Another Hymn for Holy Saturday

I ended up writing a second hymn on Holy Saturday after I posted the first one, and I forgot to post on here until now. It is a versified form of the Eastern Orthodox Aposticha for Holy Saturday:

Lo! From the Mighty Tree of Life
Saint Joseph took Thee down.
Thee, Lord of Life, all cold in death,
He in fine linens wound;
He bathed Thee in sweet, costly myrrh;
Embraced Thee in His pain.
The Arimathean cried out,
His heart with love aflame:
Refrain:
Glory to Thy Condescension,
O Thou Great Lover of Mankind!

To see Thee placed within the tomb
Caused all Hell’s powers to quake;
Brought down its reign, and smashed its gates;
All its bars Thou didst break!
Forth from their tombs the dead did come,
Casting off death’s dark chains;
Lost Adam, now, in joy renewed,
In gratitude exclaimed:
Refrain.

By Thine own will, Thy flesh went down
Into the lowly tomb;
O Mighty, Boundless, Infinite,
In sepulchre enclosed!
Drained are the palaces of Hell
By Thy great Sabbath rest;
Death’s dark chambers Thou hast shut up!
In joy we then confess:
Refrain.

Words: Greek Aposticha for Holy Saturday, versified by Noah Townsend, copyright 2013.
Tune:Stonypath” Charles MacPherson, 1916.

Here is the original Greek text:

Ἀπόστιχα

Στιχηρὰ Αὐτόμελα

Ἦχος β’

Ὅτε ἐκ τοῦ ξύλου σε νεκρόν, ὁ Ἀριμαθαίας καθεῖλε, τὴν τῶν ἁπάντων ζωήν, σμύρνῃ καὶ σινδόνι σε Χριστὲ ἐκήδευσε, καὶ τῷ πόθῳ ἠπείγετο, καρδία, καὶ χείλη, σῶμα τὸ ἀκήρατον, σοῦ περιπτύξασθαι, ὅμως συστελλόμενος φόβῳ, χαίρων ἀνεβόα σοι· Δόξα, τῇ συγκαταβάσει σου Φιλάνθρωπε.

Στίχ. Ὁ Κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν, εὐπρέπειαν ἐνεδύσατο.

Ὅτε ἐν τῷ τάφῳ τῷ καινῷ, ὑπὲρ τοῦ παντὸς κατετέθης, ὁ Λυτρωτὴς τοῦ παντός, ᾍδης ὁ παγγέλαστος, ἰδών σε ἔπτηξεν, οἱ μοχλοὶ συνετρίβησαν, ἐθλάσθησαν πύλαι, μνήματα ἠνοίχθησαν, νεκροὶ ἀνίσταντο· τότε ὁ Ἀδὰμ εὐχαρίστως, χαίρων ἀνεβόα σοι· Δόξα, τῇ συγκαταβάσει σου Φιλάνθρωπε.

Στίχ. Καὶ γὰρ ἐστερέωσε τὴν Οἰκουμένην, ἥτις οὐ σαλευθήσεται.

Ὅτε ἐν τῷ τάφῳ σαρκικῶς, θέλων συνεκλείσθης ὁ φύσει, τῇ τῆς Θεότητος, μένων ἀπερίγραπτος, καὶ ἀδιόριστος, τὰ θανάτου ἀπέκλεισας, ταμεῖα καὶ ᾍδου, ἅπαντα ἐκένωσας, Χριστὲ βασίλεια, τότε καὶ τὸ Σάββατον τοῦτο, θείας εὐλογίας καὶ δόξης, καὶ τῆς σῆς λαμπρότητος ἠξίωσας.

Στίχ. τῷ οἴκῳ σου πρέπει ἁγίασμα, Κύριε εἰς μακρότητα ἡμερῶν.

Ὅτε αἱ δυνάμεις σε Χριστέ, πλάνον ὑπ’ ἀνόμων ἑώρων, συκοφαντούμενον, ἔφριττον τὴν ἄφατον, μακροθυμίαν σου, καὶ τὸν λίθον τοῦ μνήματος, χερσὶ σφραγισθέντα, αἷς σου τὴν ἀκήρατον, πλευρὰν ἑλόγχευσαν, ὅμως τῇ ἡμῶν σωτηρίᾳ, χαίρουσαι ἐβόων σοι· Δόξα, τῇ συγκαταβάσει σου, Φιλάνθρωπε.

About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Christianity, Eastern Orthodoxy, Hymnody, Liturgy. Bookmark the permalink.

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