10 April 2010
'Христос Воскрес' - Christ is Risen!
I found this item on Saint Mary Magdalen, the blog of Fr Ray Blake, who got it from Creative Minority Report.
Moscow, April 5, Interfax - Fans greeted each other on Easter at a Sunday evening soccer match at Moscow Lokomotiv stadium.
At the beginning of the second half of the match thousands of fans of Dynamo team started chanting "Christ is Risen!", an Interfax correspondent reports.
Thousands of fans of Lokomotiv team on the opposite side of the stadium responded by chanting "Truly He is Risen!"
The exchange took place several times.
The correspondent who has attended soccer matches for almost 50 years says it was the (first) occurrence of this kind in the history of Russian soccer.
The hymn Faith of Our Fathers begins around 1'20" minutes into this video, the finale of a concert of popular hymns under the title Faith of Our Fathers in the Point Theatre, Dublin, in January 1997, nearly three years after Riverdance burst on the scene at the same venue. The soloist is the late Irish tenor Frank Patterson.
The refreshing proclamation of their Christian faith by the Moscow football fans reminded me of a tradition we had at major Gaelic Football and Hurling games in Croke Park, Dublin, until the 1960s, the singing of Faith of Our Fathers before the National Anthem. It was eventually dropped 'in the spirit of ecumenism' as it was seen as identifying the Catholic faith too much with a narrow Irish nationalism. There's no doubt that there was a strain of the latter in the Gaelic Athletic Association, that organised these games and members were expelled if found playing or watching 'foreign games', which meant soccer, cricket, rugby and hockey, all of which were identified with the British occupation for centuries. 'The Ban', as it was known, has long since gone and no harm for that.
But I don't know if those with form of Irish nationalism that was somewhat anti-English were aware, as they sang Faith of Our Fathers with gusto, that the words (except for the third stanza) were written by an Englishman, Fr Frederick Faber. One of God's little ironies!
Americans are more familiar with the St Catherine melody that is also used for this hymn. I much prefer the melody I grew up with. It has something manly about it that the other lacks.
Faith of Our Fathers
Frederick W. Faber, pub.1849
v. 3 by Anonymous/Unknown
ref. by James G. Walton, 1874
1. Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
2. Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
3. Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.