The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Great Lent

The Great Canon
of Saint Andrew of Crete

On Thursday (i.e., Wednesday evening) of the fifth week of Great Lent, Matins begins as usual. After the eighth kathisma and the appropriate sedalen for Thursday (in the tone of the week), the first half of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt is read. Then, after Psalm 50, we begin the Great Canon.

ODE 1
TONE 6

Irmos: A helper and a protector, He has become my salvation. This is my God, I will glorify Him, my father’s God will I exalt, for gloriously has He been glorified.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? How shall I begin, O Christ, to relieve my present tears? But as Thou art deeply compassionate, grant me forgiveness of sins.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Come, O wretched soul, and together with thy body confess to the Creator of all so that henceforth, thou shalt abstain from thy past foolishness and offer tears of repentance to God.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Having rivaled the first-formed Adam by my transgressions, I have found myself stripped naked of God, of the everlasting kingdom and all of its delights, because of my sins.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Woe is me, O wretched soul, for thou art become like the first Eve! For thou hast looked in wickedness and wast bitterly wounded; for thou hast
touched the tree and rashly tasted the forbidden fruit.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

In the place of the physical Eve, the temptation of Eve hath taken flesh in my mind, showing me what seems to be sweet; but making me taste and swallow bitterness.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Adam was rightly banished from Eden, O Saviour, because he disobeyed
one of Thy commandments. What then shall I suffer, for constantly rejecting Thy words of life?

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

To the Trinity: O Trinity, Who surpasses all creation and is adored in Unity, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.

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

Theotokion: O Theotokos, the hope and protection of those who praise thee, take from me the heavy yoke of sin and as thou art our Most-pure Lady, accept me in repentance.

ODE 2

Irmos: Attend, O heaven and I will speak, I will sing of Christ, Who from the Virgin took flesh to dwell with us.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
Attend, O heaven and I will speak; give ear, O earth to the voice of one
who repents before God and sings His praises.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Look upon me, O God my Saviour, with Thy merciful eye, and accept my fervent confession.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I have sinned above all men, I alone have sinned against Thee; but as God take pity on Thy creature, O Saviour.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

My lustful desires have formed in me the deformity of my passions and
have disfigured the beauty of my mind.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

A storm of passions surrounds me, O compassionate Lord. But stretch out Thine hand to me, as once Thou didst to Peter.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I have stained the garment of my flesh and have defiled that which was
made in Thine image and likeness, O Saviour.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I have darkened the beauty of my soul with passionate pleasures and haveturned my whole mind entirely to dust.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I have torn the garment that the Creator first wove for me in the
beginning, and therefore I lie naked.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I have clothed myself in the torn robe that the serpent hath spitefully
stitched for me by his counsel, and now I am ashamed.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I offer to Thee, O merciful One, the tears of a harlot. Cleanse me, O Saviour, in Thy compassion.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I looked upon the beauty of the forbidden tree and my mind was
deceived; and now I lie naked and ashamed.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The demons of passion have ploughed long furrows on my back,
prolonging their wickedness upon me.

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

To the Trinity: I sing praises to the One in Three Persons, God of all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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

Theotokion: O Most-pure Theotokos and All-laudable Virgin, fervently
intercede for our salvation.

ODE 3

Irmos: Establish Thy Church, O Christ, on the unshakable rock of Thy commandments.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
The Lord once rained fire from heaven and consumed the land of Sodom.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Seek salvation on the mountain as did Lot, O my soul, and find thy refugein Zoar.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Flee from the flames, O my soul, flee from the burning heat of Sodom, flee the destruction of the divine fire.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I alone have sinned against Thee, I have sinned above all men; reject me
not, O Christ my Saviour.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou art the Good Shepherd: seek me, the lamb that has gone astray and do not forsake me.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou art my sweet Jesus, Thou art my Creator, and in Thee shall I be
justified, O Saviour.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I confess that I have sinned, I have sinned against Thee, O Saviour. But in Thy compassion absolve me and forgive me.

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

To the Trinity: O God, the Trinity, One in Unity, save us from delusion and temptation and distress.

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

Theotokion: Rejoice, O Womb that bore Divinity! Rejoice, O Throne of the Lord! Rejoice, O Mother of our Life!

Katavasia, Second Irmos: Establish Thy Church, O Christ, on the unshakable rock of Thy commandments.

Little Litany and the Exclamation: For Thou art our God…

Sessional Hymns
By Joseph
Tone 8.

Divinely shining lights, eyewitnesses of the Savior,
Illuminate us in the darkness of this life
That we may now walk honestly as in the day;
Driving out the passions of the night with the torch of abstinence,
That we may behold with joy the splendor of the Passion of Christ.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

By Theodore
Tone 8.

O company of the Twelve Apostles, chosen by God,
Offer now to Christ your supplication
That we may all complete the course of the fast
Saying our prayers with compunction and practicing the
virtues with an eager heart;
And so may we attain to see the glorious Resurrection of Christ our God
Bringing to Him glory and praise.
Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages, Amen.

Theotokion
Tone 8.

Pray with the Apostles, O Theotokos,
To the incomprehensible Son and Word of God
Who was born from thee in ways past speech and understánding,
That He may bestów true peace upon the earth
And grant us the forgiveness of our sins before the end,
Counting thy servants worthy of the heavenly Kingdom in His
boundless mercy.

Now the second half of the life of Saint Mary of Egypt is read. This is followed by the Three-Ode Canon (The Troparia and Refrains are chanted by the Reader – without bows or prostrations):

THREE-ODE CANON
By Joseph
First Canon
ODE 4 – TONE 8

Irmos: I have heard the mystery of Thy dispensation, O Lord; I have considered Thy works and glorify Thy Godhead.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Troparia.
Enlightened by God, the Apostles of Christ lived in abstinence; and by
their divine mediation they help us in this season of the fast.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

As a twelve-stringed instrument, the divine choir of the Disciples sang a
hymn of salvation, confounding the music of the evil one.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Driving away the drought of polytheism with the waters of the Spirit, O
All-blessèd Apostles, you have nourished the earth.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Theotokion: I have passed my life in arrogance: make me humble and save me, O All-pure Lady, for thou hast borne the Lord Who has exalted our humbled nature.

Second Canon
Tone 8

Irmos: I have heard the report of Thee, O Lord, and was afraid; I have
considered Thy works and glorify Thy power, O Master.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Troparia.
O Most-honoured choir of the Apostles, in your intercessions to the Maker of all, ask that He have mercy on us who sing your praises.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

As the husbandmen of Christ, O Apostles, you tilled the whole earth with the word of God, and at all times you bring to Him the fruit of your labors.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

You became a vineyard, O Apostles, for Christ the Most-belovèd, for from you the wine of the Spirit gushed forth into the world.

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

To the Trinity: Trinity, One in essence, without beginning and supreme in power, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: O God, Light of Life, guard Thy flock.

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

Theotokion: Rejoice, O fiery Throne! Rejoice, O candlestick that bears the Light! Rejoice, O Mountain of sanctification, O Ark of life, Tabernacle and Holy of Holies!

ODE 4

Irmos: 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.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
Despise not Thy works, O Righteous Judge, and forsake not Thy creation though I alone have sinned more than any other man. Yet Thou, as the Lord of all, hast the power to remit all sins, O Lover of mankind.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The end draws near, O my soul, the end draws near; yet thou dost not
prepare, neither dost thou care. The time grows short. Arise, for the Judge is at the very doors. The days of our lives pass quickly, as if they were a dream, as if they were a flower. O why do we trouble ourselves in vain?

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Arise, O my soul and consider all the deeds which thou hast done, and set them up before thine eyes. Now pour out the drops of thy tears and boldly confess to Christ of thy deeds and thoughts, and so be thou justified.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

In life’s course, O Saviour, there has been no sin, no deed, no wicked thing, that I did not commit. I have sinned as no one has ever before, in mind, word and intent, in purpose, deed and thought.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

For this I am condemned and for this, wretch that I am, I am convicted by mine own conscience, more severe than all else in the world. O my Judge and Redeemer, Who knowest my heart, spare me, deliver me and save me, Thy servant.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The ladder seen of old by the great Patriarch Jacob is an example, O my
soul, both of ascent through action and of ascent through spiritual
understanding. If, therefore, it is thy desire to live by thy works, with
understanding and contemplation, be thou made new.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Bearing the burning heat by day and the frost by night because of his
privation, Jacob endured making daily gains, shepherding, struggling and slaving in order to win two wives.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

By the two wives, understand that one is action and the other is spiritual
understanding in contemplation. Leah represents action, for she had many children; and Rachel spiritual understanding, for she endured great toil. For without labor, O my soul, neither action nor contemplation will succeed.

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

To the Trinity: I confess Thee as undivided in Essence, unconfused in Persons, One Triune Divinity, co-reigning and co-enthroned! And to Thee, I raise the great Thrice-holy hymn that is sung on high.

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

Theotokion: Thou givest birth and art a virgin, and in both thou remainest a virgin by nature. He Who is born renews the laws of nature, and the womb gives birth without travail. When God so wills, the order of nature is overruled, for He does whatsoever He wills.

ODE 5

Irmos: Out of the night watching early for Thee, enlighten me I pray, O Lover of man, and guide me in Thy commandments and teach me O Saviour, to do Thy will.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
The whole of my life has passed by in the night, for the darkness of sin has covered me like a thick fog in the middle of the night. But make me a son of the day, O Saviour.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Imitating Rueben, I have devised a wicked and lawless act against God
Most High, having defiled my bed as he defiled the bed of his father.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I confess to Thee, O Christ my King, that I have sinned. I have sinned like the brothers of Joseph of old, who sold the fruit of purity and chastity.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

His righteous and gentle soul was bound by his kinsmen and he was sold into slavery as a foretelling of the Lord. But thou, O my soul, hast sold thyself entirely to thy sins.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O my miserable and wretched soul, imitate the righteous and chaste mind of Joseph; and do not defile thyself by continuing to indulge thy wanton and irrational desires.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

When Joseph was cast down into the pit, O Lord and Master, it was to
prefigure Thy Burial and Resurrection. But what offering such as this shall I ever make to Thee?

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

To the Trinity: We glorify Thee, O Trinity, as One God! Holy, Holy, Holy, art Thou, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; simple Essence and Unity worshipped for ever.

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

Theotokion: From thee, O Virgin undefiled and maiden Mother, has God the Creator of the ages, become vested in my human flesh, uniting to Himself the nature of man.

ODE 6

Irmos: With mine whole heart, I cried unto the compassionate God: and He heard me, and He lifted up my soul from the depths of hell and from corruption.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
I offer to Thee in purity the tears of mine eyes and the sighs from the
depth of my heart, which cries: I have sinned against Thee, O God, have mercy on me.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Thou hast turned thyself away from thy Lord, O my soul, as did Dathan
and Abiram; but cry out from the lowest depths of hell: ‘Spare me’, that the earth may not open up and swallow thee.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Do not be like Ephraim stung to madness like a stampeding calf, O my
soul, but rather, save thy life like a gazelle fleeing from the snare on the wings of action, resolve and contemplation.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Let the hand of Moses assure us, O my soul, that God can cleanse and
make again as white as snow a leprous life. So do not despair, though thou thyself art leprous.

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

To the Trinity: ‘I am the Trinity, simple and undivided, yet divided in Three Persons; and I am the Unity, united by Nature’, says the Father and the Son and the Divine Spirit.

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

Theotokion: Thy womb bore God for us, fashioned in our image. Implore thou Him as the Creator of all, O Theotokos, that we may be justified through thine intercessions.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages, Amen.

Katavasia, Irmos 6: With mine whole heart, I cried unto the compassionate God: and He heard me, and He lifted up my soul from the depths of hell and from corruption.

Little Litany and the Exclamation: For Thou art the King of Peace and the Saviour of our souls, and to Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages, Amen.

Kontakion (TONE 6):
My soul, my soul arise /
Why art thou sleeping? /
The end is drawing near /
And thou wilt be confounded. /
Awake then and be watchful /
That thou mayest be spared by Christ God ///
Who is everywhere present and fillest all things.

Ikos (SAME TONE):
Seeing Christ’s house of healing opened, /
And health flowing down upon it from Adam /
The devil suffered and was wounded /
Then he wailed as if in mortal danger /
And to his friends he raised a bitter howl: /
‘What shall I do to the Son of Mary? /
I am slain by the Man from Bethlehem ///
Who is everywhere present and fillest all things.

SYNAXARION
First from the Menaia, then the following with the Verses:
Grant, O Christ, the image of humility to us who sing the Great Canon to Thee! On this day according to ancient tradition, we once again sing the Great Canon in its entirety. Undeniably the greatest of all canons, it was skillfully composed and written down by our Father among the Saints, Andrew Archbishop of Crete, also called Andrew of Jerusalem, because at the age of fourteen, he left Damascus for Jerusalem there to receive his education in Letters and to embarked on the monastic path upon which he lived a venerable and God-loving life of silence and peace. He left many beneficial and salvific works, including many courageously triumphant and instructional homilies and canons to God’s Holy Church. Not least among these compositions is this Great Canon of Repentance from which flow ceaseless examples of humility taken from the entire Old and New Covenants. All are beautifully and sweetly woven together, from Adam all the way through the Holy Ascension of Christ and the words of the Holy Apostles, and through these blessèd words, every soul is instructed to strive after and to emulate their example. We are taught by the words of this Canon to flee from every evil and to earnestly turn to God in repentance, with tears and confession, which are all pleasing to God; for if this Canon is sung with true humility and piety it is able to soften even the hardest of hearts through its glory and sweetness.

Being filled with the same humility and piety, Saint Sophronius the
Patriarch of Jerusalem, had earlier recorded the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt which also contains countless examples of humility that give great comfort to repentant sinners who wish to leave behind their evil ways. Now, having embarked on this day to sing and to read both of these works, we realize that we are rapidly approaching the end of the great and holy forty days of the Fast, and we see that both the negligent and the zealous in their spiritual efforts are all come together. As a great teacher, Andrew uses the stories in the Great Canon both to extol the virtuous works of men and to condemn their evil actions. By so doing he shows us the truth of the words: those who labor with valor and courage shall achieve victory. The blessèd Sophronius, through his inspirational
and wise words calls everyone to do good works for the glory of God and never to lose hope nor fall into despair, no matter how grievous their sins may be. For the example of the Egyptian woman shows the greatness of God’s love for mankind and the power of His mercy that allowed even her to be so profoundly converted away from her prior sinful life. As we read the Great Canon and ponder the images it contains, we cannot help but wonder how prolific and fruitful its author was, who had written over thirty such canons and many more troparia. But this one, however, surpasses them all in its indescribable beauty and sweetness. This Canon is truly ‘Great’ and beautiful for great is the humility that it inspires. For this reason is the reading of the Great Canon included in the order of services for Great Lent. Both the Great Canon and the Life of the Venerable Mary of Egypt were first brought to the city of Constantinople by the same Andrew, who was sent as an assistant by Patriarch Theodore of Jerusalem to attend the Sixth Ecumenical Council. There, he strove against the Monothelites and took the monastic vows and was numbered among the clergy of Constantinople as a deacon in charge of an orphanage. Eventually, he became Archbishop of Crete and later served in Mytilene, where he departed unto the Lord having wisely governed his flock. Through his prayers, O God, have mercy on us.

Now, the Beatitudes with Troparia follow (with prostrations):
Tone 6:

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

1. Thou didst make the Thief a citizen of paradise when he cried to Thee
upon the Cross, O Christ, ‘Remember me.’ Grant that I may be worthy of his repentance, unworthy though I am.

Blessèd are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2. Thou hast heard, O my soul, how Manoah of old beheld the Lord in a
vision, and then received from his barren wife the fruit of God’s promise. Let us then, emulate his piety.

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

3. Emulating Samson’s idleness, O my soul, thou hast been shorn of the
glory of thy deeds, and through thy love of pleasure, thou hast surrendered thy chaste and blessèd life to the Philistines.

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

4. He who once overthrew the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, is now imprisoned by passionate desires: but flee from his example, O my soul, flee from his actions and his weakness.

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

5. The captains Barak and Jepthah, together with Deborah who had a man’s courage, were chosen as judges of Israel. Learn from their valor, O my soul, and strengthen thyself with courage.

Blessèd are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

6. Thou knowest of the courage of Jael, O my soul, who impaled Sisera with a sharpened stake thereby bringing salvation to Israel. Hear ye this, for thus the image of the Cross is prefigured for thee.

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

7. Offer a sacrifice worthy of praise, O my soul, offer thine actions as an
oblation purer than the daughter of Jepthah, and slay then the passions of thy flesh as an offering to the Lord.

Blessèd are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

8. Consider the fleece of Gideon, O my soul, and receive the dew from
heaven; bend down thy neck, O soul, and drink of the Letters of the Law that are wrung out for thee like water.

Blessèd are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

9. Thou hast incurred the condemnation of Eli the priest, O my soul, for
thoughtlessly hast thou allowed thy passions to act sinfully within thee, as he permitted his children to commit transgressions.

Blessèd are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake.

10. In the Book of Judges, O my soul, the Levite divided his wife limb from limb and sent the parts to the twelve tribes of Israel so that he might reveal the lawless abominations of Benjamin.

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

11. The chaste and honourable Hannah moved her lips in prayer to God
though her voice was not heard; yet she who was barren bore a son worthy of her prayer.

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

12. Samuel the Great, the son of Hannah was born in Arimathea, was brought up in the house of the Lord and was numbered among the judges of Israel. Emulate him, O my soul, and judge first thine own works before judging the actions of others.

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

13. David was chosen to be King and was anointed to his royal office with the horn of divine myrrh, O my soul; and if thou desirest to attain the Kingdom on high, anoint thyself with the myrrh of thy tears.

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

14. Have mercy on me, Thy creature, O merciful Lord; take pity on the work of Thine hands; spare all those who have ever sinned, and spare even me who above all others have despised Thy commandments.

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

To the Trinity: Without beginning are the birth of the Son and the procession of the Spirit. I worship the Unoriginate Father, and I glorify His begotten Son, and I sing praises to the Holy Spirit Who shines forth with the Father and the Son.

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

Theotokion: We venerate thine ineffable childbearing, O Theotokos, yet we do not divide the natural glory of Thy Son, but confess Him to be One in Person and Two in Nature.

ODE 7

Irmos: 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: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
I have sinned, I have transgressed, and I have rejected Thy commandments, for in sins have I progressed and have added sores to my wounds. But in Thy compassion have mercy on me, O God of our fathers.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

I have confessed to Thee the secrets of mine heart, O my Judge. See my
humility and behold my affliction, and consider now my condemnation. But in Thy compassion have mercy on me, O God of our fathers.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Once, when Saul went searching for his father’s lost herds he found
himself proclaimed as king. Be watchful, O my soul, lest while searching for thine animal desires thou shouldst overlook the Kingdom of Christ.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

David, the forefather of God, once sinned doubly, O my soul; being
pierced with the arrow of adultery and struck with the spear of murder’s
remorse. But thou, my soul, art more gravely ill than he, for worse than any acts are the urgings of thy will.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

David once joined sin to sin when he mixed adultery with murder; yet
then he showed at once a twofold repentance. But thou, my soul, hast done worse things than he, yet thou hast not repented before God.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

David once composed a hymn, setting forth, as in an icon, all the evils he
had done; and he condemned them, crying, ‘Have mercy on me, for against Thee only have I sinned, O God of all, cleanse me!’

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

To the Trinity: O Trinity, simple and undivided, consubstantial and of One Nature. We praise Thee, Light and Lights, One Holy and Three Holies, God the Trinity! Sing, O my soul, and glorify the Life of Lives, the God of all.

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

Theotokion: We praise thee, we bless thee, we venerate thee, O Mother of God: (prostration) for thou hast given birth to Christ God, One of the undivided Trinity, and hast opened the Heavens to us on earth.

Now, the Three-Ode Canon continues (The Troparia and Refrains are chanted by the Reader — without bows or prostrations):

THREE-ODE CANON
By Joseph
First Canon
ODE 8 – TONE 8

Irmos: The eternal King of Glory before whom the powers of heaven tremble, and the ranks of Angels stand in fear, O ye Priests praise and ye people exalt above all throughout all ages.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Troparia.
As coals of immaterial fire, O Apostles, burn up my material passions and kindle within me now a longing for divine love.

Let us honour the well-tuned trumpets of the Word, which have caused the ill-founded walls of the enemy to tumble down, and have firmly established the ramparts of the knowledge of God.

Break the passionate idols of my soul, as you broke into pieces the temple and pillars of the enemy, O ye consecrated temples, the Apostles of the Lord.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Theotokion: O Pure Virgin, thou hast contained Him Who by nature cannot becontained; thou hast held Him who upholds all things; thou didst suckle Him Who sustains creation — Christ the Giver of Life.

Second Canon
TONE 8

Repeat Irmos: The eternal King of Glory before whom the powers of heaven tremble, and the ranks of Angels stand in fear, O ye Priests praise and ye people exalt above all throughout all ages.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Troparia.
O Apostles of Christ, with the Spirit as Architect you have built the whole Church, and within it you bless Christ throughout all ages.

Sounding the trumpets of the dogmas, the Apostles have overthrown all
the error of idolatry, exalting Christ throughout all ages.

O noble company of the Apostles, guardians of the world and citizens of
heaven, deliver from danger those who ever sing your praises.

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

To the Trinity: O Three-fold Sun, All-radiant Sovereignty of God, O Nature—One in glory, One enthroned: Father, All-creating, Son and Spirit of God, I sing of Thee forever.

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

Theotokion: Let us praise in ceaseless song the Mother of God, as a throne Most-honoured and Most-high, O ye people; for after childbirth she alone is both Mother and Virgin.

Now we continue with Ode 8 of the Great Canon:

ODE 8

Irmos: Him whom the hosts of heaven glorify, whom the Cherubim and Seraphim dread, let every breath and creature praise, bless and magnify throughout all ages.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
I have sinned, O Saviour, have mercy on me. Awaken my mind to
conversion, accept my repentance and take pity on me as I cry: Against Thee only have I sinned and have done evil in Thy sight, have mercy on me.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Elias once ascended above all earthly things in the chariot of his virtues
as if to Heaven. Meditate, then O my soul, on this ascent.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Elisha once took up the mantle of Elias and received a double portion of
grace from the Lord. But thou, O my soul, hast no share in this grace because of thine uncontrolled desires.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

With the mantle of Elias, Elisha made the streams of the Jordan stand still on either side. But thou, O my soul, hast no share in this grace because of thine uncontrolled desires.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

The Shunammite woman graciously gave shelter to the righteous man,
but thou, O my soul, hast welcomed neither stranger nor traveler into thy house. Therefore shalt thou be cast out weeping from the bridal chamber.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

In all ways hast thou imitated the unclean thoughts of Gehazi, O my
wretched soul. At least now, in thine old age, rid thyself of his greed and flee from the fires of hell, turning away from thine evil ways.

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

To the Trinity: O Eternal Father, Co-eternal Son and Gracious Comforter, the Spirit of Righteousness, Father of the Divine Word, Word of the Eternal Father, and Living and Creating Spirit. O Trinity, One in Unity, have mercy on me!

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

Theotokion: The spiritual purple of Emmanuel was woven inside thy womb as if from scarlet silk, O Most-pure Virgin. Therefore we honour thee as truly Theotokos.

Katavasia, Irmos: The eternal King of Glory before whom the powers of heaven tremble, and the ranks of Angels stand in fear, O ye Priests praise and ye people exalt above all throughout all ages.

Magnificat
1. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my
Saviour.

Refrain: More honourable than the Cherubim, and truly more glorious than the Seraphim: thee who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word, the true Mother of God, thee do we magnify.

2. For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for behold,
henceforth all generations shall call me blessèd.

Ref.

3. For He Who is mighty has done great things for me; and Holy is
His Name.

Ref.

4. And His mercy is on those who fear Him; from generation to
generation.

Ref.
5. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in
the imagination of their hearts.

Ref.

6. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted
those of low degree. He has filled the hungry with good things, and
the rich He has sent empty away.

Ref.

7. He has helped His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy; as
He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever.

Ref.

Now, the Three-Ode Canon continues (The Troparia and Refrains are chanted by the Reader — without bows or prostrations):

THREE-ODE CANON
By Joseph
First Canon
ODE 9 – TONE 8

Irmos: Saved through thee, O Pure Virgin we confess thee to be truly Theotokos, and with the choirs of Angels we magnify thee.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Troparia.
You were revealed, O Apostles, as fountains of the water of salvation:
bring refreshment to my soul that faints from the thirst of sin.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

I am drowning as I flounder in the deluge of sin: with Thy right hand, O
Lord, save me as Thou hast saved Peter.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

You are the salt that gives savor to the teachings of salvation: dry the
rottenness of my mind and dispel the darkness of my ignorance.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

Theotokion: O Lady, thou hast brought forth our Joy: grant me the spirit of mourning that in the coming Day of Judgement I may be comforted by God.

Second Canon
TONE 8

Irmos: With all generations we magnify thee, Mediatrix between heaven and earth: for in thee, O Virgin, the fullness of the Godhead came to dwell bodily.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

Troparia.
We magnify you in our hymns, O glorious company of the Apostles: for
you have been revealed as the shining lights of the inhabited earth that cast out error and delusion.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

O Blessèd Apostles, catching rational men like fish with the net of the
Gospel, bring them always as an offering to Christ.

Refrain: Apostles of Christ, pray to God for us.

In your prayers to God remember us, O Apostles, that we may be
delivered from all temptation, who lovingly sing your praises.

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

To the Trinity: I sing Thy praises, O Unity in Three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit, One God, Consubstantial Trinity, equal in power and without beginning.

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

Theotokion: With all generations we call thee blessèd, O Mother and Virgin: for through thee we are delivered from the curse, for thou hast borne the Lord our Joy .

Now we continue with Ode 9 of the Great Canon:

ODE 9

Irmos: Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception; a mother remaining pure. For the birth of God renews nature’s birth; so in all ages we magnify thee in an Orthodox manner as the Mother and Bride of God.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Troparia.
Take pity on me, save me, and have mercy on me, O Son of David, Who
didst heal the man possessed by demons with Thy Word; and let me hear Thy compassionate voice speak to me as to the Thief: ‘Truly, I say unto thee, thou shalt be with me in Paradise, when I shall come in My glory.’

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

One thief reviled Thee and the other thief confessed Thy Divinity while
each was hanging on his cross. So open even unto me, O Most- compassionate One, the door of Thy glorious Kingdom, as unto Thy believing Thief, who acknowledged Thee as God.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

All of creation was in anguish, seeing Thee crucified. The mountains and
rocks fell asunder from fear, the earth did quake, hell was laid bare, and the light grew dark in the middle of day, seeing Thee, O Jesus, nailed to the Cross.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Do not require of me worthy fruits of repentance, for my strength has
failed within me. Rather, grant me an ever-contrite heart and a poor and simple spirit, that I may offer them to Thee as a pleasing sacrifice, O only Saviour.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O my Judge Who knowest me, look upon me with Thy merciful eye when Thou comest again with the Angels to judge the whole world, and spare me; take pity on me, O Jesus, for I have sinned more than any other.

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

To the Trinity: Let us glorify the Father, let us exalt the Son, and with faith let us worship the Divine and Holy Spirit, the Trinity undivided, Unity in Essence; Light of Lights, Life and Lives, giving light and life to the ends of the earth.

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

Theotokion: Protect this, thine habitation, O Most-pure Mother of God, for through thee she reigns in faith, by thee she is made strong, by thee she is made victorious defeating every trial and temptation, despoiling every enemy and ruling over her obedient servants.

Katavasia, Irmos: Ineffable is the childbearing of a seedless conception; a
mother remaining pure. For the birth of God renews nature’s birth; so in all ages we magnify thee in an Orthodox manner as the Mother and Bride of God.

Little Litany and the Exclamation: For all the Powers of heaven praise Thee and to Thee do we send up glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Now the Exapostilarion (Svetilen) in the Tone of the week, and we continue with the rest of Matins, as usual on a weekday in Great Lent.