Friday, April 15, 2011


"Having fulfilled Forty Days... we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion." With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ's suffering, death and Resurrection. It begins on the Saturday of Lazarus. The double feast of Lazarus' resurrection and the Entrance of the Lord to Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) is described in liturgical texts as the "beginning of the Cross" and is to be understood therefore, within the context of the Holy Week. The common Troparion of these days explicitly affirms that by raising Lazarus from the dead Christ confirmed the truth of general resurrection. It is highly significant that we are led into the darkness of the Cross by one of the twelve major feasts of the Church. Light and joy shine not only at the end of Holy Week but also at its beginning; they illumine darkness itself, reveal its ultimate meaning.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arabic lyrics افرحي يا بيت عنيا composed by the Thrice-Blessed Athanasius (Atallah), Metropolitan of Homs
Transcribed in English & Western Notation by Fr. Basil Essey (İ1986)
Adapted (with minor changes) to Byzantine Notation by Subdeacon Charles Nicholas Baz (İ2006)
Rejoice O Bethany (The story of Lazarus, Mary and Martha in Chant) Chanted by the " Boston Byzantine Choir"
Lazarus Saturday[1]
Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion
On this day, the Saturday before Palm Sunday, we celebrate the fourth-day raising from the dead of Lazarus, the righteous friend of Christ.
Lazarus[2] was a Hebrew, of the sect of the Pharisees and, as far as is known, he was the son of Simon the Pharisee, who dwelt in the village of Bethany. He became a friend of our Lord Jesus Christ when He sojourned on earth for the salvation of our race. For when Christ continually conversed with Simon, entering his house and discoursing on the resurrection from the dead, Lazarus was quite pleased with the genuineness of this teaching, and not only he, but also his two sisters, Martha and Mary.
Rejoice, O Bethany
In Tone Six

Rejoice, rejoice, O Bethany!
On this day God came to thee,
And in Him the dead are made alive,
As it is right for He is the Life.

When Martha went to receive Him,
Grieving loudly with bitter tears,
She poured out the sorrow of her heart to Him
With great sadness, wailing her lament.