Nickitas Demos

Prelude to the Divine Conversation



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    Prelude to the Divine Conversation_excerpt

Prelude to the Divine Conversation (2005)

Nickitas Demos

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Audio streaming of entire work available on SoundCloud.

Text: Trisagion Prayers and selected hymn from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (4th Century, A.D.); adapted by the composer

Duration: 15'

The Church Fathers teach us that there are three basic types of prayers. First, there are those prayers that are spontaneous, relatively short and contain personal words by the individual. Secondly, there are very short prayers meant to be prayed continuously, repeated over and over again until the prayer becomes a part of the individual’s life. (A good example of this type of prayer is the ”Jesus Prayer” having the text: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me, a sinner.) The third and most predominant type of prayer is the “ready-made” prayer. These prayers have been written by the Church Fathers, Holy Saints or, as in the case with the Lord’s Prayer, given by Christ Himself. They are learned and recited by the faithful both in corporate worship and in private devotions. This composition focuses on this third type of prayer. 

All prayer is a conversation between the individual and God. As in any conversation, one does not simply begin conversing without exchanging opening words of greeting. Within the Orthodox Church, there are a series of prayers called the Trisagion Prayers that serve as a prelude to the conversation. This piece is a setting of those introductory prayers. The text is as follows:

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Glory to Thee, O God, Glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who are present everywhere filling all things. Treasury of good things and Giver of Life, come and dwell in us. Cleanse us of every stain and save our souls, gracious Lord.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us. (repeated 3 times) 

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, forgive our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your Name’s sake.

Lord Have Mercy (repeated 12 times) 

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth s it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one.

For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

During the final portion of these prayers, specifically the Lord’s Prayer, I have also superimposed an additional prayer chanted during the Divine Liturgy. The text of this prayer is as follows:

 We praise You / Lord, we bless You / Unto You, O Lord, we give our thanks with our fervent prayer to You, our God.

This work also seeks to honor the memory of Angela Ioannides who, for over 30 years, faithfully served the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia as organist for the choir. The use of a solo soprano throughout as well as the organ are presented in homage to Angela, who in addition to performing as organist, possessed a truly angelic soprano singing voice. The text is presented in three languages: Greek, Latin and English.