Orthodox Easter Hymn

Christ is risen!

Today is Easter Sunday for us Orthodox Christians – the most special day in the year. And so, I’d like to share the extraordinarily beautiful Orthodox Easter hymn (the Paschal troparion). We sing it several times in the Easter Sunday liturgy, proclaiming the joy of Christ’s resurrection, and will continue to do so in every Sunday liturgy until Pentecost.

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs, he has given life.” “Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας, καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!” (Prounounced: Christos anesti ek nekron, thanato thanaton pateesas, kay tees en tees mneemasi, zoe harisamenos!”)

I find the Byzantine (Greek) setting of these words the most moving and spiritual piece of music. To me, it carries a deep mystical joy and expresses the rejoicing of all creation (cf. e.g. Romans 8:19-22 for creation’s consciousness of its Creator and the salvation and glory He brings).

Here is the paschal troparion sung in traditional Byzantine style by monks of Mount Athos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkrAqsgLAV8 And a version (which I really like) by the Serbian singer Divna Ljubojevic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqRlJC-ckL4

In my church (where joint services are held with the Greek and Russian parishes), the Russian translation of the hymn is set to a different tune. It is wonderfully majestic and triumphant. Sadly, I can only find it on Youtube in Rimsky-Korsakov’s (admittedly, very charming) Easter Festival Overture, which plays around (in a nice way) with the hymn throughout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQoGMgA3wR0

Χριστός ἀνέστη! Αληθώς ο Κύριος! Αλληλούια!