I love real people.
Thank you, Lena:
One of the most important weeks in the Orthodox faith is Holy week.
I studied classical Greek with my grandmother and the lyrics are absolutely heart wrenching. Greeks have a flair for the dramatic to begin with so combine it with a language so concise, so 3D, so meaningful and you have the perfect recipe for deep understanding.
I can’t even imagine what the Holy Mother went through watching her son be captured, tortured, crucified, murdered.
Regardless of one’s belief system, this was a man who did nothing wrong. This always brings tears to my eyes so I try to avoid it. But I couldn’t tonight.
The lyrics to the Holy Friday Hymn (translated to the best of my ability):
Ἡ ζωή ἐν τάφω
Life in the grave
You’ve resigned to, Christ.
καί ἀγγέλων στρατιαί ἐξεπλήττοντο,
And armies of soldier Angels were astonished,
συγκατάβασιν δοξάζουσαι τήν σήν.
with your consent you are praised.
Ἡ ζωή, πῶς θνήσκεις;
Life, how are you dying?? (As in how is life and deqth occupying the same space)
πῶς καί τάφω οἰκεῖς;
How do you occupy a tomb??
τοῦ θανάτου τό βασίλειον λύεις δέ,
How do you untangle and solve the kingdom of death like so?
καί τοῦ Ἅδου τούς νεκρούς ἑξανιστᾶς.
And raise the dead from hell?
I glorify you (intensely)
καί τιμῶμεν τήν ταφήν καί τά πάθη σου,
And honour your trials and tribulations
δί’ ὧν ἔσωσας ἠμᾶς ἐκ τῆς φθορᾶς.
As you have saved us from annihilation
Μέτρα γής ὁ στήσας
In earthly measurements
ἐν σμικρῶ κατοικεῖς,
You occupy a small space (tomb)
Ἰησοῦ παμβασιλεύ, τάφω σήμερον,
Jesus, King of Everything, I bury today
ἐκ μνημάτων τούς θανόντας ἀνιστῶν.
In the memory of the dying disbelievers
Ὁ δεσπότης πάντων
The ruler of everything
καί ἐν μνήματι καινῶ κατατίθεται
In the memory of (someone who is empty or void -an empty carcass)
ὁ κενώσας τά μνημεῖα τῶν νεκρῶν.
The emptier of monuments (empty carcasses) of the dead.😢
…it goes on for several paragraphs.
Brings me to tears every. single. time. As it continues with the lamentations of the Mother of God, saying, “My sweet sweet child, My God, my creator, how can I accept your tribulations?
– Lena Papadam