Although we are still weeks away from the Holy Week, I’m getting ready to get my Holy Week companion out off the shelve and start practicing for my favorite time of the church year. Knowing how much I loved it, My friend Fr. Jack Abed. parish priest of Taybeh, Palestine, gave me an extra copy he had of the book to use and keep over 15 years ago. The book is for the complete services of the Holy Week in Arabic and Greek with byzantine notation. Published in 1967 by the Salvatorian Press in Saida. The music notation was edited by Fr Agnatios Sad and Fr. Basilios Qassis from the Basilian Salvatorian Order. Until today, fathers of the Salvatorian order continue with this tradition, but that’s for another blog entry.
The following chant is from this book and is chanted by Fr. Agapios Abu Sada also from the Basilian Salvatorian Order.
APOSTICHA from Vespers on Great and Holy Friday
In Tone 5, Glory… Now…
You were naked and cold in death,
O You who wear light as a robe,
and the noble Joseph and Nicodemus
removed You from the Cross,
with grief and tears so tender.
And Joseph mourned and prayed:
O what has happened, O gentle Jesus?
The sun saw You suspended on the Cross
and shrouded itself in darkness.
The earth quaked with fear
and the temple veil was rent asunder!
For my sake, O Saviour, You willingly endured the Passion.
How then shall I array Your Body, O my God?
How then shall I wrap You in this shroud?
How then shall I hymn Your burial?
O my Lord most merciful,
Your death and rising shall I praise
as I sing: O Lord, glory be to You!
— Jack Rabah