In a previous posting I mentioned a common inscription found on Russian crosses:“O Lord, save thy people” (Спаси, Господи, люди Твоя — (Spasi, Gospodi, liudi tvoya).”
That is from the Troparion to the Holy Cross.
If you have heard Tchaikovsky’s famous 1812 Overture, which is now often performed at public events and celebrations (paradoxically even the 4th of July) in the United States and elsewhere, you may not be aware that it begins with an instrumental and sometimes vocal (depending on which scoring is chosen) version of the Troparion to the Holy Cross.
Here is the beginning segment of the work in a vocal rendering. In the sung Slavic version, you will note the name Николаю Павловичу — Nikolaiu Pavlovichu (Nikolai Pavlovich/Nicholas Pavlovich). The Tsar in 1812 would have been his father, Alexander Pavlovich.
As you listen, you may follow along in the text below, followed by a translation into English.
Победы православным христианом на сопротивныя даруя
pobedui pravoslavnuim khristianom na soprotivnuiya daruya
Bestow victory to Orthodox Christians over enemies
Here is a performance of the Troparion alone:
It is repeated in a much more glorious and thunderous manner in the finale:
Finally, just for fun, here is the old Tsarist national anthem , the beginning of which follows the Troparion to the Cross in the finale — Bozhe Tsarya Khrani:
Here it is with pronunciation:
Боже, Царя храни!
Bozhe Tsarya khrani
Царствуй на славу, на славу нам!
Tsarstvuy na slavu na slavu nam
Царствуй на страх врагам,
Tsarstvuy na strakh vragam
Боже, Царя, Царя храни!
Bozhe Tsarya, Tsarya khrani
God, protect the Tsar!
Ruling to glory, to our glory!
Ruling to the fear of our enemies,
The Orthodox Tsar.
God protect the Tsar, the Tsar!