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Title: Hymns of the Greek Church

Author: John Brownlie

Release date: January 20, 2009 [eBook #27848]
Most recently updated: January 4, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Stephen Hutcheson, Charles Coulston, and Ken
Jentsch, with help from Distributed Proofreaders









“This work at its best reaches the level of absolute excellence, and the book is entitled to a warm and grateful welcome.”—Record.

“Mr Brownlie has taste and a poetic gift, and his verses are easy and natural, rarely, if ever, betraying the fact that they are the work of a translator.”—Church Times.

“This dainty volume will certainly enhance his reputation.”—Glasgow Herald.

“It brings into dignified Church-English some sixty simple and powerful hymns. The book should prove welcome to men generally interested in hymnody, and particularly to those who are ignorant of the richness of the Greek liturgy.”—Scotsman.

“Mr Brownlie has the knack of hymn-writing, and the translations from the Greek which he has published in this book will be a welcome addition to English hymnology.”—Athenaeum.

“Mr Brownlie has done eminent service as a hymnologist and translator of hymns. These translations are in smooth and flowing English verse, and the hymns are interesting both on their intrinsic merits and as representing the religious thought and emotion of an important section of the Church.”—Aberdeen Free Press.



After ten years this, the first of five series of hymns of the Greek Church, is issued in cheap form in the hope that those who regard the unity of Christian praise, and wish to realise it, and who seek its enrichment from the Church of the Apostles, may be induced to give the subject that consideration which it deserves, and which has been too long neglected.

The past ten years have seen much activity in the department of Church hymnody,—all sections of the Church have had their hymnals under revision with varied results; but in this particular we are bound to feel satisfaction that the praise literature of the Early and Mediaeval Church has been more fully drawn upon than at any former period, and the Greek Church no [6] longer stands in the background. From this volume alone no fewer than ten renderings have been utilised by hymnal compilers, and they make together twenty appearances. This fact is mentioned to indicate an appreciation of Greek hymnody which, it is hoped, may grow.

J. B.



A · D · V · ID · MAI ·



τῆς πατρῴας δόξης σου—(Contakion), 23
βασιλεῦ οὐράνιε, παράκλητε, 24
τὴν ἄχραντον εἰκόνα σου προσκυνοῦμεν, 25
δεῦτε ἀγαλλιασώμεθα τῷ κυρίῳ—(Stichera Idiomela), 26
Χριστὸς γεννᾶται, 28
τί σοι προσενέγκωμεν, Χριστὲ, 30
ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ σήμερον προφητικῶς εὐφραινέσθωσαν—(Stichera Idiomela), 32
δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ, 33
σήμερον ὁ Ἅδης στένων βοᾷ—(Stichera Idiomela), 35
καὶ τὴν φλογίνην ῥομφαίαν—(Contakion), 37
ὁ μονογενής Υἱὸς καὶ Λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ, 38
κύριε, ἀναβαίνοντός σου ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ, 39
διὰ Λαζάρου τὴν ἔγερσιν Κύριε—(Antiphon), 40
σήμερον γρηγορεῖ ὁ Ἰούδας—(Antiphon), 42
ὁ ἀναβαλλόμενος φῶς ὡς ἱμάτιον—(Antiphon), 44
ἀντὶ ἀγαθῶν ὧν ἐποίησας, Χριστέ—(Antiphon), 45
κύριε, ὁ τὸν λῃστὴν—(Antiphon), 46
τὰς ἑσπερινὰς ἡμῶν εὐχάς—(Stichera), 47
φῶς ἱλαρὸν ἁγίας δόξης, 49
ἀνάστασιν Χριστοῦ θεασάμενοι, 50
εἰ καὶ ἐν τάφῳ κατῆλθες ἀθάνατε—(Contakion), 52
ἰδοὺ ὁ Νυμφιὸς ἔρχεται ἐν τῷ μέσῳ τῆς νυκτός—(Troparia), 54
ἔργῳ, ὡς πάλαι τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπηγγείλω—(Troparia), 56
ταχεῖαν καὶ σταθηρὰν δίδου παραμυθίαν τοῖς δούλοις σου, 57
δεῦτε προσκυνήσωμεν καὶ προσπέσωμεν αὐτῷ—(Contakion), 58
δεῦτε λαοὶ, τὴν τρισυπόστατον θεότητα προσκυνήσωμεν, 60
ὅταν ἔλθῃς ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ γῆς—(Contakion), 62
John of Damascus (Canon for Easter Day)— 66
ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα, 67
δεῦτε πόμα πίωμεν καινόν, 69
ἐπὶ τῆς θείας φυλακῆς, 70
ὀρθρίσωμεν ὄρθροι βαθεός, 72
κατῆλθες ἐν τοῖς κατωτάτοις, 73
ὁ παῖδας ἐκ καμίνου ῥυσάμενος, 74
αὕτη ἡ κλητὴ καὶ ἁγία ἡμέρα, 76
φωτίζου φωτίζου, ἡ νέα Ἱερουσαλήμ, 78
The Great Collect— 80
ὑπὲρ τῆς ἄνωθεν εἰρήνης, 81
The Litany of the Deacon—
κύριε ἐλέησον, 84
Hymns from the Early Greek Poets— 87
St. Methodius, 88
ἄνωθεν, παρθένοι, βοῆς ἐγερσίνεκρος ἦχος, 89
St. Gregory, 92
ἄτερ ἀρχῆς, ἀπέραντον, 93
ταῦτά σοι ἡμετέροιο θαλύσια, Χριστέ, 95
σὲ καὶ νῦν εὐλογοῦμεν—(Evening Hymn), 97
ὄρθριος δίδωμι τῷ θεῷ μου δεξιὰς—(Morning Hymn), 98
ἐψευσάμην σε τὴν ἀλήθειαν, λόγε—(Evening Hymn), 99
Synesius, 102
σοὶ νύξ με φέρει τὸν ἀοιδὸν, ἄναξ, 103
λύπαις δ’ ἄστιπτος ψυχά, 104
ἄγε μοι ψυχά, 105
αὐτὸς φῶς εἶ παγαῖον, 106


I. Thirty-eight years ago, Dr. John Mason Neale published his Hymns of the Eastern Church, and for the first time English readers were introduced to the priceless gems of Greek hymnody. At the close of his preface he throws out a challenge which, as far as the present writer is aware, has not yet been taken up. He says: ‘And while fully sensible of their imperfections, I may yet, by way of excuse rather than of boast, say, almost in Bishop Hall’s words—

“I first adventure: follow me who list,

And be the second Eastern Melodist.”’

It would be presumptuous to believe that the translations which follow are in any particular a worthy answer to that challenge; but the translator can honestly say that they are a very earnest attempt to acquaint English readers still further with the valuable praise [12] literature which lies buried in the service-books of the Greek Church, and they constitute the first real attempt in that direction since Dr. Neale issued his collection in 1862.

II. The renderings contained in this volume are the product of many happy hours during the past five years. No method was adopted in the work. As the translator waded through the closely printed pages of the Greek offices, what appeared at first sight to be lines worthy of translation were taken up and examined, sometimes to be cast aside again because of some unremovable blemish, at other times to be moulded to the form which they now bear. Of the forty-seven pieces, thirty-five appear for the first time in English verse.

For the original, the translator has gone to the service-books, and for the most part has confined himself to the hymns which are to be found in the Triodion, containing the Lenten services; and in the Pentecostarion, in which are found the hymns for the services of Easter and Pentecost. A few specimens are also given from other offices, particularly that for Christmas.


Renderings from the work of the earlier Greek hymn-writers are added at the end of this volume; but, unlike the hymns of the Church service-books, these hymns originally are in the classical measures, and illustrate the work of the best Christian poets, who in some cases wrote extensively.

III. It is a very remarkable fact, and certainly not to our credit, that, with the exception of a very few who have made the study a specialty, our educated men show a most unaccountable ignorance of the most attractive and valuable material for praise and prayer contained in the Greek Church service-books. We have learning more than enough, and zeal enough for the pursuit of study in other departments, but this unworked field lies fallow, and no one thinks it worth his while to cultivate it. That the study will reward the student, although not in a material sense—for the meaningless prejudice of the great mass of our people for what is local and against the thought of the stranger, no matter how beautiful it may be, is still to be reckoned with—yet in the highest sense as conferring upon him a [14] new delight, there can be no doubt; for, after the necessary expenditure of patient application, and the passing of the initiatory stages which in every department of study are somewhat trying, the attraction will begin, and the subject become positively fascinating. To any one having the lyrical gift and the necessary qualifications for the study of Greek, those service-books might prove a mine of treasure inexhaustible. In the seventeen quarto volumes which contain the Greek Church offices, there must be material of one kind or another for many thousands of hymns; yet, when hymnal compilers ask for hymns from the Greek for their collections, they are not to be had, save in the few renderings made by Dr. Neale. In the most recently compiled collection for church use—The Church Hymnary—only five pieces from the Greek find a place. What a humbling confession! They are the best available from the very small number of translations in our possession, which, perhaps, does not exceed one hundred and fifty pieces in all.

We have not treated the Latin Church after that fashion. There is not a hymn of real [15] merit in the Latin which has not been translated, and in not a few cases oftener than once; with the result that the gems of Latin hymnody are the valued possession of the Church in all English-speaking lands.

IV. One does not proceed far before making some discoveries which may account, to a certain extent, for the neglect of Greek hymnody by men who are best qualified to pursue the study of it. The writers are not poets, in the true sense, and their language is not Greek as we have known it.

(1) None of the hymn-writers in the service-books or out of them is a poet of more than ordinary merit; although, when John of Damascus forgets his adversaries, and dispenses with his rhythmical peculiarities and gives forth the utterance of his deep emotional nature, he proves himself to be worthy of the title—the greatest of Greek Christian poets.

(2) The Greek language lived long and died slowly, and the Christian hymn-writers wrote in its decadence. It was then an instrument that has lost its fineness, and keenness, [16] and polish—worn out and ineffective,—not the language of the men whose thoughts still charm the world, and who by its deft use gained for themselves and for their work immortality. It has little of the subtilty of expression, the variety of cadence, or the intellectual possibility, of the Greek of Homer, Plato, and Aristophanes. It is a language, moreover, crippled by the introduction of ecclesiastical and theological terms and phrases, which stubbornly refuse to lend themselves to classical rhythm. Such a language cannot be expected to have attraction for men to whom the ancient poets are a delight.

(3) The hymns of the Greek Church are all in rhythmical prose—strangely Oriental in appearance—with the exception of those by John of Damascus, which are in iambics; and difficulties confront one on every page. What lines will reward the work of rendering? Prayer, Gospel, psalm, hymn, and exhortation follow each other, and are sometimes strangely interlaced. Where does one begin and another end? Then, there is meaningless repetition which must be passed over, and expressions [17] demanding modification. The symbolism is extravagant, and sometimes a single hymn is crowded with figures the most grotesque. The Mariolatry is excessive, and the hagiolatry offensive. Sifting and pruning are needed before a cento can be formed which would commend itself to modern taste.

But when all that is said, there remains much that is both beautiful and attractive. Some of the hymns and fragments are most chaste,—beautiful and tender in their simple expression of Gospel truths, which are so attractive to all true hearts, no matter by what creed dominated.

(4) The remarkable simplicity characterising those hymns constitutes, strangely it may seem, no small difficulty for the translator. The mere rendering of them into English prose is a comparatively easy task, and can be of no value to any one but the specialist, but to take the unmeasured lines and cut them to form stanzas, and in the process sacrifice nothing of their spirit to the exigencies of rhyme and rhythm, is a task by no means easy. But such drawbacks and difficulties are not insurmountable; [18] and with the growing interest in hymnology which characterises our time, it will be strange if, in the years to come, the Greek service-books are not made to yield their tribute to the praise of the Christian Church in the West.

V. One prime characteristic of Greek hymnody should be referred to. Unlike the English hymn, which is intensely subjective—in some cases unhealthily so—the Greek hymn is in most cases objective. God in the glory of His majesty, and clothed with His attributes, is held up to the worship and adoration of His people. Christ, in His Person and Work, is set before the mind in a most realistic manner. His birth and its accompaniments; His life; the words He spoke, and the work He did; His Passion, in all the agony of its detail; the denial of Peter; the remorse of Judas; the Crucifixion; the darkness, the terror, the opened graves; the penitent thief; the loud cry, the death—all are depicted in plain, unmistakable language. So we have in the hymns of the Greek service-books a pictorial representation of the history of Redemption, which [19] by engaging the mind appeals ultimately to the heart and its emotions. Our self-regarding praise is perhaps inevitable, as being the product of the meditative spirit which has its birth, and lives in the land of the twilight; but the advantages of the objectiveness of Greek hymnody are so patent, that its cultivation might be fostered by our hymn-writers, with advantage to the devotional feeling of our people and to the worship of the Church.

VI. The hymns as they appear in the original are distinguished by a variety of terms, the meaning in certain cases being extremely vague, and in others to be derived from the subject of the hymn, or from its form, or the time, place, or manner in which it is sung. As we have no corresponding terms in our language, it is necessary to retain the original.

The following collection contains specimens of some of these. They are:—

The Canon (κανών). This is the most elaborate form into which the praise of the Greek Church is cast. A canon consists, nominally, of nine odes or hymns, but the second ode is always omitted on account of [20] the denunciations of God against Israel which it contains. The canons of the Great Fast are made up of those rejected odes.

Hirmos (εἱρμός) is the first stanza of each ode. It may or may not have a connection with the stanzas following, but its function is to give them their rhythmical model.

Troparion (τροπάριον). The Troparia are the stanzas which follow the Hirmos, and the term is doubtless derived from the verb τρέπω, to turn. The Troparia turn to the strophes of the Hirmos, as to a model.

Contakion (κοντάκιον) is a term of uncertain origin. Contakia occur after the sixth ode of a canon. They are short hymns, and the term may be derived from the Latin Canticum.

Stichera (στιχηρά) designates a series of verses which are often taken from the Psalter.

Idiomelon (ἰδιόμελον). Unlike Troparia, which follow the model set by the Hirmos, Idiomela follow no model.

Stichera Idiomela are a collection of irregular verses.

Antiphon (ἀντίφωνον) is, as is well known, a [21] hymn sung alternately by the choir, which is divided for that purpose into two parts.

Other terms are found over hymns in the Greek service-books, but there is no need to refer to them here, as no specimens of the particular hymns find a place in this collection.


Portpatrick, N.B.
May 10th, 1900.


τῆς πατρῴας δόξης σου



Far from Thy heavenly care,

Lord, I have gone astray;

And all the wealth Thou gav’st to me,

Have cast away.


Now from a broken heart,

In penitence sincere,

I lift my prayer to Thee, O Lord,

In mercy hear.


And in Thy blest abode

Give me a servant’s place,

That I, a son, may learn to own

A Father’s grace.


βασιλεῦ οὐράνιε, παράκλητε


O King enthroned on high,

Thou Comforter Divine,

Blest Spirit of all Truth, be nigh

And make us Thine.


Yea, Thou art everywhere,

All places far or near;

O listen to our humble prayer,

Be with us here!


Thou art the source of life,

Thou art our treasure-store;

Give us Thy peace, and end our strife

For evermore.


Descend, O Heavenly Dove

Abide with us alway;

And in the fulness of Thy love

Cleanse us, we pray.


τὴν ἄχραντον εἰκόνα σου προσκυνοῦμεν


To Thy blest Cross, O Christ, we come,

And falling down adore Thee,

And humbly make confession full

Of all our sins before Thee.


For Thou Thyself art very God,

And freely cam’st to save us;

And in our flesh the fetters broke

With which our sins enslave us.


Therefore we own with grateful hearts

The joy the Saviour brought us,

Who came to earth, and in our sins

With love and pity sought us.


Δεῦτε ἀγαλλιασώμεθα τῷ κυρίῳ

(Στιχηρὰ Ἰδιόμελα)


O come let us adore

The Lord of all the earth,

And in our songs of praise recount

The mystery of His birth.


The middle wall is razed,

An entrance now is free;

For cherubim with sword of flame

No longer guard the tree.


O Paradise restored!

Now I shall enter in,

And taste the bliss from which I fell

Through Adam’s mortal sin,—


For Christ, the Father’s Son,

Who God’s true image bore,

Of Virgin born, in low estate

Our human nature wore.


True God! True Man! to Thee

Our earnest prayers ascend;

O, of Thy loving-kindness hear,

Who art the Sinners’ Friend.


Χριστὸς γεννᾶται

By St. Cosmas, 760 A.D.

ὁ Εἱρμός

Christ is born, go forth to meet Him,

Christ by all the heaven adored;

Singing songs of welcome, greet Him,

For the earth receives her Lord.

All ye nations shout and sing;

For He comes, your glorious King.


Once His heavenly image bearing,

Man has sunk to depths of sin;

Now defiled, debased, despairing,

Clad in rags and foul within;

But our God, who beauty gave,

Lifts the soul He comes to save.


From the height of heaven beholding,

Pity filled the heart of grace,

And our Lord, His love unfolding,

Made the earth His dwelling-place;

And a virgin mother gave

God Incarnate, man to save.


Wisdom, Might, and Word Eternal,

Glory of the Father, Thou!

Hid from man and powers supernal,

Lo, He wears our nature now!

To the Lord your worship bring,

Praise Him, your victorious King.


τί σοι προσενέγκωμεν, Χριστὲ

By St. Anatolius, died 458 A.D.


What shall we bring to Thee?

What shall our offering be

On this Thy natal morn?

For Thou, O Christ, hast come to earth—

A virgin mother gave Thee birth—

For our redemption born.


The whole creation broad

Gives praise and thanks to God,

Who gave His only Son;

And list! the bright angelic throng

Their homage yield in sweetest song

For peace on earth begun.


The heavens their glory shed,

The star shines o’er His head,

The promised Christ and King;

And wise men from the lands afar,

Led by the brightness of the star,

Their treasured offerings bring.


What shall we give Thee now?

Lowly the shepherds bow,

Have we no gift to bring?

Our worship, lo, we yield to Thee,

All that we are, and hope to be—

This is our offering.


ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ σήμερον προφητικῶς εὐφραινέσθωσαν

(Στιχηρὰ Ἰδιόμελα)


In the bliss of old predicted,

Heaven and earth to-day rejoice;

Men and angels, one in spirit,

Shout aloud in gleeful voice;

For, to those in darkness drear,

God in human flesh is near.


Cave and manger show the mystery;

Shepherds tell the wondrous tale;

Bearing gifts to lay before Him

From the East the Magi hail;

Taught by angel words to sing,

We unworthy praises bring.


Glory be to God eternal!

Peace on earth its reign begin!

For the one Desire of nations

Comes to save us from our sin;

Freedom He will now bestow

From the bondage of the foe.


Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ

By St. John of Damascus, 780 A.D.


Bethlehem rejoices,

Hark the voices clear,

Singing in the starlight

Nearer and more near.

Unto God be glory,

Peace to men be given,

This His will who dwelleth

In the heights of heaven.


Heaven can not contain Him,

Nor the bounds of earth,

Yet, O Glorious Mystery!

Virgin gives Him birth.

Unto God be glory,

Peace to men be given,

This His will who dwelleth

In the heights of heaven.


Now the light ariseth

In the darkened skies,

Now the proud are humbled

And the lowly rise.

Unto God be glory,

Peace to men be given,

This His will who dwelleth

In the heights of heaven.


Σήμερον ὁ Ἅδης στένων βοᾷ

(στιχηρὰ ἰδιόμελα of the Holy and Great Sabbath)


To-day the groans of Hades rise,—

‘Ah, better far for me

The Son of Man had never died

Upon the cursèd tree!

For by His power the fettered souls

I held in darkest night,

Are carried through the sundered gates

Into the realm of light.’

Let glory now the Cross adorn,

Hail, hail the Resurrection morn!


To-day the groans of Hades rise,—

‘My might is overthrown;

I took One dead, from ’mong the dead,

And claimed Him for mine own;

But He hath crushed my ancient power;

And those I held in thrall

Have thrown aside the chains they wore,

And He hath rescued all.’

Let glory now the Cross adorn,

Hail, hail the Resurrection morn!


To-day the groans of Hades rise,—

‘My power is gone from me;

The Shepherd died upon the Cross,

And Adam’s sons are free;

The bars are taken from the tomb,

Death can no more appal;

For He who gave Himself to death,

By death hath rescued all.’

Let glory now the Cross adorn,

Hail, hail the Resurrection morn!


καὶ τὴν φλογίνην ῥομφαίαν



No longer now at Eden’s gate

The fiery weapon gleams,

But from the Cross that leads to life

A light alluring streams.


And now the power of Death is gone,

His sting is torn away;

Grim Hades can no longer claim

His silent victory.


For Thou, O Saviour, didst descend

Where darkness brooding lies,

And bad’st the souls in bondage held

Return to Paradise.


ὁ μονογενής Υἱὸς καὶ Λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ

(From the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)


Thou one Begotten Son,

Eternal Word adored,

Immortal while the ages run,

And our Almighty Lord;


To bring Salvation nigh,

To vanquish death and sin,

Thou didst in cruel anguish die,

And life for mortals win.


Save us, O Christ our God,

Save by Thy Cross, we pray;

Thou who didst bear the Father’s rod,

And death by dying slay.


Thou art the Eternal Son,

One in the glorious Three;

Co-equal praise while ages run

Shall ever rise to thee.


Κύριε, ἀναβαίνοντός σου ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ

(Δόξα Ἦχος πλ. δ1)


When on the cruel Cross

The Lord was lifted high,

Affrighted earth in terror quailed

To see its Maker die.


Then had the yawning caves

Devoured the murderous band,

Had not the Crucified in love

Stretched forth His saving hand.


Thou gav’st Thyself to die,

Dark Hades to explore,

To bring to souls in prison bound

New life for evermore.


O Lover of mankind,

To Thee all glory be,

For Thou didst give not death, but life,

When hanging on the tree.


Διὰ Λαζάρου τὴν ἔγερσιν Κύριε

(Ἀντίφωνον Γ’ Ἦχος Β’)

When Lazarus rose at Christ’s command,

And God was glorified of men,

The children cried Hosanna then,

But Judas would not understand.

Ἦχος ὁ αὐτός

When seated with Thy chosen band

Thou didst to Thy disciples say

That one, O Christ, would Thee betray,

But Judas would not understand.

ὁ αὐτός

The sop revealed the traitor’s hand,

In answer to the question made;

They saw by whom Thou wert betrayed,

But Judas would not understand.

ὁ αὐτός

The Jews, O Christ, Thy life demand,

’Twas purchased for a price like this—

For silver pieces and a kiss,

But Judas would not understand.

ὁ αὐτός

Thou, with Thine own unstainèd hand,

Didst wash the feet, and humbly teach

That such a task becometh each,

But Judas would not understand.

ὁ αὐτός

‘Watch thou and pray,’ was Thy command,

Lest, thoughtless, the disciples fall

Beneath the tempter’s bitter thrall;

But Judas would not understand.


σήμερον γρηγορεῖ ὁ Ἰούδας

(Ἀντίφωνον Ἦχος βαρύς)


The wily Judas watches near

The Master’s path to-day,

That he may into wicked hands

The Eternal Lord betray,

Who in the desert lone and dread

Supplied the multitudes with bread.


To-day the wicked one denies

His Teacher and his Friend—

Once a disciple, he betrays

His Master in the end.

For silver, see the Lord is sold,

Who manna gave in days of old.

ὁ αὐτός

To-day the Jews on Calvary

A cruel Cross have raised,

And nailed upon that Cross, their Lord

Have wickedly abased,

Who made a pathway through the sea

And led them from captivity.


To-day the spear is lifted high

And thrust into His side,

Who for His people raised His hand

And wounded Egypt’s pride;

They give Him vinegar and gall,

Who showered down manna on them all.


Ὁ ἀναβαλλόμενος φῶς ὡς ἱμάτιον

(Ἀντίφωνον Ι’ Ἦχος πλ· β’)


O Thou who cloth’st Thyself complete

With light as with a garment fair,

Thou bor’st the cruel, vulgar stare,

Unrobed before the judgment-seat.


Thou gav’st the hand its subtle power,

But with the hand, O Lord of grace,

Upon Thy pallid, careworn face,

They smote Thee in that evil hour.


They nailed the Lord of Glory high,

And while He hung in awful pain,

The temple veil was rent in twain,

The sun refused to see Him die.


Ἀντὶ ἀγαθῶν ὧν ἐποίησας, Χριστέ

(Ἀντίφωνον ΙΑ’ Ἦχος πλ. β’)

For all the good performed by Thee,

O Christ, the Hebrews deemed it meet

To bear Thee from the judgment-seat

And nail Thee to the cruel tree;

They gave Thee vinegar and gall—

But render justice to them all.

ὁ αὐτός

’Twas not enough they should betray

And nail Thee to the Cross to die;

They wagged their heads and passed Thee by,

And mocked Thee on that woful day;

In vain they strove against Thee, Lord—

Give Thou to them their due reward.

ὁ αὐτός

The quaking earth inspires no dread,—

The temple veil asunder fell,

The rocks were rent—still they rebel,

E’en when the graves gave up their dead;

But vain they strove against Thee, Lord—

Give Thou to them their due reward.


Κύριε, ὁ τὸν Λῃστὴν

(Ἀντίφωνον ΙΔ’ Ἦχος πλ. δ1)


When Thou wert crucified by men,

O Christ, for Thy companion then

Thou didst accept the base and vile,

Whose hand was stained with blood the while;

O, number us with him, we pray!

Thou who art good and kind alway.

ὁ αὐτός

Few were his words, but Thou didst hear;

His faith was great, and Thou wert near;

And first of men, with glad surprise,

He entered opened Paradise.

Be Thou for evermore adored!

The needy’s prayer was not abhorred.


τὰς ἑσπερινὰς ἡμῶν εὐχάς

(στιχηρὰ Ἀναστάσιμα)


Our evening prayers attend,

O Thou that holy art;

In mercy full forgiveness send

To every contrite heart;

For Thou hast risen to set us free,

And all mankind rejoice in Thee.


Encompass Zion round,

Ye people, tell His fame;

Let Resurrection joy abound,

And glory to His name;

He is our Lord, who from the grave

Arose our sinning souls to save.


With resurrection lays

Ye people, come, adore,

And worship Him with grateful praise

Who lives for evermore;

He is our God, who from the grave

Arose our sinning souls to save.


Lord, by Thy Passion Thou

Sav’st men from passions base,

And by Thy Resurrection, now

Dost from corruption raise.

Glory to Thee we humbly bring,

O Christ, who art our Heavenly King.


φῶς ἱλαρὸν ἁγίας δόξης

By Athenogenes, 296 A.D.


Light serene of holy glory

From the Immortal Father poured,

Holy Thou, O Blessed Jesus,

Holy, Blessed, Christ the Lord.


Now we see the sun descending,

Now declines the evening light,

And in hymns we praise the Father,

Son and Spirit, God of Might.


Worthy of unending praises,

Christ the Son of God art Thou;

For Thy gift of life eternal,

See the world adores Thee now.


ἀνάστασιν Χριστοῦ θεασάμενοι


We have heard the wondrous story

Of the Resurrection morn;

We have seen its matchless glory,

Christ the risen Lord adorn.

Let us worship and adore Him,

Let us now fall down before Him.


Men with erring sinners found Thee,

Found the only sinless One;

And upon a Cross they bound Thee,

For the good that Thou hadst done;

Come, upon the Cross adore Him,

Let us now fall down before Him.


We have heard the wondrous story

Of the Resurrection day,—

Christ our God, to Him be glory,

For He casts death’s bands away.

Let us worship and adore Him,

Come and let us fall before Him.


Come, ye faithful, come with gladness,

To your God thanksgiving pay;

For the Cross was shorn of sadness

On the Resurrection day.

Let us worship and adore Him,

Come and let us bow before Him.


εἰ καὶ ἐν τάφῳ κατῆλθες ἀθάνατε

(κοντάκιον, Ἦχος πλ. δ1)

By St. John of Damascus, 780 A.D.


When, O King Immortal,

Thou didst seek the gloom,

Tasting death in meekness,

Resting in the tomb—

On that dark and woful day,

Hades owned Thy kingly sway.


Victor! now we hail Thee,

Hail Thee Christ our God;

Thou hast burst the barrier

Of Thy dark abode;

On that glad and glorious day,

Hades owned Thy kingly sway.


They who bore the spices

In the early hour,

Heard the salutation

Of the Lord of power,

And His followers, sore and sad,

Found the peace that made them glad.


Hail the King Immortal!

Death by death is slain,

And the weak and fallen

Rise to life again;

On this glad and glorious day

Hades owns the Victor’s sway.


Ἰδοὺ ὁ Νυμφιὸς ἔρχεται ἐν τῷ μέσῳ τῆς νυκτός



Behold the Bridegroom cometh

At the hour of midnight drear,

And blest be he who watcheth

When his Master shall appear,

But woe betide the careless one

Asleep when He is near!


O soul of mine, bestir thee

Lest thou sink in slumber quite,

And the Bridegroom find thee sleeping

When He cometh in His might.

Awake, awake to praises,

For He cometh in the night.


That fearful day approacheth,

Then live, O soul, aright,

And watch the hour, and trim thy lamp

And keep it burning bright,

Lest the voice be heard, ‘He cometh!’

In the middle of the night.


Beware when slumber binds thee,

Lest the Bridegroom pass thee by,

And thou knock without in darkness,

And for grief and anguish cry;

Take thy lamp, with oil, and trim it,

For the hour is drawing nigh.


ἔργῳ, ὡς πάλαι τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπηγγείλω


By St. Cosmas, died 760 A.D.


O Jesus, Lover of our race,

How rich the promise of Thy grace

To Thy disciples made,—

A holy Paraclete to send,

To succour, comfort, and befriend

With His inspiring aid.


On earth the light is shining clear,

The Holy Comforter is here,

To all the faithful given;

And now, what prophets long foretold,

In all His fulness we behold

The Spirit sent from heaven.


ταχεῖαν καὶ σταθηρὰν δίδου παραμυθίαν τοῖς δούλοις σου


O Jesus, to Thy servants give

The consolation they require;

And when the cloud of trouble falls,

With heavenly hope their souls inspire.

Be ever near us, Christ, to bless

And help us in Thy faithfulness.


As Thou wert with Thy saints of old,

Be with us, ever present, Lord;

Unite us to Thyself, we pray,

As Thou hast promised by Thy word;

Then we shall glorify and laud

The Holy Spirit sent by God.


δεῦτε προσκυνήσωμεν καὶ προσπέσωμεν αὐτῷ



It is a comely thing

To glorify and praise

Our God, the Everlasting Word,

And Lord of endless days.


The trembling cherubim

Before Him fold their wings,

And all the heavenly hosts adore

The mighty King of kings.


We would our offering give,—

O Christ, to Thee we pray,

For Thou didst break the bands of death

When dawned the glorious day.


To Thee, Thou Three in One,

Ascend our songs divine;

One power, one kingdom without end,

And one dominion Thine.


O Christ, the source of light,

With light my soul inspire;

Come, make my heart the bright abode

Of Thy celestial fire.


Δεῦτε λαοὶ, τὴν τρισυπόστατον θεότητα προσκυνήσωμεν

By the Emperor Leo VI., died 911 A.D.


Come ye people, come adore Him,

God in Holy Trinity;

God the Father, Son, and Spirit,

Ever Blessed Unity.


Thine the glory, God Almighty,

To the Son and Spirit given,

Ere upon the world’s creation

Dawned the new-born light of heaven.


Holy, holy, we adore Thee,

One in power, in nature one;

God the Father, God the Spirit,

God the Co-Eternal Son.


By the Son the wide creation

Rose where chaos held its sway;

By the Spirit, God Almighty

Swept eternal night away.


Son, the Father’s love revealing,

Son, through whom the Spirit came,

Blessed Godhead! endless glory

Be to Thine exalted name.


ὅταν ἔλθῃς ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ γῆς

(κοντάκιον Ἦχος α′)


When Thou shalt come, O Lord,

Wrapt in Thy glory bright,

Then shall the earth in terror quake,

The sun withhold his light.


When Thou shalt come, O Lord,

Then to Thy judgment-bar,

Even as a mighty stream, shall flow

The sons of men from far.


When Thou shalt come, O Lord,

Then shall the books be spread,

And from their secrets Thou shalt judge

The living and the dead.


When Thou shalt come, O Lord,

Then save me by Thy power,

Let not the flames of wrath o’ertake

Thy servant in that hour.


When Thou shalt come, O Lord,

In mercy let me stand—

No guilt upon my conscience laid—

Approved, at Thy right hand.





John of Damascus is by far the most prominent and most poetical of all the Greek Christian poets. He dwelt for many years in his native city of Damascus, a valiant champion of orthodoxy against all comers. His influence on Greek hymnody was immense, and he is held in high esteem by the Greek Church for his work in that department, and as a theologian. The Octoechos, which contains the Ferial Office, was, it is said, arranged by John of Damascus. There his Canons are found, which are perhaps his greatest work in hymnody. John retired eventually to the monastery of Mar Saba, where he spent a life of devotion, and sang those Christian hymns which have cheered and inspired so many generations of Christians in the East. There he penned the ‘Golden Canon’ for Easter Day, which breathes the glorious hopes of the Resurrection.


Ὠδὴ Α′

ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα λαμπρυνθῶμεν λαοί·

ὁ Εἱρμός

Hail the Resurrection day!

Let the people shout for gladness;

’Tis a passover of joy,—

Let us banish every sadness;

For, from death to endless life,

Christ our God His people bringeth;

As from earth to heaven we rise,

Each his song of triumph singeth.


From our eyes the veil remove,

That we may, in light transcending,

See the risen Lord of Life,

Life to all in grace extending.

Let our ears His voice perceive;

To His accents kind attending,

We would hear ‘All hail!’ and sing,

Every voice in triumph blending.


Let the heavens above rejoice,

Let the earth take up the measure;

All the world, and all therein,

Join the festival of pleasure;

All things visible unite

With invisible in singing;

For the Christ is risen indeed,

Everlasting gladness bringing.


Ὠδὴ Γ′

Δεῦτε πόμα πίωμεν καινόν

ὁ Εἱρμός

Come, let us drink the water new,

Not from the rock divinely springing,

But from that pure immortal stream

That from His tomb our Lord is bringing.


All things in earth and heaven above

Are filled with light that shines supernal;

So all creation keeps this feast,

For He hath risen, the King eternal.

With Thee, O Christ, I lay entombed,

Ere light upon this day was falling;

With Thee I leave death’s dark abode,

For Thou hast risen, and Thou art calling.

With Thee upon the Cross I hung

When Thou wast faint, and weak, and sighing;

Lord, with Thyself Thy servant bless,

In Thy bright realm through years undying.


Ὠδὴ Δ′

ἐπὶ τῆς θείας φυλακῆς

ὁ Εἱρμός

[1]Prophet of the Lord, beside us,

Now upon the watch-tower stand;

Let us see the light-clad angel

Earthward come at God’s command,

Telling of His power to save,

Who hath risen from the grave.


He was born of Virgin Mother,

Lamb of God on whom we feed;

Free from every spot, and blameless,

Yea, a Passover indeed:

Very God His wondrous claim,

And Perfection is His name.

As a yearling lamb He suffered,

He, our Blessed, saving Crown;

That He might from vileness cleanse us,

Freely was His life laid down;

Now, with beauty in our eyes,

See the glorious Sun arise.


As the ark was borne in triumph,

David leaped with gladness then;

Now before the Type’s fulfilment

We should joy as holier men;

For, omnipotent to save,

Christ hath left the dismal grave.

[1]Habakkuk ii. 1.

Ὠδὴ Ε′

ὀρθρίσωμεν ὄρθροι βαθεός

ὁ Εἱρμός

Ere the morn in beauty wake,

Let us seek the Saviour’s tomb,—

Not with ointment and perfume,

But with songs the silence break;

We shall see the Christ appear,

Sun of Righteousness to cheer.


They who dwell in death’s abode,

Bound with fetters dark and cold,

Shall the Saviour’s love behold;

They shall hail the light of day,

And their gladsome foot employ

In this festival of joy.

Go ye forth amid the gloom,

And with torches burning bright

Cheer the darkness of the night,

Meet the Bridegroom at the tomb;

Greet with songs of festal glee

Him who sets His people free.


Ὠδὴ ΣΤ′

κατῆλθες ἐν τοῖς κατωτάτοις

ὁ Εἱρμός

To depths of earth Thou didst descend,

O Christ, to break the chain

That held the sons of men enslaved,

And lead them forth again;

As Jonah left the living grave,

So cam’st Thou forth, O Christ, to save.


Unbroken were the seals when Thou

Didst leave the dismal tomb,

Even as the virgin bars remained

When Thou didst leave the womb;

And Thou hast ope’d the gates of heaven,

And entrance free to all is given.

O Thou, my Saviour and my God,

Who camest from above,

And gav’st Thyself for sinful men

An offering of love!

Now, rising from the grave, we see

Our human race arise with Thee.


Ὠδὴ Ζ′

ὁ παῖδας ἐκ καμίνου ῥυσάμενος

ὁ Εἱρμός

He who in the fiery furnace

Kept from harm the faithful three,

Suffering in our mortal nature,

Decks with life mortality,—

Him, our fathers’ God, we praise,

Blest and glorious always.


Holy women bearing ointments,

Sought the mortal, bathed in tears;

But their sorrow changed to gladness,

For the Living God appears;

And they tell the news abroad

Of the risen Son of God.

Now we celebrate the triumph,

Death and Hades overthrown,

Earnest of a life unending;

All the glory is Thine own;

God, our fathers’ God, we praise,

Blest and glorious always.


Hallowed feast of holy gladness!

Night that waits salvation’s birth,

Till the Resurrection morning

Breaks with splendour on the earth,

And eternal light is poured

By the Christ from death restored.


Ὠδὴ Η′

αὕτη ἡ κλητὴ καὶ ἁγία ἡμέρα

ὁ Εἱρμός

This is the chosen day of God,

The brightest and the fairest,

The Lady thou of all the feasts,

The Queen of all, and rarest;

Now let our songs of blessing soar

To Thee, O Christ, for evermore.


O glorious Resurrection day!

With fruit of vine the newest;

Come, let us taste the heavenly draught,

And joy with joy the truest;

To Thee, O Christ, our praises soar,

Who art our God for evermore.

O Zion, lift thine eyes, behold

The lights that shine around thee

From east and west, and north and south,

Thy children now surround thee;

And in thy streets their praises soar,

To Thee, O Christ, for evermore.


Almighty Father! Word Divine!

O spirit co-eternal!

In persons three, in nature one,

O God of power supernal!

Baptized in Thee, our praises soar,

And Thee we bless for evermore.


καὶ ψάλλεται ἡ Θ′ Ὠδή

φωτίζου φωτίζου, ἡ νέα Ἱερουσαλήμ·

ὁ Εἱρμός

Shine forth, O new Jerusalem!

O Zion, shout with glee!

For now the glory of the Lord

Is risen upon thee;

O mother pure of God’s own Son,

Rejoice—His victory is won!


O dear and sweetest voice divine,

O Christ, Thou wilt befriend,

And lead Thy people safely on

E’en to their journey’s end;

Thy faithful people hear Thy voice,

And in that steadfast hope rejoice.

O Christ, our sacred Paschal feast,

The Word, the might of God,—

His wisdom most ineffable

By Thee is shed abroad;

O may we feast on Thee for aye

In Thy blest realm of endless day.




These Collects hold a most important place in the services of the Eastern Church. There are few offices in which they are not found imbedded. Their catholicity is most remarkable. The suffrages are peculiar to no church service, but common to all liturgies. The people share in them by responding ‘Lord have mercy’ at the end of each petition, and ‘Amen’ at the close.



Ὑπὲρ τῆς ἄνωθεν εἰρήνης, καὶ τῆς σωτηρίας τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν, τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν


Lord, to our humble prayers attend,

Let Thou Thy peace from heaven descend,

And to our souls salvation send.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


Rule in our hearts, Thou Prince of Peace,

The welfare of Thy Church increase,

And bid all strife and discord cease.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


To all who meet for worship here,

Do Thou in faithfulness draw near;

Inspire with faith and godly fear.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


O let Thy priests be clothed with might,

To rule within Thy Church aright,

That they may serve as in Thy sight.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


The sovereign ruler of our land,

Protect by Thine Almighty hand,

And all around the throne who stand.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


In time of war be near to aid,

Strong be the arm for battle made,

Prostrate be every foeman laid.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


Let clouds and sunshine bless the earth,

Give fruits and flowers a timely birth,

Our harvests crown with peaceful mirth.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


Let voyagers by land and sea

In danger’s hour in safety be;

The suffering and the captives free.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


Around us let Thy shield be cast,

Till wrath and danger are o’erpast,

And tribulation’s bitter blast.

Have mercy, Lord, upon us.


κύριε ἐλέησον. Ἀντιλαβοῦ, σῶσον, ἐλέησον καὶ διαφύλαξον ἡμᾶς

Deacon. Let us complete our evening supplication to the Lord.

Choir. Lord, have mercy upon us.


God of all Grace, Thy mercy send;

Let Thy protecting arm defend;

Save us, and keep us to the end.

Have mercy, Lord.


And through the coming hours of night,

Fill us, we pray, with holy light;

Keep us all sinless in Thy sight.

Grant this, O Lord.


May some bright messenger abide

For ever by Thy servants’ side,

A faithful guardian and guide.

Grant this, O Lord.


From every sin in mercy free,

Let heart and conscience stainless be,

That we may live henceforth for Thee.

Grant this, O Lord.


We would not be by care opprest,

But in Thy love and wisdom rest;—

Give what Thou seest to be best.

Grant this, O Lord.


While we of every sin repent,

Let our remaining years be spent

In holiness and sweet content.

Grant this, O Lord.


And when the end of life is near,

May we, unshamed and void of fear,

Wait for the Judgment to appear.

Grant this, O Lord.





Methodius, a prominent name in Ecclesiastical history, and a Father of the Church, was born about the middle of the third century. He was first of all Bishop of Olympus in Lycia, and, according to Jerome, became ultimately Bishop of Tyre. He combated certain views of Origen, but would seem to have been influenced not a little by the teaching of that great theologian.

In his principal work, The Banquet of the Ten Virgins, the hymn is found from which the following is a cento. It contains twenty-four strophes, each beginning with a letter of the Greek alphabet in alphabetical order, and ending with the same refrain.

Methodius is said to have suffered martyrdom under Diocletian about 311 A.D.


ἄνωθεν, παρθένοι, βοῆς ἐγερσίνεκρος ἦχος


Behold the Bridegroom! Hark the cry,

The dead, awaking, rends the sky!

Go, virgins, He is near,

Your lamps all burning clear;

He enters where the rising light

Asunder bursts the gates of night.

In holy garb, with lamp aglow,

To meet the Bridegroom forth I go.


The smiles of earth that turn to tears,

Its empty joys and foolish fears

I leave, for Thou dost call—

Thou art my Life, my All;

I would Thy beauty ever see,

Then let me, Blessed, cling to Thee.

In holy garb, with lamp aglow,

To meet the Bridegroom forth I go.


For Thee I leave the world behind—

Thou art my Bliss, O Bridegroom kind;

My beauty’s not mine own—

’Tis Thine, O Christ, alone;

Thy bridal-chamber I would see,

In perfect happiness to be.

In holy garb, with lamp aglow,

To meet the Bridegroom forth I go.


O God, exalted on Thy throne,

Who dwell’st in purity unknown,

Lo, now we humbly wait,

Throw wide the Heavenly gate,

And with the Bridegroom, of Thy grace,

Give us at Thy right hand a place.

In holy garb, with lamp aglow,

To meet the Bridegroom forth I go.





Gregory of Nazianzus, son of Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzus, and life-long friend of Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, was born at Nazianzus, 325 A.D. He took up the priestly office at the earnest request of his father, and for some time was helpful to the aged bishop.

The times in which Gregory lived were trying times. The orthodox Christians clung to the creed of Nicea, and their champions did valiant battle with the Arians. As an advocate and exponent of evangelical truth, Gregory was summoned to Constantinople in 379, and as bishop of that See adorned the high position with gifts and graces as brilliant as they were rare. But he was not the man for such a position at such a time. Hilary, the ‘Hammer of the Arians,’ could keep the heretics at bay, and do in the Latin Church what Gregory could not do in the Greek Church—maintain his position and his cause against all comers. For one thing, the retiring disposition of Gregory inclined him to shrink from the din of conflict, and his high ideals weakened his hopefulness. The result was that he abandoned his position and retired to Nazianzus in 381. Deprived by death of his life-long friend, and of his brother Caesarius, to whom he was bound by more than brotherly love, he retired from the world and penned those poems, some of which are among the treasures of the Church Catholic. He died in 390.

The hymns of Gregory are found in the second volume of the Benedictine Edition of his works which was published in Paris in 1842. A selection can be seen in Daniel’s Thesaurus, and in the Anthologica Graeca, Carminum Christianorum.


ἄτερ ἀρχῆς, ἀπέραντον

Cento from σὲ τὸν ἄφθιτον μονάρχην


O Light that knew no dawn,

That shines to endless day,

All things in earth and heaven

Are lustred by Thy ray;

No eye can to Thy throne ascend,

Nor mind Thy brightness comprehend.


Thy grace, O Father, give,

That I may serve in fear;

Above all boons, I pray,

Grant me Thy voice to hear;

From sin Thy child in mercy free,

And let me dwell in light with Thee.


That, cleansed from filthy stain,

I may meet homage give,

And, pure in heart, behold

And serve Thee while I live;

Clean hands in holy worship raise,

And Thee, O Christ my Saviour, praise.


In supplication meek

To Thee I bend the knee;

O Christ, when Thou shalt come,

In love remember me,

And in Thy kingdom, by Thy grace,

Grant me a humble servant’s place.


Thy grace, O Father, give,

I humbly Thee implore;

And let Thy mercy bless

Thy servant more and more.

All grace and glory be to Thee

From age to age eternally.


ταῦτά σοι ἡμετέροιο θαλύσια, Χριστὲ

Cento from χριστὲ ἄναξ, σὲ πρῶτον


Christ, for Thee a wreath adorning

Weaves my raptured soul with glee,

For from death this glorious morning

Thou hast risen triumphantly.


From the tomb behold Him rising,

Christ our Lord whose praise is sung.

Death is slain; O power surprising!

Hades’ gates are open flung.


Thou for man to earth in meekness

Cam’st that he new born might be;

Thou upon the cross in weakness

Diedst that he might die with Thee.


Thou didst rise—we hail Thee, Jesus!

And we leave the tomb with Thee.

Victor, by the power that frees us,

Where Thou art, there we would be.


Hark! the highest heavens are ringing,

Choirs angelic lead the strain,

And my opened lips in singing

Tell the praises forth again.



Σὲ καὶ νῦν εὐλογοῦμεν


Now at this evening hour,

O Thou, my Christ, to Thee,

Thou Word of God, Eternal Light,

All grateful praises be.


From Thee the Spirit comes,

Third beam of peerless light,

And in Thyself one glorious orb

The triple rays unite.


Thy word and wisdom Thou

To lighten man hast given,

That he the splendour might reflect

That shines superb in heaven;


And having light within,

Might see Thine image bright,

And daily rise, till he himself

Is altogether light.



ὄρθριος δίδωμι τῷ θεῷ μου δεξιὰς


The morning breaks, I place my hand in Thine,

My God, ’tis Thine to lead, to follow mine;

No word deceitful shall I speak the while,

Nor shall I stain my hand with action vile.


Thine be the day with worthy labour filled,

Strong would I stand to do the duty willed;

Nor swayed by restless passion let me be,

That I may give the offering pure to Thee;


Else were I ’shamed when hoary age I see,

Shamed were this board that bears Thy gifts to me:

Mine is the impulse; O my Christ, I pray,

Be Thou Thyself to me the Blessed Way!



ἐψευσάμην σε τὴν ἀλήθειαν, λόγε


O Word of Truth! in devious paths

My wayward feet have trod,

I have not kept the day serene

I gave at morn to God.


And now ’tis night, and night within,

O God, the light hath fled!

I have not kept the vow I made

When morn its glories shed.


For clouds of gloom from nether world

Obscured my upward way;

O Christ the Light, Thy light bestow

And turn my night to day!





Synesius was born about 375. In more particulars than one he was an outstanding man. His pedigree is said to have extended through seventeen centuries, and to have included the names of the most illustrious. Not only was he of noble lineage, he was a man also of high character and brilliant attainments. He was versed in the Neoplatonic philosophy, and his Christianity has been called in question by no less an authority than Mosheim; but how any one can read his odes and doubt the reality of his Christian faith, even in the full sense of the term, as believing in the Divinity of Christ and in His Resurrection, is hard to understand. He certainly was a good man, and knew Christ and loved Him. His writings prove that; and in 410 A.D., though reluctantly, he became Bishop of Ptolemais. Very little of his poetry has come down to us, but that little is of the highest order. He died 430 A.D.


σοὶ νύξ με φέρει τὸν ἀοιδὸν, ἄναξ

A Cento from ἄγε μοι ψυχά


When darkness falls and night is here,

My hymns of praise in silence rise—

This knows the moon, whose silver sphere

Shines in the star-bespangled skies.


When morning breaks, and glorious day

Shines in the dawn and noontide fair—

This knows the sun—a grateful lay

Springs from my heart in fervent prayer.


When fails the light at sunset gray,

And twilight listens for my song—

This know the stars—in bright array

My praises mingle with their throng.


λύπαις δ’ ἄστιπτος ψυχά

A Cento from Ὑμνῶμεν κοῦρον νύμφας


O may my soul, uncrushed by care,

Direct her gaze to where Thou art,

And in Thy splendour find, O Christ,

The strength of life Thou canst impart.


And freed from sin’s depressing load,

May I pursue the path divine,

And rise above the cares of earth

Until my life is merged in Thine.


Unsullied life Thy servant grant

Who tunes his harp to sound Thy praise,

And still my life shall hymn Thy love,

And glory to the Father raise.


And when I rest in glory bright,

The burden of my labour past,

In hymns I’ll praise Thee more and more

While the eternal ages last.


ἄγε μοι ψυχά


Up, up, my soul, on wings of praise,

No other service know;

In holy strains the love express

That fires the heart below.


Burn, burn, my soul, and ever be

With holy ardour fired,

And, strongly armed with firm resolve,

Be evermore inspired.


Pour forth a bloodless offering

Of hymns and holy lauds,

And weave a garland rich and fair

To crown the King of gods.


αὐτὸς φῶς εἶ παγαῖον

Cento from Ὑμνῶμεν κοῦρον νύμφας


In the Father’s glory shining,

Jesus, Light of light art Thou;

Sordid night before Thee fleeth,—

On our souls Thou’rt falling now.


Framer of the world, we hail Thee!

Thou didst mould the stars of night;

Earth to life Thou dost awaken,

Saviour Thou, of glorious might!


’Tis Thy hand that guides the chariot

When the sun illumes the skies,

And the dark of night relaxes

When Thou bidst the moon arise.


At Thy word the harvest ripens,

Flocks and herds their pasture find;

Earth gives bread to feed the hungry,

For the hand of God is kind.


May my soul, her want perceiving,

Turn her gaze to where Thou art,

And in all Thy fulness find Thee

Food to satisfy the heart.



Behold the Bridegroom cometh, 54
Behold the Bridegroom! Hark the cry, 89
Bethlehem rejoices, 33
Christ, for Thee a wreath adorning, 95
Christ is born, go forth to meet Him, 28
Come, let us drink the water new, 69
Come ye people, come adore Him, 60
Ere the morn in beauty wake, 72
Far from Thy heavenly care, 23
For all the good performed by Thee, 45
God of all Grace, Thy mercy send, 84
Hail the Resurrection day! 67
He who in the fiery furnace, 74
In the bliss of old predicted, 32
In the Father’s glory shining, 106
It is a comely thing, 58
Light serene of holy glory, 49
Lord, to our humble prayers attend, 81
No longer now at Eden’s gate, 37
Now at this evening hour, 97
O come let us adore, 26
O Jesus, Lover of our race, 56
O Jesus, to Thy servants give, 57
O King enthroned on high, 24
O Light that knew no dawn, 93
O may my soul, uncrushed by care, 104
O Word of Truth! in devious paths, 99
O Thou who cloth’st Thyself complete, 44
Our evening prayers attend, 47
Prophet of the Lord, beside us, 70
Shine forth, O new Jerusalem! 78
The morning breaks, I place my hand in Thine, 98
The wily Judas watches near, 42
This is the chosen day of God, 76
Thou one Begotten Son, 38
To-day the groans of Hades rise, 35
To depths of earth Thou didst descend, 73
To Thy blest Cross, O Christ, we come, 25
Up, up, my soul, on wings of praise, 105
We have heard the wondrous story, 50
What shall we bring to Thee? 30
When darkness falls and night is here, 103
When Lazarus rose at Christ’s command, 40
When, O King Immortal, 52
When on the cruel Cross, 39
When Thou shalt come, O Lord, 62
When Thou wert crucified by men, 46