Recently I came across some recordings of choirs from different monasteries in Mountain Athos (e.g. Vigil of the Holy Cross or just collections of chants from Vatopedi monastery). Where could I find some texts used in some of those hymns/masses/liturgies?
As it is obvious from the title of my question, I assumed that those are sung on Ancient or Byzantine Greek (I cannot tell the difference), but please do correct me if that is not the case!


I heard the Mount Athos chants recently as well. I'm not familiar with the Greek Orthodox liturgy at all, nor the Greek language, so I'm also having a terribly hard time trying to find reference for the lyrics. This won't be a very satisfying answer, but I thought I would just share the info I found so far.

From what I can gather, the first video you linked is a Τροπάριο (short hymn?) which is called Ανοιξαντάρια. The Greek wikipedia entry for Τροπάριο contains a reference to that specific chant, giving the first four words: "Ανοίξαντός σου την χείρα" (open your hand). I found various lyrics for this chant online, but they don't seem to match up very well with the video you linked. (I don't understand Greek though, so I could be wrong). The only other phrase I could catch being sung was "Δόξα Σοι ο Θεός Αλληλούια" (Thanks/Glory be to God, hallelujah) in various parts, like at the very end (timestamp 6:12).

The second video you linked contains chants for Holy Saturday, (the day before Easter). The first is "Holy Saturday Apolitikia", "Apolitikia" (Ἀπολυτίκιον) being the chant sung at dismissal. I could find at least the beginning of the lyrics here:

Ο ευσχήμων Ιωσήφ, από του ξύλου καθελών, το άχραντόν σου σώμα, σινδόνι καθαρά ειλήσας και αρώμασιν, εν μνήματι καινώ κηδεύσας επέθετο.

Good luck finding the texts. I think it would be easier for someone to find the lyrics who is familiar with the Greek Orthodox Liturgy. If you or anyone else finds more information, I'd love to hear about it.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer, it was very useful! I didn't have much time, but the other day I was listening to "Ἄξιον ἐστίν" and after quick search I came across Wikipedia article which actually has some lyrics! There are plenty of interesting links in that article, but I didn't have time to study it all, if you want, feel free to update your answer with more information if you catch something worth of mentioning, I'll accept this as an answer because I really find it helpful.
    – errata
    Aug 14 '20 at 20:22
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    All of these troparions, hymns, and such are contained within the Orthodox Church’s liturgical books, including the Typikon, Horologion, Menaion, and much more. Wading through these takes training (there is no single book that contains everything, a Sunday service might require 27 different books to put together), but there are lots of resources for learning. This is a good foundation, but it would be challenging to walk into this without having experienced it nor participated in the life of the Church for a while: youtu.be/mMzeZhk2c5s (pt. 1 of 2).
    – Dan
    Sep 14 '20 at 15:02

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