Plough My Account Sign Out
My Account
    View Cart

    Subtotal: $

    Sunrise Clouds

    The Hymn for Orthodox Easter

    By Marianne Wright

    April 7, 2014

    The Plough Music Series is a regular selection of music intended to lift the heart to God. It is not a playlist of background music: each installment focuses on a single piece worth pausing to enjoy.

    The “Paschal Troparion” is the earliest known Easter hymn, likely dating to within a century of Jesus. To this day it is sung in Orthodox churches throughout the world during the Paschal vigil, held during the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise of Easter day. (A troparion is a short verse sung as a refrain between sections of a psalm.) Originally composed in Koine Greek by an unknown author, it is sung here in Church Slavonic – the language of the liturgy of the Slavic churches founded by Prince Vladimir of Kiev.

    According to the medieval chronicler Saint Nestor, in the year 987 the pagan Prince Vladimir sent envoys to study the religions of the neighboring countries. He was dissatisfied with the reports he received until he heard from two emissaries returning from Constantinople, where they had heard the divine liturgy sung in the church of Hagia Sofia: “We did not know whether we were in Heaven or on earth, nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it.” Prince Vladimir was baptized in 988 and established many churches and monasteries, sending monks to Mount Athos for training in the sacred music still sung in Orthodox churches today.

    Paschal Troparion

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    Trampling down death by death,
    And upon those in the tombs
    Bestowing life!

    Христос воскресе из мертвых,
    смертию смерть поправ,
    и сущим во
    гробех живот даровав.

    Performance by the St. Petersburg State Capella Choir under the baton & artistic direction of Vladislav Chernushenko.

    Contributed By MarianneWright Marianne Wright

    Marianne Wright, a member of the Bruderhof, lives in southeastern New York with her husband and five children.

    Learn More
    You have ${x} free ${w} remaining. This is your last free article this month. We hope you've enjoyed your free articles. This article is reserved for subscribers.

      Already a subscriber? Sign in

    Try 3 months of unlimited access. Start your FREE TRIAL today. Cancel anytime.

    Start free trial now