Great and Holy Friday Matins

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Great and Holy Friday

“Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree,
The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails.
The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious resurrection.”

-15th Antiphon from Great and Holy Friday Matins

This hymn is chanted after the reading of the fifth Passion Gospel during the reading of the Twelve Gospels of the Lord’s Passion. Since our Lord’s Passion, death and resurrection turned time upside down and shook the very cosmos during Holy Week leading up to His glorious Resurrection, the Matins (morning service) for Great and Holy Friday, the day the Church recalls the Lord’s death by crucifixion, is offered on the night of Holy Thursday.

You may here the above hymn beautifully chanted at the following links:
1) Chanted here by Fr. Apostolos Hill (taken from his CD “The Gates of Repentance”).
2) Chanted here by the late Archbishop +Job of the OCA Diocese of the Midwest (+2009).
3) Traditional Byzantine tone, chanted here by Vassilis Hadjinicolaou.

Great and Holy Friday Lamentations (Stasis 2)

Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wrYdIRxM8E

“Right is it indeed,
Life-Bestowing Lord to magnify thee:
For upon the cross were thy hands out stretched,
and the strength of our dread foe hast thou destroyed.

They that hear Thee
shall see Thee and be glad
from Thy words have I set my hope. . .

Earth with trembling shook,
and the sun concealed his face with darkness;
for the light unwaning that shines from thee,
with thy body sank to darkness and the grave.

Let now thy mercy be my comfort
according to thy statement to thy servant.

That I may renew man’s lost nature now from beauty fallen,
gladly in my flesh I take death on me:
wherefore, mother, slay me not with bitter tears.

I am Thine, save me
For after thy statutes have I sought.

Ah, those eyes so sweet
and thy lips, O Word, how shall I close them?
How the dues of death shall I pay to thee?
So cried Joseph as he shook with holy fear. . .”

Great and Holy Friday Lamentations (1st Stasis)

Video

In a grave they laid Thee,
O my life and my Christ,
And the armies of the Angels were sore amazed
As they saw the praise of Thy submissive love.

Verse: Thou hast enjoined Thy commmandments, that we should keep them most diligently.

O my dear Christ Jesus,
King and Ruler of all,
Why to them that dwelt in Hades didst Thou descend?
Was it not to set the race of mortals free?

Verse:I will confess Thee with uprightness of heart, when I have learned
judgments of Thy righteousness.

In a grave they laid Thee,
O my Life and my Christ,
Yet the Lord of death has Thou by Thy
death destroyed;
And the world of Thee doth drink rich streams of life.

Verse: In my heart have I hid Thy sayings that I might not sin against
Thee.

O my sweet Lord Jesus,
My salvation, my light,
How art thou now by a grave and its darkness hid
How unspeakable the mystery of Thy love.

Verse: Make me to understand the way of Thy statutes, and I will ponder on Thy wondrous works.

Thou, O Christ was buried
In a tomb newly made,
Thus renewing the whole nature of mortal men
By arising from the dead as God in truth.

Verse: Before I was humbled, I trangressed therefore Thy saying have I
kept.

“Who will give me water
For the tears I must weep?”
So the Maiden wed to God cried with loud lament,
“That for my sweel Jesus I may rightly mourn.”

Verse: Thou art good, O Lord and in Thy goodness teach me Thy statutes.

Savior, Thou wast hidden
‘Neath the earth like the sun,
And was covered as with shrouds by the right of death.
But more radiantly do Thou arise, O Lord.

This video featured the Boston Byzantine Choir.

Great and Holy Friday Lamentations (Stasis 3)

Video

“Every generation offers Thee this hymn of praise at Thy burial, O Christ. . .”

“The host of angels tremble at the strange and fearful sight of Your burial, O Maker of all. . .”

~   ~   ~

“Lamentations (Stasis 3)” is owned and distributed by Archangel Voices. The above link takes you to a Youtube video of the chant, which is number 16 on the choral group’s CD “Lamentations: Orthodox Chants of Holy Week”. The choir director is Dr Vladimir Morosan.