Phos Hilaron

Phos Hilaron ~ Paul Avgerinos New Age Christian Music

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Top Ten for Three Months on the Zone Radio Chart !
Top Five as both Best Ambient & Best Relaxation / Meditation Albums ~  2005 Zone Reporter

Phos Hilaron is a deeply devotional Ambient Soundscape with hymns nearly 2000 years old – we chant blissful peace in this perfect moment .

Paul Avgerinos ~ Chants, Choirs, Bass Violin, Fretless Bass, Guitars, Keyboards & Sound Design, Percussion

Kevin Braheny Fortune ~ EWI  Electronic WInd Instrument

Jeff Pearce ~ Processed Guitars

John Widgren ~ Pedal Steel Guitar

Steve Waite ~ 12 String & Electric Guitars

Christine Yandell ~ Vocals

Phos Hilaron ( foss hill-a-ron ) “ Gracious Blessed Gladdening Light “, is one of the oldest known Christian hymns, and was sung in the catacombs in the Second Century. Saint Justin the Martyr cites the text of the hymn around 150 in his dialogue with Trypho. The “Lamp-lighting hymn” was described by Saint Basil around the year 365 as a hymn used centuries before him .  Saint Athenogenes and ten disciples sang the Phos Hilaron in joy amidst the flames of martyrdom at Sebaste under the Emperor Diocletian in the year 305 .

Although it pre-dated the Byzantium, it is referred to as “Byzantine” since the hymn was used in the Byzantine vespers liturgy. It is clearly Greek in its musical form and composition while it has a text that is Jewish in origin and conforms to the Jewish calendar in which the day ends and begins at sunset .

Phos Hilaron is still sung in Greek Orthodox churches. It did not  become part of the Western tradition until around 1700 and is now included in the Anglican Hymnal . The earliest English translation was made in 1675 . Translations following the line scheme of the original Greek were made by John Keble in 1834 and by Robert Bridges, poet laureate of England, in 1890 .

The version on this album is from the 1982 Hymnal  of the Episcopal Church .


Phos Hilaron is your most incredible effort yet. This is spiritual clarity, musical channeling and deep chanting at its best. On behalf of all lovers of Sacred Music, we thank you.
PADMA – Mystic Radio

One of the most remarkable New Age recordings I have heard thus far in 2005.
Eric Cohen – WAER

Phos Hilaron is absolutely beautiful. It transcends the boundaries of one religion and enters the realm of The Sacred. I hear this music in my soul.
Karen Larsen – WERU

PHOS HILARON is #1 in the ‘Journeys to the Infinite’ May Chart reported to New Age Reporter and must be celebrated with joy and light. This is a true musical event. A special edition of my show was inspired by your new spiritual odyssey. I am grateful for this music and for the opportunity to share these heavenly melodies with my audience.
Marius-Christian Burcea – Delta RFI

One of the great cliches in ambient music is the use of chant. Often samples of recordings of Gregorian chant, occasionally simply a few voices overdubbed to give the illusion of a choir, religious chant, whether in Greek, Latin or Sanskrit is too often relegated to a kind of sonic wallpaper. This is perhaps inevitable in an increasingly secularized world. But its very use is in answer to a growing spiritual hunger. It calls to a kind of organic memory, leaving even the sceptic with a curious sense of calm, of uplift. And, it is so comfortable. After all, you can’t really tell what they are singing, so you don’t have to think on the words. It, therefore, takes a kind of daring to present the same musical element in English. But, that is precisely what American artist Paul Avgerinos has done with Phos Hilaron. Despite the Greek title, the hymns on this disc are all sung in English. A personal awakening led Avgerinos, best known for electro-ambient meditations, to re-connect with Christianity. It led him to his own church, the Episcopalian (Anglican). The selections on Phos Hilaron are all taken from the Episcopalian hymnal, but set in Avgerinos’ rich combination of electronic and acoustic instruments with the assistance of another fine artist, Kevin Braheny. The result is peaceful, reverent and moving. And, definitely not wallpaper.
Tony Dillon-Davis – CKUA


Humbly I Adore Thee

Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen

who thy glory hidest, ‘neath these shadows mean

lo to thee surrendered my whole heart is bowed

tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud

Taste and touch and vision, to discern thee fail

faith that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil

I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told

what the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold

O memorial wondrous, of the Lord’s own death

living Bread that givest, all thy creatures breath

grant my spirit ever by thy life may live

to my taste thy sweetness, never failing give

Jesus whom now hidden, I by faith behold

what my soul doth long for, that thy word foretold

face to face thy splendor  I at last shall see

in the glorious vision, blessed Lord of thee .

Words: Att. Thomas Aquinas (1225?–1274); sts. 1–3, tr. Hymnal 1940 © 1940 the Church Pension Fund.; st. 4, tr. Hymnal 1982. © 1986 the Church Pension Fund.

Music: Adoro devote, French church melody, Mode 5, Processionale, 1697


O Sons and Daughters

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

O sons and daughters let us sing!

The King of heaven the glorious King

over death and hell rose triumphing, Alleluia !

That night the Apostles met in fear

amidst them came their Lord most dear

and said “ My Peace be on all here “, Alleluia !

When Thomas first the tidings heard

how they had seen the risen Lord

he doubted the disciples word, Alleluia !

My pierced side O Thomas see

my hands my feet I show to thee

not faithless but believing be, Alleluia !

No longer Thomas then denied

he saw the feet the hands the side

Thou art my Lord and God he cried, Alleluia !

How blest are they who have not seen

and yet whose faith has constant been

for they eternal life shall win, Alleluia !

Words: Att. Jean Tisserand (15th cent.); tr. John Mason Neale (1818–1866)

Music: O filii et filiae, melody from Airs sur les hymnes sacrez, odes et noëls, 1623


Phos Hilaron 

O gracious Light

pure brightness of the ever living Father in heaven

O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed !

now as we come, to the setting of the sun

and our eyes behold the vesper light

we sing your praises O God

Father , Son , and Holy Spirit

You are worthy at all times

to be praised by happy voices

O Son of God, O Giver of life

and to be glorified throughout the worlds .

Music: Mode 2 melody, centonized by Bruce E. Ford (b. 1947) and James McGregor (b.1930) Melody © 1985, Bruce E. Ford


Anoint and Cheer

Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire

and lighten with celestial fire

Thou thee anointing Spirit art

who dost thy seven fold gifts impart

Thy blessed unction from above

is comfort, life and fire of love

enable with perpetual light

the dullness of our blinded sight

Anoint and cheer our soiled face

with the abundance of thy grace

keep far our foes, give peace at home

where thou art guide no ill can come

Teach us to know the Father , Son

and thee of both to be but One

that through the ages all along

this may be our endless song

praise to thy eternal merit

Father , Son and Holy Spirit

Words: Latin, 9th cent.; tr. John Cosin (1594–1672); para. of Veni Creator Spiritus

Music: Veni Creator Spiritus, plainsong, Mode 8


Song of Gladness

Alleluia, song of gladness

voice of joy that cannot die

alleluia is the anthem

ever raised by choirs on high

in the house of God abiding

thus they sing eternally

Alleluia though we cherish

and would chant for ever more

alleluia joyful mother

all thy children sing with thee

there to thee for ever singing

alleluia joyfully

Words: Latin, 11th cent.; tr. John Mason Neale (1818–1866), alt.

Music: Urbs beata Jerusalem, plainsong, Mode 2, Nevers MS., 13th cent.



Lord, have mercy upon us

Christ, have mercy upon us

Music: From Missa Marialis; Plainsong, Mode 1; Mass 9, “Cum jubilo”; adapt. by Charles Winfred Douglas (1867–1944)


The Mystery Telling

Now my tongue the mystery telling

of  the glorious Body sing

and the Blood all price excelling

which the Gentiles’ Lord and King

once on earth among us dwelling

shed for this world’s ransoming

Therefore we before him bending

this great Sacrament revere

types and shadows have their ending

for the newer rite is here

faith our outward sense befriending

makes our inward vision clear

Glory let us give and blessing

to the Father and the Son

honor thanks and praise addressing

while eternal ages run

ever too his love confessing

who from both with both is One

Words: Att. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225?–1274); ver. Hymnal 1940, rev. © 1940 the Church Pension Fund.

Music: Pange lingua, plainsong, Mode 3, Zisterzienser Hymnar, 14th cent.


O Heavenly Word

O Heavenly Word eternal Light

begotten of the Father’s might

who in these latter days wast born

for blessing to a world forlorn

Pour light upon us from above

and fire our hearts with ardent love

that as we hear thy truth today

all wrong desires may burn away

And when as judge thou drawest nigh

the secrets of our hearts to try

to recompense each hidden sin

and bid the saints their reign begin

O let us not for evil past

be driven from thy face at last

but with thy saints for ever more

behold thee love thee and adore

To God the Father, God the Son

and God the Spirit, ever One

praise honor might and glory be

from age to age eternally

Words: Latin, ca. 7th cent.; tr. Hymnal 1982

Music: Verbum supernum prodiens, plainsong, Mode 2, Nevers MS., 13th cent.


Recorded and mixed at  Studio Unicorn  Redding, CT