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Author Topic: Orthodox Christmas Carols?  (Read 2080 times) Average Rating: 0
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Eugenio
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« on: December 21, 2005, 06:18:19 PM »

As a convert from Western Christianity to Greek Orthodoxy, I have to confess that I always get a nostalgic feeling for the Western churches at Christmastime. Although I think that the Eastern Orthodox churches have a deeper, richer understanding for Pascha (Easter), it seems to me that the West outdoes the East when it comes to Christ's Nativity Mass.

I particularly start feeling nostalgic when I heard (good) Western Christmas carols, such as "Adeste Fideles" and "Oh Come, Oh Com Emmanuel."

So tell me, are there such things as Orthodox Christmas Carols. Do they sing these in Greece, Russia or Romania?

Does anyone know of any CD's of Orthodox Christmas Carols?
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2005, 07:15:37 PM »

So tell me, are there such things as Orthodox Christmas Carols. Do they sing these in Greece, Russia or Romania?
Does anyone know of any CD's of Orthodox Christmas Carols?

Yes, they are called "kalanta" in the Greek Orthodox tradition. There are three types: Christmas Kalanta, New Year Kalanta and Epiphany Kalanta.
Children in Greece go house to house singing the Kalanta through the 12 days of Christmas, and they are also sung in Churches and monasteries, often before or after trapeza (refectory, i.e. a shared meal).
The most well known Kalanta is the New Year Kalanta called "Άγιος Βασίλης έρχεται" or "St. Basil is Coming" (whose feast day is New Year's Day.) There was a thread about this Kalanta here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7662.msg99596#msg99596
I don't know about CD's, but if you have Windows Media Player, you can hear 3 Christmas Kalanta sung by the Byzantine Church Choir of the Church of Greece here: http://www.ecclesia.gr/Multimedia/Audio_Index/xmas_2004/tr2.wma
They are:
"Come Let us Behold o Faithful..."
"Why Do You Marvel o Mary?...."
"The Indivisible All, How Does He Enter the Womb?...."
« Last Edit: December 21, 2005, 07:20:15 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2005, 08:17:38 PM »

I found some more Kalanta online at the Mirobilos Library of the Church of Greece sung by children:

Χιστούγεννα Πρωτούγεννα
Christmas! First Birth!
http://www.myriobiblos.gr/afieromata/christougenna_2003/sounds/domna/track01.wma

Χριστός γεννάται σήμερο
Christ is Born Today!
http://www.myriobiblos.gr/afieromata/christougenna_2003/sounds/domna/track04.wma

ÃŽÂ άλιν ακούσετ’ άρχοντες
Hear Again o Noble Ones
http://www.myriobiblos.gr/afieromata/christougenna_2003/sounds/domna/track07.wma


Ανοίξετε την πόρτα σας
Open Your Door (And Hear the Kalanta)
http://www.myriobiblos.gr/afieromata/christougenna_2003/sounds/domna/track08.wma

Άγιος Βασίλης έρχεται
St Basil is Coming
http://www.myriobiblos.gr/afieromata/christougenna_2003/sounds/domna/track09.wma

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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2005, 08:40:26 PM »

The Carpatho Russians and the Ukrainians also have many beautiful Christmas Carols, which we call koljady.  Check out this web site for some great religious (Orthodox) music CD's:
www.musicarussica.com
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2005, 01:41:50 AM »

Here are a mayriad of Kalanda fro mall the different regions of the Hellenic speaking world (including Asia minor and Kypros)

http://xmas.ert.gr/songs.asp
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2005, 01:46:29 AM »

ozgeorge, the last kalanta that you mentioned "Αγιος Βασιλις" would you happen to know the words to it?

thnx in advance,
                         Timos
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2005, 11:01:44 AM »

Honestly, I can't stand most of the generic Russian carols, that tend to be mundane, dreary, and in general very depressing.  I do however like the ones that come from villages, and are rarely heard in the ROCOR setting. 

Ukkie carols are AWESOME, on the other hand.
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2005, 01:23:21 PM »

"Creator of the Stars of night" is one song we sing at my parish.ÂÂ  It was written in the 7th century, I believe.ÂÂ  "O' Come O' Come Emmanuel" was written in the 12th century, and we also sing that sometimes.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 01:39:10 PM by Landon77 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2005, 11:01:23 PM »

In my G.O. parish we sing traditional Western Carols after D.L.  during Advent and on Christmas. Also the Sunday School puts on a Nativity pageant and the carols are woven into the story.

The priest  emphasizes to families that they should  teach their children the carols, because they are no longer taught in schools as they were years ago.  So, unless the family and church teach them, 'O come all ye faithful' will be gone...

In XC, Kizzy
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Thomas
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2005, 10:18:34 AM »

A careful reading of Christmas Carols for Orthodox content should be apparent to any member of the Orthodox Church.  For the most part, most traditional Christmas Carols are Orthodox in content. There are some beautiful  Orthodox Carols , but many of them have not been translated yet into English but this is changing and there are some lovely CDs available with traditional Orthodox Carols sung in English. If you go caroling be sure to included the Troparion and Kontakion of the Nativity which are quite lovely when sung right. You will have to beware of some of the modern songs that go by the name Christmas Carols today. You may also want to spread the word on some of the lovely new carols coming out of a convert Orthodox composer, Taverner from England, they have an old English Carol sound with very sound Orthodox teachings throughout the carol.

May you have a Blessed Nativity,
Thomas
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Timos
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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2007, 10:29:30 AM »

Somone a while ago posted a link to a Greek site where you could hear all the different Kalanta Christmas carols in realplayer. Does anyone know of any other sites with lots of different Kalanta to listen to? Merry Christmas to all.
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