Have Mercy On Us

Passion-Week-SlideI learned to love Eastern orthodox choral music during this very season back in my early 20s when living in Eastern Europe. Alexander Grechaninov’s Passion Week op. 58 is a beautiful liturgical work for choir that opens with “Se Zhenih griadet (Behold, the Bridegroom)”. A translation of the Russian text reads:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, 
And blessed is the servant whom he shall find watching; 
And again, unworthy is the servant whom he shall find heedless. 
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, 
Lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. 
But rouse yourself, crying: “Holy, holy, holy, art Thou, O our God. 
Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us!

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