The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Tuesday of the First Week


Ode 1

A Helper and a Protector has become salvation to me.
This is my God, I will glorify Him.
God of my fathers
I will exalt Him for in glory was He glorified.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

Deliberately have I imitated blood thirsty Cain, O Lord, enlivening my flesh while murdering my soul by striking it with my evil deeds.

I have not resembled Abel in his righteousness, O Jesus, never having offered to You actions worthy of God, pure gifts, an appropriate sacrifice, an unblemished Life.

Like Cain, O my wretched soul, my offering to the Creator of all has been filthy deeds, a polluted sacrifice, and a worthless Life, and like him I now stand condemned.

You formed my flesh and bones as a Potter, O my Creator, my Redeemer and my Judge, by moulding clay into flesh and infusing in it the breath of Life. Accept me now as I return to You.

O my Saviour, I confess the sins which I have committed, the wounds which murderous thoughts, like thieves within me, have inflicted on my soul and body.

Thought I have sinned, O Saviour, I know that in Your love for mankind Your punishment is merciful and Your compassion profound. Seeing my tears You will run to me as the Father calling His lost son.

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

O Trinity above all essence and worshiped as One God, take from me the heavy burden of sin, and since You are compassionate grant me tears of repentance.

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

O Theotokos, Hope and Protection of those who sing to you, take from me the heavy burden of sin and as one pure Lady accept me as I repent.

Ode 2

Attend O heaven and I will speak,
I will sing of Christ,
Who from the Virgin took flesh to dwell with us.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

Sin stripped me of the garment created for me by God, leaving me in a coat of skin.

Sensing his shame, Adam dressed himself in fig leaves, and like him I now wear a garment of shame which reveals my many passions.

A soiled garment clothes me, one shamefully stained with blood flowing from a Life of passion and love of fleshly things.

I fell beneath the weight of the passions and the corruption of my flesh, and from that moment has the Enemy had power over me.

Instead of seeking poverty of spirit I prefer a Life of greed and self gratification. Therefore, O Saviour, a heavy weight hangs from my neck.

Joseph's was a splendid coat of many colours, but mine is one of shameful thoughts, which condemns me even as it covers my flesh.

I persist in caring only for my outer garment, while neglecting the temple within me, one made in the image of God.

The woman searched her house for the lost coin until she found it. Now the beauty of my original image is lost, O Saviour, buried in passion. Come and as she did, search to recover it.

Like the prostitute I cry to You, O Saviour, that I have sinned. I alone have sinned against You! But accept my tears as You did hers when she came to anoint Your feet.

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

O God of all, I sing of You as One yet Three in Person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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

O Most holy Theotokos, Virgin alone praised everywhere, pray fervently that we may be saved.

Ode 3

Establish, O Lord, my unstable heart
on the rock of Your commandments for only You are holy and the Lord.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

In You, the Destroyer of death, have I found the Fountain of Life, and now from the heart cry out before my death, "I have sinned. Be merciful and save me!"

I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned against You, but be merciful to me, though there is no one whose sins I have not surpassed.

I have imitated those who in the days of Noah indulged themselves, and like them I deserve to perish in a flood.

Noah's son Ham failed to conceal his father's nakedness, and even dared to look at him in his shame. And you, my soul, in your treatment of your neighbour have imitated him.

Run my soul! Run from sin, as Lot ran from the fire! Run from Sodom and Gomorrah! Run from the flame of every deceiving desire!

"Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on me," so shall I cry to You when You come with Your angels to render to us all our deeds deserve.

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

One simple and uncreated nature without beginning Whom we praise as God in Trinity, save us who in faith worship Your power.

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

Without seed you gave birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father, O Theotokos, and, O strange wonder, you nourished Him at your breast while remaining a virgin!

Ode 4

The prophet heard of Your coming, O Lord, and was afraid that You was to be born of a virgin
and appear to men,
and he said
"I have heard the report of You and am afraid";
Glory to Your power, O Lord.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

Prepare yourself, my soul! Be courageous like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that acquiring diligence and wisdom you too may meet your God. Through contemplation may you reach the awesome depths in which He dwells and in so doing become a good steward of the Lord.

Jacob and his sons, the patriarchs, established for you, O my soul, an example in the ladder of active ascent. By his way of Life Jacob took the first step, fathering twelve sons and offering them as further rungs, which step-by-step ascend to God.

But you, my hopeless soul, have rather imitated Esau, surrendering to the crafty evil the beauty you inherited from God. In two ways, works and wisdom, have you been deceived and now is the time for you to change your ways.

Esau's consuming lust for women, his turning passion, and his soul marred by senseless pleasures, earned for him the Hebrew name "Edom" (meaning "red"), for his soul was like a flame burning with love for sin.

My soul, have you not heard of Job, who even while sitting on a dunghill was justified? Why then in times of temptation have you never imitated his courage or firmness of purpose, or endured with patience?

Once Job sat on this throne surrounded by children and greatly admired, but now lies naked on a dunghill, childless, homeless, and covered with sores. Even so, he considers his dunghill a palace and his sores precious pearls.

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

I confess You as one God in Trinity, a single essence unconfused in Persons, co-enthroned and co-ruling. And I sing to You, "Holy! Holy! Holy!" Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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

As a virgin you gave birth, and a virgin you remained by nature, your womb giving birth painlessly, for He Who was born of you renewed the laws of nature, since when God wills its order is overthrown.

Ode 5

Out of the night watching early for You,
enlighten me I pray, O Lover of man,
and guide me in Your commandments,
and teach me, O Saviour, to do Your will.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

You have heard, O my soul, how the waves and waters of the river formed a protective chamber for the baby Moses, allowing his basket of reeds to escape the cruel edict of the Pharaoh.

The midwives, though instructed by Pharaoh to kill the male infants of the Hebrews, obeyed their God instead. Now that you, my hopeless soul, have been spared death like Moses, like him also be nourished on the wisdom of the Lord.

By killing the oppressive Egyptian, Moses severed his bond to Pharaoh. But you, O my hopeless soul, have not even begun to attack the wickedness of your mind. If you have not accomplished even this much, how can you expect to pass through the time of repentance, which alone can drive away our sinful passions?

Go, my soul, and imitate the great Moses in the wilderness, that like him you may behold God present in the burning bush.

Think of the staff that Moses stretched over the waters to divide them. It is an image of the Cross of Christ whereby you, my soul, can also accomplish great things.

Aaron's faithfulness was shown by his offering an acceptable sacrifice to God. But you, my soul, like the priests Hophni and Phineas have offered only your deceitful and selfish life.

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

We glorify You, O Trinity, One in essence, and we praise and adore You forever, singing, "Holy! Holy! Holy!" Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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

God, the Creator of all things, became incarnate through you, O pure Virgin Mother, uniting our human nature to Himself.

Ode 6

With my 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.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

The waves of my transgressions have turned back on me, O Saviour, just as once the Red Sea turned back to engulf the Egyptian forces.

Like Israel of old you have an arrogant will, O my soul, preferring gluttony and self gratification to the manna from heaven.

The Canaanites' wells can be likened to worldly philosophies, from which you, my soul, have preferred to drink rather than from the rock from which when struck by Moses there poured out a river of wisdom, the knowledge of God.

Like the arrogant Israelites in the wilderness, you prefer the comforts of Egypt and unclean food to manna, the food sent from heaven.

Water pouring from the rock when struck by Your servant Moses, prefigured Your life giving side, O Saviour, from which we saw the Water of Life.

Find the Promised Land and explore it secretly as Joshua, son of Nun, once did. See what kind of land it is and settle there, obeying the Law of God.

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

"I AM the Trinity, simple and undivided in essence, yet divided in Persons. I AM also the Unity united in nature", says God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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

Your womb, O Theotokos, held God Who for our sakes took human form. Implore Him, the Creator of all, that through your prayers 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, and fills all things.

Ode 7

We have sinned, transgressed, done wrong before You.
We have not watched or done as You have commanded us,
but do not give us up utterly, O God of our fathers.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

Merely for touching the Covenant Box to prevent its falling to the ground, Uzzah was struck dead by God. Avoid His anger at such presumption, O my soul, by showing true honour to holy things.

You have heard of Absalom and how he rebelled against his father David, and know how he defiled his father's bed. So why do you still imitate his wild impulses and his love of pleasures?

By following Satan your freedom has become enslaved to your body, O my soul, as when on Ahitophel's advice Absalom revolted against his father. But Christ has scattered the enemy's counsel that you might at all costs be saved.

Solomon was mighty and full of wisdom, but did wrong before the Lord when he turned to idols. And you, my soul, resembled him in your evil life.

Solomon was carried away by gratification of his lust. Alas, he who loved Wisdom now makes love to prostitutes and finds himself estranged from God. But in your misery though you have imitated him, O my soul, through your disgraceful love of luxury.

Your sin rivals Rehoboam's, who ignored the wise advisers of his father Solomon; and you have imitated Jeroboam who divided the Kingdom and turned Israel to idols. Flee such likeness and cry out to God, "I have sinned, have pity on me!"

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

Simple and undivided, One in essence and nature, Light and Lights, One Holy and three Holies, God is praised as Trinity. So sing praises to Him, O my soul, and glorify the Life and Lives, the God of all.

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

We praise you, we bless and venerate you, O Mother of God, for from the undivided Trinity you brought forth the only Son of God and restored to us on earth the heavenly realms.

Ode 8

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.
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

King Uzziah, though mighty in battle and faithful in his own observance of the Law, tolerated idolatry among the people, and for this was he struck with a dread disease. Now you, my soul, are twice as sick as he, for your life is polluted with evil thoughts and wicked deeds.

Have you not heard how the Ninevites, moved by Jonah's preaching, repented in sackcloth and ashes? Why then have you not followed their example? For in its pride your heart is harder than all that have sinned both before and after the Law.

Thrown into a well, Jeremiah lamented bitterly the fall of Zion. Only by such a life of mourning and weeping, O my soul, will you find the way to salvation.

Jonah the prophet fled to Tarshish, for he was well aware of how merciful our God is. And foreseeing the conversion of the Ninevites he feared their repentance would prove false his threat of destruction.

You have heard, O my soul, how by faith Daniel shut the mouths of the roaring lions in the den, and the three Holy Children extinguished the flames in the furnace.

I have reviewed as examples for you, O my soul, all the figures of the Old Testament. Learn to imitate the deeds of those who in righteousness loved their God, and flee from the sins of the wicked!

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

O Eternal Father, co-eternal Son, and gracious Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, O Father of the Divine Word, Word of the eternal Father, and life creating Spirit, Trinity in unity, have mercy on us.

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

O pure Virgin, the flesh of Emmanuel was formed within your womb as a robe of royal crimson is spun from scarlet silk. We proclaim you to be truly the Mother of our God.

Ode 9

Ineffable is the child bearing of a seedless conception,
a mother remaining pure.
For the birth of God renews nature,
so in all ages we magnify you as mother and bride of God
Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy on us.

The Devil showed stones to Christ, which he could turn into bread, then led Him to the top of a mountain to show Him at a glance all the kingdoms of this world. O my soul, fear the Devil's craftiness, watch and pray to God at every hour!

John the Baptist, that "Dove who loved the desert," the "Light which went before Christ," the "Voice crying in the wilderness", heralded the preaching of repentance. But Herod, unwilling to listen to him, sinned with Herodias. By embracing repentance, O my soul, beware yourself of falling into the snares of the Wicked One.

When John the Forerunner of grace was living in the wilderness, all the people of Judea and Samaria came out to hear him. O my soul, why have you not imitated them by confessing your sins and receiving the washing of repentance?

Marriage is honourable and the marriage bed undefiled, for Christ blessed both by His presence at the marriage in Cana. He ate and transformed water into wine, thus performing His first miracle, that you, my soul, might be transformed.

Christ strengthened a paralytic, enabling him to rise and walk. He raised from death a widow's son, and healed the servant of a Roman officer. By revealing Himself to the woman in Samaria, he made clear to you, O my soul, how to worship God in Spirit.

When a woman suffering from severe bleeding touched the hem of the Lord's garment, she received healing from Him. Just as by His words He healed lepers, gave sight to the blind, strength to cripples and hearing to the deaf and dumb, and straightened the crippled woman, all in order that you, my miserable soul, might believe and find salvation!

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

We glorify the Father, we exalt the Son, and we worship the Holy Spirit, the indivisible Trinity Who exists as One, the Light and Lights, the Life and Lives Who grants light and life to the ends of the world.

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

O purest Mother of God, preserve your people, for through you are we kept faithful, strengthened, and made able to overcome every temptation, trial, and tribulation.

O holy Father Andrew, pray to God for us.

O honourable Andrew, thrice-blessed Father and pastor of Crete, never cease praying to God for those who sing your praises, that He may deliver from anger, sorrow, corruption, and countless sins all of us who faithfully honour your memory.


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