Prayer & Worship Orthodox Hymns

For a long time the hymns were basically background noise to me – I had trouble understanding the words and I’d kinda zone out appreciating how good they sounded.

Several months ago, though, I moved and begin attending another parish. Here, our deacon frequently references texts from the hymns in his sermons, and I’m beginning to appreciate them not just for the sound but for the content. I also figured out (in retrospect this should have been obvious), the best way to understand what’s being sung is to join the choir.

This thread is for sharing hymns that stick out at you.


Good Friday is a complicated day liturgically, because we’re remembering the death on the cross but we also never stop celebrating Pascha. I was struck last night by how aggressively and joyfully we proclaim the resurrection, even on a day specially dedicated to the crucifixion:
Resurrectional Troparia for Tone 5 said:
The angelic host was filled with awe,
when it saw Thee among the dead.
By destroying the power of death, O Savior,
Thou didst raise Adam,
and save all men from hell!

In the tomb, the radiant angel cried to the myrrh-bearers:
Why do you women mingle myrrh with your tears?
Look at the tomb and understand!
The Savior is risen from the dead!

I also noticed this intriguing bit from the praises interspersed with the 17th kathisma:
Troparion after Psalm 118:121-122 said:
Like a pelican
with Thy side, O Word, by wounding riven,
Hast Thou made thy Children once dead to live,
by besprinkling on them moisture rich with Life.

In the Middle Ages, it was believed that pelicans were so devoted to their children that in times of starvation they would wound their breast to feed their young drops of their own blood. This hymn uses it as a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

The image of the pelican feeding her young in this way can be found on the Louisiana State flag, a remnant of Christian America.


And this day of his rest in the tomb, the one day he spends entirely in darkness during this week, is the precursor to the rising son, a day of light from the zero hour onto heaven as a living God.
The midnight of light is coming. The Light is coming. The Light of Christ is about to ignite the world. May his fire pour over us all, embiggening the small, justifying the godly, and convicting the children of perdition.

HOLY GOD, HOLY MIGHTY, HOLY IMMORTAL, have mercy on us. May all who seek shelter under your WINGS find it, and all those brave enough to stand in your holy fire to receive Your Holy Spirit.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the name of Mary and Jesus. In the name of the One True God.

May everyone here (who hasn't already) receive(d) his fire and spirit, and be baptised into life.

The pelican metaphor was very powerful. Thank you for sharing it, my liege. ;)

It's time to grow that remnant back up. It's time for people to kneel to Jesus Christ, either as penitents, or eager servants. Or both.
My prayer on this powerful day of Christ's Sabbath is that the remnant of Christ on Louisiana's flag spreads like wildfire across this country. I want people who can't stand even hearing the name Jesus Christ without immediately resorting to mockery or anger to either bend the knee in respect to our Lord Commander, or, even better, bend their hearts to His voice and seek repentance for their sins.
I know if I haven't been doing the latter, my dark heart of sin would have slain be my now. In Jesus' name, I hope this is a powerful pascha for you, my friend, and for everyone else here.