Sacred Music: Bogoroditse Dyevo


When I was in college I sang in choir for a few semesters to fill a general education requirement. This was at the height of my cognitive dissonance about women in the church. As fate would have it that semester we sang Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. The whole thing is absolutely stunning and I highly encourage you to check it out. But this section in particular stood out to me:

This is the text in Russian:

Bogorditse dyvo, raduisya,
Blagodatnaya Mariye
Gospod s Toboyu.
Blagoslovenna Ty v zhenakh,
I blagosloven plod chreva Tvoyevo,
Yako Spasa rodila yesi dush nashikh.

The English translation is:

Rejoice, O virgin mother of God, Mary full of grace,
the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
for thou hast borne the saviour of our souls.
I know that this song is literally about Mary and her role in bringing Christ to the earth, which is indeed an awe inspiring story. However, as we rehearsed, I felt for the first time like there was really a Divine Feminine, and like it was acceptable for me to seek after that. It had always been so taboo that it wasn’t even something that felt comfortable to consider. After learning this piece though, I realized that a substantial element of my spirituality was missing, and it was time for me to find it.

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5 Responses

  1. spunky says:

    This is brilliant! Thank you, JessR!

  2. Jenny says:

    Beautiful!! I loved reading about the significance of this piece for you.

  3. Patty says:

    Wow! That’s wonderful! Words, music, message, I love it! Thank you so much!

  4. Violadiva says:

    I think any music praising Mary is a wonderful way to see heavenly mother in our sacred music canon! Thanks for sharing.

  5. EmilyCC says:

    This gave me chills and was a great way to spend my lunch break. Thank you, Jess!

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