This video shows the Gospel being read by the Patriarch’s deacon in a cathedral, so this is very grand, but it is very similar in churches across the country.
The verse selection is usually shorter than in Protestant churches, and is sung very slowly at first, accelerating gradually, with the pitch gradually rising from beginning to end. This rise in pitch and speed symbolizes offering up praise to heaven. The language is not Russian, rather Old Church Slavonic, which is as different from Russian as French is from Spanish.
The bass voice of this deacon is extraordinary. He is reading Luke, chapter 6, the beatitudes. Text is below the video.
Great fun to watch. Watch till the end to see how he gradually raises his pitch.
And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Siodon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
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