Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Guest article by John Vernoski, moderator of Byzcath.org

The attached video is a portion of the Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete sung a week ago Monday by Patriarch Kirill at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. St. Andrew composed this penitential canon in the seventh century. It is celebrated twice during the Fast, divided across the first four days of “Pure Week” and then again on the Fifth Thursday. The Canon is noted not just for its poetic beauty but also for the power of its content. Between each of the 250 troparia (hymns) the faithful sing the refrain: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy on me!”

Come, wretched soul!
Come with your flesh to the Creator of All!
Make confession to Him, and abstain henceforth from your past brutishness;
And offer to God tears of repentance!

-- From the First Canticle

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