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

Ode 1

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Sretensky Monastery. Photo: Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Sretensky Monastery. Photo:     

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.

From my youth, O Saviour, I have disregarded Your commandments and passed my life in passions and laziness. but now I cry to You, "Even at the end, save me!"

O Saviour, do not cast me down to hell, even though in old age I lie at Your gate empty of virtue. But in Your love for mankind forgive my sins before I die.

My soul has been wasted in evil habits, and now empty of the fruits of virtue I am in great hunger. Therefore, I cry to You, O merciful Father, "Watch over me and have mercy on me".

My own thoughts like thieves have attacked me, wounding me and covering me with sores. Come now, O Christ my Saviour, to heal me.

A priest was the first to see me naked and in dreadful condition, but he passed by on the opposite side of the road. Then a Levite came but he too ignored me. O Jesus, Who dawned on the world from Mary, come now Yourself and have pity on me.

O venerable Mary of Egypt, pray to God for us.

Grant me the brightness of grace from Divine Providence, O Mary, that escaping the darkness of passions I may eagerly sing of your blessed conversion.

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 our 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.

Like David stealing Bathsheba, I have fallen and become polluted through passions. O Saviour, cleanse me in my tears.

I have no tears, no repentance, and no compunction, O my God and Saviour, grant these to me!

I lie naked, having torn the garment, which my Creator fashioned for me in the beginning.

Despite their calling to the Bridegroom, "Lord, Lord, let us in," the foolish virgins found the door to the feast still locked to them. Yet like them will I entreat You, O Lord, "Open Your door to me as I return".

O Saviour, hear the sighing of my soul. Accept the tears, which drop from my eyes and save me.

O Lover of mankind Whose wish it is that all be saved, in Your goodness receive me as I return to You.

"See, see that I AM God!", hear this cry of our Lord, O my soul, and turn from your past sins. Fear Him as the righteous Lord, your Judge and your God.

My soul, truly have you come to resemble those first two murderers, Cain and his descendent Lamech; for you have stoned your body with evil deeds and murdered your inward being with senseless passions.

Let us consider those who lived before the Law was given, Adam's son Seth and his son Enoch; Enoch, who pleasing God was carried up to heaven; and Noah, called "the only good man of his time". Have you imitated any of these, O my soul? Is there any righteousness to be found in you?

My soul, you alone have opened the flood-gates of God's wrath anew, and as the earth was covered with water long ago, so have your flesh, your deeds, your whole life become covered with sin, and you remain outside the ark of salvation.

O venerable Mary of Egypt, pray to God for us.

You overturned your life of sin, O Mary, and eagerly ran to Christ, following His path through a pathless wilderness. And in purity and love you fulfilled His commands.

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.

You have neither inherited a blessing like Shem, O my wretched soul, nor like Japhet acquired vast possessions in the land of forgiveness.

Come out from sin, O my soul, as Abraham once came out of the land of Haran. Come to the land flowing with everlasting incorruption, which he inherited.

Having heard, O my soul, how Abraham left the land of his ancestors to become a wanderer, imitate his resolution.

At the Oak of Mamre the Patriarch Abraham offered hospitality to angels, and in his old age inherited the prize of God's promise.

O my wretched soul, knowing Isaac to be a new sacrifice mystically offered to the Lord, imitate also his resolution.

Having heard of Ishmael who as the child of a slave was driven out, watch carefully, O my soul, lest the same befall you because of your slavery to the passions.

O venerable Mary of Egypt, pray to God for us.

I am caught in a storm and tossed about by sin, O Mother, but guide me through and lead me to the safe harbour of repentance.

O venerable Mary of Egypt, pray to God for us.

As I now offer my supplications before the compassionate Theotokos, intercede with her before God for me, O venerable Mary of Egypt, that He may open to me the way to His Kingdom.

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.

My body is defiled, and my spirit is impure. I am covered with sores. But as our Physician, O Christ, wash, heal and cleanse me in repentance to make me whiter than show.

You offered Your body and blood for all, O crucified Word, that I might be renewed and washed. You surrendered Your Spirit to the Father that I might be brought to Him.

Accepting voluntarily to be nailed to a Tree, You accomplished salvation in the centre of the earth, O Creator. Eden, which had been closed to us is open again, and all of creation, both in heaven and on earth, is saved and worships You.

Let the blood and water which flowed from Your side be a fountain of living water and deliverance from captivity to sin. May they cleanse, refresh and anoint me as do Your living words, O Word.

Cast out of the banquet for lack of clothes fitting to wear, I awoke with empty lamp like the foolish virgins to find the door to the bridal chamber also closed to me. The supper is eaten but I lay cast out, bound tightly hand and foot.

The Church has been given Your life creating side as a chalice, O Saviour, from which to drink both deliverance and wisdom, which we understand as images of the two Testaments, both Old and New.

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.

Like Jannes and Jambres, the magicians in service to Pharaoh who opposed Moses, I have opposed You, O Lord, and become burdened in body and soul. My mind has fallen into grief. Come now to help me.

I am in a hopeless state, O Lord, for my mind finds attraction in corruption. Cleanse me now in my tears to make the garment of my flesh whiter than snow.

In considering my deeds, O Saviour, I see that in sin I surpass all people, for the wrong I commit is done knowingly rather than in ignorance.

Spare me Your creature, O Lord, for I have sinned yet now seek forgiveness from you, for You alone are pure by nature; no one else is free from defilement.

Because of Your love for mankind, O Saviour, You became incarnate and worked miracles, healing lepers, freeing paralytics, and stopping a woman's severe bleeding at just the touch of your robe.

O venerable Mary of Egypt, pray to God for us.

You found peace, O Mother Mary, after crossing the Jordan River, for the soul-destroying pleasures enjoyed a deserted place to roam. Now by your prayers deliver us also from these evil pleasures.

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.

As Joshua subdued Amalek and the lying Gibbeonites, arise, O my soul, and subdue the weakness of your flesh, conquering everything which leads your mind astray.

Pass through the River of Time as once the Covenant Box crossed the River Jordan, to take possession of the Promised Land in obedience to God's command.

As once You heard Peter's cry for help, so now protect me, O Saviour, and deliver me from Satan's power by pulling me from the depth of sin.

I know You as a clam haven from the storm of transgressions, O Christ my Saviour. Protect and deliver me from the depths of my innermost sin and despair.

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.

Manasseh sinned of his own choice, setting up his lust as idols and increasing the abomination of false gods in Israel. Later, however, he repented and humbled himself before the Lord. Emulate his return, O my soul, and acquire compunction.

Ahab did more to arouse God's anger than all the kings of Israel before him, yet you are his rival in sin, O my soul. Cry out now with your whole heart, confessing your sins to God.

Heaven is shut to you, O my soul; a famine sent from God has laid hold of you as it once did Ahab for disobeying Elijah the Tishbite. But imitate how the woman of Zarepath who by feeding the prophet alone received food by a miracle.

Elijah once called down fire on Jezebel's troops and killed her shameful prophets as a rebuke for Ahab's idolatry. Avoid al likeness to these two, O my soul, and strive to discipline yourself.

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.

O my righteous Judge and Saviour, have mercy on me! Deliver me from eternal fire and the sentence of condemnation, which I so justly deserve. Grant that by repentance and increase of virtue I may obtain forgiveness before it is too late.

With the thief I cry to You, "Remember me!" Like Peter I weep bitterly, "Forgive me, O Lord!" Receive my broken spirit as once You accepted the tax-collector's prayer and the prostitute's tears. The ceaseless entreaty of the Canaanite woman moved You to compassion, so have mercy on me as well, O Lord.

Heal my corrupt life, my only Saviour and Physician. Pour out Your grace on my heart like the good Samaritan's ointments, that with Your help I may bear the fruits which will show that I have changed. Then all my wounds of sin shall be healed.

Like the Canaanite woman I cry to You, "Have mercy on me, O Son of David!" Like the woman with severe bleeding I touch the hem of Your robe, and like Mary and Martha over Lazarus, I weep before You.

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 in 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.

Christ the Word healed diseases, preached the Good News to the poor and cured cripples. He ate with tax collectors, spoke with outcasts, and by just the touch of His hand recalled Jairus' daughter from death.

By repenting the tax collector was saved and the prostitute purified, but the outwardly righteous Pharisee was condemned for his pride. For the first cried, "O God, be merciful to me!" The second entreated mercy. But the last in his foolish vanity simply sought to justify himself.

Zacchaeus was a tax-collector yet obtained salvation, while Simon the Pharisee was saddened by the kindness Christ showed a prostitute, for she received complete forgiveness of her sins from Him Who has power to grant this. Now my soul imitate her and receive the same yourself.

O my soul, you have not imitated the prostitute who having washed the Saviour's feet with her tears and anointed them with perfumed ointment from a costly jar. For this the Lord proclaimed to her, "Go in peace. Your sins are forgiven, for your faith has saved you".

O my soul, you know the curse upon the towns which hearing Christ's preaching of the Good News refused to accept it. Fear lest the same happen to you, for comparing them to Sodom, the Master condemned them to hell.

O my soul, do not despair, for have you not heard how the daughter of the Canaanite woman was healed by a word from God? Therefore, imitate her faith and cry out to Christ from the depths of your heart, "O Son of David save me!"

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.

Conception without seed, birth past understanding from a mother who never knew a man, child bearing undefiled, for nature is renewed by the birth of God. Therefore with true worship all generation magnify you as mother and bride of God.


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