Christmas with Cappella Romana


Before Thanksgiving, we created a COVID-free “bubble” in which the singers were tested twice and quarantined for two weeks. After rehearsals, the day before Thanksgiving we recorded a recital of Christmas music in Greek, English, and Slavonic. The singers were so happy to sing together again safely for you!

Premiering Saturday, December 12 at 7:30 pm (PST), I hope you, your family, and friends will gather with us for Christmas music you won’t hear anywhere else, including interviews with some of your favorite singers. Airs through January 7 (Old-Style Christmas).

MAKE IT AN EVENT!
After dinner, pour yourself a beverage of choice and and enjoy the program with Greek Christmas Cookies (Melomakárona) you can make yourself:
Volume-based recipe | Grams/ounces-based recipe.

Enjoy Christmas with Cappella Romana!

Mark T. Powell
Executive Director
Cappella Romana


CONCERT PROGRAM
See below for all texts and translations.

Add to your calendars! The event is free on YouTube and Facebook, and will available through January 7 (December 25 on the Julian calendar).


Film produced by Liz Bacon Brownson and our friends at Oh! Creative.

PROGRAM TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS

1.
Byzantine Chant

Βηθλεὲμ ἐτοιμάζου / Bethlehem make ready
Idiomelon of the First Hour, in Greek. Plagal 4th Mode, sticheraric.
Text by Patriarch Sophronios of Jerusalem (560–638); melody by Petros Peloponnesios (1730–1778).
Appears on the recording Sun of Justice

Βηθλεὲμ ἑτοιμάζου· εὐτρεπιζέσθω ἡ φάτνη· τὸ Σπήλαιον δεχέσθω, ἡ ἀλήθεια ἦλθεν· ἡ σκιὰ παρέδραμε· καὶ Θεὸς ἀνθρώποις, ἐκ Παρθένου πεφανέρωται, μορφωθείς τὸ καθ’ ἡμᾶς, καὶ θεώσας τὸ πρόσλημμα. Διὸ Ἀδὰμ ἀνανεοῦται σὺν τῇ Εὔᾳ, κράζοντες· Ἐπὶ γῆς ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία ἐπεφάνη, σῶσαι τὸ γένος ἡμῶν.
 
Bethlehem make ready; let the Manger be prepared; let the Cave receive. The truth has come, the shadow has passed away, and God has appeared among men from a Virgin, formed as we are and making divine what he has put on. And so Adam is renewed with Eve as they cry, “God’s good pleasure has appeared on earth among men to save our human race.”
 
2.
Carol 

“O Nations, Let Us Now Prepare”
Richard Toensing (1940–2014)
Appears on the recording Richard Toensing: Kontakion on the Nativity and New Orthodox Christmas Carols

O nations, let us now prepare,
And lay aside all earthly care,
To celebrate the birth of Christ
With all the worthy, good, and wise.
 
Our minds lift up to Bethlehem,
And with our consciences ascend,
May we within our hearts behold
The Virgin coming through the cold.
 
For Mary now draws near the cave,
To give birth there to Him who saves; 
Our God and holy Lord of all,
The mighty Savior of our souls.
 
And Joseph all these things beheld,
But thought a human child he held, 
Not knowing what would later come,
Through this, the Virgin Mary’s Son.
 
But then, in later years amazed,
Good Joseph, through His works of grace,
Knew Jesus as the Lord of all,
Who grants great mercy to our souls.
 

3.
Byzantine Chant

First Troparion at the Prophecies, in Greek and English. Plagal 2nd Mode, eirmologic.
Melody by Stephanos Lambadarios (+1864) and John Michael Boyer (b. 1978). 
Translation by Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash) (1930–2016).
Appears on the recording Sun of Justice


Secretly you were born in a cave, but heaven proclaimed you to all, using the star as its mouth, O Savior.
 
It brought you Magi, who worshipped you in faith. Have mercy on them and on us.
 
Verse: His foundations are in the holy mountains; the Lord loves the gates of Sion more than all the tabernacles of Jacob.
 
It brought you Magi, who worshipped you in faith. Have mercy on them and on us.
 
Glorious things have been spoken of you, City of God; I shall remember Rahab and Babylon to those who know you.
 
It brought you Magi, who worshipped you in faith. Have mercy on them and on us.
 
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Both now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
 
Secretly you were born in a cave, but heaven proclaimed you to all, using the star as its mouth, O Savior.
 
It brought you Magi, who worshipped you in faith. Have mercy on them and on us.

 
4.
Byzantine Chant
Second Troparion at the Prophecies, in Greek and English. Plagal 2nd Mode, eirmologic.

Melody by Stephanos Lambadarios (+1864) and John Michael Boyer (b. 1978). 
Translation by Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash) (1930–2016).
Appears on the recording Sun of Justice


You have dawned from a Virgin, O Christ, spiritual Sun of justice; and a star showed you, whom nothing can contain, contained in a cave.
You led Magi to worship you in faith; with them we magnify you. Giver of life, glory to you!
 
The Lord is king and has robed himself in glory; the Lord has robed and girded himself with strength.
You led Magi to worship you in faith; with them we magnify you. Giver of life, glory to you!
 
He has established the world, which shall not be shaken; your throne is prepared from old; you are from everlasting.
 
You led Magi to worship you in faith; with them we magnify you. Giver of life, glory to you!
 
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. 
Both now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
 
You have dawned from a Virgin, O Christ, spiritual Sun of justice; and a star showed you, whom nothing can contain, contained in a cave.
You led Magi to worship you in faith; with them we magnify you. Giver of life, glory to you!
 

5.
Idiomelon “Magi, Persian Kings”

Michael Adamis (1929-2013)
Text by St. John of Damascus (c.675–749), Mode Plagal 1
Appears on the recording When Augustus Reigned

Μάγοι Περσῶν Βασιλεῖς, ἐπιγνόντες σαφῶς, τὸν ἐπὶ γῆς τεχθέντα, Βασιλέα οὐράνιον, ὑπὸ λαμπροῦ ἀστέρος ἑλκόμενοι, ἔφθασαν ἐν Βηθλεέμ, δῶρα προσφέροντες ἔγκριτα, χρυσὸν καὶ λίβανον καὶ σμύρναν, καὶ πεσόντες προσεκύνησαν· εἶδον γὰρ ἐν τῷ Σπηλαίῳ, βρέφος κείμενον τὸν Ἄχρονον.

Magi, Persian Kings, having clearly learned that the heavenly King had been born on earth, drawn by a bright star arrived in Bethlehem, bringing chosen gifts, gold and incense and myrrh. And falling down they worshipped, for they saw lying in the Cave the Timeless as a babe.

6.
Carol 

“Now Christ is Born upon the Earth”
Richard Toensing (1940–2014
Appears on the recording Richard Toensing: Kontakion on the Nativity and New Orthodox Christmas Carols

Now Christ is born upon the earth,
Come, sing His glory bright!
From heaven Christ has come by birth,
Come, meet Him in the light!
Yes, Christ is on the earth today
Lord, be exalted high!
Let all the earth in every way
Lift up the joyful cry:

Refrain: Christ is born, Christ is born, glorify Him!
Come, sing your praises to the Lord,
For He is glorified!
Come, sing with joy forevermore,
For He is magnified!
Yes, Christ is on the earth today,
Lord, be exalted high!
Let all the earth in every way
Lift up the joyful cry:

Refrain: Christ is born, Christ is born, glorify Him!



 

7.
Kontakion for Christmas

Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον / I Parthénos símeron
Peter Michaelides (1927–2017)
Appears on the recording When Augustus Reigned

Κοντάκιον Ἦχος γ ́.

Η παρθένος σήμερον, τὸν προαιώνιον Λόγον, 
ἐν σπηλαίῳ ἔρχεται, ἀποτεκεῖν ἀπορρήτως. 
Χόρευε ἡ οἰκουμένη ἀκουτισθεῖσα· 
δόξασον μετὰ Ἀγγέλων καὶ τῶν Ποιμένων, 
βουληθέντα ἐποφθῆναι, 
παιδίον νέον, τὸν πρὸ αἰώνων Θεόν.

Kontakion Mode 3.

Today the Virgin is coming to the cave
to give birth ineffably to the eternal Word.
Hearing this, dance, O inhabited world!
Glorify, with Angels and with Shepherds,
him who willed to be made manifest,
a little Child, God before the ages.



8.
Carol of the Magi

Ivan Moody (b. 1964)
Text from the Sticheron apostichon by Anatolios for the Vigil of Christmas, with the opening phrases of the Kanon by Kosmas and the Christmas Kontakion of Romanos

Χριστὸς γεννᾶται, δοξάσατε!  Christós yennáte, doxásate! (Christ is born, glorify him!)
 
When the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judah, 
Magi coming from the East worshipped God-made-man, 
and eagerly opening the treasures, 
they offered to Him precious gifts: 
refined gold, as to the King of the ages; 
and frankincense, as to the God of all; 
and myrrh they offered to the Immortal One as to one three days dead. 
 
Come, all ye nations, and let us worship Him, Who was born to save our souls.
 
Χριστὸς γεννᾶται, δοξάσατε!
 
Today the Virgin gives birth.
 
 

9.
Carol 

“The Shepherds in the Field Receiv’d”
Richard Toensing (1940–2014)
From Orthros, Christmas Day Kanon by Kosmas Ode VII, Troparion I; Adapted, Fr. Jack Sparks
Appears on the recording Richard Toensing: Kontakion on the Nativity and New Orthodox Christmas Carols

The shepherds in the fields received,
A vision of the light revealed,
And terrified, were filled with fright,
At such a wondrous, holy sight.

Refrain: Christ is born, Christ is born, glorify Him!

The glory of the Master shone,
And all around them night had flown;
An angel cried, the silence torn,
“Give praise, for Christ the Lord is born!”

Refrain: Christ is born, Christ is born, glorify Him!

“Sing praise unto the God of all,
Who comes to make creation whole,
O God, our precious fathers knew,
All-blest and holy, Lord are You.”

Refrain: Christ is born, Christ is born, glorify Him!
 

10.
Apolytikion of Christmas

Alexander Kastalsky (1856–1926)
Znammeny chant
 

Рождество Твое, Христе Боже наш, 
возсия мирови свет разума, 
в нем бо звездам служащии звездою учахуся 
Тебе кланятися, Солнцу правды, 
и Тебе ведети 
с высоты Востока. 
Господи, слава Тебе!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God,
has made the light of knowledge dawn on the world,
for by it those who adored the stars were taught by a star
to worship you, the Sun of Justice,
and to know you
the Dayspring from on high.
Lord, glory to you!
 

11.
Today the Virgin

John Tavener (1954–2014)
Text by Mother Thekla (1918–2011)


Today the Virgin comes to the cave
To give birth to the Word eternal:
 
Refrain: Rejoice, O World
With the Angels and the Shepherds
Give glory to the Child!
Alleluia!
 
Mary my wife, O Mary my wife!
What do I see?
I took you blameless before the Lord
From the priests of the Temple
What do I see?
Refrain
 
Joseph the Bridegroom,
O Joseph the Bridegroom!
Do not fear. God in his mercy has come down to earth,
He takes flesh in my womb For all the world to see.
Refrain
 
Mary, my Bride, O Mary my Bride,
What do I see? You, a virgin giving birth. Strange mystery!
Refrain
 
Joseph the Bridegroom, O Joseph the Bridegroom!
Do not fear. God in his mercy has come down to earth,
He takes flesh in my womb
For all the world to see.
Refrain
 
Warned by the Angel we believe
That Mary gives birth inexplicable
To the infant, Christ, our God.
Refrain



Cappella Romana is grateful to the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council 
for Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support funding.

This film is made possible in part by a grant from the 
Coronavirus Relief Fund for Cultural Support

and


Donors like you.


All of us at Cappella Romana are grateful for your financial support. 



CAPPELLA ROMANA

John Michael Boyer, Conductor / Associate Music Director
Kristen Buhler
Daniel Burnett
John Cox
Photini Downie Robinson
Benjamin España
Leslie Green
Michael Hilton
Erik Hundtoft
Michael Hilton
Jessica Israels 
David Krueger
Kerry McCarthy
Vakarė Petroliūnaitė
Mark T. Powell
Catherine van der Salm


Cappella Romana
Founder and Music Director: Alexander Lingas 
Executive Director: Mark T. Powell 
Operations and Communications Manager: Julia Sheridan 
Conductor / Associate Music Director: John Michael Boyer
Librarian: Kerry McCarthy


Production Crew: Oh! Creative
Producer: Liz Bacon Brownson
Director: Kenton Waltz
Second Camera: Brian Andrew

Sound
Engineer: Roderick Evenson

Executive Producer: Mark T. Powell



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