11 December 2012

ACCM Prompt: Other Traditions -- Boh Predvichnyi

Today's ACCM prompt is "Other Traditions." GeneaBloggers ask: Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions from their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?
I have been waiting for this prompt! One of my favorite Christmas time memories is the carolers at my Baba and Gigi's! The choir from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Coatesville - years before I joined since mom was Catholic we grew up in the Catholic faith. It was not til 1997 when Gigi passed that I converted. - anyway the choir used to go to the parish member's house and sing carols. Years ago the choir also sang in town too, according to an old news clipping I have.
They would sing in Slavonic and I remember it was so beautiful and wished I could sing like that. Now we only hear those songs at church. One of the songs - which I just love - is Boh Predvichnyi. It means God Eternal.
Boh Predvichnyi
Boh Predvichnyi narodyvsia.
Pryishov dnes' iz nebes,
Shchob spasty liud svii vves',
I utishyvsia.
U Vyfleiemi narodyvsia,
Mesiia, Khrystos nash
I Spas nash, dlia vsikh nas
Nam nardoyvsia.
Slava Bohu zaspivaimo
Chest' Synu Bozhomu,
Hospodevi nashomu,
Poklin viddaimo.
I think one reason the carolers stand out is because it was something special. We never went out and caroled. On occassion we sang in Latin but hello I was raised Irish Catholic - who doesn't know some Latin! The carols and what one would normally refer to as hymns are also special because it connects me to my Baba and Gigi and their parents.
Baba's parents passed well before I was born so I never knew them. Gigi's father - Panko Hruszczak - passed two months before I was born. His mother - Bessie Matys Hruszczak - lived til 1972. I have a photo I love with her holding me as obviously a baby and Baba, Gigi and my dad standing over us. Sad to say though I cannot recall anything of her. (I was born in '69 ... shhh I'm only 29!)
The English of Boh Predvichnyi is below:
God Eternal
God Eternal is born today,
He came to us from heaven.
Saving people now as then,
Bringing comfort.
In Bethlehem He was born
Messiah - Our Christ,
And our Lord granting us might.
For us He was born.
Glory to God, we all sing,
Only-Begotten Son of God
And our Lord, we all laud,
Truly adoring.


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