THE BLESSED SABBATH
Precentor of the Monastic Choir of the Valaam Monastery Hierodeacon German (Ryabtsev)
1 CD (colour booklet 4 pages)
1999 The Igor Matvienko Production Centre
On the eve of Great Saturday, which is also called the blessed Sabbath, the office of the burial of the Saviour is celebrated, which begins with the troparions «The Noble Joseph», «When Thou didst descend…» and «The Myrrh-Bearing Women». After that «The Evlogitaria» are sung before the Shroud, which has been brought into the middle of the church from the sanctuary. Special verses are read which express the grief and awe of the Christian soul before the God-Man.
The Divine Liturgy is celebrated after Vespers on Saturday morning. Its hymns call people to think about the time from the death of Christ on the Cross and His burial to His Resurrection from the dead. «Let all mortal flesh keep silence», sung in place of the Cherubic hymn, reminds us of the redemptive act of the Saviour. Equally moving and beautiful are «Weep not for Me, O Mother» and «The Thrice-Holy» accompanied by bell-ringing.
The monastic choir sings these hymns in Byzantine, Znamenny, Valaam, Bulgarian and Greek chants with deep feeling, restraint and grief, as befits Lent.
Colour booklet 4 pages.