What Sweet Of Life Endureth

This hymn is a translation of a troparion from the Byzantine Funeral Liturgy (Kedeia) in the Euchologion.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in The English Hymnal (1906) where it is listed as a hymn for the Departed:

What sweet of life endureth
Unmixed with bitter pain?
‘Midst earthly change and chances
What glory doth remain?

All is a feeble shadow,
A dream that will not stay;
Death cometh in a moment,
And taketh all away.

O Christ, a light transcendent
Shines in thy countenance,
And none can tell the sweetness,
The beauty of thy glance.

In this may thy poor servant
His joy eternal find;
Thou calledst him, O rest him,
Thou Lover of mankind!

Words: St. John of Damascus, ca. 750; tr. Athelstan Riley, 1906.
Tune (The English Hymnal):Christus Der Ist Mein Leben” Melody by Melchior Vulpius, 1560-1616.
Meter: 7.6.7.6

This is the original Greek text of this troparion:

Ἦχος α’
Ποία τοῦ βίου τρυφὴ διαμένει λύπης ἀμέτοχος; Ποία δόξα ἕστηκεν ἐπὶ γῆς ἀμετάθετος; Πάντα σκιᾶς ἀσθενέστερα, πάντα ὀνείρων ἀπατηλότερα· μία ῥοπὴ καὶ ταῦτα πάντα θάνατος διαδέχεται. Ἀλλ’ ἐν τῷ φωτί, Χριστέ, τοῦ προσώπου σου, καὶ τῷ γλυκασμῷ τῆς σῆς ὡραιότητος, ὅν (ἥν) ἐξελέξω ἀνάπαυσον ὡς φιλανθρωπος.

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, Byzantine Liturgy, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Euchologion, Funeral, Greek Hymns, Hymns By The Greats, John Athelstan Riley, Kedeia, Liturgies of the Various Eastern Churches (Byzantine, etc.), Non-English Hymns, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), St. John of Damascus, The Communion of Saints, The Faithful Departed, The Liturgy of the Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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