said unto him, “Send me away that I may become a monk.” When the king heard this he was exceedingly sad, so were his nobles. But he was afraid to prevent him because of his oath.
On the day of his departure, Saint Yared went into the church, stood before the Tabernacle of Zion, and prayed and he was raised above the ground. Then he departed to the desert of the south and lived there in fasting and prayer. He mortified his flesh exceedingly and finished his strife there. And God gave him a promise that he who should invoke his name or celebrate his commemoration (something missing here). Saint Yared died in peace and the place of his grave is still not known to this day.
Salutation to Saint Yared!
Glory to God Who is glorified in His Saints, Amen!