I grew up in Việt Nam singing from Thánh Ca in church. When my Texan parents took my siblings and me "home" to America for visits, we'd sing from the Baptist Hymnal. Did we know anything of Sappho, of her influence on us?
I am still fascinated by adult human conversion. The most profound changes have come for me, and for our fathers, when we and they have deeply listened to the other openly with audacious hope. Have the newer hymns of the Church of Agia Paraskevi been forgotten?
So, my friends, can we hear stories, our stories of transformation?
What about hymns and Sappho?
Let's listen: Over Sappho, over Lesbos Greece, over the Christian Church, there's been a clash. It's a loveless gong and a clanging cymbal sounded above the songs directed to the sky. It's a burning and a burying. A silencing of histories and of identities, of persons, like you and me. Shall we remember and respect?
Sappho's poem is generally titled the "Hymn to Aphrodite," although it is occasionally listed in some texts as "Ode to Aphrodite." The hymn is a genre that expresses religious emotion and is most often designed to be sung. Sappho's poem almost certainly was performed in this manner. Later hymns, for example those created during the Middle Ages when the creation of hymns became an important expression of religious fervor, were the sole genre of Christian religious expression. In Sappho's time, the hymn was no less fervent. Greeks believed in their gods as fervently as do Christians, who believe in their god and church as an absolute power. Sappho's hymn is analogous to a prayer. She pleads with her goddess, Aphrodite, to intercede on her behalf. She opens the poem with a request for help, moves quickly into recalling past instances when the goddess has helped her, and concludes with an acknowledgement that she and her goddess are united as allies. A careful study of Sappho's "Hymn to Aphrodite" acknowledges its place as a forefather to the later hymns of the Christian church.
Sappho was a Greek poetess and teacher at a girls school on the
Not much is known about Sappho’s life, and only a few of her works remain.
Early translators, disturbed that many of her passionate love poems were addressed to adolescent girls, simply changed their gender in translation to fit their world view.
Sappho’s books were burned by Christians in 380 A.D. at the insistance of Pope Gregory Nazianzen. The rest of her works may have been destroyed in 1073 A.D. when Pope Gregory VII ordered another book burning.
A Greek court has been asked to draw the line between the natives of the Aegean Sea
“My sister can’t say she is a Lesbian,” said Dimitris Lambrou. “Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity/deities, a prominent figure or an epic tale. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος hymnos "a song of praise". . .
Christian Hymnody. Originally modeled on the Psalms and other poetic passages (commonly referred to as "canticles") in the Scriptures, it is generally directed as praise and worship to God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly.
Since the earliest times, Christianity has sung, "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," both in private devotions and in corporate worship (Matthew 26:30; 1 Cor 14:26; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13; cf. Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 14:1-5).