The Sunday of the Paralytic & Mid-Pentecost

Sessional Hymn sung after the third Ode in Matins

I’m a little late for this one, but for those who do daily services, this sessional hymn for the Paralytic is repeated at Monday and Tuesday matins until pre-empted by the sessional hymn for Mid-Pentecost which .

For this season of Pascha to Pentecost, I look at all the translations available and take the best from each. The setting for the sessional hymn is the Byzantine melody, “Awed by the Beauty” in the third mode/tone.

I used Bishop Basil Essey’s setting of the original melody found here. You’ll want a copy of it as well as it is the appointed theotokion from the Octoechos to be sung (although often read) in the first set of sessional/kathisma hymns and also as the theotokion following the sessional hymn below.

Sunday of the Paralytic Sessional Hymn

Mid-Pentecost

Mid-Pentecost is one of my favorite Feasts of the Church and often neglected. It is said to be flowing with the Grace of both Pascha and Pentecost.

Indeed you’ll see the metaphor of water takes the center stage as we celebrate the Fount of Wisdom, Christ Himself.

Those choir people from a Slavic tradition and stuck with an incredibly monotonous melody for troparia in tone 8, I would encourage to branch out and try this Byzantine version. It’s in Tone 8 or the Plagal of Tone 4, which is one of the more accessible modes for the western ear. It is also a lovely, catchy melody.

Mid-Pentecost Troparion

Gearing up for the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

This is a special Sunday for me as it was the first Orthodox Divine Liturgy I attended as an inquirer. That day I obtained a book on the faith (The Orthodox Church by Kallistos Ware) and never looked back.

Exapostilarion of the Feast (the original melody)

Johann von Gardner was the Russian musician and musicologist who uncovered this Exapostilarion Special Melody and helped to revive its use. The origin is an old Russian ‘Put melody.

People sing this with variations in the rhythm. Gardner himself produced different versions of this melody, one more melodic and slow-moving, the other more syncopated.

Arranged for Men’s Trio: Hearken Ye Women
Arranged for Women’s Trio: Hearken Ye Women

St. Thomas Sunday

The week after Bright Week is the commemoration of St. Thomas. It starts with St.  Thomas Sunday, also called Antipascha, which is unique in that many of the paschal hymns are laid aside and this new theme of St. Thomas comes into focus.

Each week of Pentecost is (in form at least) very like a great feast, in that it is followed by a week of “after-feast” during which several elements are repeated throughout the week: the canon, the troparia, kontakia and exapostilaria.

St. Thomas Sunday Troparion

Thomas Sunday Hypakoe (Lesser Znamenny Chant)

Exapostilaria for Antipascha (St. Thomas Sunday)

For a setting of the Irmoi of Sunday’s canon, similar to the common setting of the Paschal canon, try this link for a download.