Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vespers: Polyelaion Liturgical Hymn


Lighting of the lamps.
This is the "Polyelaion Liturgical Hymn" of the Byzantic Orthodox Church.

The Polyeleos is a hymn of praise to God consisting of verses from Psalms 134 and 135, with added refrains. The refrain after each verse of Psalm 134 is "Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!"; the refrain after each verse of Psalm 135 is "Alleluia! For his love (or: mercy) endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia!"

The name Polyeleos comes from the Greek words for "much mercy", from the repeated mention of mercy in the second refrain. (In some churches, the lamps are lit around this point in Matins, which may have influenced the name of the hymn: in Greek, Polyeleos also means "much oil.") In Slavonic, the hymn is called Polijelej.

Praise the name of the Lord. Alleluia!
Praise him, servants of the Lord.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Lord, your name stands forever,
unforgotten from age to age.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

From Zion may the Lord be blessed,
he who dwells in Jerusalem.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Alleluia! For his love endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Who fixed the earth firmly on the seas.
Alleluia! For his love endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia! 

And he snatched us away from our foes.
Alleluia! For his love endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia! 

To the God of heaven, give thanks.
Alleluia! For his love endures forever. Alleluia! Alleluia!

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