25 September 2007

I have posted this before...

...but I think it is so beautiful, and its music is downright haunting:

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?
What glory stands forever on the earth?
Frail shadows - all, delusive dreams;
Which death will one day sweep away.
But in the light of Your countenance, O Christ,
And in the enjoyment of Your beauty,
Give rest to those whom You have chosen and taken
For You are the Lover of mankind.

--St. John of Damascus, Friday Evening Aposticha Verse

Isn't that just beautiful with the beauty of truth itself?


Anonymous said...

Fr. Weedon,

Thanks for posting material from St. John Damascene, who is, of course, my patron saint. This particular text is chanted in the Byzantine tradition in Tone 8 which can be both really joyful and somber at the same time, depending on which scale you use.

Actually, at Orthodox funerals, all of the aposticha of St. John Damascene are chanted, one from each of the eight tones and this was the last one. I had to chant the funeral service yesterday for a member of our congregation who reposed in Christ on Friday. I didn't chant it but my colleague did (a superb chanter in the Byzantine rite) and it put things really in perspective.

BTW, what music are you using when you sing this? Could you forward it on to me? Thanks.

William Weedon said...


I was listening to it, not chanting it. I have it on my computer. I've no idea which tone it is being sung to, though. It is from a CD with the same name.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Weedon,

Could you send the music to me as an MP3 file to my personal email? Or could you recount the CD's title? I'd really like to know. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Fr. Weedon,

Thanks for sending that to me. It is frightful yet joyful at the same time. Definitely not Byzantine; it sounds Carpatho-Russian, defiintely later than Russian Znammeny chant or Valaam chant. And it's not tone 8 either, sounds tone 1 or tone 5.

The file said that this was done by the St. Lawrence Choir. If I'm not mistaken they are a ROCOR church and they do put out some recordings. I'll have to pick one up.

I would post it on your blog. Everyone should hear this.

Eric Phillips said...

That's good stuff!