Lent 2014 – Day 03: O Virgin Pure

Another random selection from my library and I ended up with “How Great is you Love” album by St. Savior Youth Choir directed by Fr. Makarious Haidamous. I got lucky again with an easy selection since this chant is the only one which is originally byzantine, “O Virgin Pure.” While I know how hard-core chanters feel about mixing instrument with byzantine chants, I think Fr. Makarious came out with a nice arrangement for a non-liturgical chant which everyone can enjoy chanters and non-chanters alike 🙂 At the end of the day, the objective behind ecclesiastic music (byzantine and other)  is to help us come closer to God.

How Great is Your Love

How Great is Your Love

As for the origin of this chant, according to Wikipedia:

O Virgin Pure and sometimes “O Pure Virgin” (Greek: Ἁγνὴ Παρθένε, Agni Parthene) is a non-liturgical hymn composed by St. Nectarios of Aegina, drawn from the Theotokarion (Book of Hymns to the Mother of God).

Sometimes performed in Orthodox churches at the beginning of Vespers, or after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy during the veneration of the cross and receiving of anti-doron.

O Virgin Pure

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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