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Clergy Reflection: Tuesday Of The First Week

Tuesday of the First Week

One of the most powerful services in our liturgical cycle is the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. This rather lengthy canon is usually divided in four parts and read on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the first week of Lent, setting the tone for the entire fast. It is indeed a canon of re- pentance, of exposing and lamenting our sins in order to invite God’s healing grace. The 250 stan- zas of the canon, divided into 9 odes, recapitulate the sins of mankind from Adam and Eve throughout the whole history of salvation. Every stanza is pre- ceded by the penitential words “Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy on me,” traditionally done with a full prostration. Those who endeavor to take this journey through the 250 valleys of sin come out much strengthened and prepared for the uphill battle of the fast. May we, too, partake of the mystery of repentance!

Fr. Costin Popescu