Assist. PhD Victor Șapcă, The Sunday Axion in the Romanian Psaltic Literature from the 19th-20th Centuries

Mitropolia Olteniei Publishing House, Craiova, 2020, ISBN 978-606-731-046-7, ISMN 979-0-69490-143-1

The present paper entitled The Sunday Axion in the Romanian Psaltic Literature from the 19th-20th Centuries, is structured in three parts and aims the repertoire of one of the most important classes of Byzantine music composition: the axion.

The Axion Hymn is one of the most important Byzantine hymnography productions, alongside Trisagion, Heruvic and Quinone.

The liturgical-musical meanings of the Axion preoccupied the musicians of this class of songs within the Holy Liturgy: Nicu Moldoveanu, Sebastian Barbu-Bucur, Vasile Stanciu, Nicolae Necula, who defined the Axion as being a hymn made for Virgin Mary, an hymn sung at the Liturgy of Saint Ioan Gură de Aur after the sanctification of the bread and wine, after the final part: “especially for the Most Holy”. The Axion has two parts: „It is true…” and „You, who are most honest”. The first part is a later addition made after the X century by the Athonite Monks, according to a legend, a Holy intervention, it is made as a clarifying introduction of the initial text, and the second part is the first lyric of the 9th song from the canon of Holy Thursday’s Denia, composed by Maiuma in the VIIIth  century. Put together, they created the Axion. It is considered the usual Axion of Saint Ioan Gură de Aur Liturgy.

From the introductory part I wanted to point out that the scientific step was based only on the class of liturgical songs entitled The Sunday Axion – It is true…, (known as You are worthy! or It falls as true!). 

The base of this study is the research upon the background of Romanian and Greek-Romanian musical manuscripts from the XIX century, which contain Axions from the Romanian libraries, based especially on the ledgers from the Library of the Romanian Academy, the National Library,  the Library of the Holy Synod, but also on the ledgers of some libraries from monasteries, such as: the Library of the Stavropoleos Monastery, the Library of Lainici Monastery, the Library of Tismana Monastery, the Library of Dintr-un lemn Monastery, the Library of Clocociov Monastery, the Library of the Metropolitan of Oltenia, the Library of Roman and Bacău Diocese, the Library of the Orthodox Theological Seminary „Saint Grigore Teologul” from Craiova and the Library of Reverend Prof. Alexie Buzera. From over 400 manuscripts I discovered 295 Romanian Sunday Axions, made in the name of Christ, on all eight Byzantine ways.