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Hymn to the Holy Trinity
 ~ An Anthem in English for A Cappella SATB ~
~ Original music and words freely adapted by Thomas Byron Parks
from the M.L.West translation of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri ~

   HolyTrinity by Greco
(El Greco, "La Trinidad", y San Francisco, Rnb 23)

Click here to view score as PDF
Click here to hear music as MP3
This has not been sung,, so instruments are used for voices. MIDI String Ensemble 1 for SATB)
If you use it, please send me a recording that I may use on this site, and for seeking publication.

Oxyrhynchus was a prosperous regional capital, the third largest city in Egypt. The Greek language flourished in Egypt for a thousand years. For all this time in every part of the Greek-speaking world books and documents were written on a paper made from the papyrus reed, which was rare outside Egyp

Oxyrhynchus archaeological site is one of the most important ever discovered. It yielded an enormous collection of papyrus texts from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods of Egyptian history, including the oldest known music notation and lyrics of a Christian hymn.

Here are three translations fron the original Greek, plus my "freely adapted" version which I set to new choral music.

M.L. West translation, "Ancient Greek Music" As freely adapted by Thomas Byron Parks
.. Let it be silent
Let the Luminous stars not shine,
Let the winds (?) and all the noisy rivers
die down;

And as we hymn the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Let all the powers add
"Amen Amen"
Empire, praise always,
and glory to God,
The sole giver
of all good things,

Amen Amen
Now let all the World fall silent.
Let the radiant stars dim their light.
Let the winds and all the noisy rivers
stem their flow.
And in the breathless silence.
as we sing our praises to God the Father,
to Christ the Son, and to God’s Holy Spirit,
three persons (facets) of the One,
all the powers of Heaven shall say,

”Amen! Amen!

Then the people and empires of Earth,
all sing “Glory to God! Glory to God!”
For it is He alone,
who gives us all good things,
that we may have life.
Amen! Amen! 
Notice what a nice prayer response this last part is:
Glory to God! Glory to God!
For it is He alone, who gives us all good things,
that we may have life.
Amen! Amen!

For the original Greek, or more information on the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, see:

For E. Werner's "Music" translation, and other info, see:

E. Warner “Music”  translation:
Author unknown.  
All splinded creatures of God.
Must not keep silent,
Nor shall the light-bearing stars
Remain behind…
All waves of thundering streams
Shall praise our Father, and Son,
And Holy Ghost,
All powers shall join in;
Amen, Amen!
Rule and Praise (and Glory)
to the sole Giver of all Good.
Amen, Amen!
Let princes not fall silent,
nor let the blazing stars desist
from making music.

Nor dry the fountains up of roaring rivers,
But let all creatures praise Father, and Son,
and Holy Spirit.
And all powers proclaim in a heavenly host:
Amen, Amen,
He is King of Kings in all eternity,
And the only bestower of all good things.
Amen, Amen!

See: for information on Liturgy.

For the Thrice-Holy Hymn to the holy Trinity:
"Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal: have mercy on us," see "Agios O Theos."

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