Wednesday, March 14, 2012


"Dimuye Manhengge" is another well-known Lenten hymn in all the islands of the Marianas.

Again, it is based on a Spanish original, which, using the exact same melody, goes :

Venid, oh cristianos, la cruz adoremos;
la cruz ensalcemos que al mundo salvó.
(Come, oh Christians, let us adore the cross;
let us exalt the cross which redeemed the world.)

So it is clear that the Chamorro version follows the Spanish original's theme of the Holy Cross.

Chamorro Lyrics

Dimuye, manhengge, i Såntos Kilu'us;
adora si Yu'us nai måtai guihe.
(Kneel, oh believers, before the Holy Cross;
adore God who has died on it.)

Dichoso i ante ni gaige gi fi'on
i sen gofli'ion na Nana'libre.
(Blessed is the soul who is at the side
of the most lovable Savior.)

Tekune manisao i Såntos Kilu'us,
i mames na Yu'us ma puno' guihe.
(Bow before, o sinner, the Holy Cross,
to the sweet God who was killed there.)

Gi Såntos Kilu'us i pepblen i anti-ho,
yan i ha'ani-ho boi na' linangle'.
(In the Holy Cross is the poverty of my soul,
and I will guard my life in It.)

Ti siña ta yute' ennao na señåt-ta
annai i Tatå-ta umakalaye.
(We cannot abandon this our sign
wherein our Father was hung.)

Interesting Words and Ideas

  • "Si Yu'us nai måtai guihe."  God, ofcourse, cannot die; He is immortal.  Jesus, in His human nature, did die a true, human death.  His human soul left His human body.  But Jesus is also true God, as well as true man.  He also rose from the dead when His human soul re-entered His human body, rising in glory.
  • "Gi Såntos Kilu'us i pepblen i anti-ho."  How is the poverty of one's soul found in the Cross?  In what way is our soul poor?  Our souls are poor in grace, in merit, in righteousness.  If we look at our souls, the choices we have made and the things we have done, we have more than enough reason to be ashamed, and no reason to boast.  But Jesus dying on the Cross wins for us the pardon of our sins and spiritual poverty.  We cannot boast before God, but we can take shelter in the Cross of Jesus who died for sinners.
  • "Annai i Tatå-ta umakalaye."  The song speaks of "Father" (Tåta) but not God the Father.  God the Father was not hung on the Cross; God the Son was.  The song is following a peculiar Spanish custom of calling Jesus "Father."  I need to ask my Spanish friends why they have this custom, but I wouldn't be surprised if even they don't know.  It's an old custom.