Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

The Bells

May 4, 2009

RUSSIA HARVARD BELLSI can never begin describing the layers upon layers of Orthodox Tradition when I am writing or speaking with others. This is true, at the very least, because the Tradition is itself also the “life” of the Church (in Orthodox understanding). A life – particularly a life that is Divine, cannot be described. It can only be experienced. Description, at best, only offers a small glimpse.

One of the elements of Orthodox life that is lost to those outside is the rich role of music in the Church. Many who come to Orthodoxy in the West are hesitant when the find the various musical presentations of Orthodoxy to be so, well, foreign. As my years in faith add up, however, music begins to take on new meanings. I feel as though I’ve largely forgotten the hymns of my former Church – regardless of their beauty. In Orthodox practice music, the various melodies employed, etc., have their own associations, even multiple associations, which like icons and other elements of the services, bring various theological events, insights and moments into one another’s presence and thus produce a commentary. This is particularly rich during Holy Week and Pascha (though in American practice there remain many musical melodies known only by name and not by sound – the Tradition is only slowly being set in place).

It is thus hard to describe what is happening when these various layers of the Tradition – liturgical, ritual, musical, textual, iconographic, etc. – all begin to work together in the course of the Church year. The experience of the Church’s life reveals a texture that can be found in few if any other settings (I cannot think of any). I am particularly struck by the fact that what I know of this element of the Orthodox life is, in fact, at a rather minimal level. I have had conversations with those for whom these many layers are known as familiar territory. I can think especially of some conversations I have had, or been present at, with Fr. Paul Lazor, retired from the faculty of St. Vladimir’s Seminary. His conversations alone carry a wealth of Tradition.

Another layer of Orthodox life which is only beginning to be present in America, at the same time it is being restored to Russia, is the place of Bells. In a recent article in the New Yorker the following statement on the understanding of Church bells serves as an example. Bells are not a musical instrument but

“‘…an icon of the voice of God.’ A Russian bell, he said, must sound rich, deep, sonorous, and clear, for how can the voice of God be otherwise? It must be loud, because God is omnipotent. Above all, Russian bells must never be tuned to either a major or minor chord. ‘The voice of a bell is understood as just that,’ he said.  ‘Not a note, not a chord, but a voice.’”

Western bell-ringing is famous either for playing music (as is done with Carillons) or in playing mathematical schemes (as in change-ringing). Russian bell-ringing has its own rules with various patterns being required at various occasions. But beneath all of its patterns is the icon of the voice of God.

The complexity that these many things bring to Church life is, like the voice of the bell, an icon of the life of God as well as the mystery of our participation in His life. Conversations I had ten years ago about music in the Orthodox Church (“Would there ever be a place for Western hymns in Orthodoxy?”) now seem trite – devoid of understanding the life into which I was entering. I am a neophyte, only now awakening to the Life that has been given me. But knowing something, anything, of that Life is an invitation to follow the voice of God.

The source of the quote on the bells comes from a marvelous Orthodox blog by Fr. Milovan Katanic, a Serbian Orthodox priest, whose comments have graced articles here at Glory to God for All Things. I have added his website, Again and Again, to the blogroll, its absence being an oversight on my part for which I can only beg forgiveness. It is always a very good read.

Christos Voskrese

April 18, 2009

This delightful youtube video was posted a year ago. One of our readers and occasional commenter,  Dejan, (without a doubt my favorite Serb) provided the English translation.  The words are from a poem by St. Nikolai Velimirovich who served for a time as the Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary – truly one of the great Serbian saints of the modern era. 

Translation:

People rejoice, nations hear:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Stars dance, mountains sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Forests murmur, winds hum:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Seas bow*, animals roar:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bees swarm, and the birds sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

Angels stand, triple the song:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Sky humble yourself, and elevate the earth:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bells chime, and tell to all:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Glory to You God, everything is possible to You,
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

The Sunday of Orthodoxy

March 7, 2009

sundayorthodoxyThe first Sunday of Great Lent is always observed as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” in our Churches. It marks both the return of the icons to the Churches following the end of the Iconoclast Controversy, but also as a summation of all the Holy Teachings of the faith which Orthodoxy holds and for which many have died. Most of our parishes will have a procession around the Church with adults and children carrying icons. In local parishes the service concludes with a simple proclamation, a small portion of the Synodicon of Orthodoxy (the summary of the faith) proclaimed at the last council.

On a different day, a small assembly occurred in the Holy Land. Three angels gathered at the tent of Abraham and Sarah. Sometime later these same angels would “travel in procession” to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the account in Genesis, when the angels stopped and partook of the hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, they encountered the prayers of this righteous man. He began to beg mercy for the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Beginning with the number fifty, the Lord agreed with him that if only fifty righteous souls could be found in those wicked cities then all of the inhabitants would be spared.

Eventually, Abraham managed to successfully be promised that if only ten could be found the cities would be spared.

Many focus on these stories noting that not even ten righteous souls could be found in these two great cities. But they miss several important points that are buried in the story. For one – the presence of only a few righteous souls is enough to preserve all those around them. Second, God was not troubled that Abraham begged mercy for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I draw a few conclusions, or at least questions for our modern world. How many righteous souls must there be for the unrighteous world to be spared? I do not know the answer but I do believe that our wicked world is spared because of God’s mercy and the prayers of the saints among us. And for those who are troubled about the prayers of saints I need only point to Abraham. That great saint literally sought to save the unrightrublevtrinityeous through His prayers to the merciful God. That’s the Biblical account.

Though we will celebrate the “Triumph of Orthodoxy” this Sunday and affirm the faith of the Orthodox through the ages, and condemn the errors of heretics – nonetheless, we must remain mindful that it is the task of a saint to pray for the whole world, including the souls of the unrighteous. We must cultivate a heart of mercy, not a heart that looks for justification for triumph over others. I have often thought that the service of the Triumph of Orthodoxy should be offered with tears.

A further question: by whose prayers are you being spared? I know that my unrighteous soul is sustained by the prayers of others. I simply do not know their names (though I have my suspicions). Should any of us be so arrogant as to assume that God’s mercy is not being extended to us through the prayers of others?

As we should with our guardian angels, thanksgiving should be offered for these righteous holy saints.

O Fathers of the Holy Seven Ecumenical Councils, on this day of Triumph, pray for us sinners, and for the whole world!

The Beatitudes – Sung by the Monks of Valaam Monastery

February 15, 2009

Dreams and Reality – Prayers by the Lake XXXI

February 5, 2009

The following poem is from St. Nikolai’s  (Velimirovich) Prayers by the Lake. The only true Reality is God and only in Him do we find ourselves to be real.

+++

ochridYou pour out light over the darkness, Lord, and colors and shapes emerge. You bend Your face over the abyss, whose name is Nothingness, and the abyss tries to depict the beauty of Your face in shadows. All creation expresses You the way the abyss dreams of You.

My lake is also beautiful while the peaceful face of the sun remains bent over it. And all those who pass by praise the beauty of my lake. But as soon as the sun hides its face, my lake becomes dark and abysmal. And no passerby ever offers any praise for the lake except in the presence of the sun or the sun’s radiant companions.

The face of the abyss intoxicates those who do not see the sun bent over the abyss. The beauty of things begins when an onlooker bends his face over them. There is no mirror if there is no face in front of the mirror. But even a face in front of a mirror means nothing if there is no light.

In the light of Your face I pay no attention to any creature. Without You, creatures and I would not be mirrors of one another, but rather darkness, and an abyss, and an opaque chill.

Creation distorts Your beauty the way a dream distorts reality. Creation torments me just as dreams torment me. For what is creation except dreams of Your inexpressible Reality?

My neighbors say: “We have dreamed beautiful dreams.” The universe is my witness when I tell you that you are more beautiful than your dreams. The universe also dreams, and cannot dream enough about its own beauty. O my sleepy universe: as long as a dream dreams a dream, one dream is afraid of another, even if one dream seeks an interpreter and comforter in another. Who is prophesying to whom: the dream to reality or reality to the dream?

O my beautiful universe: dream of Reality and Reality will tell you everything. Admit the Reality, of which you are a dream, and you will awaken, and will no longer ramble about beauty, but will be Beauty. There is only one Reality and only one Beauty, and it is the reason for your dream.

Do not tell me, children, about the beauty of the stars. If the Lord withdrew Himself from the stars, your mouths would be struck dumb. Stand in the thick darkness by my lake and try to sing to it. Truly you will be struck dumb and remain silent until the sun dawns, until the sun pours its beauty over the lake and gives your speechless throat its voice.

Your face pours beauty over all creation. The universe swims in Your beauty as a boat swims in the sea.

And when You bend over cold ashes, the ashes are transfigured and receive a face.

Bring my heart to its senses, my Lord, so that it may not be captivated by mortal beauty but by You, my Immortal Beauty.

O my only Beauty!

Allow me to see Your Face, just more and more–of Your Face

The Smashing of Images

January 22, 2009

iconoclasm.jpg

I have a quote on the sidebar from an earlier posting. It is about the need we have for proper images and the danger inherent in “image smashing” or “iconoclasm.”

We have to renounce iconoclasm. In so doing, we inherently set ourselves against certain forces within modernity. The truth is eschatological, that is, it lies in the future, but we also believe that this eschatological reality was incarnate in Christ, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. We do not oppose the future in embracing the Tradition we have received. We embrace the future that is coming in Truth, rather than the false utopias of modern man’s imagination.

There is a strange spirit of iconoclasm (the Greek for “icon smashing”) and it breaks out now and again across human history. It is not just a short period in Byzantine history successfully resisted by the Orthodox but a strange manifestation of human sin that has as its driving force and hence allurement, the claim that it is defending the honor of God.

The icon smashers are as varied as certain forms of Islam or certain forms of Puritanism (and some of its Protestant successors). Some icon smashers direct their attention to pictures or statues, per se, while others turn their attention to even ideological icons such as honoring certain days and holidays. Those Christians who rail against the date of Christmas belong to this latter group of iconoclasts.

What is striking to me is that iconoclasm has almost always accompanied revolutions. I suppose those who are destroying the old and replacing with the new have a certain drive to “cleanse” things. Thus during China’s Cultural Revolution, books, pictures, older faculty members, indeed a deeply terrifying array of unpredictable things and people became the objects of the movement’s iconoclasm. As in all of these revolutions – iconoclasm kills.

In Christian history the first recorded outbreak of iconoclasm was the period that gave the phenomenon the name – during the mid-Byzantine Empire. Like later incarnations of this spirit of destruction, the icons themselves were only one thing to be destroyed – those who sought to explain and defend them became objects of destruction as well. Thus we have the martyrs of the Iconoclast Heresy.

During the Protestant Reformation iconoclasm was a frequent traveler with the general theological reform itself. Thus statues, relics, furniture – all became objects of destruction (as well as people). Some of this was state sponsored (as was the original iconoclastic period). The logic of iconoclasm, however, cannot always be confined. Thus in the Reformation the logic of reform moved from destruction of images to destruction of the state (which was itself an icon of sorts). In Germany the result was the Peasants’ Revolt, which became so dangerous to the powers that be that even Martin Luther had to denounce it and bless the state’s bloody intervention.

In England the Reform that was first put in place by the state remained unsteady for over a hundred years. Eventually, the Puritan Reform (that only took the logic of Reform to its next step) began to smash images, behead kings, outlaw bishops, outlaw holidays, outlaw dancing (they were a fun lot). For ten years England was ruled by a bloody dictatorship that was as ruthless in its iconoclasm as any regime in history.

One of the difficulties of iconoclasm is its appeal to the idea of God. Images are smashed because they are considered an affront to God. And not just images, but certain ideas are smashed (burn the books and those who wrote them). There is a “righteousness” to the cause which refuses to accept anything other than complete obedience.

I do not write about iconoclasm entirely from the outside. I’ve been there – done that. The verse of Scripture that seemed most “iconoclastic” to me was in 2 Cor. (10:3-6):

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Of course, the verse is referring to sinful thoughts and uses (as is not unusual in St. Paul) martial imagery. That same imagery applied to the governing of a state (or a Church) can be quite dangerous. It is useful in the spiritual life, provided it is well-directed by a mature and generous guide.

The plain truth of the matter is that God is an icon-maker. He first made man “in His own image.” And in becoming man, the man he became is described as the “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). The same God who gave the commandment to make no graven images, also commanded the making of the Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant, as well as the images of angels woven in the curtain of the Tabernacle. He commanded the making of the image of the serpent, lifted on a staff, that brought healing to all who looked on it (an Old Testament prefigurement of the crucified Christ).

In the better than 14 years I have known Archbishop DMITRI of Dallas (my bishop), I have heard him warn incessantly that the greatest danger in the modern world is the attack on man as the image of God. That God became man in order to unite man to God is the only sure Divine underwriting of human worth. We have value because of the image we bear.

There is a restraint that is inherently involved in offering honor. Orthodox Christian living requires that we know how to worship God with what is due to Him alone, but at the same time to know how to honor those things that are honorable without giving them what belong to God alone. It is easy to say “give honor to God alone,” but this is contrary to the Scriptures in which we are told to “give honor to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:7 and also see Romans 12:10). We cannot honor God by destroying the very images He has created (and here I include the saints who could not be what they are but by God’s grace).

There is within iconoclasm, a spirit of hate and anger. Without them destruction would not be so easy. But it is also the case that such spirits are not of God – though they are easily attributed to zeal or excused as exuberance. Iconoclasm is not the narrow way, but the wide path of destruction. It is easy to declare that all days are the same and that no days should be considered holier than others. It is easy to check out the historical pedigree of every feast of the Church and declare that some had pagan predecessors. Of course some had pagan predecessors – as did every last human being. If the Church has blessed a day and made it to be a day on which an action of Christ or an event in His life, or a saint of the Church is to be honored and remembered, then it is acting well within the Divine authority given it in Scripture (Matt. 18:18).

More importantly, we will grow more surely into the image of Christ by imitating his actions and learning to build up rather than to smash. Giving place to anger and the spirit of iconoclasm, in all its various guises, has never produced saints – but only destruction that has to eventually give way to something more sane. The legacy of our culture’s image smashing (a powerful part of the Puritan world) is secularization – though now replete with its own images. If we fail to give a proper account of the role that images play in Christianity – the result will not be no images – but simply the dominance of culture images and a subtle conformity to the world. The only image that needs to be discarded is the one we have of ourselves as God. We are not Him. Worship God. Give honor to whom honor is due.

Brighter Than Any Royal Chamber

December 30, 2008

england-trip-186At the end of the Great Entrance, when the priest places the Holy Gifts on the altar, there are several verses which he repeats quietly. They are all deeply meaningful to me, but one has been on my heart much of late: “Bearing life and more fruitful than paradise, brighter than any royal chamber: Thy tomb, O Christ, is the fountain of our resurrection.” For me, these words point to the true and proper source of our healing and the definition of what it means for a human being to be whole.

That may sound almost obvious – but in our culture, the terms and teachings of the Orthodox faith must be carefully defined. We are part of a culture that has made “wholeness” into something of a cult – offering self-help books and related pop-psychology books as though they were just so many Romance Novels. Self-improvement has been a mantra of American culture since nearly its beginning (if not before). Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, that collection of homey sayings (“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”) is only an early example of this cultural fascination.

With the advent of modern psychology our fascination has left off its interests in quaint advice and moved on to self-diagnosis (and the diagnosis of others) in terms and understandings borrowed from various branches of psychology. Thus, words such as “extrovert” and “introvert,” drawn from the work of Carl Jung, have simply become part of our general vocabulary, even if their popular meanings are somewhat removed from the theory which spawned them.

I have a sign beside the door of my church office. It is a quote from the first-century Jewish philosopher, Philo:

Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

In theological terms we would say that everyone you meet is a sinner like yourself. In our modern culture we might very well analyze everyone we meet and try to figure out precisely which battle it is in which they are fighting. Neurotics (of every stripe), Co-dependents, Bi-polars, Attention Deficit Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder – and the list goes on. Of course a century or more ago our ancestors were grouping people as “choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, and sanguine” – based on medical theories that have long since disappeared.

But what we mean by wholeness also has tremendous bearing on what we mean by “sick.” The teaching of the Church maintains that wholeness of the human being is defined by the resurrection and nothing less. We are not complete without the resurrection – it is the fullness of what it means to be in the image of Christ.

Nevertheless, there is a confusion in our culture with “spirituality” and “psychological wholeness” or with any number of other images.

One way around this confusion is to make our wholeness something completely “other” than ourselves. Thus, if salvation is understood as an extrinsic gift, and external reward bestowed on us by Christ, then there is only a good effort here and no particular expectation of more. The spiritual life consists in waiting for the second coming. This approach works well with a secular culture. So long as a relgious minimun is met (various groups have various minimums) all is well. We mark time in a secular world with a secular life. It is the Second Coming that will take care of the world in which we live.

This same external approach can have other versions – some more responsible than others – but all leaving the battle outside ourselves. Of course these approaches leave wholeness as a cultural norm – something we work on because we’d like to be a “better person” or simply through some sort of inner, moral imperative.

Of course, the Scripture offers something more:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18).

The transformation which is promised us in Christ is not a transformation that is necessarily delayed to the “afterlife” but is simply the work of God in us at all times to save. The resurrection is what salvation looks like. Thus we draw ever closer to that which is the fountain of our resurrection.

Met. Hierotheos Vlachos, in a series of books, writes about the spirtual life as “Orthodox Psychotherapy.” What he teaches is simply the traditional three-fold life of purification, illumination and deification. The Elder Sophrony and his disciples (cf. Archimandrite Zacharias) write of a movement from a “psychological” to a “hypostatic” understanding. In this use of theological terms they are referring to a movement away from experience and problems as commonly understood and an extension, through grace, of ourselves into a fuller life of true personhood. I have found the Elder Sophrony’s writings to be of greater help to me personally – but that is nothing that I would ever generalize.

Our commitment to Christ is not necessarily a call to psychological well-being – as understood by the world. Such a healing may or may not be our lot. I have never been hesitant to recommend that someone see a doctor if it seemed clear that they suffered problems that needed medical help. There are certainly many mental conditions that are helped by medication. But medication is not resurrection. It is a band-aid. If you are bleeding that is a useful thing to have.

The greater realization is that we all share the same call in Christ – a call to go from “glory to glory.” The vision of beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord” is not unique to any one Christian. As St. Paul says, “But we all…” However the Christian beside you, beholding the same glory, may very well do so in the woundedness of his neurosis (or whatever terms we come to use). Our task is not to find ways to “fix” one another – but to love one another. Such love will make room for whatever woundedness it finds in others – perhaps even coming to behold the glory of God in the face of someone they would otherwise be tempted to fix. 

What We Do Not See

December 28, 2008

img_0462

One of the most striking features of the Gospels is the frequent response of the Disciples after the resurrection of Christ: doubt. I have always been sympathetic to the doubts and hesitations that afflicted their lives during the ministry of Christ. The disciples are almost endearing in their inability to grasp what Christ is all about. However, the same inability to grasp things after the resurrection seems to carry with it all kinds of difficulties. What was it about the resurrection that the disciples could not or did not believe? A man dies and is buried. Then he is not buried and is not a walking corpse but manifests an entirely new form of existence. Call it resurrection or what have you – but apparently Christ had mentioned this coming reality more than once before it happened. What was the problem?

The problem seems to go to the very heart of things both then and now. Had the resurrection belonged to the classification of events that everyone can see, measure, study, and reach “scientific” agreement, there would surely have been no trouble. But the resurrection does not belong to some general classification. It is sui generis, its own classification.

There are many who want to speak about the resurrection as if it were a car wreck down at the corner drugstore. Whatever it was (is), it is very much more, even, indeed, something completely different – not like anything else.

And it is here, that the continuing problem of vision is made manifest. Orthodox Christian writers are wont to utter things like, “God will save the world through beauty” (Dostoevsky), or “Icons will save the world” (recently in First Things) all of which makes some people want to run out and complain. But at their heart, such statements are trying to say something about the nature of the resurrection and its action in our world.

The resurrection of Christ is something completely new. It is a manifestation of God unlike anything we have ever known. It is Truth made manifest in the flesh – not the truth to be found in an average living man. I am 55 and I look very unlike what I did at 10. I look decidedly unlike what I will in another 100 years (you probably wouldn’t like to see that). Thus we never see anything in an eternal state. But the resurrection is just that. It does not belong exactly to the classification of “things created,” for it is the “uncreated” before our eyes.

And thus the Church paints the things that pertain to the resurrection (including the saints) in an iconic fashion – not like portraiture or the “truth” that generally lies before our eyes. Icons paint the Truth as it appears to eyes that behold the resurrection. By the same token, the Church does not write about the resurrection in the way we write about other things, for the resurrection is not one of the other things but a thing that is unlike anything else. Thus the Fathers of the Church said that “icons do with color what Scripture does with words.”

And both have something to do with vision. The Gospel tells us: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I am not pure in heart but I think I may have encountered such a person. At the least I have read stories about such persons and I know that such persons see what I cannot and they see in a manner that as yet I do not.

But this goes to the point of salvation. Salvation is not how to get people like me (or like you) into some place safe from the fires of hell. That is a transportation problem at best, or a legal problem, at worst. The point of salvation is how to change people like me (and you). It is about changing us such that seeing the resurrection becomes possible. In order to see the resurrection and those things that pertain to it – one must somehow participate in the resurrection. The vision that is birthed in our hearts at Holy Baptism is the vision born of the resurrection of Christ. He is the “true light” whom we behold in the Holy Eucharist.

In this sense, God will indeed save the world through Beauty. The problem is that so few if any of us have ever seen Beauty. Had you truly seen Beauty, then you would not disagree with the statement. It’s obvious character would be, well, obvious. That people want to argue with it (or with icons) only means that they do not or cannot see. And neither do I, most of the time.

If I could see as I am meant to see then my eyes would not see enemies nor the like. Not that others might not intend to be my enemies or want evil for me – but there are eyes that see beyond all of that and see the Truth of a person. Had I the eyes to see, love would not be an insurmountable problem but as tangible as the Resurrection itself.

And so we have celebrated the Feast of the Lord’s Nativity. Every heart must prepare Him room. More than that, every heart should beg to see the Beauty, to read the Icon of the Gospel of the Nativity, to see what daily escapes our vision and leaves us blind – leading the blind.

Russian Art – Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942)

December 27, 2008

Nesterov is one of my favorite artists. His work has a marvelous Russian quality with an almost pre-raphaelite technique. His rendering of a couple of icon subjects are perhaps the only things that do not work for me. But you see some of his art posted here from time to time. This youtube is a delightful discovery.

Angels Sing

December 23, 2008

 

A Serbian Christmas Song – lyrics by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Andjeli Pevaju

Noć prekrasna i noć tija,
nad pećinom zvezda sija,
u pećini mati spi,
nad Isusom andjel bdi.

Andjeli pevaju,
pastiri sviraju,
andjeli pevaju
mudraci javljaju:
Što narodi čekaše,
što proroci rekoše,
evo sad se u svet javi,
u svet javi i objavi:
Rodi nam se Hristos Spas
za spasenje sviju nas.
Aliluja, aliluja,
Gospodi pomiluj!

(deep voice) no matter what you are doing, spin threads for heaven!

Angels Sing  (lyrics)

the night so grand and placid,
a star shining over the cave,
the mother sleeping in the cave,
where the angel of Jesus hast been.

the angels are singing,
the sheperds are fluting,
the angels are singing,
the wise bring it forth:
what the nations awaited,
what the prophets had said,
here and now it is announced,

it is announced and brought forth:
Christ, our Redeemer is born!
for the Salvation of us all.
halleluya, halleluya,
Lord, have mercy!

Joy, Soul, Passion, Honor, Jesus, Faith, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Repentance, the Lord, Calmness, Love, Charity, Harmony…

(addendum) God’s peace! Christ is born! Truly, He is born!… let’s renew ourselves, let’s lift up the pillars!