Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Doxastikon of the Dormition in All Eight Tones

The Dormition of the Theotokos (source)
The following is the Doxastikon of the Stichera from the Great Vespers for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. This is a beautiful hymn with vivid imagery, but it is most notable for the fact that it is written with portions to be chanted in all eight tones of Byzantine music. This, to my knowledge, is the only hymn in Orthodox hymnology that is like this, and we should take note of this. I take it to mean that our Orthodox Fathers and Hymnographers, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, hope to show that, by praising the Theotokos in all eight tones, the entirety of the visible and invisible Church gathers to honor the Dormition of her who is the "Mother of Life", being translated to "Life". We praise her with every manner and every glory that we have been given, though "it is not possible to render her worthy honor". May she ever intercede for the whole world!

Glory. Both now.
For both Choirs in the 8 Tones.

Tone 1
By divine command the god-bearing Apostles were caught up from all over the world by clouds on high.
Tone 5.
Reaching your all-immaculate body, source of life, they kissed it with mighty honour.
Tone 2.
The highest Powers of heaven stood by with their own Master.
Tone 6.
Seized with dread they accompanied your inviolate body that had contained God; while they went on before in a manner not of this world and crying out, unseen, to the ranks above them: See, the Queen of all, God’s Child, has come.
Tone 3.
Lift up the gates, and in a manner not of this world receive the Mother of the everlasting light.
Tone 7.
For through her the salvation of all mortals has come. We have not the strength to gaze on her, and it is not possible to render her worthy honour.
Tone 4.
For her excellence outstrips all understanding.
Tone 8.
Therefore, immaculate Mother of God, as you live for ever with the life-bearing King, your Offspring, pray without ceasing that he guard and save from every hostile assault your new people; for we have gained your protection.
Tone 1.
As to the ages with splendour we call you blessed.

The Dormition of the Theotokos (source)
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!

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