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"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - : Lectio Divina for Lent


Mary Lanser

 to Irenikon

Father Alexander [Schmemann] says about the Great Canon of Repentance that: "...with a unique art, St. Andrew interwove the great biblical themes--Adam and Eve, Paradise and the Fall, the Patriarchs, Noah and the Flood, David, the Promised Land, and ultimately Christ and the Church--with confession of sin and repentance.  The events of sacred history are revealed as events in my life, God's acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation, the tragedy of sin and betrayal as my personal tragedy.  My life is shown to me as part of the great and all embracing fight between God and the powers of darkness which rebel against Him."

Part of the reason that I've been publishing the text of the canon from monarchos. net is because that particular translation is glossed with the appropriate pericopes from Scripture which makes it a natural translation to use for meditation and contemplation.

Sometimes Great Lent is so incredibly rich that it seems, and in fact is, impossible to give just attention to each liturgical line, much less to the centuries of commentary and paraliturgical riches that have come down to us through the ages.  Sometimes the vast array of those very richness becomes a stumbling block, and just as we do with fasting, we tell ourselves that if we cannot do it all, then perhaps we cannot do it at all, for who wants to present half a loaf to the Bridegroom? 

Of the Canon, Father Alexander, continues:  "The Canon begins on a deeply personal note...One after another, my sins are revealed in their deep connection with the continuous drama of man's relation to God; the story of man's fall is my story."

Father Alexander goes on to say that these stories from Scripture are so much more than merely allegories.  He reminds us that even though we are each unique persons,  we all are moving through the same drama.  We all face choices that through the ages others have face before us and just as we must choose the sacred pathway to return to God, so they had to choose and in their choosing have much to teach us, to remind us, to reveal to us.  And it is in this way that my own and deeply personal sin becomes the lens through which I can begin to grasp the real import of His redemptive acts.

Part of the reason that I am so vividly lukewarm in the faith, according to Father Alexander, is that I am too much concerned with things of the world and I fail to remember the true heights from which I fell from grace, as a daughter of Adam.  This is something that is common to all mankind through the ages, but Father Alexander adds another element to this that brings it closer to the reality of contemporary life.  He says:  "Sin...is thought of primarily as a natural "weakness" due usually to a maladjustment, which has in turn social roots and, therefore, can be eliminated by a better social and economic organization.  For this reason even when he confesses his sins, the modern man no longer repents...[he] shares his problems with the confessor--expecting from religion some theraputic treatment which will make him happy again and well-adjusted."

So the Great Canon, says Father Alexander, reintroduces us to sin.  It directs us back to the culture of Creation, Fall and Redemption where we may have some chance at once again experience:   "...the shock of man who, seeing in himself the "image of the ineffable glory," realizes that he has defiled, betrayed and rejected it in his life; repentance as regret coming from the ultimate depth of man's consciousness; as the desire to return; as surrender to God's love and mercy...confession becomes meaningful only if sin is undestood and experienced in all of its depth and sadness."

Tonight the Canon will teach us that the ground that we need to walk in order to return to anything resembling the "image of the ineffable glory" is a field that we too often leave fallow as we fast and attend liturgies and travel all the familiar paths through Lent.   Sadly, it is not clear to me yet that we will actually hear and bow down before the power lacing these simple words that have so much to do with acts of self-denial and obedience which for must of us, locked into the familiarity of institutionalized and rule bound and well worn praxis,  is a wilderness of exceptionally rich and unfamiliar ground:  

Ode 3.

    Eirmos: Establish, O Lord, my unstable. heart on the rock of Thy commandments, for Thou only art Holy and Lord.

WEDNESDAY'S PORTION
 


 
Tone Six
Ode 1.
Eirmos: He is my Helper and Protector, and has become my salvation. This is my God and I will glorify Him.  My father's God and I will exalt Him.  For gloriously has He been glorified. (Exodus 15:2, 1; Psalm 117:14)
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
From my youth, O Christ, I have rejected Thy commandments.  I have passed my whole life without caring or thinking as a slave of my passions.  Therefore, O Saviour, I cry to Thee: At least in the end save me.
In old age even, O Saviour, do not cast me out empty to hell as I lie prostrate before Thy gates.  But before my end in Thy love for men grant me release from my falls.
I have squandered in profligacy my substance, O Saviour, and I am barren of virtues and piety; but famished I cry: O Father of mercies, forestall and have compassion on me. (Luke 15:13, 17)
I am the one by my thoughts who fell among robbers, and now I am all wounded by them, full of sores.  But stand by me, O Christ my Saviour, and heal me. (Luke 10:30)
The priest saw me first and passed by on the other side.  Then the Levite took a look at my sufferings and disdained my nakedness.  But stand by me, O Jesus Who didst dawn out of Mary, and have compassion on me. (Luke 10:31-33)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Grant me that illuminating grace from on high given thee by Divine Providence that I may escape the darkening of the passions and fervently sing of the thrilling achievements of thy life, O Mary.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Superessential Trinity, adored in Unity, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: Mother of God, hope and intercessor of those who sing of thee, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and as thou art our pure Lady, accept me who repent.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 2.
Eirmos: Attend, O heaven, and I will speak, and will sing of Christ who came to dwell among us in flesh which He took from the Virgin.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
I have slipped and fallen like David through lack of discipline, and I am covered with filth; but wash me too, O Saviour, with my tears. (II Kings 11:1-4)
No tears, no repentance have I, no compunction.  But as God, O Saviour, grant me these.
I have lost my first-created beauty and comeliness; and now I lie naked, and I am ashamed.
Close not Thy door to me then, Lord, Lord; but open it to me who repent to Thee. (Matthew 25:11)
Give ear to the sighs and groans of my soul, and accept the drops of my eyes, O Saviour, and save me.
O Lover of men, Who wishest all to be saved, in Thy goodness recall me and receive me who repent. (1 Tim. 2:4)
Refrain: Most holy Mother of God, save us.
Theotokion: Spotless Mother of God, only all-hymned Virgin, pray intensely that we may be saved.
Another Eirmos: See, see that I am God, Who rained manna and made water spout from the rock of old for my people in the wilderness, by My right hand, and by My strength alone.
Troparia:
See, see that I am God: give ear, my soul, to the Lord Who is appealing to you, and tear yourself from your former sin, and fear Him as the Avenger, and as your Judge and God. (Deuteronomy 32:35; Hebrews 10:30)
Whom do you resemble, O most sinful soul?  Surely the first Cain and that wicked Lamech.  For you have stoned your body with evil deeds, and you have murdered your mind with irrational appetites. (Genesis 4; 4:23)
Running through all who lived before the Law, my soul, you have not been like Seth, nor imitated Enos, nor Enoch by translation, nor Noah. But you are seen to be bereft of the life of the righteous. (Genesis 5)
You alone have opened the cataracts of the wrath of God, my soul, and have flooded as the earth all your flesh and actions and life, and have remained outside the Ark of Salvation. (Genesis 6-8)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: With all eagerness and love thou didst run to Christ, abandoning thy former way of sin.  And being nourished in the untrodden wilderness, thou didst chastely fulfill His divine commandments.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Unoriginate, uncreated Trinity, indivisible Unity, accept me who repent, save me who have sinned.  I am Thy creation, despise me not, but spare me and deliver me from the fire of condemnation.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: Spotless Lady, Mother of God, hope of those who run to thee, and haven of those in distress, obtain grace for me from the merciful One, Thy Son and Creator, by thy prayers.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 3.
Eirmos: Establish, O Lord, my unstable. heart on the rock of Thy commandments, for Thou only art Holy and Lord.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
You have not inherited Shem's blessing, wretched soul, nor have you received that vast possession like Japheth in the land of forgiveness. (Genesis 9:26-27)
Come out, my soul, from sin, from the land of Haran!  Come into the land of eternal life flowing with incorruption which Abraham inherited.  (Genesis 12:4)
You have heard, my soul, how Abraham of old left the land of his fathers and became a nomad.  Imitate his resolution. (Genesis 12:1)
At the Oak of Mamre the Patriarch entertained Angels, and inherited in his old age the spoil of the promise. (Genesis 18:1)
Knowing, my wretched soul, how Isaac was mystically offered to the Lord as a new sacrifice and holocaust, imitate his resolution. (Genesis 22:2)
You have heard of Ishmael (be watchful, my soul!) who was driven out as the son of a slave-girl.  Beware lest you suffer something similar by your lusting. (Genesis 21:10)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: I am hard pressed by the waves and billows of my sins, mother.  But now bring me safely through, and lead me to the haven of divine repentance.
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: In offering a fervent prayer at this time to the compassionate Mother of God, O Saint, by thy intercession open to me the divine right of entry.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Simple, uncreated Unity, unoriginate Nature praised in a Trinity of Persons, save us who with faith worship Thy power.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: O Mother of God, unwedded thou gavest birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father.  And - O strange wonder! - thou remainest a Virgin while suckling Him.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 4.
Eirmos: The Prophet heard of Thy coming, O Lord, and was afraid that Thou wast to be born of a Virgin and appear to men, and he said, "I have heard the report of Thee and am afraid." Glory to Thy power, O Lord. (Habbakuk 3:2)
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
My body is defiled, my spirit is sullied, and I am all covered with sores.  But as the Physician, O Christ, heal, wash, and cleanse both body and spirit with repentance, and make me, my Saviour, purer than snow.
Thou didst lay down Thy body and blood for all, O crucified Word: Thy body in order to renew me, Thy blood in order to wash me, and Thou didst surrender Thy spirit, O Christ, in order to bring me to the Father.
Thou hast wrought salvation in the midst of the earth, O merciful Creator, that we may be saved.  Thou wast voluntarily crucified on the Tree: Eden that was closed is open; things on high and below, creation and all peoples are saved and worship Thee. (Psalm 73:12)
May the blood and water that wells from Thy side be a font for me and a draught of forgiveness, that I may be cleansed, anointed and refreshed by both as with drink and unction by Thy living words, O Word. (John 19:34; Acts 7:38)
The Church has acquired Thy life-giving side as a chalice, from which gushes forth for us a twofold torrent of forgiveness. and knowledge as a type of the two covenants, Old and New, O our Saviour.
I am bereft of the bridal hall, I am bereft of the marriage and supper.  My lamp has gone out for want of oil, the door has been locked while I was asleep; the supper is eaten; and I, bound hand and foot, am cast outside.  (Matthew 25; Luke 14:7-35; Matthew 22:1-14)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: I confess Thee to be undivided in essence, unconfused in persons, One Triune Divinity, co-enthroned and co-reigning. I sing Thee the great song thrice sung on high.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: Thou givest birth and livest a virgin life, and in both remainest a virgin by nature.  He Who is born of thee renews the laws of nature, and a womb gives birth without travail.  Where God wills, the order of nature is overruled; for He does whatever He wishes.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 5.
Eirmos: Out of the night watching early for Thee, enlighten me, I pray, O Lover of men, and guide even me in Thy commandments, and teach me, O Saviour, to do Thy will.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
How heavy in character I have become, in soul and body, like Jannes and Jambres in Pharaoh's bitter service, and my mind has sunk low. But help me, O Lord. (Exodus 7: 11; 2 Tim. 3:8)
I, wretch that I am, have rolled my mind in mud. But wash me, O Lord, in the bath of my tears, I pray Thee, and make the robe of my flesh as white as snow.
When I examine my actions, O Saviour, I see that I have gone beyond all men in sins; for I have sinned with knowledge consciously, and not in ignorance.
Spare, spare, O Lord, Thy works. I have sinned; forgive me, for Thou alone art pure by nature, and apart from Thee there is none without defilement.  (I Peter 3:21)
Being God, for my sake Thou didst take my form, and didst work miracles, healing lepers and bracing paralytics; and Thou didst stop the flow of blood of the woman with hemorrhage, O Saviour, through the touch of Thy hem. (Phil. 2:6; Matthew 4:24; Luke 8:43-48)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Having crossed Jordan's stream, thou didst find rest by giving a wide berth to the deadening pleasure of the flesh, from which deliver us also by thy prayers, O saint.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Thee, O Trinity, we glorify, the one God: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, Father, Son and Spirit, simple Being, Unity ever adored.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: From thee, O pure maiden Mother and Virgin, God Who created the worlds and ages was clad in my clay and united to Himself human nature.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 6.
Eirmos: I cried with my whole heart to the merciful God, and He heard me from the lowest hell and raised my life out of corruption.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
Rise and make war against the passions of the flesh, as Joshua did against Amalek, and ever conquer the Gibeonites - illusive thoughts. (Exodus 17:8; Josh. 8:21)
Pass through the flowing nature of time, like the Ark of old, and take possession of the Land of Promise, my soul: It is God's command. (Josh.  3:17; Deuteronomy 1:8)
As Thou savedst Peter when he cried, "Save me!", forestall and deliver me from the beast, O Saviour; stretch out Thy hand and raise me from the depths of sin. (Matthew 14:25-31)
I know Thee as a calm haven, O Lord, Lord Christ; but forestall and deliver me from the innermost depths of sin and despair.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: I am the Trinity, simple and undivided, divided Personally, and I am the Unity, united in nature, says the Father, the Son, and the Divine Spirit.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: Thy womb bore God for us Who took our form.  Implore Him as the Creator of all, O Mother of God, that through thy intercessions we may be justified.
The Eirmos is repeated. Then is sung the:
Kontakion, tone 6:
My soul, my soul, arise!  Why are you sleeping?  The end is drawing near, and you will be confounded.  Awake, then, and be watchful, that Christ our God may spare you, Who is everywhere present and fills all things.
Ode 7.
Eirmos: We have sinned, transgressed, done wrong before Thee, we have not watched or done as Thou hast commanded us.  But do not give us up utterly, O God of our Fathers.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
You have piled up sins like Manasseh by deliberate choice, my soul, setting up your passions as idols and multiplying abominations.  But now fervently emulate his repentance and acquire compunction. (IV Kings 21; II Chronicles 33)
You have rivalled Ahab in defilements, my soul. Alas, you have been a lodging-place of fleshly pollutions and a shameful vessel of passions. But groan from your depths and tell God your sins. (III Kings 16:30)
Heaven is closed to you, my soul, and the famine of God has reached you, for you have been disobedient as was Ahab of old to the words of Elijah the Tishbite.  But be like the woman of Sarepta, and feed the Prophet's soul. (III Kings 17)
Elijah once burned a hundred of Jezebel's flunkeys when he had destroyed her shameful prophets as a proof and rebuke for Ahab.  But avoid imitating these two, my soul, and master yourself. (IV Kings 1:10-15; III Kings 18:40)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: O Trinity simple and undivided, of one essence and one nature, Lights and Light, three Holies and one Holy, God the Trinity is hymned.  But sing, my soul, and glorify the Life and Lives, the God of all.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: We sing of thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, O Mother of God, for thou gavest birth to one of the inseparable Trinity, the one Son and God, and to us on earth thou hast opened the heavenly realms.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 8.
Eirmos: Him Whom the heavenly hosts glorify and before Whom Cherubim and Seraphim tremble, let every breath and all creation praise, bless and exalt throughout all ages.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
Just Judge and Saviour, have mercy on me and deliver me from the fire and the threat which I shall justly incur at the judgment.  Forgive me before my end by virtue and repentance.
Like the robber I cry, "Remember me!" Like Peter I weep bitterly, "Release me, O Saviour!" I croak like the publican; I weep like the harlot.  Accept my lamentation as Thou once did the Canaanite woman. (Luke 23:42; Matthew 26:75; Luke 18:13; Luke 7:37-38; Matthew 15:22-28)
Heal, O Saviour, the corruption of my debased soul, O only Physician. Apply the compress to me, and the oil and wine - works of repentance, compunction and tears. (Luke 10:34)
Imitating the woman of Canaan, I also cry, "Have mercy on me, O Son of David!" I touch Thy hem like the woman with hemorrhage.  I weep like Martha and Mary over Lazarus.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Eternal Father, co-eternal Son, gracious Comforter, Spirit of Truth; Father of the Divine Word, Word of the Eternal Father, living and creative Spirit, Trinity Unity, have mercy on us.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: As from scarlet silk, O spotless Virgin, within thy womb the spiritual purple was woven, the flesh of Emmanuel.  Therefore we honour thee as in truth Mother of God.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 9.
Eirmos: Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception, unsullied the pregnancy of a Virgin Mother, for the birth of God renews natures.  So in all generations we magnify thee in orthodox fashion as the Mother and Bride of God.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
Christ the Word healed diseases, preached the Gospel to the poor, cured cripples, ate with publicans, conversed with sinners, and He brought back the departed soul of Jairus' daughter by the touch of His hand. (Matthew 9:11; Mark 5:41-42)
The publican was saved, the harlot was made chaste, but the pharisee through boasting was condemned.  For the first said, "Be merciful," the second, "Have mercy on me," but the last boasted and cried, "O God, I thank Thee," and then some foolish words. (Luke 7:36-50; 18:9-14)
Zacchaeus was a publican, but yet was healed, and Simon the Pharisee was disappointed; but the harlot received the release of full forgiveness from Him Who has power to forgive sins.  Obtain His forgiveness yourself, my soul. (Luke 19:1-10; 7:36-50)
You, my wretched soul, have not emulated the harlot who took the alabaster jar of perfumed oil and anointed with tears and wiped with her hair the feet of the Saviour, Who tore up for her the handwriting of her old accusation. (Luke 7:37-38; Colossians 2:14)
You know how the towns to which Christ offered the Gospel were cursed. Fear this example, my soul, do not be like them; for the Lord compared them to the Sodomites and condemned them to hell. (Luke 10:13-15)
Do not let despair make you worse than the Canaanite woman, my soul, for you have heard of her faith through which her daughter was healed by the Word of God.  Call to Christ like her from the depth of your heart, "Son of David, save me." (Matthew 15:22)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Let us glorify the Father, exalt the Son, and faithfully worship the Divine Spirit, inseparable Trinity, Unity in essence, as the Light and Lights, the Life and Lives, giving life and light to the ends of the earth.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.
Theotokion: Protect thy city, spotless Mother of God, for in thee it faithfully reigns, and in thee is made strong, and through thee it conquers and routs every trial and temptation, and spoils its foes and rules its subjects.
Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.
To St Andrew of Crete: Venerable Andrew, thrice-blessed father, shepherd of Crete, cease not to pray to God for those who sing of thee, that He may deliver from anger, oppression, corruption and our countless sins, all of us who faithfully honour thy memory .
And again the Eirmos of the Ninth Ode, as the conclusion of the Canon:
Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception, unsullied the pregnancy of a Virgin Mother, for the birth of God renew natures.  So in all generations we magnify thee in orthodox fashion as Mother and Bride of God.


--
From Irenikon
@ 40 ° 54' 21.5" N,  77 ° 52' 23.3" W

Tenebrae eum non comprehenderunt. ~John 1:5

"Let us love one another that we may with one mind confess, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Trinity one in essence and undivided"

Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Thursday's portion 

 


Tone Six
Ode 1.
Eirmos: He is my Helper and Protector, and has become my salvation.This is my God and I will glorify Him. My father's God and I will exalt Him. For gloriously has He been glorified. (Exodus 15:2, 1; Psalm 117:14)
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
O Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of all, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction. (John 1:29)
I fall prostrate before Thee, O Jesus. I have sinned against Thee, be merciful to me. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.
Enter not into judgment with me, by recording my deeds, demanding an account of my words, and examining my motives and desires. But in Thy compassion disregard my terrible past and save me, O God All-Powerful.
It is time for repentance. I draw near to Thee, my Creator. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.
I have squandered in profligacy the substance of my soul, and I am barren of virtues and piety; but famished I cry: O Father of mercies, forestall and have compassion on me. (Luke 15:13, 17)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: By submitting to Christ's divine laws Thou didst draw near to Him, having left the unbridled craving for pleasure, and with all discretion thou didst achieve every virtue as one.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Superessential Trinity, adored in Unity, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: Mother of God, hope and intercessor of those who sing of thee, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and as thou art our pure Lady, accept me who repent.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 2.
Eirmos: See, see that I am God, Who rained manna and made water spout from the rock of old for my people in the wilderness, by My right hand, and by My strength alone.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
'I have killed a man to the wounding of myself', said Lamech, 'and a young man to my own hurt', he cried out wailing. But you, my soul, do not tremble, while polluting the flesh and defiling the mind. (Genesis 4:23)
You would have contrived to build a tower, my soul, and erect a stronghold for your lusts, had not the Creator confounded your plans and brought your schemes crashing to earth. (Genesis 11:3-4)
O how I have emulated that old murderer Lamech! By my pleasure-loving cravings I have killed my soul as the man, my mind as the young man, and my body as my brother, like Cain the murderer. (Genesis 4:23)
The Lord rained fire from the Lord of old, and burnt up the wanton wickedness of Sodom. But you, my soul, have kindled the fire of hell in which you are about to be bitterly burnt. (Genesis 19:24)
I am struck and wounded! See the arrows of the enemy with which my soul and body are pierced all over! See the wounds, the sores and the mutilations that cry out and betray the blows of my self-chosen passions!
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Thou didst stretch out thy hands to the merciful God, O Mary, when sunk in the lowest vices. And He Who by every means was seeking thy conversion, lovingly stretched out a helping hand as to Peter.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Unoriginate, uncreated Trinity, indivisible Unity, accept me who repent, save me who have sinned. I am Thy creation, despise me not, but spare me and deliver me from the fire of condemnation.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: Spotless Lady, Mother of God, hope of those who run to thee and haven of those in distress, obtain grace for me from the merciful One, Thy Son and Creator, by thy prayers.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 3.
Eirmos: Establish Thy Church on the unshakable rock of Thy commandments, O Christ.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
You, my soul, have become like Hagar the Egyptian of old. You have become enslaved by your own choice and have a new Ishmael - stubborn self-will. (Genesis 16:15)
You know, my soul, of the Ladder shown to Jacob reaching from earth to Heaven. Why have you not clung to the sure step of piety? (Genesis 28:12)
Imitate that Priest of God and solitary King who was an image of the life of Christ in the world among men. (cf. Melchizedek: Hebrews 7:1-4; Genesis 14:18)
Be converted and groan, wretched soul, before the pageant of life comes to an end, before the Lord shuts the door of the bridal hall.
Do not be a pillar of salt, my soul, by turning back; but let the example of the Sodomites frighten you, and take refuge up in Zoar. (Genesis 19:26)
Reject not the prayer of those who praise Thee, O Lord; but have compassion on us, O Lover of men, and to those who ask with faith grant forgiveness.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Simple, uncreated Unity, unoriginate Nature praised in a Trinity of Persons, save us who with faith worship Thy power.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: O Mother of God, unwedded thou gavest birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father. And - O strange wonder! - thou remainest a Virgin while suckling Him.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 4.
Eirmos: The Prophet heard of Thy coming, O Lord, and was afraid that Thou wast to be born of a Virgin and appear to men, and he said, 'I have heard the report of Thee and am afraid.' Glory to Thy power, O Lord. (Habbakuk 3:2)
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
Brief is my lifetime and full of pain and wickedness, but accept me in penitence and recall me to awareness of Thee. May I never be the possession or food of the enemy. O Saviour, have compassion on me. (Genesis 47:9)
The opulent and righteous man, arrayed in royal dignity, crown and purple, abounding in wealth and cattle, was suddenly shorn of his riches, glory and kingdom and became a beggar.
If he who was righteous and blameless beyond all did not escape the snares and nets of the deceiver, what will you do, my soul, who are sin-loving and wretched, if something unexpected happens to you?
Boastful I am, and hard-hearted, all in vain and for nothing. Condemn me not with the Pharisee, but rather grant me the humility of the Publican, O only merciful and just Judge, and number me with him. (Luke18:9-14)
I have sinned, I know, O merciful Lord, and outraged the vessel of my flesh, but accept me in penitence and recall me to awareness of Thee. May I never be the possession or food of the enemy. O Saviour, have compassion on me.
I am become my own idol, and have injured my soul with passions, O merciful Lord, but accept me in penitence and recall me to awareness of Thee. May I never be the possession or food of the enemy. O Saviour, have compassion on me.
I have not listened to Thy voice, I have disobeyed Thy Scripture, O Lawgiver, but accept me in penitence and recall me to awareness of Thee. May I never be the possession or food of the enemy. O Saviour, have compassion on me.
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Though dragged down to the depth of great offences, thou wast not held there. But with better thought thou didst return by action to consummate virtue beyond all expectation, to the amazement of angel kind, O Mary.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: I confess Thee to be undivided in essence, unconfused in persons, One Triune Divinity, co-enthroned and co-reigning. I sing Thee the great song thrice sung on high.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: Thou givest birth and livest a virgin life, and in both remainest a virgin by nature. He Who is born of thee renews the laws of nature, and a womb gives birth without travail. Where God wills, the order of nature is overruled; for He does whatever He wishes.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 5.
Eirmos: Out of the night watching early for Thee, enlighten me, I pray, O Lover of men, and guide even me in Thy commandments, and teach me, O Saviour, to do Thy will.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
Imitate, my soul, the woman bent earthward; come and fall down at the feet of Jesus, that He may straighten you to walk upright in the footsteps of the Lord. (Luke 13:11)
Though Thou art a deep well, O Lord, pour on me streams from Thine immaculate wounds, that like the Samaritan woman I may drink and thirst no more; for from Thee gush rivers of life. (John 4:13-15)
May my tears be for me a Siloam, O Sovereign Lord, that I may wash the eyes of my soul and mentally see Thee Who art that light which was before creation. (John 9:7; Genesis 1:2-19)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Thou, all-blessed one, didst yearn with matchless love and longing to worship the Tree of Life, and thy desire was granted; make us also worthy to attain to the glory on high.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Thee, O Trinity, we glorify, the one God: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, Father, Son and Spirit, simple Being, Unity ever adored.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: From thee, O pure maiden Mother and Virgin, God Who created the worlds and ages was clad in my clay and united to Himself human nature.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 6.
Eirmos: I cried with my whole heart to the merciful God, and He heard me from the lowest hell and raised my life out of corruption.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
I am the coin with the royal image which was lost of old, O Saviour. But light the lamp, Thy Forerunner, O Word; seek and find Thy image. (Luke 15:8)
Rise and make war against the passions of the flesh, as Joshua did against Amalek, and ever conquer the Gibeonites - illusive thoughts. (Exodus 17:8; Joshua 8:21)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: To extinguish the flame of the passions, O Mary, thou didst ever shed rivers of tears and fire thy soul with divine love. Grant also to me, thy servant, the grace of tears.
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Thou didst acquire heavenly dispassion by thy sublime life on earth, O mother. Therefore pray that those who sing of thee may be delivered from the grip of passions.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: I am the Trinity, simple and undivided, divided Personally, and I am the Unity, united in nature, says the Father, the Son, and the Divine Spirit.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: Thy womb bore God for us Who took our form. Implore Him as the Creator of all, O Mother of God, that through thy intercessions we may be justified.
The Eirmos is repeated. Then is sung the:
Kontakion, Tone 6:
My soul, my soul, arise! Why are you sleeping? The end is drawing near, and you will be confounded. Awake, then, and be watchful, that Christ our God may spare you, Who is everywhere present and fillest all things.
Ode 7.
Eirmos: We have sinned, transgressed, done wrong before Thee, we have not watched or done as Thou hast commanded us. But do not give us up utterly, O God of our Fathers.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
My days have vanished like a dream on waking. Therefore I weep on my bed like Hezekiah that years may be added to my life. But what Isaiah will come to you, my soul, except the God of all? (IV Kings 20:3; Isaiah38:2)
I fall, down before Thee and bring Thee as tears my words. I have sinned like the harlot, and transgressed as no other on earth. But have compassion, O Lord, on Thy work, and recall me.
I have buried Thy image and broken Thy commandment. All my beauty is darkened and my lamp is extinguished by my passions, O Saviour. But have compassion and restore to me, as David sings, joy. (Psalm 50:14)
Return, repent, uncover what is hidden. Say to God Who knows everything: Thou knowest my secrets, O only Saviour; but have mercy on me, as David sings, according to Thy mercy. (Psalm 50:1)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: By crying to the immaculate Mother of God, thou didst repel the rage of passions which once violently harassed thee, and didst put to shame the enemy tempter. But now grant me, thy servant, also help out of trouble.
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: He Whom thou lovest, He Whom thou desires, He on Whose track thou camest, mother, found thee and granted thee repentance, for He is God Who alone is compassionate. Implore Him unceasingly to deliver us from passions and adversities.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: O Trinity simple and undivided, of one essence and one nature, Lights and Light, three Holies and one Holy, God the Trinity is hymned. But sing, my soul, and glorify the Life and Lives, the God of all.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: We sing of thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, O Mother of God, for thou gavest birth to one of the inseparable Trinity, the one Son and God, and to us on earth thou hast opened the heavenly realms.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 8.
Eirmos: Him Whom the heavenly hosts glorify and before Whom Cherubim and Seraphim tremble, let every breath and all creation praise, bless and exalt throughout all ages.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
The alabaster jar of my tears, O Saviour, I pour out on Thy head as the perfume, and like the harlot I cry to Thee, seeking Thy mercy. I offer prayer and ask to receive forgiveness. (Matthew 26:7; Luke 7:38)
Though no one has sinned against Thee as I, yet accept even me, O compassionate Saviour, repenting with fear and crying with love: Against Thee only have I sinned. I have done wrong, have mercy on me.
Spare, O Saviour, Thine own creation, and seek as Shepherd Thy lost sheep; snatch the stray from the wolf, and make me a pet lamb in Thy sheep pasture. (Psalm 118:176; John 10:11-16)
When Thou sittest as Judge and in Thy compassion showest Thy dread glory, O Christ, O what fear there will be then, when the furnace is burning and all shrink from Thy inexorable Tribunal! (Matthew 25:31-46)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: The Mother of the unwaning Light enlightened thee, and freed thee from the darkness of the passions. So now thou art admitted to the grace of the Spirit, enlighten, O Mary, those who faithfully praise Thee.
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Beholding in thee a new wonder, O mother, divine Zosimas was truly amazed. For he saw an angel in a body and, filled with utter astonishment, he praises Christ for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Eternal Father, co-eternal Son, gracious Comforter, Spirit of Truth; Father of the Divine Word, Word of the Eternal Father, living and creative Spirit, Trinity in Unity, have mercy on us.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: As from scarlet silk, O spotless Virgin, within thy womb the spiritual purple was woven, the flesh of Emmanuel. Therefore we honour thee as in truth Mother of God.
The Eirmos is repeated, and then we begin:
Ode 9.
Eirmos: Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception, unsullied the pregnancy of a Virgin Mother, for the birth of God renews natures. So in all generations we magnify thee in Orthodox fashion as the Mother and Bride of God.
Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Troparia:
Have compassion and save me, have mercy on me, O Son of David, Who didst heal with a word the demoniac. And let Thy voice of tender compassion speak to me as to the robber, 'Truly I tell you, you will be with Me in Paradise when I rise in My glory.' (Luke 9:38-42; 23:43)
A robber accused Thee, and a robber confessed Thee to be God, for both were hanging on a cross with Thee. But open even to me, O most compassionate Saviour, the door of Thy glorious Kingdom as to Thy faithful robber who acknowledged Thee to be God. (Luke 23:32-42)
Creation was in anguish, seeing Thee crucified; mountains and rocks were split with fear, the earth quaked, hell was emptied, and the light grew dark in the daytime, beholding Thee, Jesus, nailed to the Cross in Thy flesh. (Matthew 27:51-53; Luke 23:44-45)
Do not require of me fruits worthy of repentance, for my strength is spent in me. Grant me ever a contrite heart and spiritual poverty, that I may offer these gifts to Thee as an acceptable sacrifice, O only Saviour. (Matthew 3:8; 5:3; Psalm 50:17)
O my Judge and my Light, Who alone knowest me and art coming again with Thine Angels to judge the whole world, regard me then with Thy merciful Eye and spare me, O Jesus. And have compassion on me who have sinned more than all mankind. (Matthew 25:31-32)
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Thou didst astonish all by thy strange life, both the Orders of Angels and the councils of men, by living immaterially and surpassing nature. Then treading firmly the waves like an immaterial being, O Mary, thou didst cross the Jordan.
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray to God for us.
To St Mary of Egypt: Intercede with the Creator on behalf of those who praise thee, holy mother, that we may be delivered from the sufferings and afflictions which beset us on all sides, that being delivered from our temptations, we may unceasingly magnify the Lord Who glorified thee.
Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray to God for us.
To St Andrew of Crete: Venerable Andrew, thrice-blessed father, shepherd of Crete, cease not to pray to God for those who sing of thee,that He may deliver from anger, oppression, corruption, and our countless sins, all of us who faithfully honour thy memory.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
To the Holy Trinity: Let us glorify the Father, exalt the Son, and faithfully worship the Divine Spirit, inseparable Trinity, Unity in essence, as the Light and Lights, the Life and Lives, giving life and light to the ends of the earth.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Theotokion: Protect thy city, spotless Mother of God, for in thee it faithfully reigns, and in thee is made strong, and through thee it conquers and routs every trial and temptation, and spoils its foes and rules its subjects.
And again the Eirmos of the Ninth Ode, as the conclusion of the Canon:
Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception, unsullied the pregnancy of a Virgin Mother, for the birth of God renews natures. So in all generations we magnify thee in Orthodox fashion as Mother and Bride of God.
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