Holy Saturday Music/Movie Double Feature: Orthodox Lamentations and Trisagion

In the (Greek) Orthodox tradition, lamentations are sung at the tomb on Holy Saturday (although they are sung on Friday night after sundown).  An altar with an icon of Jesus in the tomb (an epitaphios) is set up and the priests all gather around it to sing three sets of Lamentations, which are based on a cantor chanting the verses of Psalm 119 (the longest psalm) and responses by the choir.  At the end of the Lamentations, the epitaphios is carried around the church, accompanied by the chanting of the Trisagion (which is a funeral custom in that tradition).

Here is music from the first two Lamentations.  Notice the drone of the basses in the background, another Greek tradition.  This is a lovely way to sing prayers, with the drone carrying the prayers together.


And here is the Trisagion:



June Butler said…
Penny, I enjoyed both videos. Thanks for pointing out the drone of the basses in Lamentations.
Mimi, when I was in seminary, one of my teachers had been raised in the Greek church and he taught us to drone through the sung prayers of the people in chapel. Everyone loved it.