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Some Orthodox Christmas Carols from the time of Byzantium

Some Orthodox Christmas Carols from the time of Byzantium

The following are Christmas carols which are sung or chanted throughout the Orthodox Christian world in a variety of languages and musical styles. As one may note, Orthodox Christmas carols tend to have a deep explanation of theological teaching or re-tell in musical form the stories surrounding the Nativity of Or Lord Jesus Christ, or of the various other days of Christmas (known in Orthodoxy as “Dodecaimeron” – that is the Feast of the 12 Days of the Nativity). Thus there are carols for the Feast of the Epiphany which mark Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River and the beginning of His ministry. In this liturgical arrangement of the feastdays beginning with the Nativity on 25th December and ending with the Epiphany, the Church links the reason and purpose of the Incarnation with Christ’s ministry of salvation. Anyway enjoy the small selection.

“Good Evening noble ones” is very ancient Christmas carol dating back to the Byzantine era. There are many versions of how this carol is sung or chanted. This particular version comes from the Greek Orthodox Christians of Anatolia/Asia Minor (present day Turkey); the following is the introductory verse:

Good evening noble ones,

If it is your will

the divine birth of Christ

for me to tell your household:

Christ is born today

in the town of Bethlehem

the Heavens are in jubilation

all of nature rejoices.”

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