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Saturday Music: Phos Hilaron

Phos Hilaron is considered the first church hymn in a proper sense. It was sung every evening. In the video it is sung by the Valaam monks.

This beautiful hymn, Phos Hilaron (Gentle Light (Svete Tikhy in Russian; Lumen Hilare in Latin; O Gladsome Light in English) is the first church hymn in its proper sense. Every evening when the Christians gathered for the service they sang it and lit the candle or lamp that symbolised the ever-living light of Jesus. You can read the story of the hymn. Below is a video of its performance in Old Church Slavonic by the monks of the Valaam Monastery.

(The evening service is on the way in Russian churches, but I have to visit the library today to take back the books).

More on Russia

A natural kind of phos hilaron at the Ely Cathedral interior at sunset (Copyright Julia Shuvalova C 2010)

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Julia Shuvalova is the author of Los Cuadernos de Julia blog. She is an author of several books, a translator, and a Foreign Languages tutor. She lives and works in Moscow, Russia.

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