Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Christus Resurrexit a Mortuis - A Latin Version of the Byzantine Easter Hymn

For many years now, the choir of the Pontifical Russian College in Rome (the “Russicum”) has been joined for the services of Holy Week and Easter Sunday by the “Romanos der Melode Chor”, whose members come from various parts of Switzerland. One of the most beautiful pieces of their repertoire is this rendition of the Paschal hymn “Christ is risen from the dead” in Latin, which was sung this yea after the service was formally over. It is the common custom of the Byzantine Rite to sing the Gospel of the Easter Liturgy in several languages; in a similar vein, the Paschal hymn has been in other years sung at Communion once in Greek, once in Slavonic and once in Latin. As the head of the choir remarked to me after the service, “Although we are from many places, we are celebrating Easter here in Rome, in the heart of the universal Church, and it is very right that we should end with Latin, the liturgical language of the Roman church.” Thanks to the Russicum and the Romanos der Melode Chor for another magnificent Holy Week: ad multos annos! ( My apologies for the amateur quality of the video.) UPDATE: A member of the Russicum choir has brought to my attention that this arrangement is the work of Fr. Ludwig Pichler, S.J., who was the director of the choir for many years.

Christus resurrexit a mortuis, mortem morte calcavit, et mortuis in sepulchris vitam donavit!

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