I’ve found another addition to my Music category here, it’s a YouTube recording of the Cherubic Hymn sung by the choir at Optina Pustyn Monastery in Russia.
Optina was an important spiritual centre which is returning to its former glory, and it was also connected to the 19th century spiritual renewal in Russia that was guided by the Startsy or mystic elders. The renewal movement continued into the early decades of the 20th century when it was extinguished by the Russian Revolution and the monastery was turned into a prison. The last hegumen or abbot was executed in 1938. Optina was one of the first monasteries returned to the Russian Orthodox Church by the Soviet government in 1987 when “perestroika” began to end the persecution of religious believers which had endured the previous 70-years. Interestingly, the rebirth of Optina coincided with the millenium of Russia’s conversion to Christianity which was celebrated the following year in 1988.
Enjoy this one. (It’s sung in Old Church Slavonic)
Translated into English, the words of the Cherubic Hymn are approximately these:
- “We, who mystically represent the Cherubim,
- And chant the thrice-holy hymn to the Life-giving Trinity,
- Let us set aside the cares of life
- That we may receive the King of all,
- Who comes invisibly escorted by the Divine Hosts.”
The lyrics may be only 5-lines, but the hymn lasts for quite a while because the melody is drawn-out which also creates an ethereal feeling.