August 14, 2013

The Unique Eight Toned Hymn of the Dormition of the Theotokos

During Great Vespers for the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, a unique hymn is chanted for the Doxastikon where all eight tones unite to praise and honor the Theotokos.

Listen to this amazing hymn, titled "Θεαρχίῳ νεύματι" ("By divine command"), below by the great chanter of Constantinople, Thrasyvoulos Stanitsas, in an old recording. Towards the bottom is another more clear version by Kostas Arvanitis.

Ἦχος α’

Δόξα… Καὶ νῦν…

Θεαρχίῳ νεύματι, πάντοθεν οἱ θεοφόροι Ἀπόστολοι, ὑπὸ νεφῶν μεταρσίως αἰρόμενοι.

Ἦχος πλ. α’

Καταλαβόντες τὸ πανάχραντον, καὶ ζωαρχικόν σου σκῆνος, ἐξόχως ἠσπάζοντο.

Ἦχος β’

Αἱ δὲ ὑπέρτατοι τῶν οὐρανῶν Δυνάμεις, σὺν τῷ οἰκείῳ Δεσπότῃ παραγενόμεναι.

Ἦχος πλ. β’

Τὸ θεοδόχον καὶ ἀκραιφνέστατον σῶμα προπέμπουσι, τῷ δέει κρατούμεναι, ὑπερκοσμίως δὲ προῴχοντο, καὶ ἀοράτως ἐβόων, ταῖς ἀνωτέραις ταξιαρχίαις· ἰδοὺ ἡ παντάνασσα θεόπαις παραγέγονεν.

Ἦχος γ’

Ἄρατε πύλας, καὶ ταύτην ὑπερκοσμίως ὑποδέξασθε, τὴν τοῦ ἀενάου φωτὸς Μητέρα.

Ἦχος βαρὺς

Διὰ ταύτης γὰρ ἡ παγγενὴς τῶν βροτῶν σωτηρία γέγονεν, ᾗ ἀτενίζειν οὐκ ἰσχύομεν, καὶ ταύτῃ ἄξιον γέρας ἀπονέμειν ἀδύνατον.

Ἦχος δ’

Ταύτης γὰρ τὸ ὑπερβάλλον, ὑπερέχει πᾶσαν ἔννοιαν.

Ἦχος πλ. δ’

Διὸ ἄχραντε Θεοτόκε, ἀεὶ σὺν ζωηφόρῳ Βασιλεῖ, καὶ τόκῳ ζῶσα, πρέσβευε διηνεκῶς, περιφρουρῆσαι καὶ σῶσαι, ἀπὸ πάσης προσβολῆς ἐναντίας τὴν νεολαίαν σου· τὴν γὰρ σὴν προστασίαν κεκτήμεθα.

Ἦχος α’

Εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀγλαοφανῶς μακαρίζοντες.

Tone One

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

By divine command, the God-bearing Apostles were caught up in the air and carried on the clouds from everywhere.

Plagal of the First Tone

Reaching your most pure and life-originating body they venerated it exceedingly.

Tone Two

Present were the highest powers of heaven with their own Master.

Plagal of the Second Tone

Seized with reverent awe they escort your pure body which received God. They proceeded in a transcendent and invisible way, crying out to the heavenly ranks above, “Behold, the divine Maiden, the Queen of all is here”.

Tone Three

Open the gates and receive the Mother of the everlasting light in a manner beyond this world.

Grave Tone

Through her has come the salvation of the whole race of mortals. We are unable to look upon her and cannot render honor worthy of her.

Tone Four

Her excellence surpasses all understanding.

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Wherefore, O pure Theotokos, who live with your Son and life-bearing King forever, ceaselessly intercede that your newborn people be protected and saved from every adverse assault; for we have your protection.

Tone One

We brightly bless you forever.