Lent 2013 Day 6: Spreading the Word

Everyday I thank God for people who carry the traditions of the church from one generation to another. Specifically chanters around the world who teach the art of byzantine music to the new generations to ensure we don’t loose this sacred tradition of our church.

Today I would like to acknowledge one of those teachers Constantin Zorbas  the main chanter and maestro at the church of St. Panteleimon in Athens. Over 18 years ago, I bought one of his CDs from Tower Records in New York City and years after I managed to locate his email on the web. I emailed him and asked to receive their whole selection of CDs and what he can send me of their music sheets. I never received an answer to my email, but weeks later I received a package in my mailbox. The package had the 14 CDs of Mr. Zorbas choir and 100s of photocopied pages of chants in byzantine notation. I was delighted, this was a treasure indeed! I was more than glad to transfer the cost of the CDs to them immediately.

Today I visited their site again and I see they have 6 more CDs and 3 DVDs. I sent them an email to send me the new set. I look forward to another package in the mail soon I hope 🙂

Here is a chant performed by Mr. Zorbas choir:

Chant Lyrics:
O Virgin Pure
by St. Nectarios
Plagal First Tone (Tone 5)

Refrain: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!
O Virgin pure, immaculate/ O Lady Theotokos
O Virgin Mother, Queen of all/ and fleece which is all dewy
More radiant than the rays of sun/ and higher than the heavens
Delight of virgin choruses/ superior to Angels.
Much brighter than the firmament/ and purer than the sun’s light
More holy than the multitude/ of all the heav’nly armies.
Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

O Ever Virgin Mary/ of all the world, the Lady
O bride all pure, immaculate/ O Lady Panagia
O Mary bride and Queen of all/ our cause of jubilation
Majestic maiden, Queen of all/ O our most holy Mother
More hon’rable than Cherubim/ beyond compare more glorious
than immaterial Seraphim/ and greater than angelic thrones.
Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

Rejoice, O song of Cherubim/ Rejoice, O hymn of angels
Rejoice, O ode of Seraphim/ the joy of the archangels
Rejoice, O peace and happiness/ the harbor of salvation
O sacred chamber of the Word/ flow’r of incorruption
Rejoice, delightful paradise/ of blessed life eternal
Rejoice, O wood and tree of life/ the fount of immortality.
Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

I supplicate you, Lady/ now do I call upon you
And I beseech you, Queen of all/ I beg of you your favor
Majestic maiden, spotless one/ O Lady Panagia
I call upon you fervently/ O sacred, hallowed temple
Assist me and deliver me/ protect me from the enemy
And make me an inheritor/ of blessed life eternal.
Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!

— Jack Rabah


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