Spiritual songs >The Hymnal Project

Current version

Here is the version in the Byzantine Catholic Hymnal (2007):

In Gethsemene's darkness

Boh predvicnyj

Listen to a recording by Father Michael Sopoliga

This setting of Jehda na smert’ hotovilsja is from the publications of Monsignor William Levkulic. The English translation is by Monsignor Levkulic.

See this article for the Slavonic.


This is an exceptionally popular hymn, and should certainly be in the hymnal. In Father Julius Grigassy's Liturgikon / Služebnik (1962; a people's prayer-book), it was included this as the sole paraliturgical hymn of the Great Fast. The Užhorod Pisennik (1913) gave 28 verses for this hymn; it would be worth looking at the others.

There are also some issues to address, both of text and of music.


The Byzantine Catholic Hymnal had "the Lord" for "our Lord" in line 1; this has been corrected.

Like Christe Carju spravedilvyj, the original version of this hymn had quite a few verses - 28, in the Užhorod Pisennik (1913). In our books, only a few verses were chosen, most from the beginning. This means that it is a useful hymn for singing on the night of Great and Holy Thursday, but it misses most of the Passion of Chtist, and virtually all of the Paschal Mystery. There is a great sense of sorrow, but no looking forward to Pascha.

I would really like to see a literal translation of the full Slavonic hymn, and good translations of the previously un-translated verses.

There are also some particular problems:

The text is well enough known that I am not including to change it much, but what we have is a bit confusing.


In Slavonic, this hymn is metrically regular; in other words, accents fall in the same place in each verse. But if we sing the hymn to the same rhythm, we get bad English accents: "The sword OF sor-ROW"; "Your mo-THER's".

One solution would be to notate the hymn in phrases of varying length, with the rhythm altered slightly to match the English text; this is how it would normally be sung in church:

What do you think?

Thoughts or suggestions?

Please leave a comment on this blog entry: Songs of the Passion of Christ.