Stars Of The Morning

Dr. Neale introduces this text in the original 1862 addition of Hymns of the Eastern Church as “A Cento from the Canon of the “Bodiless Ones.” Tuesday in the Week of the Fourth Tone.” The 5th edition, however, states that it comes from the Canon of the Bodiless ones for a Monday of the Fourth Tone. See below for a further discussion of this text.

This is the revised text of this hymn as it appears in the 5th edition of Hymns of the Eastern Church:

Stars of the morning, so gloriously bright,
Filled with celestial resplendence and light:
These that, where night never followeth day,
Raise the Tris-hagion ever and aye.

These are Thy counsellors: these dost Thou own,
God of Sabaoth! the nearest Thy throne;
These are Thy ministers, These dost Thou send,
Help of the helpless ones! man to defend.

These keep the guard, amidst Salem’s dear bowers:
Thrones, Principalities, Virtues and Powers:
Where with the Living Ones, mystical Four,
Cherubin, Seraphin, bow and adore.

‘Who like the Lord?’ thunders Michael, the Chief:
Raphael, ‘the Cure of God,’ comforteth grief:
And, as at Nazareth, prophet of peace,
(1)Gabriel, the light of God, bringeth release.

Then, when the earth was first pois’d in mid-space,—
Then, when the planets first sped on their race,—
Then, when were ended the six days’ employ,—
Then all the sons of God shouted for joy.

Still let them succor us; still let them fight,
Lord of angelic Hosts, battling for right!
Till, where their anthems they ceaselessly pour,
We with the angels may bow and adore!

Words: attr. St. Joseph the Hymnographer, 816-886; tr. John Mason Neale, 1862.*
Tune:Trisagion” Henry T. Smart, 1868.**
Meter: 10.10.10.10

*John Mason Neale calls this author St. Joseph of the Studium. See below on the complexity of authorship.
**The date of this tune is from The Hymnal Companion for The Hymnal 1940.

(1) The Hymnal Companion for The Hymnal 1940 notes of this line “Neale must have intended to use “Gabriel the might [rather than ‘the light’] of God.” …This slip was first corrected by R. F. Littledale in his People’s Hymnal, 1867.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in the 1862 edition of Hymns of the Eastern Church:

Stars of the morning,
Gloriously bright,
Filled with celestial
Virtue and light,
These that, where night never
Followeth day,
Raise the Trishagion
Ever and aye:

These are Thy counsellors:
These dost Thou own,
Lord God of Sabaoth!
Nearest Thy throne;
These are Thy ministers,
These dost Thou send,
Help of the helpless ones!
Man to defend.

These keep the guard, amidst
Salem’s dear bowers:
Thrones, Dominations,
Virtues and Powers:
Where with the Living Ones,
Mystical Four,
Cherubin, Seraphim,
Bow and adore.

“Who like the Lord?”—thunders
Michael, the Chief:
Raphael, “the Cure of God,”
Comforteth grief:
And, as at Nazareth,
Prophet of peace,
Gabriel, “the light of God,”
Bringeth release.

Then, when the earth was first
Pois’d in mid space,—
Then, when the planets first
Sped on their race,—
Then, when were ended the
Six days’ employ,—
Then all the Sons of God
Shouted for joy.

Still let them succour us;
Still let them fight,
Lord of angelic hosts,
Battling for right!
Till, where their anthems they
Ceaselessly pour,
We with the Angels may,
Bow and adore!

According to Cyber Hymnal, the original Greek text begins “Φωστηρες της αυσιας.” However, Neale’s Hymns of the Eastern Church uncharacteristically does not provide the Greek text of the opening line. John Julian notes in The Dictionary of Hymnology that this would indicate that Neale is following the character rather than the letter of the Canon, and that several Canons of the Bodiless Ones exist in the Parakletike (another name for the Octoechos) and that the text may be found in any modern edition of the Greek text. The Ηymnal Companion for The Hymnal 1940 indicates that the hymn actually begins “Φωστῆρες τὴγ* ἄϋλου οὺσίαν” (*τὴν?) and may be found in H.W. Tillyard’s Hymns of the Sticherarium for November (Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae, Transcripta, vol. II), 1938. I have not been able to locate the text using the words described above in the Monday or Tuesday of Tone 4 in the Octoechos/Parakeltike and have not been able to locate it using Canon of the Bodiless Ones (Κανὼν τῶν Ἀσωμάτων) as the search term either. I was finally able to track down the text in the Historical Companion to Hymns Ancient and Modern (1889). The text comes from the Menaion for the Synaxis of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and the Other Bodiless Powers (Nov. 8). The word “Φωστῆρες” is absent from the online Greek Orthodox liturgical text I was using to search. The text comes from various parts of the text and from multiple authors.

This is the Greek text as it appears A Historical Companion to Hymns Ancient and Modern:

By S. Joseph Studites
Φωστῆρες τῆς ἀΰλου οὐσίας, τῶν νοερῶν Δυνάμεων προστατεύοντες, καὶ τῆς Τρισηλίου δόξης ταῖς μαρμαρυγαῖς, φωτοδοτοῦντες τὴν οἰκουμένην, Ἀρχιστράτηγοι, ἀλήκτῳ φωνῇ, τὸν τρισάγιον ὕμνον ἐξᾴδετε· διὸ πρεσβεύσατε σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

By Arsenius.
Τῷ ἀΰλου θρόνῳ περικυκλοῦντες, νοεραὶ οὐσίαι θεῖοι Ἀσώματοι, τὴν τρισάγιον ᾠδήν, τῷ πρύτανι Θεῷ, φλογεροῖς τοῖς χείλεσιν ᾄδετε, Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ ἄναρχος, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, ὁ Υἱὸς ὁ συνάναρχος, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, τὸ ὁμοούσιον Πνεῦμα, τὸ σὺν Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ συνδοξαζόμενον.

By Anatolius
Ἀσωμάτοις χείλεσι, καὶ νοεροῖς στόμασι, τῶν Ἀγγέλων αἱ τάξεις, τὸν ἀκατάπαυστον ὕμνον προσφέρουσι, τῇ σῇ ἀπροσίτῳ Θεότητι Κύριε, καὶ νόες καθαροὶ καὶ λειτουργοὶ τῆς σῆς δόξης αἰνοῦσί σε, Κύριε.

By Ephraim Karias.
Τῆς ἡλιακῆς ἀκτῖνος τοῦ θείου φωτός, καταλαμπόμενοι Ἀρχιστράτηγοι, τὰς τῶν ἀΰλων καταυγάζετε ταξιαρχίας, ὡς φῶς λευχειμονοῦντες, ἐν ὑψίστοις τὸ πῦρ καταυγάζετε ἐν κόσμῳ, τῆς ἀπροσίτου θεότητος· ὅθεν καὶ τὸν τρισάγιον ὕμνον, ἐν φλογεροῖς τοῖς χείλεσιν ἀκαταπαύστως ᾄδετε· Ἅγιος, Ἅγιος, Ἅγιος εἶ, ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν δόξα σοι.”
Οἱ Ἄγγελοί σου Χριστέ, τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης, ἐν φόβῳ παρεστῶτες, καὶ τῇ σῇ φωτοχυσίᾳ ἀεὶ λαμπόμενοι, ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις ὑμνῳδοί σου, καὶ τῆς βουλῆς σου λειτουργοί, ὑπὸ σοῦ ἐκπεμπόμενοι, νέμουσι φωτισμὸν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἡμῶν.
Πυρίνοις χείλεσιν, ὑμνεῖ σε τὰ Χερσυβίμ, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ἀσωμάτοις δὲ στόμασιν ἀσιγήτως, δοξολογεῖ σε τῶν Ἀρχαγγέλων ὁ χορός, Μιχαὴλ δὲ ὁ Ἀρχιστράτηγος, τῶν ἄνω δυνάμεων, τὸν ἐπινίκιον ὕμνον, ἀκαταπαύστως προσφέρει τῇ δόξῃ σου· Αὐτὸς γὰρ ἡμᾶς σήμερον κατηύγασε, πρὸς πανήγυριν φαιδράν, κροτῆσαι ἐπαξίως ψαλμικῶς, αἶνον τὸν τρισάγιον, τοῖς πηλίνοις χείλεσιν, ὅτι τὰ πάντα τῆς σῆς αἰνέσεως ἐπλήσθη, καὶ παρέχεις τῷ κόσμῳ δι’ αὐτοῦ τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
Τῶν οὐρανίων στρατιῶν Ἀρχιστράτηγοι, δυσωποῦμεν ὑμᾶς ἡμεῖς οἱ ἀνάξιοι, ἵνα ταῖς ὑμῶν δεήσεσι, τειχίσητε ἡμᾶς, σκέπῃ τῶν πτερύγων, τῆς ἀΰλου ὑμῶν δόξης, φρουροῦντες ἡμᾶς προσπίπτοντας, ἐκτενῶς καὶ βοῶντας· Ἐκ τῶν κινδύνων λυτρώσασθε ἡμᾶς, ὡς Ταξιάρχαι τῶν ἄνω Δυνάμεων.
Τὰ Χερουβὶμ καὶ Σεραφὶμ πολυόμματα, τῶν Ἀρχαγγέλων λειτουργῶν τὰ στρατεύματα, σὺν Ἐξουσίαις Θρόνοι Κυριότητες, Ἄγγελοι Δυνάμεις τε, καὶ Ἀρχαὶ δυσωποῦσι, σὲ τὸν Ποιητὴν ἡμῶν, καὶ Θεὸν καὶ Δεσπότην· Μὴ ὑπερίδῃς δέησιν λαοῦ, ἡμαρτηκότος, Χριστὲ πολυέλεε.

By John Monachus.
Οἱ τῶν Ἀγγέλων ἀρχηγοὶ καὶ πρόκριτοι, καὶ ταξιάρχαι φαιδροί, τοὺς ἀσωμάτους Νόας, σήμερον ἐγείρουσι, πρὸς τελετὴν ἑόρτιον, τῆς αὐτῶν λαμπρᾶς μνήμης, μεθ’ ὧν συγχαίρουσιν ἄνθρωποι, ὕμνον τῇ Τριάδι προσάγοντες.

 

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 Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Greek Hymns, Hymns By The Greats, John Mason Neale, Major Feasts, Menaion, Multiple Authors, Non-English Hymns, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), SS. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael (Sept. 29), St. Joseph of the Studium, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Angels, The Holy Archangels, The Liturgy of the Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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