Easter is the biggest Orthodox Christian feast. It is marked with solemnity in all Bulgarian churches and cathedrals. Each year the last days of Jesus' life on Earth is reminded in the church liturgies- from the Savior's entry into Jerusalem through the arrest of Jesus and the trial against him to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The chants played during the Holy Week and on Good Friday have certain specificity. The piece Today is Hung Upon the Tree is among them.
“Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the tree. The king of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns. …We worship thy passion, O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious resurrection”.
Thy Bridal Chamber I See Adorned is also performed on Good Friday.
“Thy Bridal Chamber I See Adorned. O, my savior and I have no wedding garment that I may enter. O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul and save me”.
The Noble Joseph chant is about the deed of Joseph of Arimathea who had begged from Pontius Pilate to take down the most pure body from the tree, wrapped it in fine linen, and anointed it with spices and placed it in a new tomb.
The Wise Thief chant has also gained huge popularity. It is dedicated to the penitent thief who was crucified next to Jesus and who repented for his sins.
On the evening on Good Friday a festive funeral procession outside the temples is held. It is symbolically accompanied by the linen that wrapped the body of our God Jesus Christ. After the procession and the symbolic funeral the priests and believers enter the temples again and pass under that linen, so they can “pass through the tomb of Christ and die to be raised with Christ and gain eternal life in his Kingdom”.
Editor: Albena Bezovska
English: Kostadin Atanasov
The audio contains the following hymns:
1: Today is hung upon the tree, to the rendition of Nikola Antonov
2: Thy Bridal Chamber I See Adorned, to the rendition of his Holiness Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte.
3: Noble Joseph
4: The Wise Thief, to the rendition of Boris Christoff and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Choir
5: The lamentation at the tomb to the rendition of a mixed choir, conductor Miroslav Popsavov