Source of "God, Thou art clothed with light"
  • FKulash
    Posts: 10
    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
    https://ccel.org/ccel/brownlie/russianhymns/russianhymns.sect5.sect5_4.h103.html

    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.

    Thanks.

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,170
    Hi, Frank!

    Apparently it is sung as part of the baptismal liturgy, as the neophyte is clothed in a white garment:
    https://www.pemptousia.gr/2015/03/vaptismatikes-ke-metavaptismatikes-praxis/
    (see the first of the numbered paragraphs)

    Here is the chant sung:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzjObl_VtKM

    "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.
    Etc.

    XIX - Celi enarrant -
    THE heavens declare the glory of God; *
    and the firmament showeth his handy-work.
    Etc.
    Thanked by 2FKulash CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,310
    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.