Fifth week of Lent
Wednesday Matins

(after the 2nd reading of the Psalter):

Sessional hymn
Tone 8

Sinfully, Adam ate from the tree
And reaped in bitterness the fruits of his greed;
But, merciful Lord, you were lifted upon the tree,
Delivering him from his heavy condemnation.
Therefore we raise our cry to you:
Grant us, master, to abstain from the fruit that brings corruption
And to do your will,
That we may receive your mercy.

Glory... Now and ever...

Christ took flesh from your pure womb, holy Virgin,
And was born from you in ways beyond our understanding!
As you saw him hang upon the cross between two evildoers,
Your heart was filled with anquish.
You cried out with a mother's grief:
Woe is me, my child!
What is this divine and ineffable act of your loving providence
By which you have restored your creature to life?
I sing the praises of your deep compassion!

(after the 3rd reading of the Psalter):

Sessional hymn
Tone 2

Singing the praises of the most holy wood of the cross,
We ever venerate your boundless love, Christ our God!
For through the cross you have put the hosts of the enemy to shame
And have given a sign to those who set their trust in you!
Therefore in thanksgiving we cry aloud to you:
Grant that we may all complete the time of the fast
In peace and with good courage!

Glory... Now and ever...

When the ewe-lamb saw the innocent shepherd hanging on the wood,
She cried aloud with a mother's grief:
My son, you spread out a cloud for your people
As they journeyed through the wilderness,
But with ingratitude they have condemned you to death!
Woe is me! I have no husband
And now I have no child!
But arise, O sun, and let your light shine forth,
And I shall be glorified among the children of mortals!

Tone 3

You have forsaken the loftiness of virtue, my soul,
Instead you have descended to the depths of sin and fallen among thieves.
Now you are covered with rotting sores,
Lying crippled and without hope.
So now cry to Christ your God,
Who was crucified and voluntarily received wounds for your sake:
Lord, care for me and save me!

Tone 8

Lord, I have been wounded by thieving thoughts,
And left half dead in my misery.
The company of the prophets passed me by,
Seeing me at the point of death and incurable by human skills.
Therefore, in my cruel suffering, with humility of heart,
I cry to you, Christ my God:
Pour out your great mercy on me, compassionate one!

Invincible martyrs of Christ,
You triumphed over falsehood by the power of the cross,
And received the grace of eternal life.
You did not fear the threats of your tortureres;
You were glad of being wounded by them,
And now your blood is the healing of our souls.
Pray that our souls may be saved!

Glory... Now and ever...

When the most pure one beheld you, O word,
Hanging upon the wood in the flesh,
Her heart was wounded and she cried in tears:
Where have you gone from me,
Beloved Jesus, my Son and my God?
Do not leave me, your mother, alone, O Christ!


Fifth week of Lent Wednesday
Sixth Hour

Troparion of the prophecy
Tone 1

We beseech you, Lord of mankind,
To accept in supplication
The sufferings which your saints endured for your sake, O Lord,
And heal all our infirmities!

Prokeimenon of the prophecy
Tone 4

It is good to give thanks to the Lord * and to praise your name, most high!
Verse: To declare your mercy in the morning, and your truth by night!

Prophecy of Isaiah 41: 4b-14

Tone 6

The Lord is king * he is robed in majesty.
Verse: The Lord is robed; he is girded with strength!


Fifth week of Lent
Wednesday Vespers

"Lord I call..."

Tone 8

I have fallen among the thieves of my own thoughts in my wretchedness.
My mind has been despoiled, and I have been cruelly beaten.
My whole soul is wounded;
Stripped of the virtues, I lie naked on the highway of life.
Seeing me in bitter pain and thinking my wounds incurable
The priest turned away and would not look at me.
Unable to endure my soul-destroying agony,
The Levite saw me and passed by on the other side.
But you, Christ my God, were pleased to come
Not from Samaria but from the flesh of Mary.
Grant me healing and pour out your great mercy on me
As the lover of mankind. (twice)

Fame and praise befits the saints,
For they bowed their necks beneath the sword
For your sake, who bowed the heavens and came down.
They shed their blood for you,
For you emptied yourself and took the form of a servant.
By emulating your poverty they too humbled themselves even unto death.
By their prayers have mercy on us, O God,
According to the abundance of your great mercies.

(by Joseph)

Lord, you have made your holy disciples into living heavens.
By their intercessions deliver me from the evils of the earth.
By abstinence raise my thoughts to the understanding of your passion,
For you are the merciful lover of mankind.

The time of the fast helps us all to do the works of God.
Let us weep, then, with our whole heart and cry to the Savior:
Through your disciples, Lord of great mercies,
Save us who with reverent fear praise your great love for mankind.

(by Theodore)

Apostles, worthy of all praise,
Intercessors for the world,
Physicians of the sick and protectors of health,
Guard us as we pass through the time of the fast:
May we remain at peace with each other by the grace of God!
Preserve our minds untroubled by passions,
That we may all sing a hymn of praise
To the risen and victorious Christ!

(24 Stikhera by Simeon the translator)

Tone 4

I have spent my life with Publicans and harlots:
In old age, will I be able to repent of my many sins?
I cry to you, the maker and healer of all:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

I am afflicted with indifference as I wallow in filth!
Wounded by the devil, I have defiled my divine image.
But you convert the heedless and heal the sick:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

I have become a stumbling-block to people;
Formed from clay, I have remained of the earth.
I was wed by your commandments,
Yet I have transgressed them, and defiled my bed.
You fashioned me from the earth: do not despise your creation:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Obsessed with flesh, I have forgotten the soul;
Created to be a mocker of devils, instead I am captive of lusts.
But as you put the demons to flight,
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Since I have sinned by my own choice more than all people,
I am forsaken and helpless.
I have become the enemy of my soul,
Possessed by the carnal thoughts that darken me.
Light of those in darkness and guide of the lost,
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

My soul shall live and praise the Lord, says the prophet:
Seek me, your lost sheep, and number me among your flock.
Grant me a time to repent, that I may cry to you:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

I have sinned, Christ my God, I have sinned!
I have forsaken your statutes.
Be merciful to me, Benefactor, that escaping the darkness,
I may see with my inner eyes, and cry to you in fear:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Wild beasts surround me!
Master, snatch me from them!
You desire that all people be saved
And come to the knowledge of the truth;
Creator, save me with all of them.
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

My Benefactor, Deliverer and Savior,
Become my healing and do not cast me away!
Look upon me as I lie in my transgressions
And raise me up by your almighty power.
Then I will confess your deeds and cry to you:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Like the foolish servant,
I have hidden the talent that was given to me,
And I buried it in the ground;
I have been condemned as useless,
And no longer dare ask you for forgiveness!
But in your mercy, have compassion on me that I may cry:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

When the woman with an issue of blood touched the hem of your garment,
You dried up the source of her sufferings!
And if I approach you with unwavering faith,
I will receive forgiveness of my sins.
Accept me as you accepted her, and heal my infirmity!
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Lord, you created heaven and earth by your word:
When you shall sit upon the throne of judgment,
We shall all stand in your presence and confess our sins to you.
Before that day comes, accept me in repentance!
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Look upon me with a compassionate eye,
And be merciful to me, only Savior!
Grant springs of healing water to my poor and wretched soul:
Wash me clean from the filth of my actions that I may sing:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

The devil has prepared his weapons
And hastens to ensnare my humble soul.
Merciful Lord, he has made me a stranger
To the light of knowledge of your countenance.
Save me from his snares in your mighty strength:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

I am completely enslaved by the passions;
I have forsaken the law and the holy scriptures.
Heal me completely, loving benefactor,
Since for my sake you became as I am.
Turn me back, merciful destroyer of passions.
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

The harlot washed your pure and precious feet with her tears,
Proclaiming to all that they should come to you
And receive remission of their sins!
Grant me her faith, Savior, that I may cry to you:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

For my sake you made yourself poor,
And became a child in the flesh,
Cleanse my soul of all filth and grant me your mercy, O Christ;
Wash away the dirt and make me whole.
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Master, strengthen my soul,
That it may run to you and always serve you,
For you are my guardian and protector; my defense and aid.
Enable me, Word of God, to cry to you with boldness:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Be our invincible rampart,
Savior Jesus, our merciful God!
We have fallen into deceitful ways and actions:
Raise up your creature, benefactor,
And in your compassion reconcile us to yourself.
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

I have become the prodigal son;
I have wasted my wealth and now I die from hunger!
I seek refuge beneath your protection, loving Father:
Receive me as you received him.
Make me worthy to partake of your banquet that I may cry to you:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

In envy, the author of evil drove the first-created man from paradise,
But the thief was granted paradise again
When he cried on the cross: "remember me!"
In faith and fear, I too cry out to you: remember me!
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Stretch out your hand to me as you did to Peter, O God!
Lift me out of the deep and grant me grace and mercy
Through the prayers of your all pure Mother who bore you without seed
And of all the saints!
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

You are the lamb who takes away my sins:
Receive me each day as I sing to you.
Into your hands I commend my entire being, soul and body,
And as my duty, I cry out to you night and day:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!


How ineffable is your mercy, gracious Lord!
You are long suffering and almighty in love!
Do not cast me away from your face
That with thanksgiving and joy I may sing to you:
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Now and ever...

Ineffable condescension!
Strange and wondrous birth!
How does the Virgin carry you as a child in her arms,
For you are her creator and God!
Benefactor, as you consented to take flesh from her,
Save me before I utterly perish, O Lord!

Tone 4

Lord God of vengeance, * show yourself.
Verse: Rise up, judge of the earth; render to the proud their deserts.

Reading : Genesis 17:1 -9

Tone 4

Sing to the Lord * a new song.
Verse: Sing to the Lord; bless his name.

Reading: Proverbs 15:20 - 16:9


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