If planning a visit to an Orthodox Church for the Paschal Matins on Saturday night, you will hear the hymn “Christ is Risen” (Krist’e Aghsdga) repeated many times throughout the service.
The lyrics, dating back to the earliest days of the church, are:
Krist’e aghsdga mk’vdretit
Damtrugunveli da saplavebis shinata
In English, the translation is:
Christ is risen, and by dying conquers death.
We need no longer fear the grave. He is the giver of life.
It should be noted that the tense for the hymn is in the present tense; the Resurrection is not just remembered or commemorated in the Orthodox Church, but relived as a current event, with the hand of God reaching through time and space to ensure that the faithful will experience the event just as if they were at the empty tomb on the first Easter morning. The tune is presented here, so feel free to learn the lyrics and sing along on Saturday night. You will hear people singing the hymn on the street for all of Bright Week following Pascha (Easter).