Angels Sing


A Serbian Christmas Song – lyrics by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Andjeli Pevaju

Noć prekrasna i noć tija,
nad pećinom zvezda sija,
u pećini mati spi,
nad Isusom andjel bdi.

Andjeli pevaju,
pastiri sviraju,
andjeli pevaju
mudraci javljaju:
Što narodi čekaše,
što proroci rekoše,
evo sad se u svet javi,
u svet javi i objavi:
Rodi nam se Hristos Spas
za spasenje sviju nas.
Aliluja, aliluja,
Gospodi pomiluj!

(deep voice) no matter what you are doing, spin threads for heaven!

Angels Sing  (lyrics)

the night so grand and placid,
a star shining over the cave,
the mother sleeping in the cave,
where the angel of Jesus hast been.

the angels are singing,
the sheperds are fluting,
the angels are singing,
the wise bring it forth:
what the nations awaited,
what the prophets had said,
here and now it is announced,

it is announced and brought forth:
Christ, our Redeemer is born!
for the Salvation of us all.
halleluya, halleluya,
Lord, have mercy!

Joy, Soul, Passion, Honor, Jesus, Faith, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Repentance, the Lord, Calmness, Love, Charity, Harmony…

(addendum) God’s peace! Christ is born! Truly, He is born!… let’s renew ourselves, let’s lift up the pillars!

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.



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20 responses to “Angels Sing”

  1. Meg Avatar

    WOW. As I watched, I couldn’t help comparing this to MTV, which I occasionally see at the gym. Well, I can dream…

  2. Connie Avatar


  3. NAL Avatar

    The streams of light through the window, the white clothes, the snow, the donkey, the loaf of bread – wonderful images of the mystery, the holiness, the simplicity of what God has done for mankind through the Incarnation. We can never come to the end of the depth of its meaning!

  4. michaelcook Avatar

    Thank You Father Stephen,

    What a beautiful gift this carol is. Imagine, that from the zeal and fervor of Cyril and Methodius, the Gospel went North to the lands of the Slavs to ensure that all of us “who sit in darkness” might come to know the Light of Jesus. In fact, those who sing in this video are perhaps the direct descendents of that mission work?

    Your blog is a gift to us. Your blog is my daily “school” for the soul. I learn and grow so much. Thank you, and when tempted to stop or to imagine that you are not impacting people; please know that you are.

    This will be the first Nativity celebration for our family as Orthodox. Glory to God for all things.


  5. Gail Hyatt Avatar

    Thank you Fr. Stephen. I will add this to my collection of beautiful Christmas music. (Do you know if there is a CD recording?)

    This year I have been captivated by A NEW JOY – Orthodox Christmas by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. It can be purchased on iTunes.

    Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

  6. fatherstephen Avatar

    The group which produced this Christmas Hymn is the same Serbian group which produced the Pascha video (Christos Voskrese, Radost Donese). The lyrics were written by St. Nikolai of Zicha, one of most remarkable saints of the 20th century. These small videos, to me, demonstrate the riches (including contemporary riches) of the Orthodox faith, and the possibilities as Orthodox cultures are renewed. The difficulties faced by this renewal cannot be overstated – but the life of the Church is certainly bearing fruit in lands where it had been suppressed. We should always remember to pray for the Church everywhere. The riches of the faith which those of us in America have inherited, are not simply exports of the past, but of a continuing and renewing life which is also bearing fruit in the Church in this land. It is a single, common struggle in which we share.

  7. Дејан Avatar


    Thank you for posting this beautiful song. Thanks everybody for the kind words. May the joy of Christmas elevate us all to the true moments of fullness. Gratitude from Serbia.

  8. Steve Avatar

    Što narodi čekaše,
    što proroci rekoše.


  9. fatherstephen Avatar


    I give thanks to God for you as a reader of the blog. Without your contribution I would never have discovered these beautiful films and songs. May God continue to bring forth such fragrant blossoms from the Holy Orthodox Church of Serbia!

  10. Carlyn Avatar

    Father, I enjoy the “studio” version of this song even more. It’s so wonderful to watch and listen to that I’ve almost memorized the words!

  11. Darla Avatar

    Another asked and I will echo: Is there perhaps a CD available? Absolutely lovely.

  12. fatherstephen Avatar

    I do not know on the CD. Dejan might know (our beloved Serbian reader). Dejan, are you know of a CD by this group on the Youtube video’s? Are they called by a particular name?

  13. David Avatar

    Enchanting and upbeat!

    Could a Serbian speaker please send be the following words spoken at the end of the piece?

    I haven’t yet found the Sebian lyrics – only the English – I am hoping they are accurate.

    Joy, Soul, Passion, Honor, Jesus, Faith, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Repentance, the Lord, Calmness, Love, Charity, Harmony…

    Thank you so much. It would help me to enjoy the piece even more.


  14. Дејан Avatar


    Here are the words you asked for:

    Radost, Duša, Ljubav, Poštenje, Isus, Vera, Nada, Spasenje, Mir, Pokajanje, Gospod, Smirenje, Ljubav, Blagost, Spokoj…

    in Cyrillic this is:

    Радост, Душа, Љубав, Поштење, Исус, Вера, Нада, Спасење, Мир, Покајање, Господ, Смирење, Љубав, Благост, Спокој…

    One of the ways to translate this in English would be:

    Joy, Soul, Love, Honesty, Jesus, Faith, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Repentance, the Lord, Pacification, Gentleness, Serenity…

    What is very difficult for me to translate into English is word “Smirenje”; it is one of most important words in Orthodoxy, and it has its origin in St. Matthew 11:29 – there “smiren” is translated as “humble” – but in Serbian we have another word for humility, it is “poniznost”. So, “smirenje” is a kind of verbal noun that indicates a process of acquiring inner peace – that is why I translated it (perhaps clumsily) as “pacification” (Calmness is also good word, if it is understood as a process and not as finished product). Surely, it is closely connected with humility.

    Thank you for your kind words,


  15. Дејан Avatar

    Father and others,

    This song was made by joint effort of various musicians, actors, and music group “Stupovi” (Pillars). Music group Pillars specializes in playing and singing Serbian traditional music.

    I am not sure if you can find this song on their CDs, but I found homepage of this music group, so surely they can offer more accurate answer about any question concerned this song or video. Here is the link:

    Thanks everybody for kind words about the song – I like this video too, and also the studio version is beautiful.

  16. David Avatar

    Dejan / Дејан,

    Thank you so much for your reply – it means a lot to me. I am actually learning to decipher the Cyrillic alphabet (or “Acrylic” alphabet as one chorus member said! – she is 83!).

    Do you know where I could obtain sheet music for Andjeli Pevaju? I have, so far been unable to find it online.

    I may be able to get it here in a Serbian community here in British Columbia, Canada, if I knew what kind of book it is in – like a hymn book?

    Thanks and kindest regards,

    David Constable

  17. Дејан Avatar


    For learning Cyrillic the best thing would be to find software which can play a sound and then you enter the letter as an answer in a quiz. If you do it that way, you will learn very fast – although I don’t know if such software exists, I used similar free software when I was trying to learn Japanese Hiragana and it went very fast – because in Hiragana every letter (symbol) is mostly consisted of 2 sounds, and in Serbian Cyrillic it is one letter one sound (not so in other Cyrillic alphabets). Here is the song for you to practice, I have never seen actual lyrics in songbook but this is how I hear it – last time when I wrote lyrics down unfortunately I did not pay attention to capital letters – and now I consulted few books by St. Nikolai, and he always writes Mother of God with capital M, so I guess here it is also (Mati).

    Анђели Певају

    Ноћ прекрасна и ноћ тија,
    над пећином звезда сија.
    У пећини Мати спи,
    над Исусом анђел бди.

    Анђели певају,
    пастири свирају.
    Анћели певају
    мудраци јављају:
    Што народи чекаше,
    што пророци рекоше.
    Ево сад се у свет јави,
    у свет јави и објави:
    Роди нам се Христос Спас
    за спасење свију нас.
    Алилуја, алилуја,
    Господи помилуј!

    I don’t know how to help you with sheet music, but since melody is not complicated you can ask someone who plays guitar or piano well, to write down chords and notes for you. It should be simple.

    I am glad to hear that 83 years old people have inspiration to sing in the choir – it is such shining example that the heart may remain younger than the youngest despite how many earthly years we have. (I like Acrylic:)

  18. Tim Helms Avatar
    Tim Helms

    I would love to make the angels sing to the LORD

  19. Kata Avatar

    Just a wonderful moving song for the holidays. Our church choir sings this song at it’s Christmas concert and it’s always a hit! Enjoy and remember it’s the birth of our Savor and not gifts and Santa that we rejoice this time of the year.

  20. Marta Avatar

    Dear father Stephen,
    could you help me with the text spoken at the beginning of the song? We can’t understand the words by listening. Thank you very much.


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