Second week of Lent
Sunday Matins

The Canon

Canticle one:

First Canon
Tone 8 (by Theophanes
Marking the sea with a cross,
The rod of Moses worked wonders in days of old,
Striking and parting it,
Sinking pharaoh as he drove his chariot,
While saving Israel who fled on foot
Singing a song to God!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Shedding fervent tears, let us cry to you, Father and God of all,
And let us fall down before you with the words of the prodigal:
We have sinned, and departing far from you,
We have made ourselves the slaves of lust; accept our repentance!

You conferred a royal birthright on me, Word,
Becoming man for my sake,
But I despised your gift, and am condemned,
Feeding swine, the offspring of my sins, in bitterness.
But in your compassion, Savior, spare me.

I kneel before you as the prodigal Son of old:
Run out to meet me and receive me, Lord and master!
Take me into your embrace and grant me the tokens of your salvation.
Make me once more your Son instead of a hired servant,
Savior and lover of mankind.

Human nature was counted worthy of God's revelation
Through you, Virgin full of divine grace,
For you are the only mediator between God and man,
Rightly glorified by us all as the mother of God!

Second Canon

Tone 4 (by George
Irmos: I will open my mouth...

Holy Father Gregory , pray to God for us!

Preachers who speak of things divine,
Chosen theologians and all whose tongues are inspired by God,
Gather with one accord to rightly praise holy Gregory,
The herald of the spirit.

Let us praise Gregory the great,
The pillar of the faith,
The champion of the church,
The good shepherd of Thessalonica
And the true glory of the order of bishops.

You desired a higher life, Father Gregory,
And the path of perfection from earliest childhood,
Proving a true follower and companion of your namesake,
Gregory the theologian.

Be a path of life to me, undefiled one,
Guiding me to the dwelling place of God,
For I have wandered astray
And fallen into the pit of evil.
Lead me back through your mediation.

Katavasia: I will open my mouth, filled with the spirit;
I will sing a song to the queen and mother!
I will come rejoicing in the feast,
And I will extol all her glory!

Canticle three:

First Canon

Christ, in the beginning you established the heavens by your understanding
And founded the earth upon the waters:
Establish me upon the rock of your church,
For none is holy but you, only lover of mankind.

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

When I consider my actions, and how I have departed far from you,
Wasting in prodigal desires the wealth you have given me,
I am filled with fear, and in repentance cry out to you:
I have sinned, save me, my Father and my God!

In sin on earth, I am afraid of heaven,
For it will be my accuser on the last day,
When all things stand before you, Word of God,
Submitting to your righteous judgment.

I fed on dark and swinish thoughts,
When I left you like the prodigal,
Going to a far country, Savior,
But now I cry out to you:
I have sinned against you, I have sinned,
For I run fervently for refuge to your tender mercy.

Adam's nature was made divine, Virgin,
When God took flesh without change in your womb!
And we who were deceived of old
By the hope of becoming Gods
Have been set free from the ancient condemnation.

Second Canon

Irmos: In your divine glory, Theotokos...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

We hold fast to your inspired teaching,
Rejecting every false construction of the heretics,
Putting them all to flight with your holy writings, Gregory.

You refuted the foolish wisdom of heretics, blessed one of God.
He who is the true wisdom came to dwell in your heart,
And you broke their rebellious pride triumphantly with his aid!

Every lust of the flesh that is condemned to perish
You put to death in your wisdom,
And brought your soul to life through ascetic deeds,
Turning all its powers to the contemplation of God.

With full knowledge and the freedom of my choice,
I eagerly desired a shameful and prodigal life;
But through your holy intercessions, Virgin and bride of God,
Bind my heart with divine love!

Katavasia: In your divine glory, Theotokos,
Living and inexhaustible fountain,
Spiritually establish your choir, assembled in chorus.
In your mercy make them worthy of the crowns of glory!

Tone 4

Now is the time for action!
Judgment is at the doors!
So let us rise and fast,
Offering alms with tears of compunction and crying:
Our sins are more in number than the sands of the sea,
But forgive us, master of all,
So that we may receive the incorruptible crowns.

Canticle four:

First Canon:

You are my strength, O Lord,
My power and my God!
You are my exceeding joy,
Who condescended to our poverty while not leaving the bosom of the Father!
Therefore with the prophet Habakkuk, I cry out to you:
Glory to your might, lover of mankind!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

I have neglected your Fatherly commandments,
And in sensual pleasure I wasted the wealth you gave to me.
Stripped of every gift of grace,
I am brought to utter poverty in my wretchedness.
I come to you in repentance and confession:
Do not despise me, Master and Lord!

When I was an exile and far from you,
You took my poverty on yourself.
You assumed all my human nature in yourself,
And for my sake offered your divine body in sacrifice,
Making it, Word of God, my joy and restoration
As the lover of mankind.

Let us cry like the prodigal with unceasing tears
That we may be delivered from the eternal torment
That God has prepared for evil spirits:
We have sinned against you, Father,
But accept us all, for we take refuge in your mercy.

The Word who dwells with the Father and the Spirit
Is born from the Virgin without undergoing change.
He remains what he was while keeping forever what he took from us,
For he is one Son in two natures
Guarding the unique properties of each unharmed.

Second Canon

Irmos: The counsel of God cannot be examined...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

You opened your mouth, wise Father,
And preached the wisdom of God that was ever in your heart,
Proving Barlaam foolish and without understanding

By the law of nature,
You sank beneath the earth, beloved sun,
But in the morning you shall arise again with Christ,
The sun that knows no evening.
He watches over us all at your intercession!

By the grace of God, blessed saint,
You became the great glory and strength of the Orthodox,
A good shepherd,
A second Gregory the theologian,
The ever-watchful keeper of your flock.

Since you bore the Lord who once opened the ears of the deaf,
Open the ears of my soul, Mother of God;
Enable us to hear the word of God and keep it!

Katavasia: The counsel of God cannot be examined:
The most high was incarnate from a Virgin!
The prophet Habakkuk foresaw this and cried:
Glory to your power, O God!

Canticle five:

First Canon

Never-setting light, why have you cast me from your face?
Why has the darkness of separation covered me in my wretchedness?
I entreat you: let me return,
And direct my steps in the light of your commandments!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

I rejected with contempt the wealth and gifts of grace
That God had conferred upon me,
And have come to a country cursed by famine,
Empty of life-giving blessings;
But Father, in your goodness and compassion
Restore to me the glory and joy that once were mine.

Having spent our life in self-indulgence,
Let us make our own the resolve of the prodigal;
Let us run to the merciful Father
With undoubting faith and contrite hearts,
That we may receive forgiveness of our sins.

My soul, you live as an exile in a far country;
Do not wait, but run quickly and call on your God and Father,
And you will receive forgiveness for the sins you have committed,
Wasting your life as the prodigal.

You are a cloud of light, all-holy Virgin,
Bearing the sun of righteousness.
He dispels the dark ignorance of idolatry,
Shining upon us with the light of divine knowledge.

Second Canon

Irmos: All creation was awed by your divine Glory...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

You cut down the thorns of heresy and the tares of falsehood
With the scythe of your words and holy writings,
And you sowed the holy seeds of Orthodoxy, bishop Gregory.

Your words and sacred writings are dew from heaven,
Most wise Gregory;
Honey from the rock, the bread of angels for those who hear or read,
Sweet nectar and ambrosia,
And a fount of living water!

Land and sea acknowledge you as their teacher,
As the holy pillar of the Orthodox faith
The sacred armory of divine dogmas,
A wise and saintly theologian,
And the friend and companion of the apostles.

Undefiled Virgin,
Wash the filth from my heart with the waters of compunction,
Bestowing on me repentance
Through your holy prayers to the compassionate God
Whom you ineffably bore.

Katavasia: All creation was awed by your divine glory,
For you, Virgin, knew no man, yet bore the God of all.
You held in your womb the eternal son
Who grants peace to those who extol you in song.

Canticle six:

First Canon

Cleanse me, Savior, of my many transgressions.
Lead me up from the pit of evil, I entreat you,
For to you have I cried aloud:
Hear me, O God of my salvation!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

I was your younger son, wasting the wealth you gave to me,
Withdrawing far from you into an evil life.
Now I am starved and hungry for your blessings,
Lord and lover of mankind.
I come to you, my God and Father, asking forgiveness.

I dwell in cruel exile, condemned to feed the swine,
For I have wasted the riches you gave to me
In your loving kindness, Father.
I am stripped of everything; but take pity on me, O God.

I dare not look up to the boundless height of heaven
In my sinfulness, Lord and lover of mankind,
Nor call myself your son, for I am a prodigal.
I have no right to ask forgiveness,
But in your boundless mercy, take pity on me.

Ineffable and beyond human telling
Is the manner of your child bearing, Virgin.
For in ways past understanding you gave birth to God
While preserving your virginity unharmed.
Therefore, let us rightly glorify you as the true Theotokos!

Second Canon

Irmos: Let us, believers, clap our hands...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

The vain boasts of foolish Barlaam were shattered
By the wise emperor's piercing understanding, words and teaching,
And by yours as well, O Gregory.

Let us honor in hymns the divine harp of the spirit,
The trumpet that plainly proclaimed the mysteries of the Lord,
The bishop of Thessalonica,
The tongue that spoke of God.

Leading the people as a pillar of fire,
Burning the enemies of the faith,
You gave light to the Orthodox faithful,
Divinely-wise Gregory, our Father.

Be my peace and haven of consolation,
All-holy lady.
Calm my raging passions and lead me to a safe harbor in God!

Katavasia: Let us, believers, clap our hands in gladness,
Fulfilling the most precious feast.
By knowing God through the Theotokos,
Let us glorify him who was born of her.

Tone 8

Together we sing your praises, divinely-inspired Gregory:
God's holy instrument of wisdom; the joyful trumpet of theology.
As you now stand in mind and spirit before the creating wisdom,
Guide our minds to him, Father, that we may cry out to you:
Rejoice, preacher of grace!

You appeared as an angelic messenger on earth, proclaiming the Mysteries of God to mortal men. Endowed with a human mind and flesh, You spoke with the voice of the bodiless powers, filling us with Wonder, saint inspired by God, so that we cry out to you:

Rejoice, for through you the darkness is dispelled;
rejoice, for through you the light has returned!
rejoice, messenger of the uncreated Godhead;
rejoice, reprover of created folly!
rejoice, unscaleable height, telling of God's nature;
rejoice, unfathomable depth which speaks of his power!
rejoice, for you rightly proclaimed the glory of God;
rejoice, for you denounced the opinions of evildoers.
rejoice, torch that shows us the sun,
rejoice, cup flowing with nectar!
rejoice, for the truth has shown forth from you;
rejoice, for error has been plunged into darkness through you!

Rejoice, O preacher of grace!

Canticle seven:

First Canon

Once, at the descent of God
The fire in Babylon was put to shame
While the children danced with joyful feet,
Rejoicing in the furnace as in a grassy field and singing:
Blessed are you, O God of our Fathers!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

I dare not call myself your son, Father, the lover of mankind;
I ask to be as one of your hired servants.
Do not reject me as I cry out to you:
Blessed are you, O God of our Fathers!

We have lost the nobility that once was ours,
Defiled by our deeds of the past.
But let us hasten in fervent repentance to our only Father and God,
That we may receive salvation!

In my wretchedness I am condemned to serve a harsh landsman;
I suffer cruel hunger as I feed the swine.
But cause me to turn back from exile, Father, and have mercy on me.

You restored to life our dead nature, Virgin Theotokos,
For you alone bore the life!
Therefore with all the faithful
We acknowledge the salvation we have received from you,
And we cry out: blessed are you, O God of our Fathers!

Second Canon

Irmos: The Godly youths worshipped the creator...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

All who study your words and writings, Gregory,
Are initiated into the knowledge of God,
Being filled with spiritual wisdom
And becoming theologians
Of the uncreated grace and energy of God!

You shattered the weapons of false believers, holy bishop,
Destroying the arrogance of Barlaam and the power of heretics,
As a large rock destroys a spider's web.

The faith of the Orthodox
Is sealed by your words and teachings and writings, Gregory!
You humbled the boldness of heresy,
Bringing the denial of true faith to an end,
Overthrowing the false believers.

Withered by the passions' disease,
We have truly found a fount of healing in you,
From which we draw the waters of divine salvation,
And we cry: all-pure Virgin,
Blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Katavasia: The Godly youths worshipped the creator, not the creature;
Manfully they trampled on the flames, singing in joy:
Blessed are you, most praised Lord God of our Fathers!

Canticle eight:

First Canon

In his wrath, the Chaldean tyrant
Had the furnace heated seven-fold for the servants of God,
But seeing them saved by a better power,
He cried: bless the maker and deliverer, children!
Priests praise him; people, exalt him above all forever!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

We who believe in you know the wealth of your immeasurably great compassion.
We bow down before you, master, with the prodigal, in deep sincerity.
Accept us sinners who flee to you for refuge,
For there is no sin, compassionate Lord,
That overcomes your love for mankind.

You humbled yourself in your compassion, master;
You spoke with kindness to your fallen sons.
For in your love for mankind you go out to meet the sinful,
And with an embrace grant them salvation.
You are not angry if anyone should reproach you for this,
For in your tender love you are the only all-merciful one!

The judgment passed on me will be most terrible, master;
For though I see that you are longsuffering
And the great lover of mankind,
I do not run to you and call with the words of the prodigal,
But I spend my life in carelessness.
Be merciful to me, compassionate Lord,
And save me through repentance from condemnation on the last day.

Most holy Trinity, Glory to you!

We glorify not three Gods, but one Godhead;
We honor in very truth three persons:
The Father unbegotten, the Son begotten from the Father,
The Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father; one God in three;
Ascribing to each the title 'God' with true faith and glory!

I am beset by many trials, undefiled Virgin;
Overwhelmed by the waves of tribulation.
As you are a haven of salvation,
Deliver me through your intercessions,
And save me from all danger, Theotokos,
That I may glorify you forever as my sure protection!

Second Canon

Irmos: He who was born of the Theotokos...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

With the theologian saints, you now stand in worship
Before the throne of the all-merciful God,
For you were their equal in your way of life, wise Gregory,
The bishop of Thessalonica, the glory of the hierarchs,
Adorned with the dignity of the high priesthood.

Before your conception in the womb,
God knew the purity of your understanding;
He revealed clearly to the faithful emperor
That you are an invincible champion of the church;
You were sealed with the high priesthood's chrism in a secure and lawful consecration.

The harmful faction of Akincyndinus was completely defeated,
And vanished as the smoke,
Confounded by your voice of thunder,
And by the wisdom of your teaching, glorious Gregory, Bishop of Thessalonica.

Virgin, the word of God reshaped man's nature in your womb,
For it was crushed beneath the passions,
And in his infinite love
He fully renewed and sanctified it:
We have been saved through you,
And we glorify you unto ages of ages!

Katavasia: He who was born of the Theotokos
Saved the holy children in the furnace.
He who was then prefigured has now been born on earth,
And he gathers all of creation to sing:
All works of the Lord, bless the Lord,
And exalt him above all forever!

Canticle nine:

First Canon

Heaven was amazed and the earth struck with wonder
That God should appear in a body to men!
Your womb became more spacious than the heavens!
Therefore the commanders of the heavenly hosts and men together
Magnify you, Theotokos!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Sacrifice for my sake, Lord, the fatted calf,
And fill with joy all the holy souls who dwell with you.
I was lost: receive me back!
I was dead: lead me to life and clothe me with incorruption,
Putting on me the divine robe of salvation.

Come, souls that have wandered far from God,
And are deprived of the divine gifts of grace,
Let us turn back like the prodigal with deep sincerity of heart and cry:
Good Father in heaven, we have all sinned against you:
Be merciful to us and save us for we flee to your mercy for refuge!

Lord, our Lord, rich in compassion, do not despise me.
I have wasted my wealth in many pleasures,
But now I cry to you with the voice of the prodigal:
I have sinned against you, Father;
Be merciful to me and save me, for I flee to your mercy for refuge!

You are a haven of salvation, lady,
A guide and protection for your servant.
With love, I set all my hope in you:
May I be delivered from all harsh trials and temptations and stumbling
Through your intercessions before God
That I may magnify you in faith!

Second Canon

Irmos: Let every earthborn mortal be radiant...

Holy Father Gregory, pray to God for us!

You became a mirror of God, Gregory,
For you kept the divine image spotless in yourself,
Bravely setting your mind as master over the passions of the flesh,
According to the likeness of God
And becoming the glorious dwelling of the holy Trinity!

Inspired by the divine spirit,
You came to the aid of the pious emperor as an angel on wings,
Fighting against the foolish-minded Barlaam,
Who blasphemed in his madness against the glory of God,
Rightly gaining the victory over him.

Filled wholly with heavenly wisdom, glorious saint,
You shone as a light in the world,
Teaching the doctrines of the Orthodox faith.
In your love for true wisdom
You conceived the fear of God,
And gave birth to the words of the spirit within your heart.

With one accord, we faithful offer you a hymn of thanksgiving,
For you have freed us from the ancient curse, mother of God,
And through you we have gained God's blessing,
His salvation, enlightenment, mercy and eternal joy!

Katavasia: Let every earthborn mortal be radiant
And spiritually leap for joy;
Let the ranks of angelic powers celebrate
Honoring the holy feast of the mother of God and crying:
Rejoice, pure and blessed ever-Virgin, who gave birth to God!

Hymn of Light
(of the resurrection)

Rejoice, pride of the Fathers;
Mouthpiece of those who speak in theology,
Dwelling of gentle peace and house of wisdom,
Leader of teachers and sea of intellect.
Rejoice, instrument of work,
Fulfillment of vision, and healer of human illness.
Rejoice, Father, treasure of the spirit,
Both in your life and your death.

Lady, queen of all,
Embrace us in our sorrows.
Be present on the last day; the day of tribulation,
Lest Satan, Hades and destruction overrule us.
Make us all stand upright before the terrible tribunal of your Son,
Without offense, lady Theotokos,
By your intercessions!

The Praises
(five Stikhera of the resurrection)

Tone 1 (To the special melodyJoy of the Heavenly Host)

In the world, you led a blessed life;
Therefore now you rejoice with the throngs of the blessed,
And as a meek one, inheriting the land of the meek,
Enriched by God with the grace of miracles, bishop Gregory,
Which you now grant to those who honor you!

Verse: The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue shows forth judgment!

Planting Orthodox doctrines,
Uprooting the thorns of evil opinion, blessed one;
Growing well the plant of faith with the rain of your teachings,
As a good farmer, you offered to God fruit a hundred-fold!

Verse: Your priests, Lord, shall be clothed in righteousness,
And your saints shall shout for joy!

The ranks of angels and the assemblies of men
Wondered at the splendor of your blameless life, blessed one;
For by your own choice you showed yourself a firm contender,
An ascetic, worthy bishop and servant of God,
And his chosen friend!

Verse: Arise, Lord my God, lift up your hand;
Do not forget your poor forever!

Tone 6

In this season of abstinence, Christ,
You shine forth to enlighten those who walk in the darkness of sin.
Bring us to the holy day of your passion,
That we may cry out to you:
Arise, O God, and have mercy on us!


In this season of abstinence...

Now and ever...

Tone 2

You are most blessed...


Second week of Lent
Sunday Vespers

"Lord I call..."

Tone 8

I have committed countless sins against you,
Deserving punishments beyond number:
Inconsolable weeping and gnashing of teeth,
The fire of hell, the darkness of Gehenna.
Therefore, righteous judge, give me the grace of tears,
That I may find forgiveness of sins and deliverance from my iniquities,
And that fasting, I may cry to you:
Have compassion on me, Christ and Lord,
For your great and rich mercy!

Lost in the hills of evil iniquities,
Seek me, Word, as I call out to you,
Having wandered far from you in the multitude of my evil passions.
Revive me in this death
And purify me with fasting and constant weeping,
That I may cry out to you:
Christ Lord, have compassion on me
For your great and rich mercy!

Having begun the third week of the fast, believers,
Let us praise the venerable Trinity,
Passing the remaining time with gladness and joy,
Starving the passions of the flesh.
Let us glean divine flowers from our souls,
Plaiting them into crowns for the day that is Lord of days,
That in our crowns, we may praise the triumphant Christ!

Great Prokeimenon
Tone 8

Turn not your face from your servant, for I am afflicted: *
Hear me speedily, draw near unto my soul and deliver it!

Verse: Let your salvation, O God, uphold me.

Verse: Let the poor see and be glad!

Verse: Seek God and your soul shall live!

Tone 8

Wretched man that I am, I rejected Fatherly restraints,
With inconstant mind, living in the thoughts of bestial sins,
And wasting all my life in extravagance.
And when I was in need of the food that strengthens the heart,
I fed on the delight that makes fat for but a brief time.
Therefore, O good one,
Do not close against me the wings of your love for mankind,
But open them and receive me as the prodigal son, and save me.

Wretched man that I am...

Martyrs of the Lord,
You sanctify every place and heal every ill.
Now therefore, intercede with him,
That he may deliver our souls from every wile and snare of the enemy!

Glory...Now and ever...

The hosts of heaven praise you,
Unwedded mother, full of grace.
We glorify your ineffable giving of birth.
Therefore, Theotokos, intercede for the salvation of our souls!


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