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Nebo i zeml’a

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This 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, Heaven and earth. The literal English translation here is by Fr. Michael Schudio.

A similarly named hymn, "Nebo i zeml'a nyňi likovstvujet", can be found in most Rusyn collections.

Sources

Rusyn

This hymn was included in the Užhorod Pisennik (1913) as number 46, with seven verses.

The same seven verses were reprinted in Latin letters in the 1932 Greek Catholic collection, Kolady, with lyrics as follows:

1. Nebo i zemľa (2) nyňi toržestvujut' - anhely ľudy (2) veselo prazdnujut': - Christos rodilsja - Boh voplotilsja - anhely spivajut - carie vitajut - pastyri ihrajut - poklon otdajut - čudo, čudo povidajut.

2. Vo Viflejemi (2) vesela novina - čistaja Ďiva (2) porodila Syna. Christos rodisja....

3. Slovo Otčeje (2) vzjalo na sja t'ilo - v temnotach zemnych (2) Solnce zasvitilo. Christos rodisja....

4. Anhely služat (2) svojemu korol'u - i vo vertepi (2) tvorjat Jeho vol'u. Christos rodisja....

5. Tri carie (2) ot vostok pridoša - smirno i livan (2) s zlatom prinesoša. Christos rodisja....

6. Carevi i Bohu (2) žertvu prinosjat - i vsemu miru (2) blahodati prosjat. Christos rodisja....

7. I my roždenomu (2) Bohu poklon dajme - "Slava vo vyšnich" (2) Jemu zaspivajme. Christos rodisja....

Two things to note: the first five or six syllables of each of the first two lines are sung twice; this is indicated with "(2)" inserted into the text above, at the end of each repeated phrase. Also, the Užhorod Pisennik used "-isja" endings in many places where later Rusyn texts have "-ilsja", and Ukrainian texts have "-ivsja". This dialect difference is actually seen in the text of this hymn in Kolady, which has "Christos rodilsja" in the first verse, but "Christos rodisja" (presumably the older form) at the end of each of the following verses.

In 1969, Father Stefan Papp printed a version with music and four verses (Duchovňi Pisňi, page 138). The five verses correspond to verses 1-3 and 7 of the 1913 Uzhorod version, and include several textual changes (some of them common to the Ukrainian version given below).

In 1969, Monsignor William Levkulic published verses 1 and 2 in the booklet Christ is Born: Glorify Him. This text reversed the order of two phrases in the refrain and changed "pastyri ihrajut" to "pastyrije hrajut." 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).

Galician

My Divine Friend (1959), a Ukrainian Sunday and holyday missal by Redemptorist Father Michael Schudio, included a five-verse version with a close English translation (pages 858-859); the Cyrillic has been transliterated for inclusion here.

Nebo i zemľa (2)
nyňi toržestvujut',
Anhely ľudy (2)
veselo prazdnujut':
Christos rodilsja,
Boh voplotilsja
Anhely spivajut,
carija vitajut
poklin viddajut,
pastyrije hrajut
čudo, čudo povidajut.

Heaven and earth (2)
today are rejoicing,
Angels and men (2)
festivities staging,
For Christ is born,
God incarnate,
Angels are singing,
their King now greeting,
Paying their homage,
while shepherds are playing,
In adoration: "Behold!" exclaiming,

Vo Viflejemi (2)
vesela novina
čistaja Ďiva (2)
porodila Syna. Christos rodisja....

In Bethlehem (2)
glad tidings await us,
The Virgin Mary (2)
gives birth to a Son. For Christ is born...

Slovo Otčeje (2)
vzjalo na sja t'ilo
v temnotach zemnych (2)
Solnce zasvitilo. Christos rodisja....
Word of the Father (2)
becomes a man,
the darkness of earth (2)
a sun has illuminated. For Christ is born...

Anhely služat (2)
svojemu korol'u
i vo vertepi (2)
tvorjat Jeho vol'u. Christos rodisja....

Angels pay homage (2)
to their King almighty
and in the stable (2)
gladly do His bidding. For Christ is born...
I my roždenomu (2)
Bohu poklon dajme
"Slava vo vyšnich" (2)
Jemu zaspivajme. Christos rodisja....
To this divine Babe (2)
let us give in honor
"Glory on high" (2)
sing aloud in our praises. For Christ is born...

The version shows the reversal of two phrases in the refrain, which is followed in most current Slavonic texts in the United States, along with a number of other differences in the Slavonic text.

English translations

In 1969, Monsignor William Levkulic published a two-verse English translation, Heaven and Earth, in the booklet Christ is Born: Glorify Him; verses 2 and 3 of the original hymn are combined in verse 2 of the translation. This setting was reprinted in Byzantine Liturgical Chant (1970, with music) and in the Hymns section of The Divine Liturgy, a Book of Prayer (1978, without music).

A different English translation (by Joseph Roll, Peter Galadza and Michael Thompson) can be found on pages 992-993 of the The Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship (Ukrainian Catholic, 2004), titled "Earth and the heavens":

Earth and the heavens, earth and the heavens
Now sing in jubilation.
Angels and mortals, angels and mortals
Join in the celebration.
God is incarnate;
Darkness departed.
Choirs of angels singing,
Christ the King they're greeting;
Shepherds join with pleasure,
Wise men bear their treasure.
Wonder, wonder past all measure!

In David's city, in David's city
News joyful, and so wonderful:
Mary the Virgin, Mary the Virgin
Gives birth to Christ Emmanuel.
God is incarnate...

Joseph still ponders, Joseph still ponders,
Welcoming beast and stranger.
Guarding the Infant, guarding the Infant,
Now sleeping in the manger.
God is incarnate...

Word of the Father, Word of the Father
Made flesh in Mary's holy womb.
Vanguishing darkness, vanquishing darkness
From hearts that had been filled with gloom.
God is incarnate....

Harmonization

Here is the harmonization of the Slavonic version, from page 72 of Professor George Kacan's Kolady (1958):