Joyful Noise: The Hymn of Kassiani

(c) 2016 || www.studiomathewes.com

(c) 2016 || www.studiomathewes.com

I started a tradition for myself last year during Holy Week, that I would pick one evening service during the week, and attend it by myself (with the help of a babysitter, since my children are still very small and my husband is the priest). Since I rarely go to services by myself, it makes church feel very, very different for me. It reminds me of what it felt like before I had kids, reminds me that there will be a time when my children are grown, reminds me to cherish the time I’ve been given in that very church service, and the time I’ve been given with my children in church.

I do it to remember these things, but I also do it to remember to repent. The service that I choose is the evening service on Holy Tuesday, when we sing the Hymn of Kassiani–

O Lord God, the woman who had fallen into many sins, 
having perceived Thy divinity received the rank of ointment-bearer, 
offering Thee spices before Thy burial wailing and crying: 
“Woe is me, for the love of adultery and sin hath given me a dark and lightless night; 
accept the fountains of my tears O Thou Who drawest the waters of the sea by the clouds 
incline Thou to the sigh of my heart O Thou Who didst bend the heavens by Thine inapprehensible condescension; 
I will kiss Thy pure feet and I will wipe them with my tresses. 
I will kiss Thy feet Whose tread when it fell on the ears of Eve in Paradise 
dismayed her so that she did hide herself because of fear. 
Who then shall examine the multitude of my sin and the depth of Thy judgment? 
Wherefore, O my Saviour and the Deliverer of my soul turn not away from Thy handmaiden O Thou of boundless mercy”.

You can listen to a lovely version of that hymn HERE. And here is some Byzantine music for it. Don’t miss it.

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