For Chants Such as These (Music for Mondays)

It’s Monday, and looking very gloomy in my neck of the woods. Pop music? Not interested. Blues? I feel them, but no. I need something a lot more holy than that today. Spring may have sprung, but it still felt like I was in hibernation this morning. Here are a few selections that fit the bill for my frame of mind.

First, the Regina Caelorum (the Marian antiphon from the Presentation of the Lord until Good Friday). Here is an English translation:

Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned.
Hail, by angels mistress owned.
Root of Jesse, Gate of Morn

Whence the world’s true light was born:
Glorious Virgin, Joy to thee,
Loveliest whom in heaven they see;
Fairest thou, where all are fair,
Plead with Christ our souls to spare.

V. Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thine enemies.

Let us pray: We beseech thee, O Lord, mercifully to assist our infirmity: that like as we do now commemorate Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, Mother of God; so by the help of her intercession we may die to our former sins and rise again to newness of life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Remember the Gospel reading yesterday when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life? Rejoice O Bethany. And the rest of these are in English, so I can follow along.

And now for a couple more that are in English (whew!). First, the Polyeleos. The citation from Wikipedia reads:

The word “polyeleos” also refers to a large chandelier used in some Orthodox churches, particularly in monasteries. It is in the form of a very large circle (also called a corona or horos) with many candles on it, and is often adorned with icons of numerous saints. The polyeleos is suspended by a chain from the ceiling. During the chanting of the Polyeleos psalms (134 and 135), all of the candles are lit and it is pushed with a rod so that it turns back and forth during the singing, adding to the joy of the service. This practice is still seen in the monasteries of Mount Athos and in other traditional Orthodox monasteries throughout the world.

This one reminds me of St. Romanus singing of the unapproachable light: Now Christ, Thou Sun of Justice
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  • Maria

    Frank: These are exquisite. I just love this sort of thing. I especially enjoyed Rejoice O Bethany–very different. It is a whole other world,the Byzantine rite and they are in full communion w/ Rome, amazing, huh? Those Buddhists don't have anything on us Catholics, right?Thank You!!

  • Maria: I really like that one too, especially since the Gospel reading yesterday was about the Our Lords miracle of bringing Lazarus back to life. Here are the odes…everybody can sing along!ODE IRejoice, O Bethany! On this day God came to thee; and in Him thedead are made alive, as is right since He is the Life!ODE IIWhen Martha went to receive Him, grieving loudly with bitter tears,she poured out the sorrow of her heart to Him, with great sadness wailingher lament.ODE IIIShe at once cried out unto Him: “My Most Compassionate Lord! O myLord! At the great loss of my brother Lazarus my heart isbroken. Help me,O Lord!”ODE IVJesus said to her: “Cease thy weeping; cease thy grieving and sadlament! For thy brother, My most beloved friend Lazarus, very soon will liveagain!”ODE VThen at once the Faithful Redeemer, made His way unto the tomb,where He cried unto hum who was buried four days, calling him forthsaying: “Lazarus arise!”ODE VICome with haste, O ye two sisters, and behold a wondrous event, foryour brother from the tomb has turned back to life. To the Redeemer nowgive ye thanks!ODE VIIUnto Thee O Lord of creation we bow down and worship Thy might,for we all are dead in our sins, through Thee O Jesus we are made alive!CONCLUSION:REPEAT ODE IRejoice, O Bethany! On this day God came to thee; and in Him thedead are made alive, as is right since He is the Life!And here is the link with the verses in English and Arabic:

  • Frank — thank you so much for the words in English.

  • Maria

    Oh Frank==what a beauty. behold a wondrous event, foryour brother from the tomb has turned back to life. To the Redeemer nowgive ye thanks!I don't know about you, but I feel this way too many times to count…Thank you.

  • Sorry, that link was a dud. Here is that link again:Rejoice O Bethany