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The Beatitudes

Matthew 5: 3-12

“The Beatitudes” are eight blessings presented by Jesus that appear at the beginning of Chapter 5 in the Gospel of Matthew, New Testament.  Expressed in a poetic style, they are the introduction to the section of Jesus’ teachings known collectively as the Sermon on the Mount.

The Beatitudes serve as a both a guide and a vision for the ways Christians are invited to enter into the Kingdom of God.  They are the heart of Jesus’ teachings.   They are also confirmation of the eternal promises fulfilled for those living a Christian faith.  Essentially, the beatitudes are a comforting hope to all who seek and find Truth through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Chapter 5 Matthew begins: 1When he saw the crowds he went up on the mountainside.  After he had sat down his disciples gathered around him, 2and he began to teach them (Matthew 5:3-12):

How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs.
Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled.
Blest are the lowly; they shall inherit the land.
Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill.
Blest are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs.
Blest are the single-hearted for they shall see God.
Blest too the peacemakers; they shall be called sons of God.
Blest are those persecuted for holiness’ sake; the reign of God is theirs. Blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me.
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven.
They persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way.


In the Byzantine Catholic Church, the Beatitudes are chanted in a very beautiful manner and tone.   They are part of the text of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil.  According to set norms, if there is an indication to chant them, the Beatitudes are chanted as the third Antiphon (hymn). They are only chanted in a Divine Liturgy depending on the selection of verses for the First and Second Antiphons.   Other services in which the Beatitudes may be chanted in the Byzantine Catholic church are Vesper Services (an evening service), and also during funeral Liturgies.


Beatitudes Chant (Sung Verses)

Refrain:
Remember us, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom. (repeated after each verse):

Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of God is theirs.
Blessed are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled.
Blessed are the lowly; they shall inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill.
Blessed are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs.
Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peace-makers; they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of holiness; the kingdom of God is theirs.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you, and utter every kind of slander against you because of Me.
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven.