May 19, 2005

By Death He Conquered Death

One of the things I like about the Eastern liturgy is how carnal it is, carnal in a postive, in-carn-ational way. The responses and hymns are very matter-of-fact such as the Easter season hymn, which is sung with great gusto:
Christ is Risen,
Christ is Risen,
Christ is Risen
From the dead!

By death he conquered death!
By death he conquered death!
and to those in the graves
and to those in the graves
he granted,
he granted,
he granted life!
Then it is repeated in church Slavonic, which I don't know. So I listen, and it sounds as foreign as the Who's singing "wah-hoo, wah-aay" in "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas". And the message from the Whoville is that they sang without the presents, without the trees and the Christmas dinner. A good lesson to praise in all times. From Sirach 2:
"Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the Lord and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?"

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