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THE UNITY OF THE FAITHFUL (2012)

15 мая 2012 года на телеканале «Россия 1» состоялся премьерный показ фильма митрополита Волоколамского Илариона «Единство верных», приуроченный к 5-летию важнейшего исторического события – восстановления канонического общения между Московским Патриархатом и Русской Зарубежной Церковью. Подписание Акта о церковном воссоединении 17 мая 2007 года, по словам Святейшего Патриарха Алексия II, поставило точку в истории гражданской войны в России. Оно положило конец болезненному и драматическому разделению в церковной среде русского зарубежья, которое продолжалось в течение многих десятилетий.

Фильм рассказывает о том, как иерархи Церкви в Отечестве и в зарубежье шли к этому эпохальному событию, как преодолевались разногласия и противоречия, какими усилиями достигалось единство. Он построен на уникальных воспоминаниях и впечатлениях непосредственных участников переговорного процесса – Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла, архиепископа Берлинско-Германского и Великобританского Марка, секретарей обеих комиссий по восстановлению канонического общения – двух митрофорных протоиереев – Николая Балашова и Александра Лебедева и многих других.

May 15, 2012 on television channel “Russia A” film premiere of Metropolitan Hilarion “The unity of the faithful”, dated to the 5th anniversary of a milestone – the restoration of canonical communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church. The signing of the Act of church reunion May 17, 2007, in the words of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II, has put an end to the history of the civil war in Russia. It put an end to the painful and dramatic division in the church community the Russian diaspora, which lasted for decades.

The film tells of how the hierarchy of the Church in the homeland and abroad came to this momentous event, how to overcome differences and contradictions, what efforts achieved unity. It is built on the unique memories and experiences of direct participants in the negotiation process – the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Archbishop of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain Mark, secretaries of the two commissions for the restoration of canonical communion – two Mitred Archpriest – Nikolai Balashov and Alexander Lebedev, and many others.

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Holy and Great Monday

HOLY AND GREAT MONDAY

Troparion, tone 8: Behold, the Bridegroom is coming in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find awake and watching, but unworthy is he whom He shall find idle and careless. Beware, then, my soul, lest thou be weighed down with sleep, lest thou be given up to death and shut out of the Kingdom. But awake and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy, art Thou, O God: through the intercessions of the Bodiless Ones, save us. (Sung three times; however, the ending the third time is: through the Mother of God, have mercy on us.)

Kontakion, tone 8: Jacob lamented the loss of Joseph, but his noble son was sitting in a chariot and honoured as a king. For when he refused to be enslaved by the pleasures of the Egyptian woman, he was glorified by Him Who sees the hearts of men and bestows an incorruptible crown.

Passion Week: Great Monday

MATINS

Matthew 21:18-43

     18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. 23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. 28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him. 33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

SIXTH HOUR

Ezekiel 1:1-20

     1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, 3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. 4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. 9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. 11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. 12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. 15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. 18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. 20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

VESPERS

Exodus 1:1-20

     1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. 15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

Job 1:1-12

     1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

LITURGY OF THE PRESANCTIFIED GIFTS.

Matthew 24:3-35

     3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

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Lazarus Saturday

Taken from “The One Thing Needful” Sermons of Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko, 1893-1978)

“In the same way we cry to Thee, O Conqueror of death: Hosanna in the highest, blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord”

(Troparion (hymn) sung on Lazarus Saturday).

Great is this Holy Day, brothers and sisters! Just think of it, “Conqueror of death”! There have been many conquerors in the history of humanity: many gifted doctors have conquered many sicknesses, many military leaders have conquered tremendous armies, even entire countries. There have been conquerors of space such as the inventors of automobiles, airplanes; conquerors of distance — the inventors of the telephone, telegraph, and so on. But “Conqueror of death” — the whole world does not know of anyone else but Jesus Christ. He alone. Even the so-called “unbelieving world” cannot mention another name. No one among the most prominent people would ever even attempt to make such a claim. But He is, was, and will be — our Savior and our Lord.

During His historical evangelistic life He proved this in three instances: the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus, the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain, and here in today’s Gospel, the resurrection of Lazarus.

The death of the daughter of Jairus was a recent one. She died while Christ and her father were going to her. Even Christ called it slumber; but the people “laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise! And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her meat” (Lk. 8:53-55).

In the case of the son of the widow of Nain, death, seemingly stronger, came into its own: the dead man had already been laid on the funeral bier. They had carried him not only from the house, but already through the city gates. In order to touch the bier, the Lord had to stop the carriers. And only then did He say, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise! And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother” (Lk. 7:14-15).

And now Lazarus. The victory of death here was final, one hundred percent. Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. There was weeping, but no one had any hope of an instantaneous resurrection. Even one of the dead man’s sisters said to the Lord: “I know he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Even the Lord Himself, when He “saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,” and He wept. Finally He said, “Take ye away the stone.” Here, even the sister of the dead man could not contain herself and said to Him: “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.” So the stone was removed from the tomb where the dead man was lying, and Christ cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth! And he that was dead came forth bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go” (Jn. 11:17-44).

Besides physical death, there is mental death. Physical death is visible to everyone, but mental death is usually not noticeable to people. It is felt only by the dead person himself. Bishop Theophan the Recluse said much about this. Sometimes it happens that a sinful thought darts into your mind and awakens a sinful feeling, but the soul catches itself and calls to the Lord in repentance. And the Lord, as with the daughter of Jairus, will as if stretch out His hand and say, “Soul, arise!” And life will return to its joyous flow. But sometimes it happens that we do not catch ourselves in time and sin enters more deeply into our soul (like going out from the house) and the result will be full acceptance of the sin, and turmoil. But also here, by the prayers of our Mother, the Church of Christ, who cries before the Lord for her children, we can be alerted; and the Lord will tell us as He did the son of the widow of Nain: “Soul, I say unto thee, Arise!” This is salvation.

But what shall we do if sin completely enslaves our soul, as if covering it with a tombstone; and so day after day goes by and passions start to exude their sinful stench, just as with Lazarus? What should we do then? Well, then we need confession, the sacrament which Christ established after His Resurrection, when He said to His disciples, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whose so ever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven” (Jn. 20:22-23). See how all this is reflected in the resurrection of Lazarus. Lazarus, on his own, could not go out from the tomb because it was blocked by a stone. He couldn’t even walk, because he was bound hand and foot with funeral bandages. And here Christ said to His disciples, “Loose him.” In application to us, this means that the Lord orders our clergy, who have received in the Sacrament of the Priesthood the gift of the Holy Spirit, to loose our sins. What joy!

And more: death is not the cause but only the result, the consequence of sin. And Christ is, first of all, the Conqueror of sin, and then along with it, the Conqueror of death. So let us triumph: “Hosanna in the highest!”

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Tonsures to the Lesser Schema at Holy Trinity Monastery

Many of our parishioners will know Fr Dionysios (now Fr Seraphim) who was tonsured to the monastic ranks last Friday at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville. The story below is from the monastery website 

On Friday March 27 2012 after the Matins service Riassaphore monks Laurence and Dionysios were tonsured to the Lesser Schema by Archimandrite Luke. At the end of Matins they entered the Altar were they received the blessing of the Abbot and then proceeded to venerate the holy icons. During the First Hour they put on white gowns as one does when they are to be baptized and when the service finished they were led by the hieromonks of the monastery to the middle of the Church were they prostrated themselves to the ground three times during which the choir sung the sessional hymn after the Third Ode of the Canon from the Prodigal Son “Thy fatherly embrace hasten to open to me, for like the prodigal have I spent my life. Disdain not a heart now impoverished O Savior, Who hast before Thine eyes the inexpressible riches of Thy mercies. For to Thee, O Lord, in compunction I cry: Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before Thee”.

When they reached the front of the ambon the Abbot signaled them to get up and read the prayers of the tonsure and exchanged in a dialog questions and answers as to the purpose of coming to the monastic life. Below are some of the exchanges that took place:

Question: Why hast thou come hither, Brother, falling down before the Holy Altar and before this Holy Assembly?
Answer: I am desirous of the life of asceticism, Reverend Father.
Question: Of thine own willing mind comest thou unto the Lord?
Answer: Yes, God helping me, Reverend Father.
Question: Not by any necessity, or constraint?
Answer: No, Reverend Father.
Question: Dost thou renounce the world, and the things belonging to the world, according to the commandment of the Lord?
Answer: Yes, Reverend Father.
Question: Wilt thou endure all the strain tribulation belonging to the monastic life, for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake?
Answer: Yes, God helping me, Reverend Father.

Fr. Laurence was tonsured with the name of St John of St. Fransisco and and Fr. Dionysios received the name of St. Seraphim of Sarov. May our Lord help the newly tonsured monks to live steadfastly their monastic vocation by a “pure and virtuous life” so that their life becomes a light to the world.

Archimandrite Luke counseled the newly tonsured monks to become imitators of the lives of the saints whose names they received and to struggle in humility enduring all afflictions for the salvation of their souls. At the end of this very moving service everyone went up to the newly tonsured monastics and greeted them with the traditional greeting, “What is your name father?” to which they replied “sinful monk John and Seraphim” and all wished them many years and God’s blessing in their struggles.

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Thursday of the 5th week of Great Lent – The Great Canon

This service is on Wednesday evening. 

Matins begins as usual in Lent, till the 8th Kathisma (55-63) and the Sedalion with its Theotokion. 

The first half of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt is now read. 

Then, after Psalm 50 we at once begin to sing the Canon, leisurely and with compunction. 

Before each Troparion, we make the sign of the cross and bow three times, saying: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me. 

Song 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:

1. Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, for my present lamentation? But in Thy compassion grant me release from my falls.

2. Come, wretched soul, with your flesh, confess to the Creator of all. In future refrain from your former brutishness, and offer to God tears in repentance.

3. Having rivaled the first-created Adam by my transgression, I realize that I am stripped naked of God and of the everlasting kingdom and bliss through my sins. (Genesis 3)

4. Alas, wretched soul! Why are you like the first Eve? For you have wickedly looked and been bitterly wounded, and you have touched the tree and rashly tasted the forbidden food.

5. The place of bodily Eve has been taken for me by the Eve of my mind in the shape of a passionate thought in the flesh, showing me sweet things, yet ever making me taste and swallow bitter things.

6. Adam was rightly exiled from Eden for not keeping Thy one commandment, O Savior. But what shall I suffer who am always rejecting Thy living words? (Hebrews 12:25; Genesis 3:23)

7. I have willfully incurred the guilt of Cain’s murder, since by invigorating my flesh I am the murderer of my soul’s awareness, and have warred against it by my evil deeds. (Genesis 4:8)

8. I have not resembled Abel’s righteousness, O Jesus. I have never offered Thee acceptable gifts, nor divine actions, nor a pure sacrifice, nor an unblemished life. (Genesis 4:4)

9. Like Cain, we too, O wretched soul, have likewise offered to the Creator of all foul deeds, defective sacrifice and a useless life. Therefore we too are condemned. (Genesis 4:5; Hebrews 11:4)

10. In molding my clay into life, O Potter, Thou didst put in me flesh and bones, breath and vitality. But, O my Creator, my Redeemer and Judge, accept me who repent. (Genesis 2:7; Jeremiah 18:1-10; Romans 9:21)

11. I confess to Thee, O Savior, the sins I have committed, and the wounds of my body and soul which murderous thoughts like robbers within have inflicted upon me. (Luke 10:30)

12. I have sinned, O Savior, yet I know that Thou art the Lover of men. Thou strikest compassionately and pitiest warmly. Thou seest me weeping and runnest towards me as the Father recalling the Prodigal. (Luke 15:20)

13. . In old age even, O Savior, 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.

14. 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 Savior, and heal me. (Luke 10:30)

15. 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)

16. 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)

17. 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.*

18. Abhor me not, O Savior, cast me not away from Thy face. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me release from my falls.*

19. All my sins, voluntary and involuntary, obvious and secret, known and unknown, forgive, O Savior, for Thou art God; be merciful and save me.

20. 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 Savior, I cry to Thee: At least in the end save me.

21. I have squandered in profligacy my substance, O Savior, 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)

22. 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.

23. 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.

ANOTHER CANON, OF SAINT MARY OF EGYPT

 To the same Tone and Eirmos 

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.

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray 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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: By thy prayers, O Andrew, deliver us from degrading passions, and make us who with faith and love sing of thee partakers now of the Kingdom of Christ, O renowned father, we pray.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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.

Song 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:

1. Attend, O heaven, and I will speak; O earth, give ear to a voice repenting to God and singing praises to Him.

2. Attend to me, O God my Savior, with Thy merciful eye, and accept my fervent confession. (Proverbs 15:3; Psalm 33:15)

3. I have sinned above all men, I alone have sinned against Thee. But as God have compassion, O Savior, on Thy creature. (I Timothy 1:15)

4. A storm of passions besets me, O compassionate Lord. But stretch out Thy hand to me too, as to Peter. (Matthew 14:31)

5. The tears of the harlot, O merciful Lord, I too offer to Thee. Be merciful to me, O Savior, in Thy compassion. (Luke 7:38; 18:13. )

6. I have darkened the beauty of my soul with passionate pleasures, and my whole mind I have reduced wholly to mud.

7. I have torn my first garment which the Creator wove for me in the beginning, and therefore I am lying naked. (Genesis 3:21)

8. I have put on a torn coat, which the serpent wove for me by argument, and I am ashamed. (Genesis 3:4-5)

9. I looked at the beauty of the tree, and my mind was seduced; and now I lie naked, and I am ashamed. (Genesis 3:7)

10. All the demon-chiefs of the passions have plowed on my back, and long has their tyranny over me lasted. (Psalm 128:3)

11. I have lost my first-created beauty and comeliness; and now I lie naked, and I am ashamed.

12. Sin which stripped me of my former God-woven clothing has also sewn on me coats of skin. (Genesis 3:21)

13. . I am wrapped in a garment of shame as with fig leaves, in reproof of my selfish passions.

14. I am clad in a coat that is spotted and shamefully bloodstained by the flow of my passionate and pleasure-loving life.

15. I have stained the coat of my flesh, and soiled what is in Thy image and likeness, O Savior.

16. I fell under the burden of passions and corruption of matter, and from then until now I am oppressed by the enemy.

17. Having preferred a possessive and pleasure-loving life to spiritual poverty, O Savior, I am now harnessed with a heavy yoke. (Matthew 5:3)

18. I have adorned the idol of my flesh with the many-colored clothing of shameful thoughts, and I am condemned. (I John 5:21)

19. I have been anxiously concerned only about outward adornment, and have neglected the inner temple made in the image of God. (I Peter 3:3-4)

20. Having formed by my pleasure-loving desires the deformity of my passions, I have marred the beauty of my mind.

21. I have buried with passions the beauty of the original image, O Savior. But seek and find it, like the lost coin. (Luke 15:8)

22. Like the harlot I cry to Thee: I have sinned, I alone have sinned against Thee. Accept my tears also, O Savior, as perfume. (Luke 7:37-50)

23. I have slipped and fallen like David through lack of discipline, and I am covered with filth; but wash me too, O Savior, with my tears. (II Kings 11:1-4)

24. Like the publican I cry to Thee: Be merciful, O Savior, be merciful to me; for no child of Adam has sinned as I against Thee. (Luke 18:13. )

25. No tears, no repentance have I, no compunction. But as God, O Savior, grant me these.

26. Close not Thy door to me then, Lord, Lord; but open it to me who repent to Thee. (Matthew 25:11)

27. O Lover of men, Who wishest all to be saved, in Thy goodness recall me and receive me who repent. (I Timothy 2:4)

28. Give ear to the sighs and groans of my soul, and accept the drops of my eyes, O Savior, and save me.

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.

29. 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)

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)

31. 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)

32. 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)

33. “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)

34. 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)

35. 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)

36. 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!

37. 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)

38. Know and see that I am God, Who searches hearts, punishes thoughts, reproves actions, and burns sins, and judges the orphan, the humble and the poor. (Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 67:5)

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray 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.

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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: Let us see, let us see, O soul, our Lord and God’s love for men. So before the end let us fall down before Him with tears and cry: By the prayers of Andrew, O Savior, have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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.

Song 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:

1. The Lord rained fire from the Lord, my soul, and burnt up the former land of Sodom. (Genesis 19:24)

2. Escape to the mountain like Lot, my soul, and make Zoar your refuge in time. (Genesis 19:22)

3. Run from the burning, my soul! Run from the heat of Sodom! Run from the destruction of the divine flame. (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29)

4. I confess to Thee, O Savior, I have sinned, I have sinned against Thee, but absolve and forgive me in Thy compassion.

5. I alone have sinned against Thee, sinned above all men. O Christ my Savior, spurn me not.

6. Thou art the good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect not me who have gone astray. (John 10:11-14)

7. Thou art my sweet Jesus, Thou art my Creator; in Thee, O Savior, I shall be justified.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The Trinity: O Trinity, Unity, God, save us from delusion and temptations and distressing circumstances.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Rejoice, God-receiving womb! Rejoice, throne of the Lord! Rejoice, Mother of our Life!

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

8. In Thee, the Conqueror of death, I have found the Source of Life, and from my heart I cry to Thee before my end: I have sinned, be merciful, save me.

9. I have imitated those who were licentious in Noah’s time, and I have earned a share in their condemnation of drowning in the flood. (Genesis 6)

10. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against Thee. Be merciful to me. For there is no one who has sinned among men whom I have not surpassed by my sins.

11. You have imitated Ham, that spurner of his father, my soul. You have not concealed your neighbor’s shame by returning to him looking backwards. (Genesis 9:20-27)

12. 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)

13. . 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)

14. 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)

15. At the Oak of Mamre the Patriarch entertained Angels, and inherited in his old age the spoil of the promise. (Genesis 18:1)

16. Knowing, my wretched soul, how Isaac was mystically offered to the Lord as a new sacrifice and holocaust, imitate his resolution. (Genesis 22:2)

17. 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)

18. 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)

19. 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)

20. 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)

21. 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)

22. Run, my soul, like Lot from the fire of sin; run from Sodom and Gomorrah; run from the flame of every irrational desire. (Genesis 19)

23. Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on me, I implore Thee, when Thou comest with Thy Angels to requite us all as our actions deserve.

24. 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.

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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: By thy prayers grant me release from my debts, O Andrew, prelate of Crete, for thou art an unsurpassed guide to the mysteries of repentance.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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.

And again the Eirmos

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

Little Litany: 

Deacon: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace. 

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Deacon: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commit ourselves and one another, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Exclamation:

Priest: For Thou art our God and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

Sedalion, tone 8, the work of Joseph: 

O divinely shining lights, Apostles and eyewitnesses of the Savior, enlighten us in the darkness of life, that we may walk honestly as in the day, routing the passions of the night with the lamp of temperance and continence, and may see the glorious Passion of Christ rejoicing.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

Another, the work of Theodore: 

O God-chosen band of the Twelve Apostles, offer now especially prayer to Christ, that we may all finish the course of the Fast, completing the prayers with compunction, and zealously practicing the virtues, that we may attain to see the glorious Resurrect ion of Christ our God, offering Him glory and praise.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Pray with the Apostles, O Mother of God, to the incomprehensible Son and Word of God, Who beyond understanding was ineffably born of thee, that He may bestow true peace on the world, and before our end grant us forgiveness of sins, and in thy extreme goodness make thy servants fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Second half of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt is read here. 

TRIODION or THREE SONGS (without bows) 

The work of Joseph. 

Song 4. Tone 8. 

Eirmos I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thy plan, I contemplate Thy works and glorify Thy divine nature.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

Troparia:

1. Having lived in continence, the enlightened Apostles of Christ make easy for us the time of continence by their divine intercessions.

2. Like a twelve-stringed instrument, the divine choir of the Disciples sings the song of salvation, and confounds the racket of the evil one.

3. With showers of the Spirit, O all-blessed Apostles, you have watered everything under the sun and banished the drought of polytheism.

Refrain: Most holy Mother of God, save us.

Theotokion: Humble and save me who have lived high-mindedly, O all-pure Virgin, who gavest birth to Him Who exalted our humbled nature.

ANOTHER TRIODION, the work of Theodore. 

Eirmos I have heard, O Lord, the report of Thee, and am afraid. I contemplate Thy works and glorify Thy power, O Lord.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

Troparia:

4. Most holy choir of Apostles, pray to the Creator of all and ask Him to have mercy on us who sing your praises.

5. As workers who cultivated the whole world with the word of God, O Apostles of Christ, you always offered Him your fruits.

6. You were a vineyard for the truly beloved Christ, for from you the wine of the Spirit gushed into the world, O Apostles.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The Trinity: Eternal, co-equal, all-powerful Holy Trinity; Father, Word and Holy Spirit; God, Light and Life, guard Thy flock.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Rejoice, fiery throne! Rejoice, luminous lamp! Rejoice, mountain of sanctification, ark of life, tabernacle, holy of holies.

CONTINUATION OF THE GREAT CANON. 

Song 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:

1. Despise not Thy works and forsake not Thy creation, O just Judge and Lover of men, though I alone have sinned as a man more than any man. But being Lord of all, Thou hast power to pardon sins. (Mark 2:10)

2. The end is drawing near, my soul, is drawing near! But you neither care nor prepare. The time is growing short. Rise! The Judge is near at the very doors. Like a dream, like a flower, the time of this life passes. Why do we bustle about in vain? (Matthew 24:33; Psalm 38:7)

3. Come to your senses, my soul! Consider the deeds you have done, and bring them before your eyes, and pour out the drops of your tears. Boldly tell your thoughts and deeds to Christ, and be acquitted.

4. There has never been a sin or act or vice in life that I have not committed, O Savior. I have sinned in mind, word and choice, in purpose, will and action, as no one else has ever done.

5. Therefore I am condemned, wretch that I am, therefore I am doomed by my own conscience, than which there is nothing in the world more rigorous. O my Judge and Redeemer Who knowest my heart, spare and deliver and save me, Thy servant.

6. The ladder of old which the great Patriarch saw, my soul, is a model of mounting by action and ascent by knowledge. So, if you wish to live in activity, knowledge and contemplation, be renewed. (Genesis 28:12; Romans 12:2; Titus 3:5)

7. Because of his crying need the Patriarch endured the scorching heat of the day, and he bore the frost of the night, daily making gains, shepherding, struggling, slaving, in order to win two wives. (Genesis 29:16-30; 31-40)

8. By the two wives understand action and direct knowledge in contemplation: Leah as action, for she had many children, and Rachel as knowledge, which is obtained by much labor. For without labors, my soul, neither action nor contemplation will achieve success.

9. Watch, my soul! Be courageous like the great Patriarchs, that you may acquire activity and awareness, and be a mind that sees God, and may reach in contemplation the innermost darkness, and be a great trader. (Genesis 32:28; Luke 19:13. -15)

10. The great Patriarch, by begetting the twelve Patriarchs, mystically set up for you, my soul, a ladder of active ascent, having wisely offered his children as rungs, and his steps as ascents.

11. You have emulated the hated Esau, my soul, and have given up your birthright of pristine beauty to your supplanter, and you have lost your father’s blessing, and have been tripped up twice in action and knowledge. Therefore, O wretch, repent now. ( Genesis 25:31; 27:37)

12. Esau was called Edom for his extreme passion of madness for women. For ever burning with incontinence and stained with pleasures, he was named Edom, which means a red-hot sin-loving soul. (Genesis 25:30)

13. . Have you heard of Job who was made holy on a dunghill, O my soul? You have not emulated his courage, nor had his firmness of purpose in all you have learned or known, or in your temptations, but you have proved unpersevering. (Job 1)

14. He who was formerly on a throne is now naked on a dunghill and covered with sores. He who had many children and was much admired is suddenly childless and homeless. Yet he regarded the dunghill as a palace and his sores as pearls. (Job 2:7-8)

15. 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.

16. 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?

17. 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 Savior, purer than snow.

18. Thou didst lay down Thy body and blood for ail, 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.

19. 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)

20. 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)

21. 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)

22. 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 Savior.

23. 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 Savior, have compassion on me. (Genesis 47:9)

24. 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. (Luke 18:9-14)

25. 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 Savior, have compassion on me.

26. 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 Savior, have compassion on me.

27. 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 Savior, have compassion on me.

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.

To St. Mary of Egypt: By living a bodiless life in a body, O Saint, thou hast truly received great grace from God to intercede for those who faithfully honor thee. Therefore we implore thee: deliver us by thy prayers from trials of all kinds.

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray 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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: O Andrew, glory of the Fathers, standing before the transcendingly divine Trinity, by thy prayers cease not to intercede that we who invoke thee with love may be delivered from torment, O divine intercessor, adornment of Crete.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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.

Song 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 Savior, to do Thy will.

Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia:

1. I have passed my life ever in night, for the night of sin has been to me thick fog and darkness; but make me, O Savior, a Son of the day. (Ephesians 5:8)

2. Like Reuben, wretch that I am, I have planned an unprincipled and lawless act against God Most High, having defiled my bed as he defiled that of his father. (Genesis 35:21; 49:3-4)

3. I confess to Thee, O Christ my King: I have sinned, I have sinned, like Joseph’s brothers of old, who sold the fruit of purity and chastity. (Genesis 37)

4. Righteous Joseph was given up by his brothers, that sweet soul was sold into slavery, as a type of the Lord; and you, my soul, have sold yourself completely to your vices. (Genesis 37:27-28)

5. Imitate, wretched and worthless soul, righteous Joseph and his pure mind, and do not be wanton with irrational desires, ever transgressing. (Genesis 39:7-23)

6. If Joseph of old also occupied a pit, O Sovereign Lord, yet it was as a type of Thy Burial and Rising. But will I ever offer Thee anything like it? (Genesis 37)

7. You have heard, my soul, of Moses’ ark of old, borne on the waters and waves of the river as in a shrine, which escaped the bitter tragedy of Pharaoh’s edict. (Exodus 1:22 – 2:3)

8. If you have heard of the midwives, wretched soul, who of old killed in infancy the manly issue and practice of chastity, then like the great Moses, suck wisdom. (Exodus 1:16; 2-9; Acts 7:22)

9. You, wretched soul, have not struck and killed your Egyptian mind, like great Moses. Say, then, how will you dwell in that desert solitude where the passions desert you through repentance? (Exodus 2:12)

10. Great Moses dwelt in the wilds, my soul. So go and imitate his life, that you too may attain by contemplation to the vision of God in the bush. (Exodus 3:1)

11. Imagine Moses’ staff striking the sea and fixing the deep as a type of the divine Cross, by which you too, my soul, can accomplish great things. (Exodus 14:16)

12. Aaron offered to God the fire pure and undefiled; but Hophni and Phinehas, like you, my soul, offered to God a foul and rebellious life. (Leviticus 9:21-24; I Kings 2:12-34)

13. . 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; II Timothy 3:8)

14. 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.

15. When I examine my actions, O Savior, I see that I have gone beyond all men in sins; for I have sinned with knowledge consciously, and not in ignorance.

16. 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)

17. 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 Savior, through the touch of Thy hem. (Philemon 2:6; Matthew 4:24; Luke 8:43-48)

18. Imitate, wretched soul, the woman with hemorrhage. Run to Christ and hold His hem, that you may be healed of your maladies and hear from Him, “Your faith has saved you.” (Matthew 9:22)

19. 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)

20. Though Thou art a deep well, O Lord, pour on me streams from Thy 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)

21. 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 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.

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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: Eminent as the best of pastors, O wise Andrew, I pray thee with great love and veneration that by thy intercessions I may obtain salvation and eternal life.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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.

Song 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:

1. I sincerely offer Thee with a pure intention, O Savior, the tears of my eyes and groans from the depths of my heart, crying: O God, I have sinned against Thee; be merciful to me. (Luke 18:13. )

2. You, my soul, have revolted from the Lord like Dathan and Abiram. But with all your heart cry, “Spare!” that a yawning gulf of the earth may not swallow you. (Numbers 16)

3. Like a stampeding heifer stung to madness, my soul, you have resembled Ephraim. Winged with action, resolve and contemplation, save your life like a gazelle from the noose. (Hosea 4:16)

4. Let Moses’ hand assure us, my soul, how God can whiten and cleanse a leprous life. So do not despair of yourself, even though you are leprous. (Exodus 4:6-8)

5. The waves of my sins, O Savior, as in the Red Sea recoiled and covered me unawares, like the Egyptians of old and their charioteers. (Exodus 14:7-31)

6. Like Israel of old, my soul, you have had a foolish affection. For like a brute you have preferred to divine manna the pleasure-loving gluttony of the passions. (Numbers 21:5; I Corinthians 10:9)

7. The wells of Canaanite thoughts, my soul, you have prized above the Rock with the cleft from which the river of wisdom like a chalice pours forth streams of theology. (Genesis 21:23; Exodus 17:6)

8. Swine’s flesh and hotpots and Egyptian food you, my soul, have preferred to heavenly manna, as of old the senseless people in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:4-7)

9. When Thy servant Moses struck the rock with his staff, he mystically typified Thy life-giving side, O Savior, from which we all draw the water of life. (Numbers 20:11; I Corinthians 10:4)

10. Explore and spy out the Land of Promise like Joshua the Son of Nun, my soul, and see what it is like, and settle in it by observing the laws. (Joshua 2)

11. 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)

12. 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. (Joshua 3:17; Deuteronomy 1:8)

13. . As Thou savedst Peter when he cried, “Save me!” forestall and deliver me from the beast, O Savior; stretch out Thy hand and raise me from the depths of sin. (Matthew 14:25-31)

14. I know Thee as a calm haven, O Lord, Lord Christ; but forestall and deliver me from the innermost depths of sin and despair.

15. I am the coin with the royal image which was lost of old, O Savior. But light the lamp, Thy Forerunner, O Word; seek and find Thy image. (Luke 15:8)

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray 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 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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: Knowing thee to be the shepherd and prelate of Crete and intercessor for the world, O Andrew, I run to thee and cry: Deliver me, father, from the depths of sin.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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.

And again the 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.

Little Litany: 

Deacon: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace. 

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Deacon: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commit ourselves and one another, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Exclamation:

Priest: For Thou art the King of Peace and Savior of our souls, and to Thee we send up the glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

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.

Eikos: 

Seeing Christ’s healing temple opened, and how health Streams from Him to Adam, the devil suffered and was stricken. Then he wailed as if in mortal danger and to his friends raised a bitter howl: what shall I do to the Son of Mary? The Bethlehemite is killing me, Who is everywhere present and fills all things.

Then we sing the Beatitudes: 

In Thy Kingdom remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.

1. Thou didst make the Robber a citizen of Paradise on the Cross when he cried to Thee, O Christ, “Remember me!” Make me, unworthy as I am, also worthy of his repentance. (Luke 23:42,43)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

2. Have you heard, my soul, of Manoah of old who saw God in a waking vision and received from his barren wife the fruit of God’s promise? Let us imitate his piety. (Judges 13. )

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

3. You, my soul, have emulated Samson’s easy-going laxity; you have shorn the glory of your deeds, and by love of pleasure have surrendered to the Philistines a chaste and blessed life. (Judges 14)

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

4. He who conquered the Philistines with an ass’s jawbone is now found to be a dissolute slave of passionate intercourse. But avoid, my soul, his example, his action, his laxity.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

5. Barak and Jephthah, military leaders, with manly-minded Deborah, were promoted to be Judges of Israel. Learn courage from their heroic deeds, my soul, and master yourself. (Judges 4:11)

Blessed are the merciful, for the shall obtain mercy.

6. You know, my soul, of Jael’s bravery, who impaled Sisera of old and wrought salvation with a tent-peg, by which (are you listening?) the Cross is typified to you. (Judges 5)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

7. Offer the sacrifice of praise, my soul, offer action as a daughter purer than Jephthah’s, and slay your carnal passions as a sacrifice to your Lord. (Judges 11)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

8. Think, my soul, of Gideon’s fleece. Receive the dew from Heaven; stoop down like a dog and drink the water that flows from the Law by the pressure of study. (Judges 6-8)

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

9. You, my soul, for lack of understanding have drawn upon yourself the priest Eli’s condemnation, by allowing the passions to act sinfully in you, as he allowed his children. (I Kings 2-4)

Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely and on My account.

10. The Levite among the Judges, by negligence, divided his wife among the twelve tribes, my soul, in order to blazon the lawless outrage of Benjamin. (Judges 19-20)

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven.

11. Chaste Hannah when praying moved her lips in praise, while her voice was not yet heard; but yet, though barren, she bears a son her prayer deserved. (I Kings 1)

Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.

12. Hannah’s child, the great Samuel, was reckoned among the Judges, and he was brought up in Arimathea and in the House of the Lord. Imitate him, my soul, and before judging others, judge your own actions. (I Kings 16:13. )

Remember us, O Master, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.

13. . David was chosen to be king, and he was royally anointed with the horn of divine oil. So if you, my soul, desire the Kingdom on high, be anointed with the oil of tears.

Remember us, O Holy One, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.

14. Have mercy on Thy creation, O merciful Lord; have compassion on the work of Thy hands, and spare all who have sinned, and even me who above all have ignored Thy commands.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The Trinity: Unoriginate both by generation and procession, the Father Who begot I worship, I glorify the Son Who is begotten, and I hymn the Holy Spirit, co-effulgent with the Father and the Son.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: We worship thy supernatural childbirth, without dividing the natural glory of thy Child, O Mother of God. For He is confessed to be one in Person and twofold in Nature.

Song 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:

1. I have sinned, offended and rejected Thy commandment, for I have advanced in sins and added wounds to my sores. But in Thy compassion have mercy on me, O God of our Fathers.

2. I have confessed to Thee, my Judge, the secrets of my heart. See my humility, see also my distress, and attend to my judgment now. And in Thy compassion have mercy on me, O God of our Fathers.

3. When Saul of old lost his father’s asses, besides getting news of them he incidentally found a kingdom. But watch, my soul, lest without noticing it, you prefer your animal cravings to the Kingdom of Christ. (I Kings 10:2)

4. If David, the father of our Divine Lord, doubly sinned of old, my soul, when he was pierced with the arrow of adultery and struck with the spear of remorse for murder, yet you have a sickness graver than deeds in your will and appetites. (II Kings 11; 12:1-23)

5. David once joined sin to sin, for he mixed adultery with murder, yet he immediately offered double repentance. But you, my soul, have done things more wicked without repenting to God.

6. David of old composed a song, painting it as in a picture by which he exposes the deed he had done, crying: Have mercy on me, for against Thee only have I sinned, Who art God of all. Cleanse me. (Psalm 50)

7. When the Ark was being carried on a wagon, and when one of the oxen slipped, Uzzah only touched it and experienced the wrath of God. But avoid, my soul, his presumption and truly reverence divine things. (II Kings 6:6)

8. You have heard of Absalom, how he rose against nature. You know his accursed deeds and how he insulted the bed of his father David. But you have imitated his passionate and pleasure-loving cravings. (II Kings 15; 16:21)

9. You have enslaved your free dignity to your body, my soul, for you have found in Satan another Ahitophel and have consented to his counsels. But Christ Himself scattered them, that you may at all events be saved. (II Kings 16:20)

10. Wonderful Solomon, who was full of the grace of wisdom, at one time did evil in God’s sight and fell away from Him. And you, my soul, have resembled him by your accursed life. (III Kings 11; Ecclus 47:12-20)

11. Carried away by the pleasure of his passions, he defiled himself. Alas, the lover of wisdom is a lover of loose women and estranged from God! And you, my soul, have in mind imitated him by your shameful pleasures. (III Kings 3:12; 11:4-12)

12. You, my soul, have rivaled Rehoboam who would not listen to his father’s advisors, and that vicious slave Jeroboam the apostate of old. But shun such mimicry and cry to God: I have sinned, have compassion on me.(III Kings 12:13. -20)

13. . You have rivaled 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)

14. 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)

15. 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)

16. 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)

17. 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.

18. I have buried Thy image and broken Thy commandment. All my beauty is darkened and my lamp is extinguished by my passions, O Savior. But have compassion and restore to me, as David sings, joy. (Psalm 50:14)

19. Return, repent, uncover what is hidden. Say to God Who knows everything: Thou knowest my secrets, O only Savior; but have mercy on me, as David sings, according to Thy mercy. (Psalm 50)

20. 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; Isaiah 38:2)

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray 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 for us.

To St. Mary of Egypt: He Whom thou lovest, He Whom thou desirest, 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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: Strengthen me on the rock of faith by thy intercessions, O father, and wall and fortify me with an awed sense of the divine indwelling, and grant me repentance, O Andrew, now. And I implore thee to deliver me from the snares of foes actively seeking my life.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The 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 TRIODION 

Song 8. Tone 8. 

Eirmos The Eternal King of Glory, before Whom the Hosts of Heaven are thrilled with awe and the Orders of the Angels tremble, praise Him, O priests, and exalt Him, you people, throughout all ages.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

Troparia:

1. Like coals of immaterial fire, burn my material passions, and kindle in me now, O Apostles, a longing for divine love.

2. Let us honor the tuneful trumpets of the Word, through whom the rickety walls of the enemy fell and the battlements of the knowledge of God were built.

3. Smash the passionate idols of my soul, as you smashed the temples and pillars of the enemy, O Apostles of the Lord, consecrated temples.

Refrain: Most holy Mother of God, save us.

Theotokion: Thou didst contain Him Who is uncontainable by nature, thou didst carry Him Who carries all things, O pure Virgin, thou didst suckle Him Who feeds creation, Christ the Lifegiver.

The Eirmos is repeated: The Eternal King of Glory, before Whom the Hosts of Heaven are thrilled with awe and the Orders of the Angels tremble, praise Him, O priests, and exalt Him, you people, throughout all ages.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

4. Having built the whole Church with the Spirit as architect, O Apostles of Christ, bless Christ in it throughout the ages.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

5. By blowing the trumpet of the dogmas, the Apostles have overthrown all the delusion and error of idolatry, and exalted Christ throughout all ages.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

6. O Apostles, noble company, guardians of the world, and citizens of heaven, deliver from dangers those who ever praise you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The Trinity: Triune, all-radiant God, co-glorified and co-enthroned Nature, Father Almighty, Son and Divine Spirit, I sing of Thee for ever.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Let us, O you peoples, unceasingly sing of the Mother of God, as an honored and sublime throne, who alone after childbirth is Mother and Virgin.

THE GREAT CANON 

Song 8. Tone 6. 

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:

1. I have sinned, O Savior, have mercy! Awaken my mind to conversion, accept me who repent, have compassion on me as I cry: Against Thee only have I sinned and acted lawlessly; have mercy on me.

2. Elijah the charioteer once ascended by the chariot of the virtues as to heaven and was carried above earthly things. Consider then, my soul, this ascent. (IV Kings 2:11)

3. Jordan’s stream of old was made to stand still on either side by Elisha by Elijah’s sheepskin. But you, my soul, have not shared this grace owing to incontinence. (IV Kings 2:14)

4. Elisha received double grace from the Lord when he took up Elijah’s sheepskin. But you, my soul, have not shared this grace owing to incontinence. (IV Kings 2:9)

5. The Shunammite woman of old with right good will entertained the righteous man. But you, my soul, have taken into your house neither stranger nor traveler. Therefore you will be cast out of the bridal hall wailing. (IV Kings 4:8)

6. You have always imitated the vile mind of Gehazi, O wretched soul. Rid yourself of his love of money, at least in old age; escape from the fire of Gehenna by leaving your evil ways. (IV Kings 5:20-27)

7. Having emulated Uzziah, my soul, you have his leprosy in you doubled. For you think disgusting thoughts and do outrageous things. Let go of what you are holding and run to repentance. (IV Kings 15:5; II Chronicles 26:19)

8. Have you heard, my soul, of the Ninevites, who repented before God in sackcloth and ashes? You have not imitated them, but appear to be more crooked than all who have sinned before and after the law. (Jonah 3:5)

9. You have heard of Jeremiah in the mud pit, my soul, how he cried out with lamentations against the City of Zion, and was seeking tears. Imitate his life of lamentation and you will be saved. (Jeremiah 38:6)

10. Jonah fled to Tarshish, foreseeing the conversion of the Ninevites; for, being a Prophet, he was aware of God’s compassion, and was anxious that his prophesy should not prove false. (Jonah 1:3)

11. You have heard, my soul, of Daniel in the lion’s den, and how he shut the beasts’ mouths. You know how the Children who were with Azariah extinguished the flames of the burning furnace by faith. (Daniel 6:16-22; 3:23)

12. I have reviewed all the people of the Old Testament as examples for you, my soul. Imitate the God-loving deeds of the righteous and shun the sins of the wicked.

13. . Just Judge and Savior, 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.

14. Like the robber I cry, “Remember me!” Like Peter I weep bitterly, “Release me, O Savior!” I croak like the publican; I weep like the harlot. Accept my lamentation as once the Canaanite woman. (Luke 23:42; Matthew 26:75; Luke 18:13. ; Luke 7:37-38; Matthew 15:22-28)

15. Heal, O Savior, 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)

16. 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. (Matthew 15:22; Mark 5:27; John 11:33)

17. The alabaster jar of my tears, O Savior, 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)

18. Though no one has sinned against Thee as I, yet accept even me, O compassionate Savior, repenting with fear and crying with love: Against Thee only have I sinned. I have done wrong, have mercy on me.

19. Spare, O Savior, Thy 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)

20. 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 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 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.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: As thou hast boldness with the Lord, O Andrew, venerable credit of Crete, intercede, I implore thee, that by thy prayers I may now find release from the chain of my sins, O teacher of repentance, glory of Saints.

Let us bless the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Lord:

To The 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 honor thee as in truth Mother of God.

Let us praise, bless and worship the Lord, sing and exalt Him throughout all ages.

And again the 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.

Then the Magnificat, and More honorable… 

THEN THE TRIODION

Song 9. Tone 8. 

Eirmos Saved by thee, O pure Virgin, we confess thee to be truly Mother of God, and with Bodiless Choirs we magnify thee.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

Troparia:

1. Having been shown the springs of the water of salvation, O Apostles, bedew my soul that is racked with thirst by sin.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

2. Swimming in the sea of destruction as I am and already under water, save me like Peter with Thy right hand, O Lord.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

3. Since you are the salt of the teachings of health, dry the decay of my mind and dispel the darkness of ignorance.

Refrain: Most holy Mother of God, save us.

Theotokion: As the one of whom Joy was born, grant me mourning, O Lady, through which I shall be able to find divine consolation in the coming day.

Another Eirmos As the Mediatress of Heaven and earth, all generations magnify thee. For there dwelt in thee bodily, O Virgin, the fullness of the Godhead.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

4. O glorious company of the Apostles, we magnify you with songs; for you are the bright lights of the world that banish delusion and error.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

5. Ever catching rational fish with the net of your Gospel, you continually bring them as food to Christ, O blessed Apostles.

Refrain: Holy Apostles, pray for us.

6. Remember us in your prayer to God, O Apostles, we pray, that we who sing your praises with love may be delivered from all temptation.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The Trinity: Of Thee, the Tri-Personal Unity, I sing; Father and Son with the Spirit, One God of one essence, Trinity one in power and without beginning.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: All generations bless thee as the Child-bearer and Virgin, since through thee we have been redeemed from the curse, for thou didst bear for us the Lord, our Joy.

AND THE REST OF THE GREAT CANON 

Song 9. Tone 6. 

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. (2)

Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia:

1. The mind is wounded, the body is feeble, the spirit is sick, the word has lost its power, life is ebbing, the end is at the doors. What then will you do, wretched soul, when the Judge comes to try your case?

2. I have reviewed Moses’ account of the creation of the world, my soul, and then all canonical Scripture which tells you the story of the righteous and the unrighteous. But you, my soul, have copied the latter and not the former, and have sinned against God.

3. The Law has grown weak, the Gospel is unpracticed, the whole of the Scripture is ignored by you; the Prophets and every word of the Just have lost their power. Your wounds, my soul, have multiplied, and there is no physician to heal you.

4. I am bringing before you examples from the New Scripture, my soul, to lead you to compunction. So emulate the righteous and avoid following the sinners, and regain Christ’s grace by prayers, fasts, purity and reverence.

5. Christ became man and called to repentance robbers and harlots. Repent, my soul! The door of the Kingdom is already open, and the transformed pharisees, publicans and adulterers are seizing it ahead of you. (Matthew 21:31; 11:12)

6. Christ became a babe and conversed in the flesh with me, and he voluntarily experienced all that pertains to our nature, apart from sin; and He showed you, my soul, an example and image of His own condescension. (Matthew 1:25)

7. Christ saved wise men, called shepherds, made crowds of infants martyrs, glorified old men and aged widows, whose deeds and life, my soul, you have not emulated. But woe unto you when you are judged! (Matthew 2:12; Luke 2:9-12; Matthew 2:16; Luke 2:2 5-38)

8. When the Lord had fasted for forty days in the wilderness, He at last became hungry, showing His human nature. Do not be despondent, my soul, if the enemy attacks you, but let him be beaten off by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 4:1-11; 17:21; Mark 9:29)

9. Christ was tempted, the devil was tempting Him, showing Him stones to be turned into bread; and he led Him up a mountain to see all the kingdoms of the world in a flash. Dread, my soul, the scene; watch and pray at every hour to God. (Matthew 4:3-9; 26:41)

10. The desert-loving dove, the lamp of Christ, the Voice crying in the wilderness sounded, preaching repentance; while Herod sinned with Herodias. See, my soul, that you are not caught in the toils of sin, but embrace repentance. (Mark 1:3; Matthew 14: 3)

11. The Forerunner of grace dwelt in the desert and all Judea and Samaria ran to hear him; and they confessed their sins, and eagerly received baptism. But you, my soul, have not imitated them. (Matthew 3:5-6)

12. Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled, for Christ earlier blessed both, eating in His flesh at the marriage in Cana and changing water into wine, and showing His first miracle so that you, my soul, might be changed. (Hebrews 13. :4; John 2:1-11)

13. . Christ braced the paralytic and he carried his bed; He raised up the dead young man, the son of the widow, and the Centurion’s servant; and by revealing Himself to the Samaritan woman, He traced in advance for you, my soul, how to worship in spirit. (Matthew 9: 2-7; Luke 7:14; Matthew 8:6-13. ; John 4:26; Joshua 4:24)

14. The Lord healed the woman with hemorrhage by the touch of His hem, cleansed lepers, gave sight to the blind, and cured cripples; the deaf and the dumb and the woman bent earthward he healed with His word, that you, wretched soul, might be saved. (Matthew 9:20-22; 10:8; 11:5; Luke 13. :11-13. )

15. 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)

16. 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 word s. (Luke 7:36-50; 18:9-14)

17. 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)

18. 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 Savior, Who tore up for her the handwriting of her old accusation. (Luke 7:37-38; Colossians 2:14)

19. 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)

20. 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)

21. 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)

22. 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 Savior, the door of Thy glorious Kingdom as to Thy faithful robber who acknowledged Thee to be God. (Luke 23:32-42)

23. 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)

24. 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 Savior. (Matthew 3:8; 5:3; Psalm 50:17)

25. 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 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 an.

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray 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 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 honor thy memory .

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

To The Trinity: Trinity of one essence, Tri-Personal Unity, we sing Thy praise, glorifying the Father, magnifying the Son, and adoring the Spirit, Who art truly one God by nature, Life and Lives, Kingdom unending.

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

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.

Little Litany: 

Deacon: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace. 

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Deacon: Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commit ourselves and one another, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir: Lord, have mercy

Exclamation:

Priest: For all the Powers of Heaven praise Thee, and to Thee we send up the glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Choir: Amen.

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Fourth Sunday of Great Lent

Taken from “The One Thing Needful” Sermons of Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko, 1893-1978)

Two Gospels were read today. The first was about the healing of the one possessed. The disciples of Christ asked Him when they were alone: “Why could we not cast him out?” And the Lord said to them, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mk. 9:28,29). This is as if a reminder that now is the time for prayer and fasting — Great Lent.

During the three weeks before Great Lent, we were shown the ways of repentance of a Christian who returns to his Father. And when Great Lent approached, with its hymns and prayers which were given to us during the Church readings of these past four weeks, we should have studied and understood ourselves. And when we understood ourselves, then involuntarily we should have come to a feeling of humility: “But Lord, what am I going to do? Lord, Thou seest how feeble and weak my will is. I constantly yield to the will of the prince of this world. Help me!” And I begin to weep.

This is why the second Gospel, about the Beatitudes, was read. These commandments show us what to do: step by step, as if rung by rung. This is why the Church this Sunday commemorates St. John of the Ladder, who wrote his spiritual work called “The Ladder,” which shows us what to do, how one virtue leads to another, like rungs on a ladder. In a spiritual sense, these steps are the Beatitudes. He who abides in spiritual poverty will surely weep because of his infirmity, and he who weeps because of his infirmity is already meek. In relation to his brother he will be indulgent and will always strive for mercy, for help in order to create peace which the Lord requires in our hearts. And he will not be afraid of persecution and will not think of how to take vengeance on those who harm him. No, he will always have this feeling: “Lord, I am weak, help me!”

This is why, after the Church gave us at the end of the first week of Lent the direction where we must go (into Orthodoxy), during the second week of Lent, the Sunday following the Sunday of Orthodoxy, she revealed to us the feeling of a man who already enters into spiritual endeavors; and he has before him the new principle of a man such as Gregory Palamas, who was renewed not only spiritually, but also physically.

And after showing us Gregory Palamas, the Church brought us to Golgotha. She showed us the Lord’s Cross, which we have venerated for the whole week. Those who were in church, and even those not in church, saw mentally before them Golgotha. We saw the wise thief and the thief who reviled Christ; and we saw Christ Himself Who pronounced His last words: “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit!” (Lk. 23:46).

This mood of Golgotha has remained with us. And we, who saw the reviling thief and the wise thief, should have determined: What are we to do? And seeing the long-suffering thief, we accepted in our hearts: “Lord, I will be long-suffering. But how am I to do this?” Live according to the Beatitudes. There is no other way. And this long-suffering, of whatever kind it may be, will cause us to suffer, but at the same time will give us blessedness not only in eternity, but even here, in the midst of our suffering, while we endure. To be poor in spirit, humble, to weep for our sins, meekly to endure offense, to wish peace to everyone, to wish everything good, to endure persecutions for Christ — all this is difficult. But at the same time it is also joyful. This is the only way to true happiness; and this is the shortest way.

So what is the matter? Let us make this step right now, this very moment. Everyone these days fights for happiness. But we don’t even have to fight (unless with ourselves) and we will be blessed. May God bless you to this step.

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Third Sunday of Great Lent

Taken from “The One Thing Needful” Sermons of Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko, 1893-1978)

Before us is the Cross. This is the Cross of Christ. But on Golgotha there were two more crosses: Christ in the middle and on either side of Him were crucified two thieves. Christ on the Cross performed the sacrifice of redemption for the whole world. But what brought those crucified with Him to these crosses? Their crimes — after all, they were thieves.

What made them thieves? There was a time when they were innocent children and maybe even played together. This was the bright time of childhood. And later, they felt, as each of us does, two opposing forces influencing them: a good one and a bad one. And their will had to yield to either one or the other side. In the beginning they wavered, but later on, because the evil appeared more alluring, they began more and mc/e often to consent to the evil. At first, conscience reproached them, but later it became hardened and stopped tormenting them. And then, without a backward glance, they completely took the side of evil. First, in the realm of will and feelings, and later they fell into open crimes which brought them to these crosses, to death sentences. And here they were both dying. Not only their hours, but even their minutes were numbered. And between them the Lord was dying on His Cross. One of the hanging criminals reviled Him. But the other, on the contrary, silenced the abusive one and said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise” (Lk. 23:42-43).

Christ died first and then the two thieves. On the face of the one who reviled the Lord was imprinted the grimace of blasphemy, and only the laugh of Mephistopheles rent the air above his cross. This laughter was terrible and triumphant. Yes, this was the final victory of the power of evil over this soul. But above the cross of the repentant thief was a triumphant peace and a kind of joyous radiance. And at this time, his soul, bright and pure, washed by sufferings and repentance, entered Paradise. With joy and wonder the orders of angels looked on this first soul entering Paradise, this soul of the first saint of the New Testament, washed with the Blood of Christ — the soul of a thief.

Now we are gathered together here in church before the Cross of Christ. In the eyes of human judgment we are not law-breakers or criminals. But are we as well-off before the Judgment of God? No. All of us have broken and are breaking the commandments of God. And if this is so, it means we are law-breakers. If until now we have not committed visible crimes, this is only because the Grace of God and our Guardian Angels have not let us. But if we were left to ourselves, God alone and our conscience know what might happen to us. And what still may happen if God abandons us. Let us honestly examine our conscience; let us ask it, and it will answer that according to the Judgment of God, we are no better than the thief, and maybe even worse. His sufferings on the cross alone could redeem so much. And we, with what can we redeem ourselves? He was a wise thief, but we… we live carelessly and think that we are going to live on and on. But our years, months, weeks, and maybe days and even hours are numbered. And also, will we have in the last moment that repentance which he had? What if suddenly another state of mind arises, opposite to it? May the Lord keep us from this!

Right now, as we approach and kiss the Cross, let us say with the wise thief, “Lord, remember me in Thy kingdom!” We may not have another minute. So let us use this minute which the Lord gives us: “Thy Cross, O Lord, we venerate and Thy Holy Resurrection we glorify.”

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Second Sunday of Lent

Taken from “The One Thing Needful” Sermons of Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko, 1893-1978)

Brothers and sisters, we have lived this week in the light of last Sunday — the Triumph of Orthodoxy. A wonderful feature was pointed out to us in the Gospel which was then read:

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of Whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? (Jn. 1:45-46).

Both of them, Philip and Nathanael, wanted to believe in the right way, praise God rightly, that is, to be Orthodox. But for them it meant first of all to determine who was the true Messiah. With such an intention they approached Christ. Seeing Nathanael, Christ said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. Nathanael saith unto Him, whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee” (Jn. 1:47-48).

What happened under the fig tree we do not know. But we do know that Christ hit on just the right point, got right to the heart of this man. Here is Nathanael’s answer: “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God” (Jn. 1:49). Nathanael truly and rightly praised Christ, and in this way he became the first Orthodox man. And all because Christ touched his heart, touched something intimate lying deep, deep within Nathanael’s heart.

The triumph of Orthodoxy always starts in a person’s heart, and only afterwards is it expressed externally. True, sometimes there are cases when the external attracts the heart, as if waking it up. But for this to happen, there must be something in the heart which makes such an awakening possible. God demands our heart. To serve God without heart, Orthodoxy without heart — this is the same as a man without heart.

And here today’s Gospel speaks about the same thing. A paralytic was brought to the Lord, carried by four people. Unable to get near Christ because of the multitude, they removed the roof of the house, broke through and lowered the bed on which the paralytic was lying. See how difficult it all was. This is the fulfillment of the commandment of love in external life. Yes, such is life in the triumph of Orthodoxy.

But where is its source? Let’s listen further: “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mk. 2:5). These four had faith in their hearts, and this faith impelled them to make every effort to help; and seeing this faith, Jesus helped. The external happened as a result of the internal. God did not say at once to the paralytic: “Arise, take up thy bed,” but said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” See, not the external first, but the internal. After all, sin was in the heart. A heart paralyzed by sin could not sense God in Christ and could not rightly praise Him. And here Christ healed this heart, made it Orthodox. And then followed the external: “I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed and go thy way into thine house” (Mk. 2:11).

But what would have happened if the Lord had started with the second thing, with the external healing? The paralytic would have gotten up in the same way, would have taken his bed and gone, but only with a heart which was dead from sin. This would have been a living corpse. Here is what the Pharisees could not understand. ‘Whether is it easier?” said Christ to them, “to say to the paralytic, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the paralytic) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed and go thy way into thine house” (Mk. 2:9-11). To this paralytic the Lord gave both the internal and the external. And he walked home and brought there with him the quiet feeling of the triumph of Orthodoxy.

And here, St. Gregory Palamas, to whom this Sunday of Great Lent is dedicated, shows us so clearly by his whole life that Christian life, Orthodox life, always begins in our heart, and only then expresses itself in feats of asceticism.

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Sunday of Orthodoxy: the Meaning of “Anathema”

Homily – Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco

The Greek word “anathema” consists of two words: “ana,” which is a preposition indicating movement upward and “thema,” which means a separate part of something. In military terminology, “thema” meant a detachment; in civil government “theme” meant a province. We currently use the word “theme,” derived from “thema,” to mean a specific topic of a written and intellectual work.

“Anathema” literally means the lifting up of something separate. In the Old Testament, this expression was used both in relation to that which was alienated due to sinfulness as well as, to that which was dedicated to God.

In the New Testament, in the writings of the Apostle Paul it is used once in conjunction with “maranatha,” meaning the coming of the Lord. The combination of these words means separation until the coming of the Lord; in other words being handed over to Him (1 Cor. 16:22).

The Apostle Paul uses “anathema” in another place without the addition of “maranatha” (Cal. 1:8-9). Here “anathema” is proclaimed against the distortion of the Gospel of Christ, as it was preached by the Apostle, no matter by whom this might be committed, whether by the Apostle himself or an angel from the heavens. In this same expression there is also implied: “let the Lord Himself pass judgement,” for who else can pass judgement on the angels?

St. John the Theologian in Revelation (22:3) says that in the New Jerusalem there will not be any anathema. This can be understood in two ways: giving the word anathema both meanings: 1) there will not be any lifting up to the judgement of God, for this judgement has already been accomplished; 2) there will not be any special dedication to God, for all things will be the holy things of God, just as the light of God enlightens all (Rev. 21:23).

In the acts of the Councils and the further course of the New Testament Church of Christ, the word “anathema” came to mean complete separation from the Church. “The Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes,” “let him be anathema,” “let it be anathema,” means a complete tearing away from the Church. While in cases of “separation from the communion of the Church” and other epitimia or penances laid on a person, the person remained a member of the Church, even though his participation in her grace-filled life was limited. Those given up to anathema were thus, completely torn away from her until their repentance. Realizing that she is unable to do anything for their salvation, in view of their stubbornness and hardness of heart, the earthly Church lifts them up to the judgement of God. That judgement is merciful unto repentant sinners, but fearsome for the stubborn enemies of God. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 10:31; 12:29).

Anathema is not final damnation because until death, repentance is possible. “Anathema” is fearsome, but not because the Church wishes anyone evil or God seeks their damnation. They desire that all be saved. However, it is fearsome to stand before the presence of God in the state of hardened evil as nothing is hidden from Him.

“It is fearsome to fall into the hands of the living God: this is a tribunal of thoughts and movements of hearts. Let no one enter tempting the unblemished faith: but in meekness and fear let us come before Christ, that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the proper time” (Stichera of the Aposticha, Palm Sunday, Vespers).

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The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

Please note: The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian is said with morning and evening prayers by all Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, except on Saturdays and Sundays.

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition or vain talking. (Prostration)
But rather a spirit of purity, humility, patience and love, bestow on me Thy servant. (Prostration)
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

O God, cleanse me, a sinner. (12 times, with a bow made for each)

Then the entire prayer:

O Lord and Master of my life . . . (with one prostration made at the end)