Source of "God, Thou art clothed with light"
  • Can someone help me find a literal translation of a text from the Eastern church? John Brownlie paraphrased it as a hymn (Hymns of the Russian Church, #95), the first stanza of which is:

    God, Thou art clothed with light,
    As with a garment fair;
    And, in Thy holy sight,
    The saints Thy beauty wear;
    The heavens, and all therein, express
    The glory of Thy holiness.

    The full hymn paraphrase can be found at

    The hymn appears under the heading
    Χιτϖνα μοι παρασχου φωτεινον
    which must be the Greek incipit. In Browlie's collection, it appears in the Communion section.

    I would would like a literal English translation of the original text, and some idea of how it is used in the Eastern liturgy.


    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,156
    Hi, Frank!

    Apparently it is sung as part of the baptismal liturgy, as the neophyte is clothed in a white garment:
    (see the first of the numbered paragraphs)

    Here is the chant sung:

    "Χιτῶνά μοι παράσχου φωτεινόν, ὁ ἀναβαλλόμενος φῶς ὡς ἱμάτιον, πολυέλεε Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν."

    Here is one English version:
    "Grant to me the robe of light, O Most Merciful Christ our God, Who clothe Yourself with light as with a garment."
  • Several psalms come to mind as possible inspiration -

    XCIII - Dominus regnavit
    THE Lord is Kiing, and hath put on glorious apparel, *
    the Lord hath put on his apparel, and girded himself with strength.

    XIX - Celi enarrant -
    THE heavens declare the glory of God; *
    and the firmament showeth his handy-work.
    Thanked by 2FKulash CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,148
    Also this psalm

    XIV - Benedic, anima mea
    PRAISE the Lord, O my soul: * O Lord my God, thou art
    become exceeding glorious; thou art clothed with majesty
    and honour.
    2 Thou deckest thyself with light as it were with a garment, *
    and spreadest out the heavens like a curtain.