Skip to comments.Maronite Catholic: Qolo (Hymn) of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Posted on 08/04/2005 7:11:57 PM PDT by Siobhan
O Mother who gave Life to us,
petition on our behalf
the Son who appeared from you:
may he remove from us the blows of punishment,
and keep away divisions and disputes.
May he lead us in the path of life in which we journey
at all times.
On your memorial day,
we sing praise to your only Son.
Blessed are you, O Mary,
for God, who feeds all creatures,
was nourished by you
and rested on your breast.
The Son of God was nourished
by a human creature!
He assumed what is ours
and gave us what is his.
On his mother's memorial let us proclaim:
Glory to you, O Lord.
As dew was falling gently
over the city of Ephesus
Saint John wrote to its people.
He instructed them to celebrate
the memory of the Blessed Mary,
three times each year:
In January, during the time of planting of the seeds;
in May, during the time of harvest;
and in August, during the time of the grapes.
For the mysteries of life are prefigured in these months.
On your memorial day, O Blessed Mary,
angels and mortals are overwhelmed with joy.
The dead rejoice in their tombs
because of the glory in creation.
God will bless
those who celebrate your memory with faith
and pour his mercy upon them.
Who is to see a new ship
sustaining the One who is mighty;
the One who sustains and rules all creation.
Mary bore him, yet he bears all creation.
He nourishes all living creatures,
yet she nourished him with her milk.
He is the Maker of all infants,
yet he dwelt, as an infant, in her womb.
The fiery beings in the heights
sing hymns of praise to him!
No! Do you have a link where I can hear it or, better yet, purchase it? I have compiled a fairly extensive collection of Maronite sacred music. GG, the more I listen to it the more I begin to assimilate the music and mimic the vocals. Wish I could learn Arabic!
I can't recall the Maronite priest's name, but he did much as your priest did in putting the traditional melodies to English and working with his organist. But he had a musician put Western notation with the English words to help those who didn't know the melodies. It is more of an aid than anything, because Western notation cannot capture the way these melodies move -- but it can help to jog the memory of an old Irish nomad's brain...;-)
Oh Fairuz singing the Good Friday hymns!!! There is nothing so moving, absolutely nothing.
That is priceless.
No need to explain to you the agony of a child's funeral. Father worked out arrangements with another RC Church. The parking lot resembled a cross section of America with license plates from MA, MI, NY, CT, NJ, LA, Ontario and Quebec.
Our organist worked ahead of time with the one from the church where the funeral was to be held. Following Communion, in total silence, our organist played Johannes Brahms', Wiegenlied (Cradle Song). He set the stops to sound like a music box. There wasn't a dry eye in the Church. He is an extraordinary organist and looking forward to playing the 150 year old organ (soon to be restored) at our future church. It's a rare instrument but he is up to the task.
This link is on the Copticchurch.net, but it is merely hosted there. Many Copts love Maronite chants and hymns I am told:
The Lebanese dialect of Arabic is very different from that used by other Middle Eastern countries. As you've no doubt noticed, there is a very obvious French flavor to it. IMHO, that influence makes the language especially pleasant. I enjoy the sounds. (But I've often wondered if it is simply my own personal bias here). I am delighted to see that non-Maronites and non-Lebanese like it too. As you've probably also picked up, NYer, music (and dance too) plays a big part in Maronite culture. It's part of village life. One traditional village pastime is composing songs together in a group as a sort of competition. I'll try to dig up more info on the Fairuz recordings...
You have me dissolved in tears.
You may want to explore this resource.
Cedars of Lebanon Hymnal (Second Edition) by Father Mansour Labaky
Comprehensive collection of 250 hymns for use in the Divine Liturgy and para-liturgical celebrations; texts in English, Arabic and Syriac for many hymns; Western musical notations; many photographs. Softbound; 176 pages.
Price: $9.50 Item No.: L026
St. Maron Publications
That's it! Father Mansour Labaky!
Yes!!! After Liturgy, the Lebanese often resort to their native tongue, especially with Abouna. I listen so carefully, hoping to pick up words. One Sunday, a young mother instructed her miscreant child to give father a 'baise'. Voilla! French! It all blends so naturally with the flow of Arabic (ahem ... Lebanese) and English. This young mother just gave birth to her 3rd child - another girl. The oldest, a boy, is named 'Elias' but everyone affectionately calls him 'LiLou'. The 2nd is a girl, Michelle and the 3rd has been named Danielle.
Each Sunday, without fail and following the Divine Liturgy, the mom embraces me with the beautiful exchange of 3 kisses, just like the French. Last Sunday, we had visitors from South America. I tried to strike up a conversation only to learn that neither of them spoke English. No matter ... we settled on French, even though we were all rusty. This is what I love so much about the Maronite Church! We gather as a community to pray and then share our mutual faith afterwards, with coffee and special delicacies offered up by a member of the congregation. Amongst the newcomers are a Greek Orthodox couple from Jordan. He is an Englishman, a convert to the GOC from the Episcopal Church; she is Jordanian. They have a beautiful baby girl. It is just awesome! Last Sunday, we also had visitors from Brazil - Maronite Catholics. It is a beautiful reminder of just how far the Maronite Church has spread around the globe.
And now you have the link! Finally, I can offer you something you are seeking :-)
The baby's funeral was done with beauty and great dignity. Preceeding the coffin, a young woman dressed all in black, carried a large photo of Michael. This was then placed against one of the candlesticks in the Sanctuary. The pews were embellished with white roses and a thin blue ribbon. In the Sanctuary, a simple heart of red roses had been placed. (The family specifically requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Albany Medical Hospital Children's Wing.)
Three Maronite priests + 1 Deacon, officiated at the Maronite Divine Liturgy. During communion, the physicians and nurses who had attended to Michael over the past few months, came forward and embraced the child's parents. They were most appreciative and truly moved by the sincere affection shown to them.
Michael's parents and grandparents both wrote poems and personally selected family members to read them towards the end of the service. The grandparent's poem was in Arabic. Michael's dad, however, wrote a poem on behalf of him and his wife and asked a cousin (a woman of great strength) to read it on their behalf. Twice during the reading, despite painstaking hours of rehearsal, her voice cracked). It was one of the most beautiful and moving testimonies I have ever heard. Michael turned 8 months old on the day of his death. Listening to the eulogy they wrote to their first and only child, it became obvious that Fr. Elie had counseled them well. There was no animosity towards God; rather, they assured their son that he had been loved before he was born and that with all of his physical ailments, he had taught them the meaning of love, having brought so much joy into their lives.
At the cemetery, following the final prayers, Michael's mother threw herself on his coffin and 'tapped' it, the way a mother taps a child's back in a loving embrace.
This past Sunday, his parents carried the offerings up during the Divine Liturgy. It did my heart and soul good to see them there. Afterwards, I embraced his dad, assured him of all the prayers I had offered up for his son and thanked him for teaching us the meaning of love and faith.
For those unfamiliar with the Eastern Catholic Churches, these are the moments that meld us together as a community. We share in the joy and grief of life that we all experience. We are like one big family, despite our differences.
Yes! She's really most comfortable singing religious hymns. That was where she first learned to sing after all. And she is from a very devout Maronite family.
Of her non-religious songs, I think my favorite is an adaptation she sings of a poem by Khalil Gibran, "A'tini al-Nay (Give me the flute)". A poem which I think speaks volumes about the Maronite soul -- our spirituality, our love of music, our ancient poetry, and our connection to the beauty of Mount Lebanon.
Here's a translation:
Give me the flute, and sing;
Immortality lies in a song
And even after we've perished
The flute continues to lament.
Have you taken refuge in the woods,
Away from places like me?
Followed streams on their courses
and climbed up the rocks?
Did you ever bathe in a perfume,
And dry yourself with a light?
Drink the dawn as wine,
Rarefied in goblets of ether?
Give me the flute then and sing.
The best of prayer is song,
And even when life perishes
The flute continues to lament
Have you spent an evening as I have done,
Among vines, where the golden candelabra
Did you sleep on the grass at night,
And let space be your blanket?
Abstaining from all that will come,
Forgetful of all that has passed?
Give the flute then and sing,
Singing is Justice for the heart.
And even after every guilt has perished,
The flute continues to lament
Give the flute and sing.
Forget illness and its cure.
People are nothing but lines,
Which are scribbled on water.
You got me in tears there. Yes, that is how we are as a community. I lost both of my parents back in 2002 -- 10 months apart from each other, my father in January of that year and my mother in November. They were married for 47 years and had seven children (I'm the youngest) and 14 grandchildren. At my mother's burial, we were all there and watched as she was lowered down next to my father and sang to her. It was a song that a member of my parent's parish wrote. They still make me cry thinking of the words to that song -- because it was not a lament but a song of thanksgiving to God.
These are words, from memory are:
How in the world can I ever repay you
for all of the love that you gave me today?
You gave me eyes so I can see;
You gave me home and family,
For every brother, for every sister,
how can I thank you?
How in the world can I ever repay you
for all of the peace that you gave me today?
You take us all, you make us one;
We see the mending of Your Son.
Let all be mending that once was broken,
and all enfolded.
How in the world can I ever repay you
for all of the joy that you gave me today
You take our hearts, you wash them clean;
We see fulfillment of our dreams.
Let all be spoken that once was promised,
and thus created.
I am so very sorry! Thank you for sharing that beautify composition. It is testimony to all that I have said about the Maronites.
You have made my point, though. The Maronites pull together through thick and thin. They celebrate birth, pray for those who are ill and fully join together when someone dies. When do you ever recall a priest driving 4 hours to be at the bedside of a dieing parishioner. Less than 24 hours after his return from the Maronite retreat, Abouna got the call that Michael was dieing, never batted an eyelash but jumped into his car and spent the entire afternoon and evening with this family, administering the Last Rites and counseling them in their grief. For this, he suffered the recriminations of some nun at the hospital who questioned his training and 'forgave' him for attending St. John's Seminary.
On a lighter note, in early December last year, a 95 year old parishioner died. Because he had been one of the founders, his funeral was held at St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Church in Utica, NY - a 2 hour drive from Albany. Out of respect for the family, I took time off to attend Jay Jay's funeral.
Though early in December, a bitter cold snap had grasped the northeast with temperatures below zero. The church's funace gave out the previous night. Stepping into the church was like a trip into a meat locker. You could see your breath. I took my place in the pew near other members of the parish 'family'. The priest handed out blankets! Lol!!! I had a flashback to a conversation with Fr. Elie in which he described the churches in Lebanon. He explained that in summer, parishioners brought fans and in winter, blankets. So, here we gathered to remember a proud and honorable Maronite, shaking and shivering in the sub zero temperatures inside he church with a priest personally distributing blankets. No doubt Jay Jay cast an askew glance while laughing to himself and patting this priest on the back.
I will remember your parents in my prayers!
I am a great fan of Khalil Gibran. When I adopted my daughter, friends in Puerto Rico sent me his poem on Children - "your children are not your children.".
I have several of his books but The Prophet holds particular meaning and that poem is bookmarked forever.
I will try to obtain one of Fairuz's recordins. Thank you for sharing that!
You know, dear lady, I believe you have been listening to something of Fairuz without knowing it. The link that you posted in one of the posts above that lead to the maronite-heritage.com hymns has a hymn where Fairuz sings a little solo. Unless I'm completely mistaken (always a possibility and even a probability!) I think Fairuz sings the opening solo of the beautiful hymn "The Time Has Stopped". What a magnificagant piece of music! And so very western it's almost funny. You know how we Maronites love taking the best of other cultures and making it our own. Some of the nation patriotic songs sound very, er, European... (as in... well, never mind.) I believe if you go to Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Party website, they have free downloads of Patriotic Lebanese songs. Some are really great -- this one is my favorite. You can definitely hear the French influence in the dialect there. This one is Fairuz singing. Also anything by the Rahbani brothers is wonderful (I think this is one). Fairuz as you may know (as our globe-trotting daughter or Eire, Siobhan, will know) is married to Mansour Rahbani. Assy and Mansour Rahbani are Lebanon's -- and the Middle East in general's-- Gilbert & Sullivan or Rodgers & Hammerstein. Their musicals have traditionally performed every year at the Baalbek Music Festival in the summer held outdoors in the evening among those wondrous Phoenician ruins. When peace comes to Lebanon, and when you finally visit -- as I know you will -- you must see the great Music Festival!
I have never been to Lebanon. But I promise myself that when I do go there, I will attend that festival! And I will see the vineyards where my Sittie (grandmother) played as a little girl.
According to the booklet enclosed with the CD, the soloist is Aida Tomb. In fact, she is the principal soloist on nearly all of the selections from that CD - NDU Choir Roma 2003 LIVE. And .... that's the one I have been listening to this afternoon. There are several selections that I absolutely love. Oh to attend one of their concerts!
The NDU Maronite hymns are rich and sumptuous, like their beautiful liturgy. Here again, we see how the 'influence' from the Latin Church has impacted them, with seminaries in Paris and Rome. The Maronite Church has blossomed through these principal seminaries and contributed much to Western culture. Perhaps the Latin Church should consider building a seminary in Lebanon :-). Just imagine how the Maronites could influence the Latin Church!
Born in 1934! Remarkable that she is still going strong.