Monday, April 30, 2012

A well-Loved Hymn

I know it's very much the wrong season, but I've finally found The Hymn of Kassiani in the version I know and therefore love the best and have been eager for so long to share with you. Written by Nun Kassiani twelve centuries ago, it has been an Orthodox favorite ever since. This setting is by Mantzaros; he was from Corfu, which has a rich and hauntingly beautiful musical tradition. You can read more about this hymn here. (I have to say our choir sings it even better, but this rendition is quite good.)




O Lord, a woman of many sins, perceiving your divinity, assumes the rank of a Myrrh-bearer and in deep mourning brings before you fragrant oil in anticipation of your burial; crying: "Woe to me! What night falls on me, what dark and moonless madness of wild-desire, this lust for sin. Take my fountain of tears You who gather the clouds from the ocean’s water. Bend down to me, to the sighing of my heart, You who bend down the heavens in your unutterable condescension. I will wash your immaculate feet with kisses and wipe them dry with the locks of my hair; those very feet whose sound Eve heard at the dusk in Paradise and hid herself in terror. Who shall count the multitude of my sins or the depth of your judgment, Saviour of my soul? Do not ignore your handmaiden, You whose mercy is endless".

8 comments:

anna said...

I posted audio for this hymn this year as it was sung by woman in our church who's patron is Kassiani - it was her first time to sing it within the service, and it was breathtaking!

http://www.sttheophanacademy.com/2012/04/hymn-of-kassiani.html

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Anna, thank you for sharing this. I took the time to listen to it and yes, it is wonderful!

http://www.box.com/s/2b6e8788e722c513207c

Weekend Fisher said...

That was beautiful.

Chris said...

I'm sorry, but this modern Greek music really cannot hold a candle to Byzantine chant. Give me Pringos over this any day.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Chris, my husband agrees with you. He says this music is "worldly".

And I have to admit Pringos is unbeatable and the Byzantine setting is marvelous.

I just love this one, though. Probably because it's the first one I ever heard or learnt.

Sarah in Indiana said...

This is Holy Trinity in Carmel, Indiana. I know several of those singers.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Sarah, that is so cool! Must've been a bit startling to see their pictures on this blog.

Sarah in Indiana said...

Hah, yes it was a bit disorienting. :) Thought I had clicked to a different site or something.