Friday, February 04, 2011

A Greek Troparion in the Latin liturgy for Candlemas

Guest article by Henri de Velliers

On February 2nd, the Churches of East and West celebrated the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, 40 days after his birth. In the East, this feast also receives the name of "Hypapante" or "Meeting" (Occursum Domini in Latin), a term that recalls the meeting between Holy Child Jesus and Simeon.

The Greek Menaion for this feast uses the following Troparion Apolytikion:
Χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη Θεοτόκε Παρθένε· ἐκ σοῦ γὰρ ἀνέτειλεν ὁ Ἥλιος τῆς δικαιοσύνης, Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, φωτίζων τοὺς ἐν σκότει. Εὐφραίνου καὶ σὺ Πρεσβύτα δίκαιε, δεξάμενος ἐν ἀγκάλαις τὸν ἐλευθερωτὴν τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν, χαριζόμενος ἡμῖν καὶ τὴν Ἀνάστασιν.

Here is an English translation:
Hail, full of grace, Virgin Mother of God, for from you there dawned the Sun of righteousness, Christ our God, who enlightens those in darkness. Be glad too, righteous Elder, for you received in your embrace the Liberator of our souls, who grants us also resurrection.

This troparion was translated in Latin during the Middle Ages and was sung in the West. If it no longer appears in the Roman liturgical books, it might be found in most ancient French medieval diocesan books and today still remains in use in the Dominican rite.

Here is the text and music, from Variæ preces Solesmes, 1901, p.103:

In the Dominican rite, our troparion is the first antiphon sung for the first station at the procession of Candlemas. Here it is, taken from the 1913 processional:

Note that, in both East and West, the antiphon is always sung in the first tone. The Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν has not been translated in the Latin text; perhaps it is not primitive in Greek and might represent a later addition possibly to clarify the meaning of the text.

Here is the text of the Troparion of the Holy Encounter in Church Slavonic:

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