Glory to God for All Things

With A Grateful Heart

With deep thanksgiving my wife and I received news of the birth yesterday of our first grandchild. Son of Matushka Mary and Fr. Hermogen Holste, he is Peter Alexis Holste. He weighed in at 6 lbs 9 oz. and is quite handsome, we are told. Our joy is immeasureable and we offer thanks for the many of you who have kept this wonderful child and parents in your prayers. May God grant them many years! As yet I have no picture to post. Sorry.

In honor of this event and because I can think of nothing better to express my joy, I share again the wonderful hymn written by St. Nicholai of Zicha.

Translation:

People rejoice, nations hear:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Stars dance, mounts sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Forests murmur, winds hum:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Seas bow*, animals roar:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bees swarm, and the birds sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

Angels stand, triple the song:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Sky humble yourself, and elevate the earth:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bells chime, and tell to all:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Glory to You God, everything is possible to You,
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

 I also add this Hymn by St. Nicholai (sent to us by Dejan). “Angels are Singing”

“Što god tkaš, vezuj konce za nebo”
Whatever you weave, tie threads to the sky.

Night magnificent and night silent,
Above the cave a star is shining,
In the cave mother is sleeping,
Angel keeps vigil over Jesus.

Angels are singing,
Shepherds are playing,
Angels are singing,
Wise men are announcing:
What nations awaited,
What prophets have said,
Here now in the world is announced,
in the world announced and declared:
Christ Saviour is born to us,
For salvation of all of us,
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Lord have mercy!

St. Nikolai Velimirovich

radost = joy
duša = soul
ljubav = love
poštenje = integrity, honesty
Isus = Jesus
vera = faith
nada = hope
spasenje = salvation
mir = peace
pokajanje = repentance
Gospod = Lord
smirenje = peace
ljubav = love
mladost = youth
spokoj = poise

“Shepherds are playing” means that they are playing music, in Serbia for example traditionally shepherds are playing wooden fife.

27 Responses to “With A Grateful Heart”

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  1. FrGregACCA says:

    Many years! to all of you.

  2. Mark Feliciano says:

    Congratulations Father. We pray that you will be as large an influence on him as you are on all of us who read and listen to you!

    Many years!

  3. Phil says:

    Many years!

  4. Margaret says:

    Congratulations and many years!

  5. Pr. Dorin says:

    Good news and congratulations from us! A boy is a… future priest?!…God knows!

    From Romania, our family is very happy for you…grandfather!

  6. Lucy says:

    Congratulations! Many years!

  7. Justin Farr says:

    Glory to God! Congratulations and many years!

  8. John says:

    I met Fr. Hermogen while visiting St. John of SF Orthodox Academy. He is a rather enthusiastic religion teacher; I didn’t know he was your son-in-law! Congratulations and many years!

  9. He is an outstanding son-in-law, and an outstanding priest. His congregation are truly blessed to have him, as is my daughter to be married to him. I hold him in the highest esteem and regard – and I love him!

  10. Pr. Dorin,

    On his father’s side there have been many ordained ministers, though until his father they were not Orthodox, but his Father’s ministry is clearly a blessing. His ancestors must now be praying for him.

    On my side of the family, interestingly, there have been over 50 Baptist ministers in our family’s time in America – many missionaries. Thus I calculate that it takes 50 Baptist ministers praying from heaven, for God to grant one Orthodox priest. :) But things seem to be quickening in this generation. Two of my daughters are married to Orthodox priests. One of them has a father-in-law who is an Orthodox priest (incidentally, his first visit to Romania included preaching to over 100,000). She also has a brother-in-law who is an Orthodox deacon. My family has been truly blessed as converts. My parents were received into the Church at age 80. God has blessed us with a flood of converts within my family and my children’s families.

    And now, a “cradle” Orthodox Christian, whose father serves in an all-Russian Church in California. In very American (and perhaps non-Orthodox fashion) the news of his birth on Sunday morning was the occasion of applause in that all Russian congregation. I suppose America has an impact on us all, but I thought it bode well for the young Peter Alexis.

    His parents are both fluent in Russian (hence the service in a Russian parish). My daughter, his mother, spent a year in Siberia to perfect her Russian when she was in college. Her husband is simply a genius at languages. Having taught himself Church Slavonic and from college Russian, become so proficient that my daughter says she can not equal his command of the language. He preaches in both Russian and English each service (and the sermons are different). He, like my other priest son-in-law, is a joy to my heart and an amazement of the goodness of God.

    I have been Orthodox now for 10 and 1 half years. And in this short time God has accomplished so much – in the lives of my children. We have grown a parish from about 15 people to 150 people, established 2 missions from this Church, and, of course, become the author of this blog, which God has blessed beyond anything I ever imagined.

    The Orthodox Church is the most welcoming, affirming Church I could ever imagine. Truly I am at home. I hope with great longing to visit Orthodox friends across the world. This September I will be in Israel for two weeks. Russia and Romania are very high on my lists as well.

    I am the least of all God’s children, but He has blessed me beyond measure!

  11. The Scylding says:

    Congratulations! Of course, now you can start muttering in your beard, forget things, and be cranky with impunity – you’re a grandfather (tongue firmly in cheeck…)

  12. Alyssa Sophia says:

    Congratulations to you and Matushka on this new addition to your family! Many years!
    Love,
    Alyssa Sophia

  13. Hrummmmfff. These mumbles…..

  14. Cestitam, Fr. Stephen!

  15. eiela says:

    Congratulations!

  16. Mrs. Mutton says:

    Congratulations to all, and many years to the new addition! And remember, Father: Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your teenagers. ;-> (sez the Babushka of two)

  17. Pr. Dorin says:

    This is the podcast of your letter, Father Stephen…in Romanian language and we expect you, with very much love, in Romania…

    http://dorin.mypodcast.com/2008/06/Father_Stephen_Letter-120120.html

  18. Theophan says:

    Father, bless. Glory be to God for the faithfulness of you and your family! Many years to Peter Alexis, and to yourself! May the newest member of your family follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

    Christ is among us!
    Theophan

  19. Many years! Mnogaia leta! :)

  20. Дејан says:

    Father,

    Such wonderful news – my heart dances with joy! Many years! In honour of this event I am offering a wonderful Christmas hymn written also by St. Nicholai Velimirovich, and sung also by musical orchestra “Stupovi” (Pillars of Saint George). It is called “Andjeli pevaju” (Angels are singing), and it is surely one of the most joyful hymns I’ve ever heard.

  21. Dejan,

    Can you offer a general translation as you did so generously with the Christos Voskrese? What a beautiful hymn! I thank you from the depths of my heart!

    My Matushka flew out to California early this morning to be with our grandchild and family this next week. It will only multiply the joy in that household!

  22. Дејан says:

    Father,

    I am so glad that you like the hymn. I will try my best to translate it – although I always find difficult to feel how to use tenses in English grammar correctly. I most kindly ask Fr. James Early, and anybody else who is reading this blog and knows Serbian, to check my translation and correct eventual errors. Please say hello from Serbia to household in California, I am so glad that little Peter is born, and I wish him all the joy and peace and bliss in his future life :) Here is the translation of the hymn:

    “Što god tkaš, vezuj konce za nebo”
    Whatever you weave, tie threads to the sky.

    Night magnificent and night silent,
    Above the cave a star is shining,
    In the cave mother is sleeping,
    Angel keeps vigil over Jesus.

    Angels are singing,
    Shepherds are playing,
    Angels are singing,
    Wise men are announcing:
    What nations awaited,
    What prophets have said,
    Here now in the world is announced,
    in the world announced and declared:
    Christ Saviour is born to us,
    For salvation of all of us,
    Hallelujah, hallelujah
    Lord have mercy!

    St. Nikolai Velimirovich

    radost = joy
    duša = soul
    ljubav = love
    poštenje = integrity, honesty
    Isus = Jesus
    vera = faith
    nada = hope
    spasenje = salvation
    mir = peace
    pokajanje = repentance
    Gospod = Lord
    smirenje = peace
    ljubav = love
    mladost = youth
    spokoj = poise

    “Shepherds are playing” means that they are playing music, in Serbia for example traditionally shepherds are playing wooden fife.

  23. Carlyn says:

    Dejan, thank you so much for providing the translation!

    On Tuesday morning, it just so happened that I sent my sister the link to “Andjeli pevaju” and was sad that I could not find a translation of the lyrics for her. It is such a beautiful song, we wanted to know what we are singing as we sing along with it.

    Congratulations, Father Stephen!

  24. Дејан says:

    Carlyn, I am so happy that you and your sister liked the song. Thank you for sharing the story and for your kind words.

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