Do Not Lament Me, O Mother

Every once in awhile during the rest of the year, I like to think back to Pascha. This hymn is one of my favorites — sung just before the proclamation “Christ is Risen!” during the Nocturne service shortly before the Midnight Pascha Service begins. The hymn, rich in both theological content and emotion, consists of an interchange between Christ and his mother, recalling the Virgin Mary’s words that “all generations will call me blessed” because of her special privilege in bearing the God-Man (Luke 1:48):

Do not lament me, O Mother, seeing me in the tomb, the Son conceived in the womb without seed, for I shall arise and be glorified with eternal glory as God. I shall exalt all who magnify thee in faith and in love.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee!

I escaped sufferings and was blessed beyond nature at Thy strange birth, O Son, who art without beginning. But now, beholding Thee, my God, dead and without breath, I am sorely pierced by the sword of sorrow. But arise, that I may be magnified.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee!

By my own will, the earth covers me, O Mother, but the gatekeepers of hell tremble at seeing me clothed in the blood-stained garments of vengeance; for when I have vanquished my enemies on the cross, I shall arise as God and magnify thee.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Let creation rejoice, let all born on earth be glad, for hateful hell has been despoiled, let the women with myrrh come to meet me, for I am redeeming Adam and Eve and all their descendants, and on the third day shall I arise.

Do not lament me, O Mother, seeing me in the tomb, the Son conceived in the womb without seed, for I shall arise and be glorified with eternal glory as God. I shall exalt all who magnify thee in faith and in love.

The chant in the video above is an example of  harmonized Znamenny Chant (settings by Saint Vladimir’s Seminary) and sung by St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church in Denton, Texas.

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