Tuesday, July 14, 2020

When Irene Pappas Delivered a Poignant Rendition of "Ti Ypermacho Stratigo" Inside Hagia Sophia in 1983

In 1983 the famous Greek actress and singer Irene Pappas delivered a poignant rendition of "Ti Ypermacho Stratigo" from within Hagia Sophia, though it was illegal to offer prayers out loud at the time. Afterwards, when asked about the experience, she said the following to a reporter: "The temple is desolate, naked, and you feel like it has lost all of its decorations. It's as if all this history from over the centuries has been washed away, the emperors and the empresses, a thousand one hundred years of history. You're saddened, you're very saddened, and yet I said Ti Ypermacho Stratigo. It's as if someone is victorious yet not victorious with the situation. They are victorious with their soul, just like the Greek people."

Here is an English translation of the hymn "Ti Ypermacho Stratigo", which was the anthem and prayer of Byzantium dedicated to the Mother of God:

To thee the Champion Leader we ascribe victory and thanksgiving for rescuing us out of sufferings, O Theotokos; but as thou hast might which is invincible, from all dangers do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, Bride Unwedded.

Hear it below: