My Favorite Greek Hymn

One of my favorite parts of any worship service is the singing, and this is especially true in a country where the majority of my singing time (while driving) has been removed.  I still love singing in Greek, which is a little weird because I can pronounce things even if I don’t understand what I am singing.

There are a lot of translated American worship songs in the Greek churches, which is a shame, because I don’t particularly like American worship songs.  HOWEVER, there is this one song that I’m a huge fan of, mostly because it’s really powerful and kind of foreign-sounding.  As part of my Greek lesson, my teacher had me actually translate the words, so now I know that I am not accidentally blaspheming while singing.

They’re singing the song a bit too fast for my taste in this video, but you get the idea.  The minor key!!  I am a sucker for minor keys.

Ω, Θεέ αναρωτιέμαι (O God, I wonder)
πώς μπορούσα εγώ να ζήσω (how I could live)
δίχως την αγάπη Σου και τη φροντίδα Σου.  (without your love and your care)
Όμως τώρα Σε γνωρίζω (But now I know)
είμαι εγώ παιδί δικό Σου  (I am your child)
και ποτέ δε θα ‘μαι μόνος (θα είμαι μόνος) (and never will I be alone)
γιατί Εσύ θα ‘σαι κοντά μου. (θα είσαι κοντά μου) (because you will be close to me)
Δόξα, στον Πατέρα (Glory to the Father)

Δόξα και στον Υιό Του (and glory to His Son)

Δόξα στ’ Άγιο Πνεύμα παντοτινά! (Glory to the Holy Spirit always)

Christmas Hymns

I was in a bad mood at church yesterday, and singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” didn’t help.  It should be ‘come all you doubtful, stumbling and hesitant’ not ‘come all you faithful, joyful and triumphant,’ I thought bitterly.  I have so little patience with the reality that some people are confident and happy in moments when I am not.

But we followed the bright song with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” which is my all-time, constant favorite Christmas hymn.  Its minor chords instantly put a smile on my face, and I remembered that Christmas is a pretty dark holiday.  There is joy, definitely, in the fact that the God who created everything decided to become human to love us more intimately.  But our celebration of Christmas is also about the longing of Israel 2,000 years ago for a savior, mirrored in our current longing for a returned savior – for the end of all this corruption and pain and half-answered prayers.  Continue reading