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

The Great Canon
of Saint Andrew of Crete

On Thursday of the first week of Great Lent during Great Compline, we begin the fourth and last section of the Great Canon after the reading of Psalm 69. The refrains are sung after each Troparion. At each refrain we make the Sign of the Cross and a full prostration.

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.
O Lamb of God that takest away the sins of all, take from me the heavy
burden of sin, and in Thy compassion, grant me tears of repentance.

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

I fall down before Thee, O Jesus, for I have sinned against Thee. Be
merciful to me; take away from me the heavy burden of sin, and in Thy
compassion, grant me tears of repentance.

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

Enter not into judgment with me by recalling all my deeds, demanding
an account of all my words or by examining my motives and desires. But in Thy compassion, O Almighty One, disregard my terrible past and save me.

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

The time for repentance has come and I draw near to Thee, O my Creator.

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

Take from me the heavy burden of sin, and in Thy compassion, grant me tears of repentance.

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

Having squandered the substance of my soul in sin, I am bereft of every
holy virtue, and in my hunger, like the Prodigal I cry: O compassionate Father, have mercy on me and save me.

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: See, see that I am God, Who sent manna, Who made water to spring from the rock in ancient times for My people in the wilderness, by My right hand, and by My strength alone.

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

Troparia.
Lamech cried aloud, lamenting: ‘I have killed a man and wounded myself, and a young man unto my pain’. But thou, O my soul, dost not even tremble while defiling thy flesh and polluting thy mind.

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

Skillfully hast thou planned to build a tower, O my soul, and to fortify it
with thy passions; but the Creator hast confounded thy designs and has dashed all thy devices to the ground.

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

O see, how much I have become like Lamech, the murderer of old, slaying my soul as if it were the man, my mind as if it were the youth, and my body as did Cain murdering his brother, with my sensual passions.

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

Angered by their transgressions, the Lord once rained down fire from
Heaven and burnt up the men of Sodom; but thou, O my soul, hast kindled the fires of Gehenna, in which thou shalt surely burn.

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

I am wounded, I am smitten, and the arrows of the enemy have pierced
my body and my soul. See the wounds, the open sores and the mutilations, which betray the blows of my self-inflicted passions.

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

To the Trinity: O Trinity uncreated and without beginning, O Unity undivided, accept me in repentance and save me, for I have sinned. O despise me not, for I am Thy creation, but take pity on me and deliver me from the fire of condemnation.

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

Theotokion: O Most-pure Lady, Mother of God, the hope of those who run to thee and haven of the storm-tossed and oppressed; pray to the merciful God, thy Creator and thy Son, that He will have mercy on me through thine intercessions.

ODE 3

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

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

Troparia.
Thou hast become like Hagar the Egyptian, O my soul; for of thine own
free will hast thou become enslaved and given birth to contempt, as to another Ishmael.

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

Thou knowest of the ladder that was shown to Jacob, reaching up from
earth to Heaven, O my soul. Why then, hast thou not set foot upon the firm step of piety?

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

Imitate Melchizedek, the Priest of God and solitary king, who was the
image of Christ among men in the world.

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

Turn back, O my wretched soul, and lament, before the festival of life
comes to an end, before the Lord shuts the door of the bridal chamber.

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

Do not look back, O my soul, and so become a pillar of salt; but rather,
fear the example of Sodom, and take refuge on the mountain of Zoar.

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

Reject not the prayer of those who praise Thee, O Master, but take pity on us and grant forgiveness to those who call on Thee with faith, O Lover of mankind.

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

To the Trinity: O simple Unity praised in a Trinity of Persons; O uncreated Nature without beginning, save us who in faith worship Thy power.

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

Theotokion: O Virgin Theotokos, thou hast given birth within time to the timeless Son of the Father. O strange wonder! Thou givest Him milk while still remaining Virgin!

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.
The time of life is short, full of wickedness and pain. But accept me in
repentance and call me back to spiritual awareness, that I may not fall as prey and become the possession of the enemy, and take pity on me, O Saviour.

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

Job, the righteous man of great possessions, with an abundance of riches
and cattle, was clothed in royal dignity, in crown and purple robe. He was suddenly deprived of his wealth and kingship and glory, and reduced to the state of a beggar.

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

If he who was righteous and blameless above all men could not escape the snares and assaults of the deceiver, what wilt thou do, O wretched and sinful soul, when some sudden misfortune befalls thee?

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

Although I am boastful and vain, hard-hearted and arrogant in speech,
condemn me not with the Pharisee, O righteous Judge. But rather, grant me the humility of the Publican and number me with him, O only merciful One.

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

I know, O compassionate Lord, that I have sinned, having defiled the
vessel of my flesh. But accept me in repentance and call me back to spiritual awareness, that I may not fall as prey and become the possession of the enemy, and take pity on me, O Saviour.

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

I have become mine own idol and have defaced my soul through my
passions, O compassionate One. But accept me in repentance and call me back to spiritual awareness, that I may not fall as prey and become the possession of the enemy, and take pity on me, O Saviour.

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

I have disobeyed Thy Scripture and not listened to Thy voice, O Giver of
the Law. But accept me in repentance and call me back to spiritual awareness, that I may not fall as prey and become the possession of the enemy, and take pity on me, O Saviour.

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.
Imitate the woman who was bowed to the ground, O my soul, and fall at
the feet of Jesus, that He strengthen thy back to walk upright in the steps of the Lord.

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

As Thou art a deep well, O Master, pour out the streams from Thine
immaculate Wound, that like the woman of Samaria, I may drink of Thy streams of life and thirst no more.

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

O my Master and my Lord, may my tears be like the Pool of Siloam that I may wash the eyes of mine heart, and with my mind I may behold Thee, the preeternal Light.

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 am the coin marked with the royal image which was lost of old; but seek me by the light of Thy candle and Forerunner, and find again Thine Image, O my Saviour.

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

Arise, O my soul, and make war against the passions of the flesh as Joshua did against Amalek, ever gaining the victory over the Gibeonites, thine evil thoughts.

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.

Sedalion (Tone 6): I think of the awful day and weep over my evil deeds. How shall I answer the Immortal King? How shall I, a prodigal, dare to look at the Judge? O gracious Father, Only-Begotten Son, and Holy Spirit, have mercy on me.

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.
My days have vanished like a dream of one awaking. Therefore, like
Ezechias, I weep while lying on my bed, that years may be added to my life. But what Isaias will come to me, O soul, except the God of all?

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

I fall down before Thee, and as tears I offer Thee my words: I have sinned like the Harlot, and transgressed as no one else on earth; but take pity on me Thy creature, O Master, and call me back to Thee.

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

I have buried Thine image and have broken Thy commandment. All my
beauty is destroyed and my lamp is gone out because of all my sins. But do Thou as David sings, ‘take pity on me, O Saviour, and restore me to Thy joy’.

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

Turn back, repent, and uncover all that thou hast hidden. Come and say
unto God, to Whom all things are known: Thou alone knowest all my secrets, O Saviour, ‘have mercy on me’, as David sings, ‘according to Thy mercy’.

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: for thou hast given birth to Christ God, One of the undivided Trinity, and hast opened the Heavens to us on earth.

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.
As precious myrrh, O Saviour, I empty on Thine head the alabaster jar of
my tears, and like the Harlot I cry beseeching Thy mercy: I offer Thee my supplications and I beg for Thy forgiveness.

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

No one has sinned against Thee as I have; yet accept even me, O compassionate Saviour, for I repent with fear and I cry out with love: against Thee only have I sinned, have mercy on me, O Most merciful One.

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

Spare the work of Thine hands, O Saviour, and as the Shepherd, seek the lost sheep that has gone astray. Snatch me away from the wolf and make me as a lamb, safe among the sheep of Thy pasture.

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

When Thou sittest upon Thy throne, O merciful Judge, and revealest Thy dread glory, O what fear there will be then; when the furnace shall burn, and all shall tremble before the majesty of Thy Judgement seat, O Christ!

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.

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.

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.

Now the Reader continues with Psalm 4, and the rest of Great Compline follows.