Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seeing the Sun hide its rays...

Medieval Byzantine Chant.
Title: "Τον ήλιον κρύψαντα"
Service: Matins of Holy and Great Saturday
Performers: Vatopaidi Monastery Choir

This hymn is a lament chanted from the perspective of Joseph of Arimathea, pleading with Pontius Pilate for the Body of Jesus. It is one of the most beautiful hymns of the Holy Week and it is of particular notice that Jesus is referred to as the "Stranger", thus pointing out both the divinity of Jesus and the fundamental principle of unconditional love towards the unknown brother, the stranger. 

Dedicated to all the strangers of this world...


Τὸν ἥλιον κρύψαντα τὰς ἰδίας ἀκτῖνας 
καὶ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ διαῤῥαγὲν τῷ τοῦ Σωτῆρος θανάτῳ 
ὁ Ἰωσὴφ θεασάμενος, προσῆλθε τῷ Πιλάτῳ καὶ καθικετεύει λέγων· 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τὸν ξένον, 
τὸν ἐκ βρέφους ὡς ξένον ξενωθέντα ἐν κόσμῳ. 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τόν ξένον, 
ὃν ὁμόφυλοι μισοῦντες θανατοῦσιν ὡς ξένον. 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τὸν ξένον, 
ὃν ξενίζομαι βλέπειν τοῦ θανάτου τὸν ξένον. 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τὸν ξένον, 
ὅστις οἶδε ξενίζειν τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ τοὺς ξένους. 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τὸν ξένον, 
ὃν Ἑβραῖοι τῷ φθόνῳ ἀπεξένωσαν κόσμῳ. 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τὸν ξένον, 
ἵνα κρύψω ἐν τάφῳ, ὃς ὡς ξένος οὐκ ἔχει τὴν κεφαλὴν ποῦ κλίνῃ. 
Δός μοι τοῦτον τὸν ξένον, 
ὃν ἡ μήτηρ ὁρῶσα νεκρωθέντα, ἐβόα· 
Ὦ Υἱὲ καὶ Θεέ μου, εἰ καὶ τὰ σπλάγχνα τιτρώσκομαι 
καὶ καρδίαν σπαράττομαι νεκρόν σε καθορῶσα, 
ἀλλὰ τῇ σῇ ἀναστάσει θαῤῥοῦσα μεγαλύνω. 
Καὶ τούτοις τοίνυν τοῖς λόγοις δυσωπῶν τὸν Πιλᾶτον 
ὁ εὐσχήμων λαμβάνει τοῦ Σωτῆρος τὸ σῶμα,
ὃ καὶ φόβῳ ἐν σινδόνι ἐνειλήσας καὶ σμύρνῃ κατέθετο ἐν τάφῳ 
τὸν παρέχοντα πᾶσι ζωὴν αἰώνιον καὶ τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.


Seeing the sun hide its rays 
and the veil of the Temple rent asunder at the Saviours death, 
Joseph came before Pilate, beseeching him, saying; 
Give me this stranger, 
who from infancy guested in the world as a stranger, 
Give me this stranger, 
whom his own people have hated and slain as a stranger, 
Give me this stranger, 
at the sight of whose strange death I am bewildered 
Give me this stranger, 
who knew how to give hospitality to the poor and the stranger,
Give me this stranger, 
whom the Hebrews have estranged from the world out of envy, 
Give me this stranger, 
so that I may hide in a tomb him, 
who as a stranger has nowhere to lay his head, 
Give me this stranger 
whom his Mother saw dead and cried out 
"O my Son and God, even if I am wounded to the core and my heart stricken, 
as I see you a corpse, 
yet with confidence I magnify your Resurrection".
facing down Pilate with these words 
the noble one took the Saviours body 
and in fear wrapped it in linen and sweet spices 
and laid in a new tomb him who bestows on all 
eternal life and great mercy.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Excellent! Excellent!

Pandelis said...

I knew you would enjoy this Romanos :)