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Author Topic: Eve of Feast of Holy Cross "Lord have mercy" chant  (Read 896 times) Average Rating: 0
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John Larocque
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« on: September 27, 2009, 10:22:42 PM »

It took a bit of research, but I found the title on Youtube. This is what +Seraphim did, once in each direction (assistants sometimes held his arm aloft) - East, South, North, West. I had almost forgotten today is the Julian date of the feast, thus, the Eve of the feast co-incided with the arrival of the Pochaiv icon. Thus the musical piece was performed four times.


The compose in Cyrillic is Григорий Федорович Львовский.

I grabbed this description elsewhere:

Hospodi Pomilui

This chant, “Hospodi Pomilui”, written by Russian composer Lvovsky in the 19th c., is sung in Russian Orthodox churches in worship on the Eve of Holy Rood or Holy Cross. It means “Lord, have mercy” and the words are sung seventy-five times, reminiscent of the scripture when Jesus tells his disciples that they must forgive not seven times but seventy-seven times or seven times seventy. In the service the bishop stands in the center of the church, holding the cross above his head. As he lowers the cross, the choir sings in decreasing volume, to the point of pianissimo—as the cross touches the floor. Then the cross is raised again and the choir rises in a crescendo of triumph.

As the cross lowers, so the faithful prostrate to the ground, then they get up again.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 10:25:17 PM by John Larocque » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 05:11:22 AM »

This may well be a custom where a bishop is serving at the Vigil for the Exaltation of the Cross, but the far more common and conventional practice is no less moving. Any choir worth its salt should be able to do justice to the troparion of the Cross Save, O God, Your people, which is arguably more evocative and more instructive than multiple renditions of Lord, have mercy in what is essentially a concert form.

In fact, the form according to centuries-old accepted practice is essentially the same as the Vigil of the eve of the third Sunday in Great Lent (also dedicated to the veneration of the Cross), and of the Vespers of Great Friday, where the burial shroud of Christ is brought out of the altar with great solemnity, accompanied by the Trisaghion hymn sung to the funeral melody. In the case of the Vespers of Great Friday, the troparion Noble Joseph is also sung, which is truly reverential and sublime. Not a dry eye in the house.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 05:19:54 AM by LBK » Logged
Fr. George
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 12:32:14 PM »

According to the rubrics I've seen followed at a half-dozen parishes (including the Theological School):

- procession of the Cross while "Holy God" is sung in 4th Mode slow (Agia) (which is not the funeral melody)
- singing of the troparion of the Cross
- Fervent litany (5 petitions) with the celebrant holding the Cross high above his head, 1 petition on each side of the table (2 at front), each petition being followed by 3 Lord have mercies, then 12 Lord have mercies while the clergyman kneels to the ground and then arises, followed by 3 Lord have mercies (so 18 each time).
- singing of "Your Cross do we venerate..." 3 times, troparion (once or thrice) & kontakion of the Cross.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 12:32:31 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 02:57:02 PM »

There are very distinct practices between the Slavs and Greeks on the feast of the Elevation of the Cross. In the Slav practice what is done in most parishes is akin to the service performed on August 1st and the middle Sunday in the Great Fast. What is done in the Greek practice by all parishes and in Slav practice only by Bishops or in Cathedrals is the rite of the Elevation of the Cross which includes the petitions facing the four corners of the world.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 02:57:54 PM by arimethea » Logged

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