The Choirs of Ransomed Israel

Here’s a hymn for the Feast of the Transfiguration which we celebrate today:

The choirs of ransom’d Israel,
The Red Sea’s passage o’er,
Uprais’d the hymn of triumph
Upon the further shore:
And shouted, as the foeman
Was whelmed beneath the sea,—
‘Sing we to Judah’s Saviour,
For glorified is He!’

Amongst His Twelve Apostles
CHRIST spake the Words of Life,
And show’d a realm of beauty
Beyond a world of strife:
‘When all My FATHER’s glory
Shall shine express’d in Me,
Then praise Him, then exalt Him,
For magnified is He!’

Upon the Mount of Tabor
The promise was made good;
When, baring all the Godhead,
In light itself He stood:
And they, in awe beholding,
The Apostolic Three,
Sang out to GOD their Saviour,
For magnified was He!

In days of old, on Sinai,
The LORD JEHOVAH* came,
In majesty of terror,
In thunder-cloud and flame:
On Tabor, with the glory
Of sunniest light for vest,
The excellence of beauty
In JESUS was express’d.

All hours and days inclin’d there,
And did Thee worship meet,
The sun himself ador’d Thee,
And bowed him at Thy feet:
While Moses and Elias,
Upon the Holy Mount,
The co-eternal glory
Of CHRIST our GOD recount.

O holy, wonderous Vision!
But what, when this life past,
The beauty of Mount Tabor
Shall end in Heav’n at last?
But what, when all the Glory
Of Uncreated Light
Shall be the promised guerdon
Of them that win the fight?

Words: St. Cosmas the Melodist, 8th Century; Tr. John Mason Neale, 1862.
Tune:Aurelia” Samuel S. Wesley, 1864.

*Alternately rendered: “The LORD of Sabaoth came”

Here is the original Greek text of the hymn:

Χοροὶ Ἰσραήλ, ἀνίκμοις ποσί, πόντον ἐρυθρόν, καὶ ὑγρὸν βυθὸν διελάσαντες, ἀναβάτας τριστάτας, δυσμενεῖς ὁρῶντες ἐν αὐτῷ ὑποβρυχίους, ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει ἔμελπον· ᾌσωμεν τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν, ὅτι δεδόξασται».

Ῥήματα ζωῆς τοῖς φίλοις Χριστός, καὶ περὶ τῆς θείας δημηγορῶν βασιλείας ἔφη· Ἐν ἐμοὶ τὸν Πατέρα ἐπιγνώσεσθε, φωτὶ ὡς ἐξαστράψω ἀπροσίτῳ, ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει μέλποντες· ᾌσωμεν τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν, ὅτι δεδόξασται.

Ἰσχὺν τῶν ἐθνῶν κατέδεσθε, φίλοι Μαθηταί, θαυμασθήσεσθε δὲ τῷ πλούτῳ αὐτῶν, ὅτι δόξης πληροῦσθε, ὡς ὀφθήσομαι, λαμπρότερος ἡλίου ἐξαστράπτων, ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει μέλποντες· ᾌσωμεν τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν, ὅτι δεδόξασται.

Σήμερον Χριστὸς ἐν ὄρει Θαβώρ, λάμψας ἀμυδρῶς, θεϊκῆς αὐγῆς ὡς ὑπέσχετο, Μαθηταῖς παρεγύμνου χαρακτῆρα· σελασφόρου δὲ πλησθέντες θείας αἴγλης, ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει ἔμελπον· ᾌσωμεν τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν, ὅτι δεδόξασται.

The above only covers a few of the verses translated above. As far as the remainder, it is difficult to ascertain exactly where it came from. As best I can tell, some of it is the Apostichon in the first tone:

Ὁ πάλαι τῷ Μωσεῖ συλλαλήσας, ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους Σινᾶ διὰ συμβόλων. Ἐγὼ εἰμι, λέγων ὁ Ὤν, σήμερον ἐπ’ ὄρος Θαβώρ, μεταμορφωθεὶς ἐπὶ τῶν μαθητῶν, ἔδειξε τὸ ἀρχέτυπον κάλλος τῆς εἰκόνος, ἐν ἑαυτῷ τὴν ἀνθρωπίνην, ἀναλαβοῦσαν οὐσίαν, καὶ τῆς τοιαύτης χάριτος, μάρτυρας παραστησάμενος Μωϋσῆν καὶ Ἠλίαν, κοινωνοὺς ἐποιεῖτο τῆς εὐφροσύνης, προμηνύοντας τὴν ἔνδοξον διὰ Σταυροῦ, καὶ σωτήριον Ἀνάστασιν.

It seems that this might also be a section from which this hymn was translated.

Ἕτερος Κανὼν

Ὁ Εἱρμὸς
«Ἐκ σαρκός σου βολίδες Θεότητος, ἐξεπορεύοντο, Προφητῶν καὶ Ἀποστόλων· ὅθεν οἱ πρόκριτοι, μέλποντες ἀνεβόων· Δόξα τῇ δυνάμει σου Κύριε».
Ὁ τὴν βάτον φυλάξας ἀλώβητον, προσομιλοῦσαν πυρί, τῷ Μωσεῖ θεολαμποῦσαν σάρκα ὑπέδειξας, Δέσποτα μελῳδοῦντι· Δόξα τῇ δυνάμει σου Κύριε.
Ὑπεκρύβη ἀκτῖσι Θεότητος, αἰσθητὸς ἥλιος, ὡς ἐν ὄρει Θαβωρίῳ, εἶδέ σε μεταμορφούμενον Ἰησοῦ μου· Δόξα τῇ δυνάμει σου Κύριε.
Πῦρ μὴ φλέγον τὴν ὕλην τοῦ σώματος, ὡράθης ἄϋλον, ὡς Μωσεῖ καὶ Ἀποστόλοις, ὤφθης Ἠλίᾳ τε, Δέσποτα εἷς ἐκ δύο, ἐν δυσὶ τελείαις ταῖς φύσεσιν.
Καταβασία
Εἰσακήκοα Κύριε, τῆς οἰκονομίας Σου τὸ μυστήριον, κατενόησα τὰ ἔργα Σου, καὶ ἐδόξασά Σου τὴν Θεότητα.

ᾨδὴ ε’ Ὁ Εἱρμὸς
«Ὁ τοῦ φωτὸς διατμήξας τὸ πρωτόγονον χάος, ὡς ἐν φωτὶ τὰ ἔργα ὑμνεῖ σε Χριστέ, τὸν Δημιουργόν, ἐν τῷ φωτί σου τὰς ὁδοὺς ἡμῶν εὔθυνον».

Προσενωπίῳ σοι ὧραι ὑπεκλίθησαν· φῶς γὰρ καὶ πρὸ ποδῶν, ὑψίδρομον σέλας Χριστέ, ἥλιος εἶκε μορφὴν βροτείαν, ὡς ἀμεῖψαι εὐδόκησας.

Ἰδοὺ Σωτὴρ ἀνεβόων, Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἠλίας τῶν Μαθητῶν, ἐν ὄρει ἁγίῳ Θαβὼρ ἐνηχουμένων, Χριστὸς ὃν πάλαι, προηγγείλαμεν ὄντα Θεόν.

Ἡ ἀναλλοίωτος φύσις, τῇ βροτείᾳ μιχθεῖσα, τῆς ἐμφεροῦς ἀΰλου Θεότητος, φῶς παραγυμνοῦσα τοῖς Ἀποστόλοις, ἀπορρήτως ἐξέλαμψε.

Σὲ τὸ ἀΐδιον φέγγος, ἐν πατρῴᾳ τῇ δόξῃ, οἱ Μαθηταί, ὡς εἶδον ἐκλάμψαν Χριστέ, σοὶ ἀνεβόων· Ἐν τῷ φωτί σου, τὰς ὁδοὺς ἡμῶν εὔθυνον.

Advertisements

About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in 4. The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Hymns By The Greats, John Mason Neale, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), St. Cosmas The Melodist, The Church Year, The Holy Rosary, The Luminous Mysteries, The Transfiguration (August 6). Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s