Thursday, April 20, 2023

An Especially Beautiful Byzantine Chant for Easter

In the Divine Office of the Byzantine Rite, a chant called the Exapostilarion is sung at the hour of Orthros between the section known as the Canon (explained here) and the Laudate Psalms. As in every liturgical tradition, some of the most beautiful texts and musical settings of them are found in Holy Week and Easter; here is an absolutely extraordinary version of the one for Easter, performed in a concert given in Rome in October of 2012 by the National “Dumka” Choir, which is very famous in Ukraine, conducted by Yevgeny Savchuk. This particular chant comes from the tradition of the Monastery of the Holy Dormition in Pochayiv, about 85 miles to the east of Lviv.
To all those who follow the Julian Calendar, and are now in the middle of Bright Week, a most blessed and happy Easter - Christ is risen!

Having fallen asleep in the flesh as a mortal man, o King and Lord, Thou didst rise on the third day, raising Adam from corruption, and destroying death: O Pascha of incorruption, the Salvation of the world!

Плотїю oуснув, яко мертвъ, Царю и Господи, тридневенъ воскреслъ еси, Адама воздвигъ ѿ тли, и oупразднивъ смерть: Пасха нетлѣнїѧ, мїра спасенїе.

Σαρκὶ ὑπνώσας ὡς θνητός, ὁ Βασιλεὺς καὶ Κύριος, τριήμερος ἐξανέστης, Ἀδὰμ ἐγείρας ἐκ φθορᾶς, καὶ καταργήσας θάνατον, Πάσχα τῆς ἀφθαρσίας, τοῦ κόσμου σωτήριον.

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