The services of Passion Week are a musical feast for the ears and the soul. Russian liturgical tradition is rich in special melodies for certain hymns of this most important week of the liturgical year, and if the services are also sung by a good choir, they are that much more memorable.
The Sretensky Monastery in Moscow is fortunate to have a world famous male choir singing at all of these beautiful services. We would like to share some highlights of this singing with our English language readers, and have therefore provided the English texts to match the hymns. While Church Slavonic is the consistent language used in Russian and other Slavic services, our English texts vary by translation. We have chosen to provide texts (excluding the Old Testament readings, which were taken from the Septuagint) from the classic Lenten Triodion translated by Mother Mary and Archbishop Kallistos Ware, which was re-printed by St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press.
Some of these MP3 files come from compact disc recordings of the Sretensky Monastery Choir, while others are live recordings from the actual services of previous years.
Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday feature the “Bridegroom Matins”, in which we are called to remember the Gospel stories of the withered fig tree, the ten wise and foolish virgins, and the ten talents. The troparion and exapostilarion are the same on all three days.
Troparion, Tone 8
Се, Жених грядет в полунощи, и блажен раб, егоже обрящет бдяща: недостоин же паки, егоже обрящет унывающа. блюди убо душе моя, не сном отяготися, да не смерти предана будеши, и Царствия вне затворишися, но воспряни зовущи: Свят, Свят, Свят еси Боже, Богородицею помилуй нас.
Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night; and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, but unworthy is he whom He shall find in slothfulness. Beware, then, O my soul, and be not overcome by sleep, lest thou be given over to death and shut out from the Kingdom. But return to soberness and cry aloud: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, o God: through the Theotokos have mercy upon us (three times).
Canon, Irmos, Canticle One, Tone 2
Непроходимое волнящееся море, Божиим Своим велением изсушившему, и пешешествовати сквозе е Израильтеския люди наставльшему, Господеви поим, славно бо прославися.
Let us sing to the Lord who by His divine command dried up the billowing sea where none might walk, and through it led the people of Israel on foot: for He has been greatly glorified.
Exapostilarion, Tone 3
|Чертог Твой вижду Спасе мой, украшенный, и одежды не имам, да вниду вонь: просвети одеяние души моея Светодавче, и спаси мя.||I see Thy bridal chamber adorned, O my Savior, and I have no wedding garment that I may enter there. Make the robe of my soul to shine, O Giver of Light, and save me (three times).|