You are currently browsing the daily archive for March 3, 2009.

Part of the Great Canon of St. Andrew, sang in Romanian language by Radu-Voda Monastery choir:

01_cantarea_i-protos_teofil
02_cantarea_a_ii-a-protos_nectarie
03_cantarea_a_iii-a-pc_aurel_mihai
04_cantarea_a_iv-a-ierom_policarp1
05_cantarea_a_v-a-protos_teofil
06_cantarea_a_vi-a-protos_nectarie
08_cantarea_a_vii-a-pc_aurel_mihai
09_cantarea_a_viii-a-ierom_policarp
10_cantarea_a_ix-a-protos_teofil

English text version:

On Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, during Great Compline, after Psalm 69, the Canon is sung. The Eirmosi are sung twice, at the beginning and end of each Song. Before each Troparion we make the sign of the Cross and bow three times.

Song 1. Tone 6.

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:

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)

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)

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)

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; Rom. 9:21)

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)

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)

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:

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

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

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

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

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

I have adorned the idol of my flesh with the many-colored clothing of shameful thoughts, and I am condemned. (1 John 5:21)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

To The Trinity: One in three Persons I praise Thee, O God of all, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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

Theotokion: Spotless Mother of God, only all-hymned Virgin, pray intensely that we may be saved.

Song 3.

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

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

Troparia:

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.

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.

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)

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)

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)

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.

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.

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:

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)

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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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:

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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:

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)

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)

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 21:25; Exodus 17:6)

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)

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)

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. (Josh. 2)

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.

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.

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:

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Song 8.

Eirmos: Him Whom the heavenly hosts glorify and before Whom Cherubim and Seraphim tremble, let every breath, and all creation praise, bless and exalt throughout all ages.

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

Troparia:

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)

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)

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)

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 prophecy should not prove false. (Jonah 1:3)

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. (Dan. 6:16-22; 3:23)

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.

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

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.

Song 9.

Eirmos: Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception, unsullied the pregnancy of a Virgin Mother, for the birth of God renews natures. So in all generations we magnify thee in orthodox fashion as the Mother and Bride of God.

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

Troparia:

Christ 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)

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)

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)

Marriage is honourable 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)

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; Josh. 4:24)

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)

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

To The Trinity: Let us glorify the Father, exalt the Son, and faithfully worship the Divine Spirit, inseparable Trinity, Unity in essence, as the Light and Lights, the Life and Lives, giving life and light to the ends of the earth.

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

Theotokion: Protect thy city, spotless Mother of God, for in thee it faithfully reigns, and in thee is made strong, and through thee it conquers and routs every trial and temptation, and spoils its foes and rules its subjects.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

To St. Andrew of Crete: Venerable Andrew, thrice-blessed father, shepherd of Crete, cease not to pray to God for those who sing of thee, that He may deliver from anger, oppression, corruption and our countless sins, all of us who faithfully honor thy memory .

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.

This kind can come out by nothing, but prayer and fasting” (St. Mark 9:29).

thumbThis is the saving prescription of the greatest Physician of human souls. This is the remedy tried and proved. Another remedy for lunacy, there is not. What kind of sickness is that? That is the presence and dominance of an evil spirit in a man, a dangerous evil spirit who labors to eventually destroy the body and soul of man. The boy whom our Lord freed from an evil spirit; this evil spirit that had hurled him at times in the fire, at times in the water just in order to destroy him.

As long as a man only philosophizes about God he is weak and completely helpless against the evil spirit. The evil spirit ridicules the feeble sophistry of the world. But, as soon as a man begins to fast and to pray to God, the evil spirit becomes filled with indescribable fear. In no way can the evil spirit tolerate the aroma of prayer and fasting. The sweet-smelling aroma chokes him and weakens him to utter exhaustion. In a man who only philosophizes about faith, there is spacious room in him for the demons. But in a man who sincerely begins to pray to God and to fast with patience and hope, for the demon it becomes narrow and constricted and he must flee from such a man. Against certain bodily ills there exists only one remedy. Against the greatest ill of the soul, demonism, there exists two remedies, which must be utilized at one and the same time:

St. Nikolai Velimirovich – Prayers By the Lake

The  video bellow  contains text from Prayers by the Lake by St. Nikolai of Zicha,  a contemporary Serbian saint. May God grant our hearts to hear them.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF5qeVfdavY&eurl=http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/st-nikolai-velimirovich-prayers-by-the-lake/

 The complete Prayers by the Lake at: http://www.sv-luka.org/praylake/index.htm

 

 

“But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down
with dissipation and drunkenness and the cares of this life.”
(Luke 21:34)

                                                                                        sf-ignatie-brachmaninov

It is good for the salvation of our souls during the Holy 40 Days of Lent not only to oppress our bodies by fasting, but also to speak about fasting; it is for the salvation of our souls for us to direct all the necessary attention to the warning against over-eating and satiation made to us by the Lord Himself; “take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the cares of this life.”

The institution of fasting is a divine institution. The first commandment given by God to man was the commandment of fasting. (“.of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.” Gen 2:17) It was indispensably necessary for us in Paradise prior to our fall; it is even more necessary after the fall. The commandment of fasting was given in Paradise; it is repeated in the Gospel. Let us lift up our thoughts to the divine institution of fasting and by a consideration of this institution, let us revitalize with our soul the effort of fasting itself.

The effort of fasting does not belong exclusively to the body; the effort of fasting is useful and necessary not only for the body; it is useful and necessary primarily for the mind and the heart. “Take heed of yourselves that your hearts not be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness.” The Savior of the world showed us in these words something worthy of special attention, the effect of the excessive use of food and drink, a terrible consequence, a soul destroying after-effect. The heart is hardened, coarsens, is weighed down, from pleasing the stomach; the mind is deprived of its lightness and spirituality; man becomes fleshly. What is meant by a “fleshly man?” Holy Scripture calls fleshly that unfortunate man who is nailed to the earth, who is incapable of spiritual thoughts and feelings. “My Spirit shall not remain in man forever, since he is flesh” (Genesis 6, 3), testifies God. The fleshly man is incapable of the worship of God. Even the spiritual man, once he has subjection himself to satiation, loses his spirituality, loses in some way the very ability to know God and to serve Him. “And Israel waxed fat,” says Holy Scripture, calling Jacob the true servant of God, “and became stub-born; you became fat, you grew thick and became sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the rock of his salvation” (Deuteronomy 32, 15). The saint comes to such a condition when he excludes from his efforts the effort of fasting. Plumpness and laziness passed on to the body by excess and lack of discrimination in food, little by little are passed on by the body to the heart and by the heart to the mind. These spiritual eyes, the heart and the mind, are then deadened; eternity is hidden from them; earthly life appears to the unhealthy sight as endless. Our earthly life is guided by these ideas and feelings and the ill-fated, blinded traveler, together with the serpent who was cast out, walks “on his belly” and “eats dust” all the days of his earthly life. (Genesis 3, 14). Breaking the fast threatens the disciple of Christ with falling away from Christ.

Such an effect of intemperate or even imprudent and careless use of food on man, explains the reason why man, in the very state of his innocence, in the midst of the enjoyments of Paradise, needed the commandment of fasting. It was intended to preserve the newly created creation, composed of two natures, the bodily and the spiritual, in a spiritual state. It was intended to keep in balance the two natures and give the preference to the spiritual nature. With its help, man could always stand in thought and heart before God, could be unapproachable to thoughts and dreams of vanity.

The commandment of fasting is even more necessary for fallen man. A weakness for the earth, for the transitory earthly life, its sweetness, greatness, glories, the very inclination to sin have become the way of life for our fallen nature, just like the feelings and attractions proper to an illness. We are nailed to the earth, attached to it with all our soul and not only with the body: we have become completely fleshly, deprived of spiritual feeling, incapable of heavenly thoughts. The commandment of fasting again is the first commandment necessary for us. Only with the help of fasting can we tear ourselves away from the earth! Only with the help of fasting can we withstand the attractive power of earthly enjoyments! Only with the help of fasting can we break the bond with sin. Only with the help of fasting can our spirit free itself from the heavy chains of the flesh! Only with the help of fasting can our thoughts arise from the earth and look toward God! As far as we take upon ourselves the blessed yoke of fasting does our spirit acquire greater freedom; it aspires to the realm of spirits akin to it, it begins to turn often to the contemplation of God, to submerge itself in this measureless and wonderful contemplation, to acquire a skill in it. If things in the natural world, enlightened by the rays of the sun, without fail borrow brilliance and shine from it, then how shall our spirit be enlightened once it, having overthrown by means of fasting the coarse and thick curtain of fleshiness, shall stand directly before the Sun of Truth, God? It is enlightened! It is enlightened and changed! In it arise new thoughts, divine ones, to it are opened up mysteries, which before were unknown to it. “The Heavens,” declare to it “the glory of God”; the firmament proclaims the omnipotence of the Hand which created it; all creation, both seen and unseen, loudly proclaim the unspeakable mercy of the Creator! It tastes spiritually and sees spiritually “how good is the Lord!” The blessed lightness and fineness of the spirit is passed on to the body; the body, after the spirit, is attracted to spiritual feelings and prefers imperishable food for which it was created to the perishable food to which it has fallen. At first it submits with difficulty to the healing and violence of fasting; at first it rebels against the institution of fasting, sets our spirit against it, arms itself against it by various rationalizations drawn from falsely-called reason; but, being tamed and healed by fasting, it already feels and thinks differently. Its relationship to satiation is similar to the feelings of a man, who is healed, towards harmful foods, which he used to desire violently during the illness. His relation towards eating are like the attitude towards a detected and evident poison by which mastery over the flesh is taken away from the spirit, by which man is reduced from his likeness and kinship to the Angels to a likeness and kinship with unreasoning animals. Spiritual soldiers who have gained victory over the flesh by means of fasting, who have stood before the face of the Lord to learn the greatest mysteries and the highest virtues, hear from His lips the teaching of the highest virtue of fasting and are shown the mystery of that condition which little by little takes shape from over-eating and satiation; “Take heed to yourselves, less your heart be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness.” These conquerors are reminded of carefully keeping near them that weapon by which the victory was won. And the victory is won and the spoils gained by that victory by the very same weapon-fasting.

The ascetic, the hero of Christ, illumined from above and learning from his religious experiences, as he examines the effort of fasting in itself, finds really necessary not only abstinence from satiation and constant eating, but also a strict discrimination in food. The discrimination seems to be excessive only upon a superficial and fleeting look; but, in essence, the quality of food is especially important. In Paradise, only the quality was forbidden. In our valley of tears on earth, we find that lack of discrimination in the quality produces many more spiritual distresses than excess in quantity. It should not he thought that a cluster of grapes has a way of acting on our mind, on our soul, but every kind of food has its own effect on the blood, the brain, the whole body and through the body, on the soul. whoever looks after himself attentively, exercising himself in the effort of fasting, will find it really necessary to practice abstinence of the body and soul from the continuous use of meat and even fish; he will greet the regulations of the Church concerning fasting with love and will obey them.

The Holy Fathers called fasting the foundation of all the virtues since our mind is kept in the necessary purity and sobriety, while our heart is preserved in fineness and spirituality by it. He who shakes the foundation of the virtues, shakes the entire building of the virtues.

Brethren! Let us run the course of the holy fast with sincerity and thoroughness. The deprivations to which our body is apparently subjected by the rule of fasting are really nothing in the face of the spiritual worth which the fast is capable of bringing. By means of fasting, let us tear our bodies away from the luxuries and rich table and our hearts from the earth and corruption, from that deep and destructive forgetfulness, by which we separate ourselves from eternity which stands before us and is ready to embrace us. Let us aspire both in body and in soul to God! Let us fear that fleshly condition caused by breaking the fast. Let us fear the complete inability of worshipping God and the Knowledge of God produced by despising the fast. This destructive inability is the beginning of eternal death. This fatal inability is shown in us when, due to scorning the Divine commandment of fasting, we allow “ourselves and our hearts to be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness. Amen.

A Study of The Great Canon of Saint Andrew

The series of ten 90-minute educational classes are intended to provide Christians the opportunity to examine the scriptural and ethical directives of the Great Canon (chanted during the first and fifth week of Great Lent).

Presenter Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos

Available Multimedia Items (source ISOS – Internet School of Orthodox Studies from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website)

On Clean  Monday of the First Week of Lent (March 2, 2009), during Great Compline, after Psalm 69, the Canon is sung. The Eirmosi are sung twice, at the beginning and end of each Song. Before each Troparion we make the sign of the Cross and bow three times.

 

Song 1.

Tone 6.

 

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:

 

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.

 

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.

 

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)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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)

 

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:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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)

 

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)

 

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

 

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

 

To The Trinity: I sing of Thee as one in three Persons, O God of all, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

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

 

Theotokion: Spotless Mother of God, only all-hymned Virgin, pray intensely that we may be saved.

 

 

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:

 

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

 

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

 

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)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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!

 

 

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:

 

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)

 

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)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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; Rom. 12:2; Titus 3:5)

 

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)

 

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.

 

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:

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

His brothers gave up righteous Joseph, 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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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:

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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.

 

Lord, have mercy (Three times).

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. 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.

 

 

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:

 

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.

 

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.

 

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)

 

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)

 

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.

 

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)

 

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.

 

 

Song 8.

 

Eirmos: Him Whom the heavenly hosts glorify and before Whom Cherubim and Seraphim tremble, let every breath and all creation praise, bless and exalt throughout all ages.

 

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

 

Troparia:

 

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.

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

 

Song 9.

 

Eirmos: Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception, unsullied the pregnancy of a Virgin Mother, for the birth of God renews natures. So in all generations we magnify thee in orthodox fashion as the Mother and Bride of God.

 

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

 

Troparia:

 

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?

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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)

 

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)

 

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 2:25-38)

 

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)

 

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

 

To The Trinity: Let us glorify the Father, exalt the Son, and faithfully worship the Divine Spirit, inseparable Trinity, Unity in essence, as the Light and Lights, the Life and Lives, giving life and light to the ends of the earth.

 

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

 

Theotokion: Protect thy city, spotless Mother of God, for in thee it faithfully reigns, and in thee is made strong, and through thee it conquers and routs every trial and temptation, and spoils its foes and rules its subjects.

 

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.

 

To St. Andrew of Crete: Venerable Andrew, thrice-blessed father, shepherd of Crete, cease not to pray to God for those who sing of thee, that He may deliver from anger, oppression, corruption and our countless sins, all of us who faithfully honor thy memory.

 

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.

 

 

 


Archives

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 524,490 hits
March 2009
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Pages