We Magnify Thee: Hymns of the Church, East and West

The hymns included in this album fall into three categories: 1.) Hymns of the Eastern Church; 2.) Hymns of the Western Church created before the Great Schism; and 3.) Three popular hymns of the Western Church of more recent vintage. There are also one or two interesting Western settings of Eastern Orthodox hymns. All the hymns contain a theology which is both ancient and sound, which is reflected in the beautiful melodies chosen as vehicles for their messages.

Based on several sources--Western, Greek, Russian, and Arabic--this instrumental music is not meant to supplant or to accompany service music in church, but to be a gentle reminder at home or on the road to turn the spirit toward God.  Arrangements and performance by Sue Lane Talley. Lovingly dedicated to Archbishop ANASTASIOS, with profound respect.

1. We Magnify Thee: "We Magnify Thee, O Thou Lifegiver Christ, Who for our sake wast born in the flesh/Of the Virgin Mary/ Unwedded and most pure." (Obikhod: N. Bakhmetev)

2. Rejoice, O Pure Virgin: "O pure and Virgin Lady/ O spotless Theotokos: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride...I supplicate Thee, Lady;/ I humbly call upon Thee: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride. O Queen of all, I beg Thee/To grant me Thy favor: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride....O Thou my help, deliver me/From harm and all adversity: Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride!" (St. Nektarios; trans. and arr. by Bp.BASIL Essey. From Vv. 1 and 4.)

3. The Lord Reigns: "Say unto the heathen, 'The Lord reigneth!' The world also shall be so established that it shall not be moved." [Tone 3 (Kazan)]

4. Let My Prayer Arise: "Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Hear me, O Lord." (Lenten melody)

5. Pascha: "Today a blessed Pascha is revealed to us...a Pascha mystical, a Pascha of the Lord...Pascha, blessed Pascha!...and so, let us say, 'Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!'" (Based upon the Paschal Canon, Russian setting.)

6. The Angel Cried: "The angel cried to the Lady full of grace, 'Rejoice, rejoice, O pure Virgin! Again I say, Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb. With Himself He has raised all the dead; rejoice, rejoice, O ye people! Shine, shine, shine, O New Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exult and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the resurrection of Your Son!'" (Valaam Chant; M. Balakirev)

7. Cherubic Hymn: "Let us who mystically represent the cherubim, and who sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-creating Trinity, now lay aside all earthly cares./ That we may receive the King of all, Who comes invisibly upborn by the angelic hosts. Alleluia!" (Divine Liturgy; music, S. Talley. Dedicated to Dr. Sarah Loft.)

8. Ascension Hymn: "You ascended in glory, O Christ Our Lord and God, and Your disciples were filled with joy, by the promise of the Holy Spirit...And through this blessing You proclaimed and thus assured them, that You are truly the Son of God and the Redeemer of the World." (Greek)

9. Theotokos, Rejoice: "Theotokos, rejoice, Virgin Mary. Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of Your womb: For you have borne the Saviour of the world." (Rachmaninoff)

10. Agios O Theos (Holy God): "Holy God! Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal! Have mercy on us." (Trisagion Hymn of the Divine Liturgy. Music by C. Kypros, from the "Liturgy of Peace".)

11. Russian Hymn/Tone 1: "O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries. And by the virtue of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation./God the Omnipotent! King, Who ordaineth/ thunder Thy clarion, and lightning Thy sword! Show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest: Give to us peace in our time, O Lord." (National hymn by A. Lvov; words, H.F.Chorley.)

12. Annunciation Hymn: "A Message Came to a Maiden Young, the angel stood beside her. In shining robes, and with golden tongue, He told what should betide her...Ah, how could She/God's Mother be,/ by His most high decree!" (Trad. Dutch.)

13. Holy, Holy, Holy: "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!" (Tune: "Nicea", by J.B.Dykes. Words: Isaiah/R.Heber.)

14. "Of the Father's Love Begotten/ Ere the worlds began to be, He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending, He, Of the things that are, that have been,/ And that future years shall see, Evermore and evermore!" (Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, 348-413; trans., J. M. Neale, H. Baker. Plainsong melody.)

15. Victimae Paschale: "Christians, to the Paschal victim/ offer your thankful praises. A lamb the sheep redeemeth: Christ, Who only is sinless...Death and life have contended/ in that combat stupendous; The Prince of life, Who died, reigns immortal...Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining...alleluia!" (Wipo, ca. 1030.)

16. The Great Creator of the Worlds: "The great Creator of the worlds, the sovreign Lord of Heaven/ His holy and immortal truth to men on earth hath given...Not to oppress, but summon men/ Their truest life to find; Inlove God sent His Son to save/ Not to condemn mankind." (Epistle to Diognetus, ca. 150, trans. F. B. Tucker. Melody: T. Tallis.)

17. O Gladsome Light: "O Gladsome Light, O grace/ Of God the Father's face, th'eternal splendor wearing; Celestial, holy, blest, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Joyful in thine appearing..." ("Phos Hilaron," 3rd Century; trans. R. Bridges. Melody, L. Bourgeois.)

18. Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace): The author of this ancient canon is unknown. Words from the "Agnus Dei": "Lamb of God, Who takest away the sin of the world, Grant us peace".

19. Amazing Grace (J. Newton) and a paraphrase of Psalm 23: "The King of Love my Shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never. I nothing lack if I am His and He is mine forever." by H.W. Baker. Dedicated to Bp. BASIL Essey.

20. Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire): "Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire/ And lighten with celestial fire. Thou the anointing Spirit art/ Who dost Thy seven-fold gifts impart..." (Words: 9th century Latin. Settings: J.H. Hopkins, Plainsong Melody, translation, John Cosin.)

21. Sunset to Sunrise Changes Now: "Sunset to sunrise changes now,/ For God doth make His world anew: On the Redeemer's thorn-crowned brow/ The wonders of that dawn we view..." The climactic third verse declares: "Here in o'erwhelming final strife/ The Lord of Life hath victory; And sin is slain, and death brings life/ And sons of earth hold heaven in fee." (St. Clement of Alexandria, paraphrased by H. C. Robbins. Tune: Southern Harmony)

22: I Bind Unto Myself Today (St. Patrick's Breastplate): "I bind unto myself today The strong Name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same, The Three in One, the One in Three. I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ's incarnation; His baptism in the Jordan River; His death on Cross for my salvation. His bursting from the spiced tomb; His riding up the heavenly way; His coming at the Day of Doom, I bind unto myself today...Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me..." (St. Patrick, 4th Century, trans. Cecil Alexander. Irish melody.)

Liturgical Selections