21 April 2008

From the Tranoscius

One doesn't vicar with the Slovaks without learning a bit of their own vibrant traditions, and the crown jewel of Slovak Lutheran liturgy is the collection of hymns known as the Tranoscius, from the author of so many: Juraj Tranovsky. LSB features a few of these wonderful pieces, and I've just become acquainted with LSB 484, translated by Jaroslav Vajda and first making its appearance in English in the LBW:

Makes songs of joy to Christ, our head: Alleluia!
He lives again who once was dead: Alleluia!

Our life was purchase by His loss: Alleluia!
He died our death upon the cross: Alleluia!

O death, where is your deadly sting: Alleluia!
Assumed by our triumphant King: Alleluia!

And where your victory, O grave: Alleluia!
When one like Christ has come to save?: Alleluia!

Behold, the tyrants one and all: Alleluia!
Before our mighty Savior fall! Alleluia!

For this be praised the Son who rose, Alleluia!
The Father, and the Holy Ghost! Alleluia!

I remember old Joe Veliber telling me how they would leave Church in the mountains of Slovakia singing the final hymn, and as folks climbed the mountain sides you could hear families singing away as they wended home after service. I'll just BET that this Easter hymn was one they were belting out to each other. What a joyous little text and melody!


Dan Grams (the non-Slovak Pastor of Holy Trinity Garfield) said...

As the Pastor of your Slovak vicarage congregation, I can tell you that it isn't very familiar to them. But I do love to tell them it's a Slovak hymn when they complain about it being new! They certainly don't sing it like they do Cas Rodosti on Christmas Eve (thanks to Prof. Herl for making certain that made it into LSB!).

William Weedon said...

Pastor Grams,

Ah, but the question is would their GRANDPARENTS have known the hymn? I tell you what: when I vicared there, the Slovak service was still held in between the two English services, and those 20 or so people could outsing ALL the crowds at the English services. They were amazing!

orthodoxy hunter said...

My husband is Slovak and most of his family on his Father's side is Lutheran.

This reminds me of 633. We sang that on Sunday and it's been in my head all day today.