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Title: Hymns from the Greek Office Books

Author: John Brownlie

Release date: February 2, 2010 [eBook #31157]
Most recently updated: January 6, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Stephen Hutcheson




“The Hymns and Hymn-Writers of the Church Hymnary”;
“Hymns from East and West”; “Hymns of the Greek Church”;
“Hymns of the Holy Eastern Church”; &c.

Publisher by Appointment to the late Queen Victoria







The renderings contained in this volume are chosen from a quantity of material, much of which had to be set aside as, for various reasons, unsuitable. But, as can be understood, in process of reading, thoughts linked themselves to the memory, and echoes of music, much of it surpassingly sweet, lingered, and from those echoes and thoughts the Centos and Suggestions have been formed. The phrases containing the thoughts, and the echoes repeating the music, have been woven together to form the fabric which is shewn here.

This volume is presented because the author believes that the hymnody of the West must find much of its finest enrichment in the praise literature of the Church of the East. It would be presumptuous to think [6] that these renderings and suggestions are at all a worthy expression of the noble and richly varied praise of the Eastern Church; but they constitute, together with those contained in two former volumes by the present author, perhaps one-half of all the pieces which have yet appeared in English verse.

All the renderings in this collection appear for the first time. If any one thinks he has reason to complain of their quality, let him try to do better. The field lies untilled for any one who will work it.

J. B.

Trinity Manse,
Portpatrick, September 15, 1904.



ἐλεήσον ἡμᾶς, κύριε ἑλέησον ἡμᾶς, 13
ἐν ταῖς αὐλαῖς σου ὑμνήσω σε, 15
ῥευστοί πῶς γεγόναμεν, ἄφθαρτον εἰκόνα φορέσαντες, 16
πάντα ματαιότης τὰ ἀνθρώπινα, 17
ταχύς εἰς ἀντίληψιν, μόνος ὑπάρχων Χριστέ, 19
ἠ τὸν πρῶτον τῶν Ἀγγέλων, 21
νεύματι θουργικῳ κύριε πάντων, 23
ἐπεσκέψατο ἡμᾶς ἐξὔψους ὁ Σωτὴρ ἡμῶν, 25
τὴν ἄχραντον Εἰκόνα σου προσκυνοῦμεν ἀγαθὲ, 26
ὁ φωτίσας τή ἐλλάμψει τῆς σῆς παρουσίας Χριστὲ, 27
χαίροις ὁ ζωηφόρος Σταυρὸς, 29
σήμερον κρευμᾶται ἐπι ξύλου, 31
εσφραγισμένου τοῦ μνήματος, 33
ὁ κύριος ἀνελήφθη εἰς οὐρανοὺς, 34
εὐλογητὸς εἰ, Χριστέ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, 36
τὸ ἀπ’ αἰῶνος ἀπόκρυφον, 38
ἐκ τοῦ Πνεύματός σου, 39
χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, 41
ναυτιῶν τῷ σὰλῳ τῶν βιωτικῶν μελημάτων, 42
ἁι μυροφόροι γυναῖκες, ὄρθρου βαθεός, 45
καὶ στραφεὶς ὁ κύριος ἐνέβλεψε τῷ Πετρῷ, 47
καὶ ἀνέῳξας ἡμῖν παραδείσου τὰς πύλας, 49
καὶ κλαύσωμεν, καὶ πράξωμεν, 50
πυρίπνοον δέξασθε πνεύματος δρόσον, 51
σαρκὶ ὑπνώσας ὡς θνητός, 53
πατὴρ οἰκτιρμῶν, 55
ὀ πλάστης μου κὺριος, 57
ὁ Σωτὴρ ἡμῶν, ἀνατολὴ ἀνατολῶν, 59
ὑμνοῦμεν σου Χριστέ, τὸ σωτήριον παθος, 61
φῶς ἐκ φωτὸς, 63
ψυχή μου! ἀνάστα, 65
κλίνας οὐρανοὺς, κατέβη, 67
δεῦτε ἀγαλλιασωμέθα τῷ κυρίῳ, 69
τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, 71
οὐκ ἀφήσω ὑμᾶς ὀρφανόυς, 73
ὅ πλοῦτος και βάθος, σοφίας Θεοῦ! 75
ἁι μυροφόροι γυναῖκες, 77
καί ὅ τι ἄν αἰτήσητε τοῦτο ποιήσω, 79
με νὺξ ἐδέξατο, 81
ζωτικῆς ἐξ ὕψους βιαίας φερομένης, 83
ἐξαγορευσω κατ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν ἀνομίαν μου τῷ κυρίῳ, 85
ἠν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινὸν, 87
ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, τὸ παράκλητον Πνεῦμα, 89
δίδου παραμυθίαν τοῖς δούλοις σου, 91
ὅτι ἐτέχθη ἐπὶ γῆς ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, 93
ὁ δέ βιος, σκιά καὶ ἐνύπνιον, 95
εν τῷ φωτὶ Χριστὲ τοῦ προσώπου σου, 97

Hymns From The Greek Office Books


ἐλεήσον ἡμᾶς, κύριε ἑλέησον ἡμᾶς

Euchologion, p. 35


O destitute of all defence,

We bow before Thee now;

In mercy let Thy mercy come,

For merciful art Thou.


Our trusting souls in quiet repose

Would rest Thy love within;—

O be not angry with us, Lord,

Nor think upon our sin.


But from Thy high abode look down,

With tender love the while,

And save us from our foes who would

Our wayward hearts beguile.


For, verily Thou art our God,

And we Thy people all;—

Hear us, the creatures of Thy hand,

When on Thy name we call.


To God the Father, God the Son,

All praise and glory be;

And to the Spirit, Three in One,

To all eternity.


Stichera Idiomela

ἐν ταῖς αὐλαῖς σου ὑμνήσω σε

Pentecostarian, p. 186


Within Thy courts my praise shall rise,

O Saviour of the world, to Thee;

And while I bow, will lift mine eyes,

Unconquered Might, Thy face to see;

At eve, at morn, at noon, alway,

All blessing Lord, to Thee I’ll pay.


Here in Thy courts, O Lord, we bow,

And soul and body worship give;

Hear us, Thy faithful servants now,

Eternal God in Whom we live;

And Thou the Unbeginning Son,

And Holy Spirit Three in One.


Sticheron Idiomelon

(From the Order of the Burial of Priests)

ῥευστοί πῶς γεγόναμεν, ἄφθαρτον εἰκόνα φορέσαντες

Euchologion, p. 467


Why do we fade?

Who Thine own image bear,

Who life immortal share,—

Why do we fade?


Why did we err?

And leave the food of life,

To eat the bread of strife,—

Why did we err?


Why thus deceived?

And robbed of life divine,

That precious gift of Thine?

Why thus deceived?


Idiomela of John The Monk

(From the Order of the Burial of Laymen)

πάντα ματαιότης τὰ ἀνθρώπινα

Euchologion, p. 413


All human things decay,

For all is vanity,

The silver and the gold;

The glory of the great,

The wealth of high estate,

None can for ever hold.


Death with his icy hand,

Severs each earthly band,

And bears us all away;

Vain are our earthly dreams,

Shadows our substance seems,

And nothing lasts for aye.


Immortal Christ, we cry,

O let our prayers come nigh

Thy throne of heavenly grace;

Rest him whose form we miss,

Grant him in endless bliss

A lasting dwelling place.



(From the Order of Holy Unction)

ταχύς εἰς ἀντίληψιν, μόνος ὑπαρχων Χριστέ

Euchologion, p. 266


Thou, Lord, hast power to heal,

And Thou wilt quickly aid,

For Thou dost deeply feel

The stripes upon us laid:—

Thou Who wast wounded by the rod

Uplifted in the hand of God.


Send speedy help, we pray,

To him who ailing lies,

That from his couch he may

With thankful heart arise;

Through Her, whose prayers availing find

Thine ear, O Lover of mankind.


Oh, blinded are our eyes,

And all are held in night;

But like the blind who cries,

We cry to Thee for light;

In penitence, O Christ, we pray,

Give us the radiant light of day.


Ode V. of Metrophanes

(From the Midnight Service for the Sabbath)

ἠ τὸν πρῶτον τῶν Ἀγγέλων ἀμέσως διάκοσμον

Parakletike, p. 4


The radiance of the brightness

Of beauty shed by Thee,

Descend on us who hymn Thy name,

Sole ruling Trinity.


Victorious nature hymns Thee,

Thou orb of triple ray;

For Thou hast hallowed it through grace

And borne its sin away.


In faith we laud the Father,

The Spirit and the Son,

One Nature, One Divinity,

One God, yet Three in One.


To Thee our God be glory,

O Holy Trinity,

Both now, and while the ages run

To all eternity.


Ode VIII of Metrophanes

(From the Midnight Service for the Sabbath)

νεύματι θουργικῳ κύριε πάντων

Parakletike, p. 4


Thy mighty word commanding,

The heavens were settled high,

And earth to Thee responding

Was spread beneath the sky.


O God of power, Thy servants

Would seek Thy power divine,

That they their hearts to love Thee

May evermore incline.


And gazing on the glory

That shines in triple ray,

Our souls shall feast with gladness

On Thy sweet light alway.


And of Thy glory shining,

And of Thy ruling light,

From age to age Thy servants

Shall hymn both day and night.


To Thee be lasting praises,

Immortal Three in One,—

Thou Father, Son, and Spirit,—

Now, and while ages run.


Exapostilarion Automelon

ἐπεσκέψατο ἡμᾶς ἐξὔψους ὁ Σωτὴρ ἡμῶν

Maenon, Dec. 25


The early dawn awakes,

The morn triumphant breaks,

See, see! the brightening sky,

The Saviour from on high

Is with us here.


And we who sat in night,

Rejoicing see the Light;

The shadows now are past,

The Dayspring come at last

And day is near.


For we have found the Truth;

The Son of Virgin youth,

The Saviour hath been born

This glorious festal morn,

And joys appear.


Troparia of The Sixth Hour

τὴν ἄχραντον Εἰκόνα σου προσκυνοῦμεν ἀγαθὲ

Horologion, p. 94


Before Thy Cross we take our place,

With all our load of guilt,

And plead forgiveness of Thy grace

Because Thy blood was spilt.


For Thou, to free us from our foes,

Didst bear that cruel Cross,

And by its agony and woes

Bring gain for all our loss.


Therefore we raise with one accord

Our songs right thankfully,

For joy and peace, O Christ our Lord,

We owe in full to Thee.


Ode V

(From the Canon of the Resurrection)

ὁ φωτίσας τή ἐλλάμψει τῆς σῆς παρουσίας Χριστὲ

Parakletike, p. 8


O Christ, Who art the peerless Light,

Come with Thy presence ever bright,

And from the Father’s throne above

Descend to hearts that own Thy love.


Thy Cross no shame to mortals brings;

The world with joy its glory sings;

And men, O Christ, before Thee bow—

All hail! Thy Resurrection now.


Ah Thou, our Lord, the Shepherd good,

Upon that Cross poured forth Thy blood,

And with Thy last expiring breath

Didst save Thy flock from endless death.


And death of all his power is shorn,

And men to joy and peace are born,

For from their sins’ oppressive sway

Forgiveness bears their souls away.


Glory to Thee, O God, we bring,

And to the Son, our Heavenly King,

And to the Holy Ghost always,

Now, and throughout the endless days.



(From the Office of the Cross on Quadragesima Sunday)

χαίροις ὁ ζωηφόρος Σταυρὸς

Triodion, p. 215


All hail, life-bearing Cross,

The trophy of the good,

Thy bloom is fragrance on our way,

Thy fruit our heavenly food.


Entrance to paradise,

Strength of all faithful souls;

The Church’s fortress when the foe

His banner grim unrolls.


By thee the curse is gone,

And death no terror brings;

We cast his power beneath our feet,

And rise to heavenly things.


O shield of our defence,

And foe of all our foes;

The glory of the saints of God,

Their crown for all their woes.


Who follow Christ the Lord,

Their beauty find in thee;

Their harbour of salvation thou,

Now and eternally.



σήμερον κρευμᾶται ἐπι ξύλου ὁ ἐν ὕδασι τήν γῆν κρευμάσας

Triodion, p. 401


Come, mortals, come behold!

He hangs upon the tree,

Who made the rolling sea

The new formed earth uphold.


See! He is crowned with thorns,

The King of angels great,

Who in His high estate

A glorious crown adorns.


Derided, see Him wear

A robe of purple dye,

Who robes the noon-day sky

With clouds that float on air.


The Bridegroom of the Bride,

The Son of Virgin born—

With nails His hands are torn,

With cruel spear His side.



(Of the Holy Apostle Thomas)

εσφραγισμένου τοῦ μνήματος

Pentecostarion, p. 23


O Christ the God, Who art our life,

Thou from the sealèd tomb didst rise,

And where Thy sad disciples mourned,

Appeared to them with glad surprise.


Because Thy mercy, Lord, is great,

And all Thy word to them is true,

Come with its power even as of old,

And every sinful soul renew.


All glory to the Father be,

And to the Saviour, Christ the Son;

All glory to the Holy Ghost,

Now, and while endless ages run.


Stichera of The Ascension

ὁ κύριος ἀνελήφθη εἰς οὐρανοὺς, ἱνα πέμψῃ τὸν Παρὰκλητον τῷ κόσμῳ

Pentecostarion, p. 148


The Lord ascended into heaven

That He might from above

Send down the promised Paraclete

On mission of His love.


And there the Father for His Son

Had decked a glorious throne;

And clouds, His chariots, bore Him up,

That He might claim His own.


O strangest wonder e’er beheld,

Since ages hoar began,

The angels saw the highest place

Given to a Son of Man.


“O all ye angels praise the Lord,”

The Holy Spirit commands,

“Lift up your gates, ye princes high,

Ye nations, clap your hands.”


To God the Father throned on high,

And to the Son be praise,

And to the Spirit—Three in One,

From age to age, always.


Apolutikion of Pentecost

εὐλογητὸς εἰ, Χριστέ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν

Pentecostarion, p. 188


Blessed art Thou, O Christ, our God,

Who to Thy followers gav’st

The wisdom they have shed abroad

By which the world Thou sav’st.


Thou gav’st to them the Holy Ghost

As Thou hadst promise given,

When came the day of Pentecost,

As breath of God from heaven.


And now by them, Thy faithful few,

The world Thou gatherest in,—

As by the net those fishers drew,—

From all the woes of sin.


To Thee, O Father, glory be,

To Thee, O Christ, the Son,

And to the Spirit, One in Three,

While endless ages run.



τὸ ἀπ’ αἰῶνος ἀπόκρυφον

Triodion, p. 469


O Mystery, hidden from the world

Through all the ages past—

Even to the angel hosts unknown—

Is manifest at last;

And thou, Theotokos, hast given

Incarnate God, from highest heaven.


God in His fulness wears our flesh,

And from our sin and loss

Redeemed us by His pain and death

Upon the awful Cross.

Save us, through Him who cast away

The bands of death, we humbly pray.


Ode VI. of Cosmas The Monk.

ἐκ τοῦ Πνεύματός σου

Pentecostarion, p. 190


Even as thou said’st, O Christ,

The Holy Spirit came,

And now our hearts possess

The knowledge of Thy name.


For Thou hast richly poured

Thy Spirit on our race,

To teach the Father’s will,

And magnify Thy grace.


Forth from the Father, Thou

Cam’st to our human needs,

And from that Source of Life

The Holy Ghost proceeds.


All glory to our God,

And to the Christ, His Son,

And to the Holy Ghost,

Eternal Three in One.



χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη Θεοτόκε Παρθένε

Μην Σεπτεμβριος, p. 4


Hail, full of grace, Virgin Theotokos,

Harbour of all who on the billows toss;

Refuge of those who helpless seek Thy grace,

Hopeless and sin-stained of our fallen race.


From thee the Lord Incarnate came to free

Those who are held in bands of misery.

Hail! Virgin Mother, for alone thou art

Blessèd for ever, by each human heart.


Say to the Christ that strife of sin should cease,

That to this world should come the bliss of peace.

Hail! full of grace, Virgin to thee be praise,

Now and for ever through the endless days.



(Ode VI. from the poem of Cosmas the Monk)

ναυτιῶν τῷ σὰλῳ τῶν βιωτικῶν μελημάτων

Pentecostarion, p. 190


Tossed on the sea of life,

And sick and sore distressed,

I lift my cry to Thee, O Lord,

Who giv’st the troubled rest.


There, where the waters yawn,

And cruel monsters grin,

My comrades sink to depths below,

All in a sea of sin.


My earnest cry I raise,

Hear Thou the prayer I make,

And from the dark abyss of death

My soul in mercy take.


Centos And Suggestions

ἁι μυροφόροι γυναῖκες, ὄρθρου βαθεός


At early dawn, with pious thought,

The holy women spices brought—

For Christ, their Lord, was dead;—

But lo! the stone was rolled away:

“Where are the seals?” they wondering say,

“The guard, where He was laid?”


“Why with your ointments mix your tears?

Why all this sighing, and those fears?”

An angel near declares:

“There lies the stone that barred the tomb,

No longer now its solemn gloom

Your Lord and Master shares.”


“Haste, haste with joy the tidings tell,

The Lord hath vanquished death and hell,

For He, the Death of death,

Hath burst asunder hades prison,

And, first-born from the dead hath risen,

Even as afore He saith.”


Honour to Thee, O Christ, we bring,

Thy glorious rising now we sing,

Victorious is Thy strife;

Our Hope, our Trust, on Thee we call,

Our Joy, our Strength, our God, our All,

And our Immortal Life.


καὶ στραφεὶς ὁ κύριος ἐνέβλεψε τῷ Πετρῷ


I brought my darkest sin to mind,

And called it by the vilest name,

And thought to fill my soul with grief,

When I had charged it with the blame;—

I said, “Before my God I’ll fall,”

But sorrow came not at my call.


I said, “Ah, soul! the wrath of God

Shall smite the sinner with dismay,

The record of thy sin is kept,

And swiftly nears the reckoning day;”—

Methought I heard God’s thunders roll,

But sorrow came not to my soul.


“Ah, stony heart! can thought of sin

In all its vileness bring no tears?

And canst thou hear God’s thunders speak,

And weep not though the reckoning nears?”

I had no weeping to control,

For sorrow came not to my soul.


I looked, my Saviour looked at me,

O look of love no heart can bear!

Like raging torrents came my tears,

And plunged my spirit in despair;

Vain, vain my weeping to control,

For sorrow now hath found my soul.


καὶ ἀνέῳξας ἡμῖν παραδείσου τὰς πύλας


O God of light and glory,

Thy servants look to see

The light that shines effulgent

Upon their souls from Thee.


And lo! the heavens are open,

And from the throne of God,

The Christ, the Light eternal,

That glory sheds abroad.


And eyes reflect the beauty,

And hearts responding glow;

For only they who see Thee

Can in Thy likeness grow.


καὶ κλαύσωμεν, καὶ πράξωμεν


I have no tears to shed,

For grief my soul hath none;

My heart hath never bled,

For ought that I have done;

I weep not when I hear Thee say

That sin hath carried me away.


I have no tears to shed;

Wilt Thou not touch my heart,

And bid sin’s wounds run red,

And throb with bitter smart?—

Then shall I lift my prayer and say,

“Lord, take my many sins away.”


For Thou, O Lord, dost will

That all should seek Thy face,

That Thou mayest well fulfil

The promise of Thy grace.

Who ever sought Thy love in vain,

Or failed Thy pardon to obtain?


πυρίπνοον δέξασθε πνεύματος δρόσον


Thy love hath sweetened me,—

Thy love, O Christ, divine,

And by Thy favour Thou hast changed

This wilful heart of mine.


Now by Thy Spirit’s fire,

Consume my sins, I pray,

And in my heart a love instil,

That shall abide for aye.


Then shall my heart rejoice,

Because Thou dost abide,

For ever, O Thou Blessed One,

Close to Thy servant’s side.


And love and joy shall be

My strength while here I stay;

And love, the spring of all my joy,

Shall live and love alway.


σαρκὶ ὑπνώσας ὡς θνητός


Lo! He gave Himself to die,

Christ, our God, Who came to save us;

In the mortal grave to lie,

That death might no more enslave us.


On the day appointed, lo!

From the grave the Saviour rises,

Blessings endless to bestow,—

Life and all its great surprises.


Hail the manger where He lay

While the angel hosts adore Him;

Hail the Cross, for man that day

Raised, that Jesu might restore him.


Hail the Resurrection morn;

Hail the Christ from death restoréd,

Be our praises heavenward borne,

To our God by all adoréd.


πατὴρ οἰκτιρμῶν


Have pity, Lord, for Thou are great,

And greatness pity knows;

I mourn my poor and worthless state,

And all its wants and woes.


Have pity, Lord, for Thou art great;—

I would from sin be free,

And seek Thy face, ’though coming late,

For Thou wilt welcome me.


Have pity, Lord, for Thou art great,

And give me strength to win;

That I may gain the heavenly gate

And freely enter in.


Have pity, Lord, for Thou art love,

And by Thy grace alone,

I hope in Thy pure house above

To serve before Thy throne.


ὀ πλάστης μου κὺριος


Formed in Thine image bright,

With glory on my head,

I lived within Thy light,

And on Thy bounty fed.


But ah! that evil day!

The tempter’s silvery tone

Lured me from God away,

To seek for bliss alone.


Dark came the night of sin,

I mourned my woeful plight,

For all was dark within,

And all around was night.


Shorn of Thy beauty fair,

Gift at my wondrous birth,

Hope fled before despair,

Gone was the joy of earth.


Yea, though the prayer be vain,

Now will I lift mine eyes,

Call me, God, back again,

Back to Thy paradise.


Came there a voice to me,

Yea, ’twas Thy voice, my God,

Bidding me come to Thee,

Up to Thy pure abode.


Trusting Thy mercy great,

Up from my woes I’ll rise,

Seeking the golden gate

Opening to paradise.


ὁ Σωτὴρ ἡμῶν, ἀνατολὴ ἀνατολῶν


Come, with the load of sorrow thou art bearing,

Lay it on Him who every burden bears;

Let not thy soul in trouble sink despairing,

He who hath sorrowed, every sorrow shares.


Look for the morn when night is dark and weary,

Morning shall come when hours of night are spent;

Clouds hide the sun, and make the noontide dreary,

Gladness shall cheer you when the clouds are rent.


Look for His smile who gilds the hills at morning,

Surely it comes as comes the morning sun;

Beauty shall grace thy life with bright adorning,

Even as the sunlight, till thy day is done.


Then, when the morn that makes the hilltops golden

Round the Jerusalem thy spirit gains

Breaks on thy view, shall come the gladness olden

Shared by the dwellers in those blest domains.


ὑμνοῦμεν σου Χριστέ, τὸ σωτήριον παθος


We hymn Thy triumph on the Cross,

Thy victory o’er the grave,

O Christ, immortal Son of God,

Who cam’st Thy folk to save.


For, dying on the Cross, the sting

Of death was torn away,—

O, by Thy victory over death

Give life to us, we pray.


The gates of hades tottering fell,

The prisoners saw the light,

And forth emerging, left behind

A hideous, starless night.


O make us worthy, Christ, to sing

The wonders of Thy power;

And give us purity of heart

To serve Thee every hour.


All praise and glory, Christ our God,

To Thee be ever given;

One with the Father, One with us

On earth, and now in heaven.


φῶς ἐκ φωτὸς


O Light of light! when other lights are fading,

Then in my soul with heavenly brightness shine;

“Let there be light!” the night and fear upbraiding,

Speak Thou the word and send the Light Divine.


O Joy of joy! when other joys are sighing,

Sing to my soul and bid its sadness flee;

And when the songs my bitter tears are drying,

Come with Thy gladness, and rejoice with me.


O Love of love! when other loves are dying,

And hearts grow cold, and eyes that lured me frown;

Come to my heart, Thou Love, all hate defying,

Full of all pity to our world come down.


O Bliss of bliss! when earth and all its treasures

Shrink from my grasp, and leave me poor and sad;

May I with Christ fill up my empty measures,

And in His presence reap the hopes I had.


ψυχή μου! ἀνάστα


Hence, slumber, from mine eyes,

See, from the eastern skies

The light is shed;

The night has passed away,

Now ’tis the morn of day,

Darkness has fled.


My soul from slumber free,

Let me Thy brightness see,

O Light of light!

May darkness from my heart,

And every cloud depart,

And fears of night.


Now let my hands employ

The passing hours, and joy

Shall find my soul;

Thy will, O God, be done,

Thy path of duty run,

My heart control.


And when the sunlight dies,

And in the western skies

The day is spent;

Then on Thy loving breast,

O Jesu, let me rest

In calm content.


κλίνας οὐρανοὺς, κατέβη


The Lord came down from heaven,

And dwelt with us below;

And in His life was given

To taste our bitterest woe;

Our flesh He wore,

Its ills He bore,

Who came to us from heaven.


He climbed the rugged steep

To where the Cross was raised;

And while His followers weep,

And angels are amazed,

He groaned and sighed,

And, wounded, died—

Who climbed the rugged steep.


He gave His life for me—

’Twas for my sin He died,—

O, that all eyes might see

The Saviour crucified;

And give Him love

Who dwells above,

And gave His life for me.


Δεῦτε ἀγαλλιασωμέθα τῷ κυρίῳ, τὸ παρὸν μυστήριον ἐκδιηγούμενοι


Come, let us sing with joyful mirth

The mystery of Immanuel’s birth,

Who, Virgin born, is here;

The middle wall no longer stands,

No flaming sword in Cherub’s hands

Inspires the soul with fear.


See, clear the pathway open lies

That upward leads to Paradise,

Where stands the Tree of Life;

And freely may I enter in,

Whence I was driven by mortal sin,

And worsted in the strife.


For He, the Father’s only Son,

A glorious work hath now begun,

Descending from above

In servant’s form, though yet the Son,

Unchanging while the ages run,

To win us by His love.


Come, now, let hearts united be

To laud His praises joyfully,

The God-Man born to-day.

And let Thy mercy reach us now

For pitiful and kind art Thou,

O Virgin born, we pray.


τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας


O Christ, to Thy disciples then,

When eyes were sad, and hearts were sore,

Thy lips the cheering promise made,

To comfort them for evermore.


And now what law and prophets spake

To waiting hearts in days of old,

Has been fulfilled: the Spirit seeks

The human heart, as long foretold.


O Christ, to us the promise speak,

And send Thy Spirit in our need,

That He may bless our longing hearts,

And ever in Thy precepts lead.


And light the darkness of our night,

Till clear the path before us lies;

And comfort us in sore distress,

And wipe the sorrow from our eyes.


And songs of praise to Thee we’ll give,

O God the Father, Christ the Son,

And Holy Spirit, while we live,

And in the ages yet to run.


οὐκ ἀφήσω ὑμᾶς ὀρφανόυς


May Thy bright Spirit, as of old,

The love of Christ the Son unfold,

And as He hangs upon the Cross,

Reveal to men their sin and loss.


O Holy Spirit, one with God,

From God sent down to our abode

With us abide in joy and woe,

And share our sojourn here below.


And give us comfort in our pain,

Be in our loss our surest gain;

The Christ reveal in all His love,

And fit us for our home above.


That we may serve the Christ our Lord,

Teach us to know His blessed Word;

Our wills renew; our hearts allure,

In love and service to endure.


Thine be the glory, God the Lord;

Glory to Thee, Incarnate Word;

To Thee, blest Spirit, praises be,

From age to age eternally.


ὅ πλοῦτος και βάθος, σοφίας Θεοῦ!


Now Christ the God to earth hath come,

And made our dwelling place His home;

And in our flesh the God-Man gives

The life by which His people lives.


Bound to the Cross He bleeding dies,

That man from sin forgiven may rise;

And by the grace of God set free,

Live in His service endlessly.


They who in Adam sinning fell,

With Christ ascend with God to dwell;

And through the pain the Saviour bore,

Are freed from pain for evermore.


And where the Christ ’mong myriads bright

Sits on His throne of peerless light,

There dwell the saints who by His grace

Share on the throne the victor’s place.


Glory to Thee, our Father, God,

Who dwell’st in heaven, Thy high abode;

Glory to Thee, O Christ the Son,

And Holy Ghost, blest Three in One.


ἁι μυροφόροι γυναῖκες


Morn of beauty, joyous morn,

Hails the Resurrection Day,

All our fears are borne away,

Hope into our world is born.


See, the stone is rolled away;

Empty stands the silent tomb,

Death is dead, and gone the gloom

Where the risen Saviour lay.


Women bear the spices, sad,

In the early morning grey,

But they wiped their tears away,

For the angel made them glad.


Tell the tidings far abroad,

“He is risen even as He said,”

Life immortal from the dead

Is the gift of Christ our God.


Glory, glory evermore,

To the Christ who died to save,

Wresting victory from the grave,

To the Christ we now adore.


καί ὅ τι ἄν αἰτήσητε τοῦτο ποιήσω


O ever ready to forgive,

Thou merciful and mild,

I long before Thy face to live

As trustful as a child.


Thy Spirit leads me to repent,

And cast my care on Thee;

I come to Him whom Thou hast sent,

And bring my guilt with me.


O ever ready to bestow

The help I daily need,

Be Thou my strength where’er I go,

My present Friend indeed.


Then shall I live for evermore

Rejoicing in Thy love,

And follow, if Thou goest before,

To better things above.


με νὺξ ἐδέξατο


O Son of God, on Thee we call,

Blest Jesu, ere the darkness fall,

Come near us in Thy grace;

We own the sins that mar our life,

And stem our efforts in the strife,

And shamed we hide our face.


The morning came, and hope was clear,

And void the soul of doubt and fear;

But ere the noontide shone,

The light was darkened in the sky,

For thickest clouds came rolling nigh,

And all our peace was gone.


And now the night is bringing dread,

For guilt is resting on our head;—

O Christ, our prayers hear,

Who bore our sorrows on the Cross,

Who paid for us our priceless loss,—

And come in mercy near.


Give us to know Thy strength is given

To all who tread the path to heaven—

That we may fail to gain,

And fall to rise, and forward press

In light and dark, in storm and stress

Of fear and doubt and pain.


Give us to know Thy mercies wait

On those who knock at heaven’s gate,

That none can knock in vain;

For He who died for sinful men

Would have them come, and come again,

Nor fainting e’er refrain.


ζωτικῆς ἐξ ὕψους βιαίας φερομένης


The Christ of God to sorrowing hearts

A gracious promise made,

To send to them when He departs

The Holy Spirit’s aid.


And when the time appointed came,

Lo! with a rushing power,

The house was filled with tongues of flame,

That Pentecostal hour.


And souls received new power from God,

And hearts with zeal were fired,

When once the word of truth abroad

The lives of men inspired.


O Comforter, the Holy Ghost,

Now, as of old, come down,

And with the power of Pentecost

Our drooping spirits crown.


ἐξαγορευσω κατ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν ἀνομίαν μου τῷ κυρίῳ


My sin was very great,

Its burden bore me down,

I dared not lift my eyes to God,

So much I feared his frown.

And sore my conscience smote,

And all was sad within,

For I had turned away from God,

Who loved me in my sin.


I said, “I’ll tell it all,

The sin, the grief, the pain,

Mayhap He’ll pardon my offence,

And take me back again.”

And then my heart was glad,

To think it might be done,

If I but cast myself upon

The merits of His Son.


I said, “Ah God, receive

The sacrifice I bring—

A broken and a contrite heart,

That is my offering;

And for His sake Who came

To bear the Cross of pain,

Forgive the error of my life,

And take me back again.”


’Twas then the heart of love

That I had wounded sore,

In loving accents spake to me,

And bade me grieve no more;

And spake the word of grace

That made my spirit whole;

And now the pain and grief are gone,

For gladness fills my soul.


ἠν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινὸν


When the morn comes o’er the hills

Bringing life, and light, and gladness,

Scattering our night-born ills,

Banishing our fear and sadness;

Christ of God, Thou Light of light,

Banish then our inward night.


Ah! our spirits pine and die

In the chill of night that binds us;

And we cannot see Thee nigh

For the dark that inly blinds us;

Morning Star, in beauty shine,

Let us see Thy light benign.


On our minds Thy peace bestow,

Let no cruel blast distress us,

Ever onward as we go,

May no crushing load oppress us;

Light of light, when night is near,

Give Thy peace, and banish fear.


When the noontide all ablaze

Fills the heaven with light supernal,

And we dwell with glad amaze

In the bliss of the Eternal;

Light that cheered my life below,

Still Thy joy and peace bestow.


ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, τὸ παράκλητον Πνεῦμα


The promise which the Saviour made

When His disciples sorrowed most,

That He would send to comfort them

The life inspiring Holy Ghost,

Found its fulfilment when they met

Upon the hallowed Pentecost.


And ever through the linked years,

From then till now the Gift is sure;

And they who sorrow for their sin,

Or trial’s bitter pangs endure,

And they who mourn, and they who weep,

Find in the Gift a peace secure.


Vainly we mourn our absent Lord,

If Thou, the Comforter be near;

For it is Thine to take of His,

And make us feel that He is here;

We still may joy when others grieve,

And hope when threatening clouds appear.


Come, Holy Ghost, with us reside,

Let Thy sweet presence calm our soul;

And make us strong to fight and win,

And all our wayward wills control;

To give us comfort when we weep,

And bind our hearts, and make them whole.


δίδου παραμυθίαν τοῖς δούλοις σου


When sorrow’s clouds are circling near,

And minds are charged with doubt and fear;

When sun nor moon nor stars of light,

Break on the darkness of the night;

Then, Gift of Christ desired most,

Come to our help, O Holy Ghost.


When disappointment’s pangs are sore,

And wounded hearts that suffering bore,

Break ’neath the burden by the way,

And in their weakness, helpless pray;

Then, Gift of Christ desired most,

Come to our help, O Holy Ghost.


When like a spectre gaunt and grey

Bereavement steals the heart away,

And all is empty, poor, and bare,

For those we loved were everywhere;

Then, Gift of Christ desired most,

Come to our help, O Holy Ghost.


When for our sins we mourn and sigh,

And ’neath the Cross prostrated lie;

When for the conscience crushed by guilt,

We claim His Grace whose Blood was spilt;

Then, Gift of Christ desired most,

Come to our help, O Holy Ghost.


When braced, the soul resolving springs,

And reaches forth to better things;

And high above the world would rise,

To eager snatch the offered prize;

Then, Gift of Christ desired most,

Come to our help, O Holy Ghost.


ὅτι ἐτέχθη ἐπὶ γῆς ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, παρέχων τῷ κόσμῳ τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν


He came to earth who came from God,

And left in heaven His blest abode,

And all the joy He had;

To share our lot, and all its woe,

And wander homeless here below,

All sorrowing and sad.


He came to earth who came from God,

And ah! our rugged paths He trod,

And faint, and tired, and lone,

He bore the burden of our guilt,

And on a Cross His blood was spilt

For sinners to atone.


He went to God who came to earth;

Now sing the new creation’s birth,

And mankind born again;

For death is dead, and He who lives,

Eternal life to mortals gives,

The Faithful, True, Amen.


ὁ δέ βιος, σκιά καὶ ἐνύπνιον


The joy of earth is fleeting,

The bliss of heaven remains;

More sweet than earthly music

The angel’s glad refrains;

And hearts of saints uprising

Find vent in sweetest song,

And lips of saints and angels

The praise of heaven prolong.


O Christ, who art for ever

With those whom Thou dost love,

Thou art the theme inspiring

The choirs who dwell above;

The love that brought Thee earthward,

The love that stooped and died,

The pardon won for sinners,

When Thou wast crucified.


Be Thee our theme who linger

Where Thou didst sorrowing dwell;

And teach our hearts to love Thee,

Our lips to praise Thee well;

And when we come adoring

To where Thou ever art,

One song shall rise exulting,

From one united heart.


εν τῷ φωτὶ Χριστὲ τοῦ προσώπου σου


Safe in the comfort of Thy grace,

Give me, O Lord, a resting place,

From every tumult free;

From strife of sin, and sense of guilt,

For lo, my confidence is built,

Most gracious Lord, on Thee.


There is no other comfort nigh,

And sad of heart I mourning sigh—

Lord, Thou alone canst aid;

Wilt Thou my prayer in anger spurn,

And from Thy trembling servant turn,

Whose soul is sore dismayed?


Nay, if I doubting, still believe,

Thou wilt my faulty prayer receive,

And grant the boon I crave;

For ’tis Thy promise I would claim,

And in the all-availing name

Of Him Who came to save.


So shall Thy peace my heart control,

And fill with calm my troubled soul,

My every tumult still;

And thus I learn to trust Thee more,

For billows surge, and tempests roar

Obedient at Thy will.


And in the shining of Thy face,

A man shall be an hiding place,

And covert from the wind;

And while the tempest breaks around,

I peaceful rest on tranquil ground,

Where Thou, O Lord, art kind.




The Trisagion, or Cherubic Hymn, has been in use in the worship of the Eastern Church from the very earliest. No form of adoration is of such frequent occurrence in all the offices of the Church. Originally the Trisagion (Thrice Holy), was in the exact form found in Isaiah iv. 3, but as the years passed, additions were made to it to express doctrine both orthodox and heterodox. The accompanying form is the one found in the service books, and is in common use at the present time.


The Trisagion

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All Holy Trinity, have mercy upon us. O Lord, be gracious unto our sins; O Master, forgive our transgressions; O Holy, look down and heal our infirmities, for Thy name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.


Our Father which art in heaven: Hallowed be Thy name: Thy Kingdom come: Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on the earth: Give us this day our bread for support; and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors; And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from the evil one;

Priest. For of Thee is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

Choir. Amen.


The Creed of Nicea, which is the Confession of Faith of the Eastern Church, was largely formulated at the Council of Nicea, 325 A.D. It was based upon the ancient creed of Caesarea, one phrase being added to combat the Arian heresy, viz., Consubstantial (ὁμοούσιον) with the Father; and it ended with, And in the Holy Ghost. The concluding clauses were added at the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.). The insertion by the Council of Toledo (589 A.D.), of FILIOQUE (and from the Son) after from the Father, and its subsequent adoption in the West, was made the cause of the separation of Eastern and Western Christianity, which has continued from the eleventh century till now.


The Creed of Nicea

The Confession of Faith of the Eastern Church

We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten, who was begotten of the Father before all the ages. Light of light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, consubstantial (ὑμοούσιον) with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who for men, and for our salvation, came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Ghost, and the Virgin Mary, and was made man (ἐνανθρωπήσαντα).

And was also crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried.

And rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.

And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father.

And shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, the Life-Giver, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

In One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

We look for the Resurrection of the dead.

And the life in the ages to come.



All hail, Life-bearing Cross, 29
All human things decay, 17
At early dawn with pious thought, 45
Before Thy Cross we take our place, 26
Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, 36
Come let us sing with joyful mirth, 69
Come with the load of sorrow thou art bearing, 59
Come, mortals, come, behold! 31
Even as Thou saidst, O Christ, 39
Formed in Thine Image bright, 57
Hail! full of grace, Virgin Theotokos, 41
Have pity, Lord, for Thou art great, 55
He came to earth who came from God, 93
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, 102
Hence, slumber, from mine eyes, 65
I brought my darkest sin to mind, 47
I have no tears to shed, 50
Lo, He gave Himself to die, 53
May Thy bright Spirit, 73
Morn of beauty, joyous morn, 77
Now Christ the God to earth hath come, 75
My sin was very great, 85
O Christ the God who art our life, 53
O Christ to Thy disciples then, 71
O Christ who art the peerless light, 27
O destitute of all defence, 13
O ever ready to forgive, 79
O God of light and glory, 49
O Light of light, when other lights are fading, 63
O Mystery hidden from the world, 38
O Son of God, on Thee we call, 81
Safe in the comfort of Thy grace, 97
The Christ of God to sorrowing hearts, 83
The early dawn awakes, 25
The joy of earth is fleeting, 95
The Lord ascended into heaven, 34
The Lord came down from heaven, 67
The radiance of the brightness, 21
The promise which the Saviour made, 89
Thou, Lord, hast power to heal, 19
Thy love hath sweetened me, 51
Thy mighty word commanding, 23
Tossed on the sea of life, 42
We hymn Thy triumph on the Cross, 61
When sorrow’s clouds are circling near, 91
When the morn comes o’er the hills, 87
Why do we fade? 16
Within Thy courts my praise shall rise, 15
The Trisagion, 102
The Creed of Nicea, 106


Recently Published. Crown 8vo. Price 1s. 6d. net.

Hymns of the Holy Eastern Church.

Translated from the Service Books. With Introductory Chapters on the History, Doctrine, and Worship of the Church.


“Mr. Brownlie has earned for himself the title of hymnologist, and his work and research are at this day of great sterling value to all engaged in the study or collection of hymns.”—Bookman.

“We have noticed favourably other works from his pen, and a volume before us entitled Hymns of the Holy Eastern Church is no less deserving of commendation. A long introduction describes sympathetically, and even enthusiastically, the doctrine of the Eastern Church and its worship, with which Mr. Brownlie is evidently closely acquainted.”—Church Times.

“Mr. Brownlie is already favourably known as a translator of hymns from the Greek Office-books.... The Introduction is well written, and should be of service in dispelling prejudice and ignorance on the subject of the Church of the East.”—Guardian.

“Mr. Brownlie has performed a confessedly difficult task.... The best part of the book is unquestionably what the author modestly calls an Introduction, in which he gives, in the briefest fashion, an entirely admirable account of the history, sacraments, and worship of the Eastern Church.”—Saint Andrew.

“The author has succeeded in retaining the simplicity of the originals while presenting a polished version accommodated to the exigencies of rhyme and rhythm.... His plea for a better understanding of East by West is well informed, enthusiastic, and persuasive. The Introduction is the best compendium we know in small compass of Greek rite and doctrine.”—Glasgow Herald.

“Mr. Brownlie is of good repute as a hymnologist, partly through his own hymns and translations, and partly through his connection with the Church Hymnary, and the companion volume which tells the story of its contents.... In a valuable Introduction of nearly seventy pages, he tells us of the history, doctrine, and worship of the Church from whose service books the hymns have been translated, and his essay is a welcome supplement to that which preludes Neale’s small collection. Mr. Brownlie is a true catholic, and, in helping to catholicise our hymn books, he is furthering that unity of spirit which must precede ecclesiastical reunion.”—Sheffield Daily Telegraph.