Music


I have had a great time teaching the wonderful people here at St. Tikhon’s how to sing the Paschal Troparion in Swedish. Enjoy!

 

Kristus är uppstånden från de döda! Med döden övervann Han döden, och åt dem som är i gravarna gav Han liv!

English translation:

People rejoice, nations hear:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Stars dance, mountains sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Forests murmur, winds hum:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Seas bow, animals roar:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bees swarm, and the birds sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

Angels stand, triple the song:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Sky humble yourself, and elevate the earth:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bells chime, and tell to all:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Glory to You God, everything is possible to You,
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

.

Hat tip: Fr. Stephen Freeman

“The serpent found a second Eve in the Egyptian woman
and plotted the fall of Joseph through words of flattery.
But, leaving behind his garment, Joseph fled from sin.
He was naked but unashamed, like Adam before the fall.
Through his prayers, O Christ, have mercy on us.”

Doxastikon of the Aposticha from Holy Monday Bridegroom Matins

“I have miserably bowed down to the pleasures of the body becoming wholly enslaved to the demons that provoke the passions. I have become a stranger to Thee, O Lover of mankind. But now I cry with the voice of the Prodigal: I have sinned, O Christ, despise me not, for Thou alone are merciful.

I do not dare look up at the height of heaven, O King of all: I cry out: I have sinned; for in my foolishness, I alone have angered Thee, rejecting Thy commandments. Therefore, only Good One, do not cast me away from Thy presence.

At the prayers of the apostles, martyrs and prophets, the holy saints and the righteous, O Christ my Lord, forgive me all the offenses which have provoked Thee to anger in Thy goodness, and I shall sing Your praises for evermore.”

From the Canon of the Prodigal Son, Ode 7

“When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, and called Thee His beloved Son! And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!”

Sung by the Boston Byzantine Choir

– – –

The feast is called Theophany (“the revealing of God”) because at the baptism of Christ the Holy Trinity appeared clearly to mankind for the first time – the Father’s voice is heard from Heaven, the Son of God is incarnate and standing physically in the Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him in the form of a dove. This feast of Holy Theophany is also sometimes referred to as “Epiphany” by English-speaking Orthodox Christians, but that name more properly refers to the Western Christian feast falling on that same day and commemorating the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus. The term “Epiphany” does, however, appear in some of the hymns in the services for this feast.

In the earliest days of the Church, there was just one Christian feast of the shining forth of God to the world in the human form of Jesus of Nazareth. This celebration included the celebration of Christ’s birth, the adoration of the Wisemen, and all of the childhood events of Christ such as his circumcision and presentation to the temple as well as his baptism by John in the Jordan. There seems to be little doubt that this feast, like Easter and Pentecost, was understood as the fulfillment of a previous Jewish festival, in this case the Feast of Lights. Christ is the Light of life, which has come into the world! Today, although we celebrate these events in several distinct feasts, they still bear witness to this truth.

Christ is in our midst!

“Archimandrite Vasilieios of Iviron Monastery, in his book Hesychia and Beauty in Athonite Life (1996), explains that, in the Church, ‘beauty is not reckoned as a category of aesthetics, but rather as the divine grace and energy which holds together the universe’ (p. 10). It therefore behooves us to seek to recognize and become aware of ‘beauty,’ remembering that Lord ‘sanctifies those who love the beauty of His house’ (Cf. Divine Liturgy, Prayer before the Ambo). All beauty has its origin in the Source of beauty, which is Christ Himself.

In our modern culture we continue to experience a general decline in our ability to recognize and appreciate beauty within our utilitarian world. It is imperative for us to fight against the plague of ‘busyness’: to slow down, to remember to carefully and prayerfully read, learning how (and sometimes violently forcing ourselves) to appreciate the Psalms, liturgical texts, the Scriptures, the sacred poetry and music. Words in the modern world have lost their power due to their sheer and daunting number. We must recover a sensitivity and respect for the power of each word, lest the Church’s liturgical life, based on the Word of God, fall to shambles, unappreciated and mindlessly hurried through (as it is much of the time).

To seek and recognize beauty is to find a door to the divine, to see a reflection of another world; it is to call to remembrance the Lord and ‘see’ His reflection. The virtuous Christian soul is the pinnacle of all such beauty. Indeed, all of creation is called to be redeemed and to enter into the Church, and as Christ’s garments on Mount Tabor, to be transfigured through coming into contact with Christ’s Body, the Church. Thus, everything that is restored in Christ’s Church — including the music — ought to reflect this sanctifying beauty.

We must constantly seek to become sensitive to, to learn to appreciate, to seek to understand more about the Church’s canonical liturgical arts which are the precious flowering of the Gospel itself. To fail to appreciate the real beauty, in all its diverse forms, that is contained within the Church’s Tradition (in all local jurisdictions), is to fail to recognize the Lord Himself; it is to fail recognize His restored and grace-filled creation within the Church, which is our best tool for evangelizing and changing the world. This beauty is truly captivating, reaching deep into the heart of man and restoring the image of God — the original beauty within him, the glory and power and majesty of Christ God Himself — through the beauty of holiness. It is this divine and saving beauty which comes through the Church and Her sacraments that will restore man and his world, saving it for eternity in the world to come.”

— Abbot Sergius of St. Tikhon’s Monastery

“In the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, doctrine and worship are inseparable. Worship is, in a certain sense, doctrinal testimony, reference to the events of Revelation. Thus, ‘dogmas are not abstract ideas in and for themselves but revealed and saving truths and realities intended to bring mankind into communion with God.’ One could say without hesitation that, according to Orthodox understanding, the fullness of theological thought is found in the worship of the Church. This is why the term Orthodoxy is understood by many not as ‘right opinion,’ but as ‘right doxology,’ [that is,] ‘right worship.’”

– Archimandrite Zacharias, Ecclesial Being, pg. 88.

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