Friday, February 12, 2016

A Beautiful Byzantine Chant for Lent

Now the powers of heaven invisibly worship with us, for behold, the King of Glory entereth! Behold, the mystical sacrifice, being perfected, is carried forth in triumph. With faith and love, let us come forth, that we may become partakers of eternal life, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Нынѣ Силы Небесныѧ съ нами невидимо служать, се, бо входитъ Царь Славы: се Жертва тайнаѧ совершена дориноситсѧ. Вѣрою и любовию приступимъ, да причастницы жизни вѣчныя будемъ. Аллилуя, аллилуя, аллилуя. (Sung by the choir of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow.)

As I am sure many of our readers know, it is the custom of the Byzantine Rite that the Eucharistic liturgy is not celebrated on the weekdays of Lent, except on the feast of the Annunciation. Therefore, at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, extra loaves of bread are consecrated, and reserved for the rest of the week. On Wednesdays and Fridays, a service known as the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is held, in which Vespers is mixed with a Communion Rite. (It is also held on the first three days of Holy Week, and may be done on other occasions, but twice a week is the most common practice.) The first part follows the regular order of Vespers fairly closely, and the second part imitates the Great Entrance and the Communion rite of the Divine Liturgy. This chant, therefore, replaces the hymn “We who mystically represent the Cherubim,” which is sung at the Divine Liturgy as the bread and wine are brought to the altar.

Here is the Greek version:

Νῦν αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σὺν ἡμῖν ἀοράτως λατρεύουσιν· ἰδοὺ γὰρ εἰσπορεύεται ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης. Ἰδοὺ θυσία μυστικὴ τετελειωμένη δορυφορεῖται· πίστει καὶ πόθῳ προσέλθωμεν, ἵνα μέτοχοι ζωῆς ἀιωνίου γενώμεθα. Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα.

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