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Divnaja novina

Boh predvicnyj

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This much-loved Christmas hymn can be found in the Metropolitan Cantor Institute's Byzantine Catholic Hymnal for Nativity and Theophany (2007). The text is that of Monsignor William Levkulic (see below), who also published an English setting, Wondrous news.

This melody is also used (generally at Christmas time) for the Cherubic Hymn of the Divine Liturgy. See Cherubikon melody - Divnaja novina.

Sources

This hymn was included in the UĆŸhorod Pisennik (1913) as the fourth hymn for the Nativity of the Lord (number 36 in that collection). Nine verses were given. A very similar nine-verse version was printed in the L'vov Pisnoslovets (1907).

In 1969, Father Stefan Papp printed a version with two melodic settings, and three verses (Duchovňi Pisňi, page 135); the first melodic variant is a simpler version of that given above, while his second and third verses actually have four line each - making then equivalent to a total of five verses of the earlier printed settings. Also of note: the simpler setting in Papp correctly accents the text (e.g. "podoDIla" rather than "poROdila") as he construes it.

In 1969, Monsignor William Levkulic published the first two verses in the booklet Christ is Born: Glorify Him. These verses were reprinted (without music) in Byzantine Liturgical Chant (1970) and in the Hymns section of The Divine Liturgy, a Book of Prayer (1978).