Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ode 1 of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Tomorrow, the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Great Lent, the Church chants the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete in its entirety. I include the first ode below. May Christ grant us all repentance before our end! Amen!

Christ asking Cain: "Where is Abel your brother?", and Lamentation over Abel's body (

Ode 1 of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
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.
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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)

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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)

7. 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)

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)

9. 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)

10. 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; Romans 9:21)

11. 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)

12. 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)

13. . In old age even, O Savior, do not cast me out empty to hell as I lie prostrate before Thy gates. But before my end, in Thy love for men, grant me release from my falls.

14. I am the one by my thoughts who fell among robbers; and now I am all wounded by them, full of sores. But stand by me, O Christ my Savior, and heal me. (Luke 10:30)

15. The priest saw me first and passed by on the other side. Then the Levite took a look at my sufferings and disdained my nakedness. But stand by me, O Jesus Who didst dawn out of Mary, and have compassion on me. (Luke 10:31-33)

16. O Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of all, take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction (John 1:29)

17. It is time for repentance. I draw near to Thee, my Creator. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.*

18. Abhor me not, O Savior, cast me not away from Thy face. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me release from my falls.*

19. All my sins, voluntary and involuntary, obvious and secret, known and unknown, forgive, O Savior, for Thou art God; be merciful and save me.

20. From my youth, O Christ, I have rejected Thy commandments. I have passed my whole life without caring or thinking as a slave of my passions. Therefore, O Savior, I cry to Thee: At least in the end save me.

21. I have squandered in profligacy my substance, O Savior, and I am barren of virtues and piety; but famished I cry: O Father of mercies, forestall and have compassion on me. (Luke 15:13. ,17)

22. I fall prostrate before Thee, O Jesus. I have sinned against Thee, be merciful to me. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction.

23. Enter not into judgment with me, by recording my deeds, demanding an account of my words, and examining my motives and desires. But in Thy compassion disregard my terrible past and save me, O God All-Powerful.

To the same Tone and Eirmos
Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St. Mary of Egypt: Grant me that illuminating grace from on high given thee by Divine Providence that I may escape the darkening of the passions and fervently sing of the thrilling achievements of thy life, O Mary.

Refrain: Holy mother Mary, pray for us.
To St. Mary of Egypt: By submitting to Christ's divine laws Thou didst draw near to Him, having left the unbridled craving for pleasure, and with all discretion thou didst achieve every virtue as one.

Refrain: Holy father Andrew, pray for us.
To St. Andrew of Crete: By thy prayers, O Andrew, deliver us from degrading passions, and make us who with faith and love sing of thee partakers now of the Kingdom of Christ, O renowned father, we pray.

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.
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.
(; available in pdf here:
St. Andrew Archbishop of Crete - Commemorated on July 4th (

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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