Saturday, August 05, 2006

Phôs Hilaron Φως Ιλαρον

Φως ιλαρον αγιας δοξης αθανατου Πατρος,
Ουρανιου, αγιου, μακαρος Ιησου Χριστε,
Ελθοντες επι την ηλιου δυσιν, ιδοντες φως εσπερινον,
Υμνουμεν Πατερα, Υιον, και Αγιον Πνευμα, Θεον,
Αξιον σε εν πασι καιροις υμνεισθαι φωναις αισιαις,
Υιε Θεου, ζωην ο διδους,
Διο ο κοσμος σε δοξαζει.

This is an ancient Christian hymn, perhaps the oldest Christian hymn we have, dating from the 3rd or 4th century.

Here is a very literal translation:

O-light cheerful of-the-holy glory of-the-immortal Father,
Of-the-heavenly, holy, blessed, O-Jesus Christ,
We-having-come to the of-the-sun setting, we-having-seen (the) light evening,
We-sing-to (the) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God,
Worthy (are) you (sing.) at all times to-be-sung-to with-voices auspicious,
O-Son of-God, life the-one giving,
Wherefore the world you (sing.) glorifies.

A better translation (mine again):

O Joyous Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father,
(Light) of the heavenly, holy, blessed, O Jesus Christ,
Having come to the setting of the sun, and having beheld the evening light,
We hymn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God.
Worthy art Thou to be hymned at all times with favorable voices,
O Son of God, who gives life,
Wherefore the whole world glorifies Thee.