Service for Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth

We will soon be commemorating the New-martyr Elizabeth, martyred by the Bolsheviks along with the Romanov royal family. This service to the Grand Duchess Elizabeth was obtained from with the website of St. Elizabeth Convent in Minsk, but some editing was needed.

Changes were needed, not because of any inadequacies in the original text, but partially to help the meaning of the words come through when sung to the melodies used here at our parish. I would assume that the original Russian/Slavonic wording was created “straight into” the Church tones. Once translated into English, it would again need a little “massaging” to really help the meaning shine through.

There was one more reason to edit the Minsk English translation: in several places in the service, there is an assumption that the one praying is a Russian. That works fine in Minsk, but in the spirit of the volumes of hymnography we sing for saints from lands besides our own, it seemed more fitting to both recognize that she lived and died in Russia, allowing the hymnography to rightly reflect that, but also that many of the lessons Russia learned and is learning are equally applicable to us, regardless of where we are, and could be adapted to be sung by anybody, anywhere.

It was a very well done translation. The wording was quite good. There were some curious “typos”, or maybe computer oddities of some type. One interesting one were the several instances of a word that should have been “the”, but instead was “die”, which almost sounds like a German-accented English speaker. Not a big problem, but curious, none the less.

Through the prayers of our venerable mother Elizabeth, may the Lord use this service to continue to sing the glories of Christ who worked wonderfully and gracefully through his saint.

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