Christ is Born! The Katavasiae of Christmas chanted in English
The nine odes of the Katavasiae of Christmas, chanted in English, by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis and Anthony Hatzidakis. Rendering in English by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (1991).
Katavasiae of Christmas
1. Christ is born: raise your praise to Him!
Christ came down from heaven: come, welcome Him!
Christ is on earth: be filled with joy!
Sing to the Lord and praise Him, Heaven and earth,
and with joy and gladness
praise Him, Nations of the earth, for He is glorified!
3. O let us cry saying
to the Son who without alteration was born
before all ages of the Father
and was born of a Virgin
without seed in these days, Christ our God:
“You raised and lifted up our low estate:
Holy are You, O Lord.”
4. Rod out of the root of Jesse sprung
and flower blossomed from its stem,
from a young Virgin You came forth, O Christ,
O Praised One, and have appeared
from a dense shadowed Mountain.
From an untouched Maid You were incarnate,
O God immaterial: Glory to Your power, O Lord our God!
5. As Father of mercies and God of our peace
You have sent unto us Your Great Messenger,
of Your Great Counsel, granting peace to all the human kind.
Thus guided toward the true light
of God’s divine knowledge,
since the early dawn we pray,
singing Your praises, Lover of mankind.
6. Jonah was thrown out, like a newborn from the womb,
as he was received by the seafaring beast,
while the Word of God,
having dwelt in the Virgin and taking her flesh,
passed through her, yet He preserved her incorruptible.
She who gave Him birth was kept unharmed,
for the Lord was not subject to any change.
7. The three youths who were brought up in the true faith,
having scorned the impious and blasphemous decree,
they were not dismayed not scared by threats of fire,
but were singing as they stood among the burning flames:
“God of our Fathers: Be blessed unto the ages.”
Verse: We praise the Lord and bless Him,
adore and worship our Lord and God.
8. Verily the dewy furnace was a figure
of a great supernatural wonder;
for it left unharmed the three youths in its midst,
as did the flame of divinity,
which had dwelt in the Virginal womb.
Therefore, let us sing a hymn of praise to Him:
“Let the whole of creation bless and exalt the Lord
and extol Him highly unto the end of ages.
Verse: Magnify, O my soul, her who is more honored
and who is more glorious than the Hosts of Heaven.
9. I see a most startling and wonderful mystery!
for the cave became heaven,
throne of the Cherubim the young Virgin,
the Manger a cradle,
on which has reclined the Uncontainable,
our God Jesus Christ:
Him let us praise in hymn and magnify.
* The Second Ode is usually omitted, being of penitential character.
Article graphics and editing: Tony Hatzidakis