Prayer for Ukraine

"Prayer for Ukraine" (Ukrainian: Молитва за Україну, romanizedMolytva za Ukrayinu) is a patriotic Ukrainian hymn published in 1885, which became a spiritual anthem of Ukraine. The text was written by Oleksandr Konysky, and the music was composed by Mykola Lysenko, first with a children's choir in mind. The song became the regular closing hymn in services of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and other churches. It gained national significance when it was performed by mass choirs during the Ukrainian War of Independence in 1917–1920. The hymn was intended to be an official spiritual anthem of Ukraine. It has closed sessions of oblast councils, and has been performed at major national functions.

Prayer for Ukraine
Choral hymn and spiritual anthem by Mykola Lysenko
Music score print
Sheet music, choral setting by Oleksandr Koshyts (1910s)
Native nameМолитва за Україну
Textby Oleksandr Konysky
LanguageUkrainian
Published1885 (1885)
ScoringSATB choir

"Prayer for Ukraine" was performed in Kyiv in 2001 during a parade celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. It has been part of church services internationally, in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. On 26 February 2022, the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York performed the hymn in the cold open of Saturday Night Live.

HistoryEdit

Oleksandr Konysky wrote a patriotic poem from February to 28 March 1885 in Kyiv,[1][2] at a time when the Imperial Russian government suppressed the use of the Ukrainian language.[3] The melody and a choral setting were written by Mykola Lysenko, a composer who inspired a Ukrainian national school of composition.[4]

 
Autograph by Lysenko, 1885
 
Sheet music with romanised transcription, choral setting by Oleksandr Koshyts (1910s)

It was printed in Lviv in the summer of 1885, intended for a children's choir.[1][2] The first title read: Молитва. Гімнѣ, на жѣночи голоси. Слова О. Я. Кониського, музика Миколы Лисенка, — Львовѣ., 1885, Лит[ографія] П. Прищляка, 4 с. (Prayer. Hymn, for women's voices. Text written by O. Ya. Konysky, Music Mykola Lysenko, Lviv., 1885, Lithography P. Pryshliak, 4 p.).[1] It came as a score, with separate parts for soprano and alto.[1] The setting proved to be too difficult for usual children's choirs.[2]

The Prayer became widespread in the beginning of the 20th century in arrangements for mixed choir made by Viktor Matiuk [uk] in 1907, and Kyrylo Stetsenko and Oleksandr Koshyts in the 1910s.[1] It acquired symbolic significance during the Ukrainian War of Independence in 1917–1920, then performed by thousands of choirs, conducted by Kyrylo Stetsenko, on Bohdan Khmelnytsky Square in Kyiv.[1] It was sung at a national-patriotic rally on 20 December 1917, and on the occasion of the Unification Act of the UPR and WUPR on 22 January 1919.[1]

On 14 July 1998, with an initiative of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the hymn was part of the law project registered under #1229 "About the text of the State Anthem of Ukraine and the Spiritual Anthem of Ukraine". The author of the project was Anatoliy Holubchenko, a native of Mariupol and then First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine (1997–99).[5][6]

LyricsEdit

Ukrainian IPA Ukrainian Latin alphabet Literary translation by Dmytro Shostak

Боже великий, єдиний,
Нам Україну храни,
Волі і світу промінням
Ти її осіни.

Світлом науки і знання
Нас, дітей, просвіти,
В чистій любові до краю,
Ти нас, Боже, зрости.

Молимось, Боже єдиний,
Нам Україну храни,
Всі свої ласки й щедроти
Ти на люд наш зверни.

Дай йому волю, дай йому долю,
Дай доброго світу, щастя,
Дай, Боже, народу
І многая, многая літа.

['bɔ.ʒe. ʋe.'lɪ.kɪi̯. je.'dɪ.nɪi̯ | ]
['na.m u.kra.'ji.nu xra.'nɪ || ]
['ʋo.lʲi. i. 'sʲʋi.tu pro.'mi.nʲ:am | ]
['tɪ. ji.'ji o.sʲi.'nɪ || ]

['sʲʋi.tlom. na.'u.kɪ. i. 'zna.nʲ:a | ]
['nas. dʲi.'tei̯. pro.'sʲʋi.'tɪ ||]
[w 'tʃɪ.sʲtʲii̯. lʲu.'bo.ʋi. do. 'kra.ju | ]
['tɪ. nas. 'bɔ.ʒe. zro.'stɪ || ]

['mo.lɪ.mosʲ. 'bɔ.ʒe. je.'dɪ.nɪi̯ | ]
[nam. u.kra.'ji.nu xra.'nɪ || ]
[wsʲi. sʋo.ji. la.skɪ ɪj. ʃtʃe.dro.tɪ | ]
[tɪ. na. ljud. naʃ. zver.nɪ || ]

['dai̯. jo.'mu. 'vɔ.lju. | 'dai̯. jo.'mu. 'dɔ.lju | ]
['dai̯. dɔ.bro.ɦo. svi.tu. || ʃtʃa.sʲtʲa]
[dai̯, 'bɔ.ʒe. na.ro.du | ]
[i. 'mnɔ.ɦa.ja | 'mnɔ.ɦa.ja lʲi.ta || ]

Bozhe velykyi, yedynyi,
Nam Ukrainu khrany,
Voli i svitu prominniam,
Ty yii osiny.

Svitlom nauky i znannia
Nas, ditey, prosvity,
V chystii liubovi do kraiu,
Ty nas, Bozhe, zrosty.

Molymos', Bozhe yedynyi,
Nam Ukrainu khrany,
Vsi svoi lasky y shchedroty,
Ty na liud nash zverny.

Dai yomu voliu, dai yomu doliu,
Dai dobroho svitu, shchastia,
Dai, Bozhe, narodu
I mnohaia, mnohaia lita.

Lord, oh the Great and Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine,
Bless her with freedom and light
Of your holy rays.
 
With learning and knowledge enlighten
Us, your children small,
In love pure and everlasting
Let us, oh Lord, grow.
 
We pray, oh Lord Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine,
Grant our people and country
All your kindness and grace.
 
Bless us with freedom, bless us with wisdom,
Guide into kind world,
Bless us, oh Lord, with good fortune
For ever and evermore.

UsageEdit

ChurchesEdit

"Prayer for Ukraine" closes each liturgy in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church,[2][7][8] as well as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and other churches.[9]

National spiritual anthemEdit

The anthem is sung at the end of some meetings of oblasts,[10][11] raions,[12][13] and city councils.[14][15] Other occasions include the Day of Unity of Ukraine,[16][17] Holodomor Memorial Day,[18] and the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.[19] In his memoir, Taras Hunczak recalled that the song opened a 1991 concert at the Taras Shevchenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre, organised by the Verkhovna Rada (the parliament of Ukraine) and celebrating the 125th anniversary of Mykhailo Hrushevsky's birth.[20] It was performed on Khreshchatyk, the main street of Kyiv, in 2001 during the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Ukraine's independence; The Ukrainian Weekly described it as "perhaps one of the most inspiring moments of the parade".[21] In 2007, the Veryovka Ukrainian Folk Choir sang it at the opening of the sixth convocation of the Verkhovna Rada.[22]

RecordingsEdit

 
Oreya in a church service, in folk costumes

"Prayer for Ukraine" has been recorded several times.[23][24][25][26][27] Oreya, a choir focused on Ukrainian music, chose the hymn as the first song of their 2000 album, its name as the title. It was also the opening of their 20th anniversary album in 2009.[28] In 2002, Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus recorded "Prayer for Ukraine" in the album Golden echoes of Kyiv.[29][30] In 2020, Mykhailo Khoma of Dzidzio recorded the hymn with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine [uk], conducted by Oksana Lyniv.[31]

2022Edit

"Prayer for Ukraine" has been performed internationally in church services related to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, already in anticipation.[32] On 24 February 2022, the day that the invasion officially began, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra spontaneously included "Prayer for Ukraine", arranged by its music librarian Serge Liberovsky, in a series concert in Santa Monica, between Mozart's Divertimento for String Trio and Dvořák's Serenade for Winds. It was introduced by an address about its significance.[3] On 26 February, the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York, a group founded in 1949 "to preserve and cultivate the rich musical heritage of Ukraine",[33] performed the hymn in the cold open of Saturday Night Live, standing behind a table of candles that were arranged to spell "Kyiv".[34][35][36]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Кузцк, В. (2011). "Молитва 'Боже великий, єдиний'". In Skrypnyk, H. (ed.). Українська музична енциклопедія [Ukrainian Music Encyclopedia] (in Ukrainian). Vol. 3 (Л – М). Kyiv: Rylsky Institute of Art Studies, Folklore and Ethnology. p. 460. ISBN 978-966-02-4099-5.
  2. ^ a b c d Панькова, Світлана (5 September 2016). "Молитва Олександра Кониського". Слово Просвіти (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b Tomeo, Marissa (26 February 2022). "Video: Watch the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Give a Surprise Performance of 'Prayer for Ukraine'". Broadway World.
  4. ^ Chekan, Yuri (15 October 2012). "A Millennial Tradition: the Choral Art of Ukraine". International Choral Bulletin. International Federation for Choral Music. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  5. ^ Мацко, Ольга (3 October 2002). "Ще не вмерла Україна". Поступ плюс: аналітичний погляд на світ (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 14 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Голубченко Анатолий Константинович" [Holubchenko, Anatoliy Kostiantynovych]. Официальный веб-портал Киевськой городской власти (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  7. ^ ""Боже Великий, Єдиний, нам Україну храни"". Holos Ukrayiny (in Ukrainian). 18 February 2022. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Проповідь Блаженнішого Святослава у неділю Блудного сина" (in Ukrainian). Zhyve.tv. 20 February 2022. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  9. ^ Postevka, Nick (4 June 2018). "Боже Великий, Єдиний" [Prayer for Ukraine] (in Ukrainian). Телеканал Надія. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Стенограма пленарного засідання (20.08.2021)" [Transcript of the plenary session (20.08.2021)] (in Ukrainian). Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Council. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  11. ^ "З нагоди 30-річчя відновлення Незалежності України відбулася урочиста восьма сесія обласної ради" (in Ukrainian). Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Council. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Володимир Пасько взяв участь у роботі урочистої сесії районної ради" (in Ukrainian). Надвірнянська районна державна адміністрація. 26 August 2021. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Оксана Супрунець: Невтомно працюймо, розбудовуймо незалежну соборну Українську державу" (in Ukrainian). Uman Raion Council. 21 August 2020. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Київ у День незалежності долучиться до Всесвітньої синхронної молитви за Україну". Офіційний портал Києва (in Ukrainian). Kyiv City Council. 21 August 2018. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  15. ^ "У Софійському соборі відбувся святковий молебень за Україну". Офіційний портал Києва (in Ukrainian). Kyiv City Council. 24 August 2017. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Олександр Сич: Єднаймося навколо України, бо вона єдина для нас усіх" (in Ukrainian). Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Council. 16 February 2022. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  17. ^ Мазан, Андрій (24 January 2019). "День Соборності (день Злуки)" (in Ukrainian). Zhovkva City Council. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  18. ^ "23 листопада вшанували день пам'яті жертв голодоморів" (in Ukrainian). Berezan City Council. 25 November 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Inter-Faith Commemoration of the Seventieth Anniversary of the Forced Deportation of Ukraine's Crimean Tatars" (PDF). Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. 31 May 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  20. ^ Hunczak, Taras (2016). My Memoirs: Life's Journey through WWII and Various Historical Events of the 21st Century. Hamilton Books. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-7618-6698-5.
  21. ^ "Celebrating the 10th". The Ukrainian Weekly. 2 September 2001. ProQuest 367727752.
  22. ^ "On Friday, the First Session of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 6th Convocation, Elected at an Early Parliamentary Election on 30 September 2007, Will Commence Proceedings". Verkhovna Rada. 22 November 2007. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  23. ^ Millennium Great Lent concert : dedicated to the ninetieth birthday of His Beatitutde Metropolitain Mstyslaw, 1988, OCLC 1037017013
  24. ^ Misiajlo, Stephen (1998), Christmas in Ukraine, Kashtan Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble, OCLC 816340518
  25. ^ Vatzek, Alexander; Oreya (2015), One day in April (PDF), OCLC 1041353953
  26. ^ Viniar, Volodymyr; The Vydubychi Chorus (2003), Easter = Velykden, Dotcom Recordings, OCLC 664133030
  27. ^ Yewfimchuk, Alexander; St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Choir (1955), Selections from Ukrainian Orthodox Liturgy, OCLC 988256508
  28. ^ "Discography". Oreya. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  29. ^ Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (2002), Golden echoes of Kyiv, Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, OCLC 1240828208
  30. ^ "Golden Echoes of Kyiv". UBC. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  31. ^ Пухарєв, Пилип (10 May 2020). "Ви все чули? Оперний DZIDZIO, домашній Потап, закордонна KAZKA та інші українські пісні квітня". Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  32. ^ Kravinsky, Nina (21 February 2022). "Ukrainian Orthodox church in Maryland prays for those in Ukraine". NPR Illinois. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  33. ^ Bryttan, Adrian (25 October 2019). "Dumka Chorus celebrates its 70th anniversary". The Ukrainian Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  34. ^ Earl, William (26 February 2022). "'Saturday Night Live' Cold Open Pays Tribute to Ukraine With Folk Chorus and Candles". Variety. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  35. ^ Aubrey, Elizabeth (27 February 2022). "Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York opens 'SNL' with emotive 'Prayer for Ukraine'". NME. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  36. ^ Itzkoff, David (27 February 2022). "'Saturday Night Live' Pays Tribute to Ukraine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 March 2022.

External linksEdit