Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24, 2013 - Additonal Readings (Sermon and Triodion)


Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
Luke 18:10-14
From the Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke
by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

10-14. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus within himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house counted righteous rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. The Lord ceaselessly purges the passion of pride in many ways. This passion, more than any other, disturbs our thoughts, and for this reason the Lord always and everywhere teaches on this subject. Here He is purging the worst form of pride. For there are many offshoots of self-love. Presumption, arrogance, and vainglory all stem from this root. But the most destructive of all these kinds of self-love is pride, for pride is contempt of God. When a man ascribes his accomplishments to himself, and not to God, this is nothing less than denial of God and opposition to Him. Therefore, like enemy to enemy, the Lord opposes this passion which is opposed to Him, and through this parable He promises to heal it. He directs this parable towards those who trust in themselves and who do not attribute everything to God, and who, as a result, despise others. He shows that when righteousness—which is marvelous in every other respect and sets a man close to God—takes pride as its companion, it casts that man into the lowest depths and makes demonic what was God-like just a short time before.

The words of the Pharisee at first resemble the words of a grateful man. For he says, God, I thank Thee. But the words that follow are full of foolishness. He does not say, “that Thou hast made me to depart from extortion and iniquities,” but Instead, “I thank Thee that I am not an extortioner or worker of iniquity.” He attributes this accomplishment to himself, as something done by his own strength. How can a man who knows that what he has, he has received from God, compare other men to himself unfavorably and judge them? Certainly, if a man believed that he had received as a gift good things that in truth belong to God, he would not despise other men. He would instead consider himself just as naked as his fellow men in regards to virtue, except that by the mercy of God his nakedness has been covered with a donated garment. The Pharisee is proud, ascribing his deeds to his own strength, and that is why he proceeds to condemn others. By saying that the Pharisee stood, the Lord indicates his haughtiness and lack of humility. In the same way that a humble-minded man is likewise humble in his demeanor, this Pharisee by his bearing displays his pride. Although it is also said of the publican that he stood, note what follows: he would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, so that he was stooped in posture. But the eyes of the Pharisee, together with his heart, were lifted up to heaven in boastful exaltation. Nevertheless, the manner in which the Pharisee arranged the words of his prayer can still instruct us. First he says what he is not, and then he declares what he is. After stating, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, pointing to the failings of others, then he declares his good deeds, that he fasts twice a week and gives tithes of all that he possesses. The order of his prayer shows us that we must first refrain from wickedness, and then set our hand to virtue. One must not only turn away from evil, but also do good (Ps. 33:14). It is the same for a man who wants to draw pure water from a muddy spring: only after he has cleaned out the mud can he draw pure water.

Consider this as well: the Pharisee did not say, “I thank Thee that I am not an extortioner or an adulterer, as other men are.” He could not endure even the association of his name with such vile terms, and so he uses them in the plural, casting these terms at other men, and avoiding the singular, which might associate him with sin. Having said, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, by contrast he points to himself, saying, I fast twice in the Sabbath, meaning, twice in the week, for the week was called “the Sabbath,” deriving its name from the last day of the week, the day of rest. The day of rest was called Sabbat, and the week was called Sabbata, being the plural form of Sabbat. Whence it is that mian Sabatton is the first day of the week, which we call “the Lord’s Day” (Sunday). Among the Hebrews mian means the same thing as first.

There is also a more profound explanation of this parable. Against the passion of adultery, the Pharisee boasted of his fasting, for lustful desires arise from eating and drinking to excess. By restraining his body through fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, as was the practice of the Pharisees, he kept himself far from such passions. He also resisted extortion and injustice by giving tithes of all his possessions. “I am so opposed to extortion and to wronging others,” he says, “that I give alms of everything I have.” Some believe that a simple and single tithe is prescribed by the law; but those who carefully examine the law will find three forms of tithing prescribed. You may learn this from Deuteronomy if you apply yourself diligently (Dt. 12:11,17).
So much for the Pharisee. Now we turn to the publican and observe that he is the Pharisee’s exact opposite. He stood afar off, and kept himself at a great distance, not only in physical location, but in his demeanor, in his words, and by his compunction of heart. He was ashamed to lift up his eyes to heaven, for he considered his eyes unworthy of heavenly vision because they had desired to see and enjoy the good things of earth. And he smote upon his breast, striking his heart, as it were, because of its evil designs, and awakening it because it had been sleeping. The publican said no other words than, God be merciful to me a sinner. By doing this he went down to his house counted righteous, rather than the other. For every proud heart is unclean in the Lord’s eyes, and the Lord resisteth the proud but He giveth grace to the humble (Prov. 3:34, I Pet. 5:5).

But one might wonder why it is that the Pharisee is condemned for speaking a few boastful words, while Job receives a crown for speaking many such words (Job 29). The answer is that the Pharisee stood and spoke these vain words under no compulsion, and he condemned others for no reason. But with Job, his friends pressed him and bore down upon him more fiercely than did his own calamities, telling him that he was suffering these things because of his sins. Job was compelled to enumerate his good deeds, but he did so for the glory of God, and so that men would not be misled from the path of virtue. For if men came to hear that Job was suffering because what he had done was sinful, they would not act as Job had. As a result they would become haters of strangers instead of hospitable to strangers, merciless instead of merciful, and unrighteous instead of righteous; for such were the good deeds of Job. Therefore Job enumerated his virtues so that others would not be misled and harmed, and this was why he spoke as he did. Shall we not say that his words, which may seem boastful, in fact are radiant with humility? Oh that I were as in months past, he said, wherein God preserved me! (Job 29:2) Do you see that he attributes everything to God and does not judge others? Instead he is judged by his friends. But condemnation rightly falls upon the Pharisee, who attributed everything to himself and not to God, and judged others for no reason whatsoever. For every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled and condemned by God; and he that humbleth himself when he is condemned by others shall be exalted and counted righteous by God. The Lord is saying, “You, 0 Christian, be the first to tell your sins, so that you may be counted righteous.”


The Tongue
Fr. George Passias

What part of our body is so important that if we could learn to control just that one part that perhaps as the scriptures say, we could be considered to be a perfect person? What part of our body is it that in a moment's notice can either establish us in the presence of the saints or abruptly remove us from any semblance of holiness? What part of the body of the person is essentially the door to the soul? When it opens, it exposes the truths, the existence, the pulse and the texture of the being that is within. What part of our body? What part of our body has the ability to kill or to raise-up, to destroy or to build, to heal or to wound, to make whole or to make lame, to love or to hate, to distress or to comfort, to teach or to blind, to give life or to bring death quickly? The Proverbs give us very quickly the answer. In the 18th: "from the fruit of his mouth a person is satisfied, death and life are in the power of the tongue." Saint James (Iakovos) in his Epistle tell us: "what good is your religion my friend if your tongue has not been bridled? If you deceive your heart with the way you speak your religion is useless to you." (James 1:26) Our Lord says the following in Matthew: "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things. An evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that every idle word men may speak they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified. And by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)

For a moment let's think about one of the greatest saints of the Church-Saint Mary of Egypt. Saint Mary was a young girl who had a difficult family life. She couldn't find peace amongst her father and her mother. She decided to get up and leave and go make it on her own. Yet the hunger in her stomach drove her to use the beauty in her eyes sinfully, in order to make a living. She fell victim to making a living by being a prostitute. She sold her body in order to feed her passions. She lived like this for years. She didn't know the inside of a Church, yet down-deep in the utter depths of her heart she knew God. Her sins wouldn't allow her to break through and get into the belief system that was in her heart.

One day she heard that a piece of the actual cross of Christ was going to be placed in a church in Jerusalem. She chose to go there. She wanted to go in and venerate this piece. Something inside of her was calling her to that Holy Cross. When she got there she tried to go in. Yet, some invisible force would not allow her to enter. She tried again while people walking to the right and to the left of her entered without the slightest impediment. She couldn't walk in. Now she began to be frustrated. Then she finally began to be worried. "My God, My God, have I become so bad that I don't deserve to enter the front door of the Church.

In those days there was always an icon outside of the Church in case the doors were locked so that one could at least venerate and offer prayers at the front doors of the Church. She fell on her knees in desperation and she stared to cry; "Oh, Virgin Mary, is this from your Son? Is it because of my sins? I will believe, let me enter, I will believe, I will never go back to those sins again." Her final attempt to enter the Church bathed a she was in her tears, was no longer impeded. Now at once she gained access to her God.

God is a loving God but He is also a discerning God. He looks in to the heart; He looks through the mouth, and He sees the potential of a person in the inner depths of the soul. He saw sincerity. He saw the ability of a lady to become a saint. And so He welcomed her. She went in, fell on her face and kissed the Holy Cross. When she left there, she went out and bought a bag of beans and two loaves of bread. She determined that if I stay in the city there is no way that I am not going to go back to sinning. Therefore, she decided to leave. I have given my word to God. She crossed the Jordan River and went out into the desert to begin what would be a 48-year journey to repentance and saintliness. During that time her bag of beans never emptied and the bread that she had originally purchased never ran-out. She fasted tremendously but was sustained by her Lord. One day, she cried out to God with everything in her heart, " Oh God, Oh God, if only I could be as one virgin to You; If I could feel in my heart that you have forgiven me and that Your world has cleansed me, made me new and made me to be a child of Yours again." A voice cried out of the heavens to her; "Mary, with your repentance you are like ten Virgins in my eyes." She begged God to send her a priest so that she could confess her sins and be ready for the next world. She thought how much she longed for Holy Communion.

Father Zosima was a man entirely different than Mary. From the time he was 8 years old, he fasted and prayed, and by 17 years old, he was a great schema monk. He reached the point in his monastery where he felt he could no longer grow and her prayed; "God show me another place to go, I'm learning to live unchallenged here; teach me and show me Oh Lord where I should go" The Lord sent him to a Monastery in Jerusalem where the monks had a particular custom. Each year during lent, the monks vacated the monastery for 40 days and went into the desert to practice severe fasting and intense prayer. They returned to the monastery in time for Holy Week.

When he was walking out in the desert a most unexpected thing happened to him. He hears a female voice cry to him, "Father Zosima, throw me your robe." He was perplexed. First of all, she knew his name and secondly, she asked for his robe. "Father Zosima, the sand has destroyed my clothing, throw me your robe so that I can cover myself." He removed the outer garment of his vestment and handed it over to her. If you look at the icons of Saint Mary today, you still se her with her skin somewhat exposed and the black robe that Father Zosima gave her that was her only covering in the desert. She asked to go to confession. Father Zosima was aghast. "Oh my Lord I have seen our Grace miraculously present in this blessed desert dweller". She has become icon of repentance.

Here he was listening to Mary reciting to him his life and her life as well. She leaves one request in his soul, "Next year, Father Zosima, bring to me Holy Communion." The following year he returns with Holy Communion and wonders to himself 'How will I find this blessed one'. However, he was not to be disappointed. As soon as he arrives at the banks of the Jordan River, there is blessed Mary of Egypt. Uttering only the word "Wait", she alights the waters of the river and crosses over to Father Zosima. As she approaches she kneels down to receive Holy Communion and returns in the way she arrived atop the waters of the Jordan.

The following year Father Zosima once again returns to the desert during the Great Lent and once again is surprised. He comes upon the weather beaten rasso-covered body of the Saint lying peacefully on the sand. There inscribed on the sand next to her precious head is written the following directions: "Father Zosima please bury the unworthy relics of humble Mary here where she died on Holy Friday." Father Zosima had given her Holy Communion on Holy Thursday. Where her relics lay was a three days journey from where she had received Holy Communion. How did she get there so soon? Yet she was there in less than a day. What is the point of this account?

How quick we are to condemn. Can one imagine those people who had condemned St. Mary of Egypt as a prostitute, and how they felt as they saw her the upper heights of heaven? Imagine how those who reviled our Lord Jesus Christ felt when they finally saw Who He really was and is? Imagine those who stood by the Cross and railed "if you're the Christ come down; you saved others, now save yourself and come down and we'll believe." Can you imagine what it is going to be like in the after life to see people as saints who we criticized at will in this world while in the next we may be begging them for their prayers and intercessions? Our words leave our mouths ever so superficially. We condemn and destroy at will and at sight, from mouth to mouth, mouse to mouse, and click to click, without really knowing the facts. Saint Basil writes " the person who listens to rumors is as guilty as the person who spreads them." Saint John Chrysostom says, "if you are fasting from meat and dairy and fish and oil and even bread and water and you condemn your brother, even if it is Holy Friday, go and eat the meat and fish and dairy products etc. and shut your mouth and don't condemn your brother. For eating your brother with criticism is far worse than breaking the fast that we hold so dear."

In closing my friends, I ask you to consider the tongue, which accepts the body and blood of Christ, the very door of the soul. The tongue is able to give glory to God. The tongue that takes a young child or a child in your home, is able to build them up or destroy them. Why do we suffer in the U S from so many children with low self-concept? Could it be that their parents are destroying them without ever even touching them? Are they breaking the bones of their soul and their personhood into pieces with their tongue? In the Greek language there is a famous saying: "the tongue has no bones but it is able to break bones."

Let us close with this account from the Holy Scriptures. Moses had married an Ethiopian girl. His sister and brother didn't approve of her. Miriam and Aaron criticized her so harshly. All of a sudden Miriam was covered with leprosy from her head to her foot. She went running to Moses, "Moses you are holy and you talk to God, go and pray to Him to cleanse me." He asked her, "Miriam what have you done, what have you said?" She told him painfully and regrettingly. Moses said to her, "I forgive you, but I must ask God if He will forgive you." Moses got down on his knees and begged God to forgive his brother and sister and God responded: "let her remain a leper for one week and then she shall be cleansed." Look at the power of the tongue; her misguided tongue brought leprosy. His righteous tongue brought cleansing, salvation and forgiveness, and the ear of God.

How do you think we should best use our tongue?

Triodion
Sunday Of The Publican & Pharisee

Vespers

"Lord I call..."

(7 Stikhera of the resurrection)

Tone 1

Brothers, let us not pray like the Pharisee:
He who exalts himself will be humbled!
Let us prepare to abase ourselves by fasting;
Let us cry aloud with the voice of the Publican:
O God, forgive us sinners! (twice)

The Pharisee went up to the temple with a proud and empty heart;
The Publican bowed himself in repentance.
They both stood before you, O master:
The one, through boasting, lost his reward,
But the other, with tears and sighs, won your blessing:
Strengthen me, O Christ our God, as I weep in your presence,
Since you are the lover of mankind!

Glory...
Tone 8

I know the value of tears, almighty Lord:
They delivered Hezekiah from the gates of death,
And rescued the harlot from repeated sins.
Tears justified the Publican instead of the Pharisee:
I pray you, Lord: number me with the former, and have mercy on me!

Now and ever... (of the resurrection)

Apostikha
(of the resurrection)

Glory...
Tone 5

The weight of my transgressions burdens my eyes:
I cannot lift my gaze to the heights of heaven, O Lord!
Accept me in repentance, as you accepted the Publican:
Have mercy on me, O Savior!

Now and ever...

Most precious Virgin!
You are the gate, the temple, the palace, and the throne of the king!
From you, my redeemer, Christ the Lord, appeared to those asleep in
darkness!
He is the sun of righteousness
Who desired to enlighten his image, whom he had created!
Since you possess maternal boldness before him, all-praised lady,
Pray unceasingly that our souls may be saved!
Matins

(after the reading of the resurrection Gospel, we sing "having beheld
The resurrection of Christ...", psalm 51, and the verses: "open to me
The gates of repentance...")

The Canon

Tone 6 (by George)

Canticle one:

Irmos: Crossing the deep on foot as if it were dry land,
Israel looked on the pursuing pharaoh as he drowned and cried aloud:
Let us sing a song of victory to God!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Through parables leading all mankind
To seek amendment of life,
Christ raises up the Publican from his abasement
And humbles the Pharisee in his pride.

We see the exalted honor that comes through humility,
And the grievous fall that comes through pride.
Let us, then, emulate the good actions of the Publican
And hate the evil sin of the Pharisee!

Every good deed is made of no effect through foolish pride,
While every evil is cleansed by humility.
In faith let us embrace humility
And utterly abhor the ways of vainglory.

The king of all, in his desire
That his own disciples be humble in mind,
Taught them to emulate the groaning of the Publican
Together with his humility.

I groan as the Publican,
And with unceasing lamentations I now draw near to your compassion, Lord.
Be merciful also to me,
For now I live out my days in humility.

Theotokion

I dedicate my understanding and my counsel to you, lady,
My expectation, my body, soul and spirit.
Deliver and save me from dangerous adversaries and temptations,
And from every threat that lies before me!

Tone 4

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:

Irmos: None is holy save you, O Lord,
Our God who raised up the horn of your faithful in your goodness,
Establishing us upon the rock of your confession!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

The humble is lifted up on high
From the dung-hill of the passions,
While the proudhearted suffers a great fall from the height of the virtues.
Let us flee from his evil ways.

Vainglory disperses the treasures of righteousness,
But humility scatters the multitude of passions.
Then grant that we may seek humility, O Savior,
And bestow on us the portion of the Publican.

As the Publican, let us beat our breasts,
Crying out in compunction:
O God, be merciful to us sinners,
That like him, we may receive forgiveness.

Faithful, let us increase in zeal and meekness,
Passing our days in humility,
With cries of sorrow from our heart, weeping and prayer,
That we may receive forgiveness from God.

Faithful, let us cast away
The swollen boasting and evil folly of the Pharisee,
His loathsome pride and wicked cruelty,
And all that is hateful to God.

Theotokion

I have set my trust in you, my only refuge:
Do not let me fall away from my good hope,
But grant me your protection, pure Virgin,
And deliver me from every assault by my enemies!

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!

Sessional hymn Tone 4

Overcome with shame and sorrow at his evil deeds,
Humility exalted the Publican:
He cried out to the creator: be merciful!
But the unhappy Pharisee who spoke in pride
Was brought down from righteousness by his exaltation!
Therefore let us earnestly desire what is good,
And avoid all that is evil.

Glory...

In days of old, humility exalted the Publican,
Who cried out, lamenting: be merciful! And was justified.
Let us all follow his example,
For we have fallen to the depths of evil.
Let us cry to the Savior from the depths of our hearts:
We have sinned; be merciful,
As the only lover of mankind!

Now and ever...

Theotokion

Hasten to receive our prayers, lady,
And bring them before your Son and God, all-blameless queen.
Deliver those who run to you from tribulation,
Crushing the assaults of the unGodly
Casting down the impudence of those who attack your servants!

Canticle four:

Irmos: the holy church sings in reverent worship:
Christ is my strength, my God, and my Lord!
Raising her voice in purity of reason,
And keeping feast in the Lord!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

The word humbled himself to the form of a servant,
Showing that humility is the path to exaltation.
Every man, then, who humbles himself after the Lord's example,
Is exalted on high.

The Pharisee fell, exalted in his righteousness,
While the Publican was abased, defiled by many sins;
Yet against all expectation, he was exalted,
And so was justified.

Though he was rich in virtues,
Foolish pride brought the Pharisee to poverty,
But in his great need the Publican was justified through humility.
Let us also gain this humility.

You have warned us that you resist the proud, master and Savior,
But give grace to the humble.
We pray you to send your grace upon us now,
For we have humbled ourselves.

Ever leading us to divine exaltation,
Our Savior and master, by his own deeds
Revealed to us the humility that exalts us,
With his own hands, washing the feet of the disciples.

Theotokion

You have borne the light unapproachable, Virgin;
Disperse the darkness of my soul with your light-giving radiance:
Take me by the hand,
And guide my life to the paths of salvation!

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:

Irmos: in your goodness, enlighten with divine light
The souls of those who seek you early with love,
That they may know you to be the true God:
I entreat you, O word of God,
Who call them back from the darkness of transgressions!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Let us hasten to follow the Pharisee in his virtues
And to emulate the Publican in his humility.
Let us hate what is wrong in each of them:
Foolish pride and the defilement of transgressions.

The righteousness of the Pharisee proved to be vanity,
And was condemned, for it was yoked to pride;
But the Publican gained humility,
Which goes with the virtue exalting men on high.

The Pharisee thought to drive swiftly
In the chariot of the virtues;
But the Publican on foot outran him,
For he yoked humility with compassion.

Pondering with our minds the parable of the Publican,
Let us all emulate him with tears,
Offering God a contrite spirit
And seeking the remission of our sins.

Let us in all wisdom
Cast far away from ourselves
The wicked arrogance and boasting of the Pharisee,
That we may not be stripped of divine grace!

Theotokion

Give a staff of strength, loving Virgin,
To all of us who run to you for refuge:
Give us victory in the midst of all our enemies,
And deliver us from all harm.

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:

Irmos: As I look upon the raging sea of life,
With its rough waters of temptation,
I run towards your calm haven and cry aloud to you:
Lead my life from corruption, greatly merciful one!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

The Publican and Pharisee both ran in the race of life,
But the one was overcome by foolish pride:
He was brought to a shameful shipwreck,
While the other was saved by humility.

Changing to a righteous course of life,
Let us emulate the wisdom of the Publican:
Let us run from the hateful conceit of the Pharisee,
So letting ourselves attain to life.

Let us eagerly follow the ways of Jesus the Savior,
And his humility,
In our desire to attain the eternal dwelling of joy,
And to find rest in the land of the living.

You have shown your disciples, master,
The humility that raises men on high:
Girding your loins with a towel, you washed their feet,
Preparing them to follow your example.

The Pharisee spent his life in virtue, and the Publican in sin;
But the one was foolishly brought low through his pride,
While the other in his humility of mind
Was raised up to the heights.

Theotokion

I was created naked in innocence and simplicity;
Then the enemy clothed me with the garment of sin and passionate flesh.
But now I am saved, maiden, through your intercession.

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.

Kontakion Tone 4
Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee!
And learn humility from the Publican's tears!
Let us cry to our Savior,
Have mercy on us,
Only merciful one!

Kontakion Tone 3
As the Publican, let us bring tears of repentance to the Lord,
Falling before him as sinners before the feet of our master.
For he desires the salvation of all men,
Granting forgiveness to all who repent and taking flesh for our sake.
Though he is God, co-eternal with the Father!

Ikos

Let us all humble ourselves, brethren; groaning and lamenting and beating our conscience, that at the eternal judgment we may receive forgiveness, and be numbered with the faithful and righteous. Let us pray to see the true peace of the age to come, where there is no more sorrow or sighing, in the glorious Eden fashioned by Christ, for he is God, co-eternal with the Father!

Canticle seven:

Irmos: An angel moistened the furnace with dew for the holy children,
But the commandment of God consumed the Chaldeans with fire,
Making the tyrant cry aloud:
Blessed are you, O God of our Fathers!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Exalted by the works of justification and great boasting,
The Pharisee was deeply entangled in the nets of pride;
But the Publican was lifted on the rising wing of humility
And thus he drew near to God.

The Publican used humility as a ladder
And was raised to the height of heaven;
But the wretched Pharisee was lifted by pride onto rotten emptiness,
And fell into the trap of hell.

The crafty enemy lies in wait for the righteous,
Despoiling them through pride,
While binding sinners fast with the ropes of despair,
But let us emulate the Publican,
And with haste, escape both these evils!

Let us fall before God in prayer with fervent tears of repentance,
Emulating the Publican in the humility which raised him on high,
And let us sing in faith:
Blessed are you, O God of our Fathers!

You have warned your disciples, master,
Teaching them not to think proud thoughts but to be numbered with the humble.
Therefore, Savior, we cry aloud to you in faith:
Blessed are you, O God of our Fathers!

Theotokion

You are the beauty of Jacob, holy Virgin;
The divine ladder he saw in days of old, stretching from earth to heaven,
For you bring down the incarnate God from on high,
And bring mortal men up to heaven.

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:

Irmos: you poured dew from the fleece upon the holy children,
And burn the water poured on the sacrifice by your righteous servant:
For you, O Christ, do all things by the power of your will alone,
And we exalt you above all forever!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

The Publican groaned aloud, and was saved,
For he found the Lord merciful to him in his humility,
But the Pharisee fell from righteousness
By his evil boasting.

Faithful, let us avoid the pride of the Pharisee:
Let us not say: we are pure! As he did;
But let us rightly follow the Publican in his humble thoughts
Which gained for him God's mercy.

Faithful, let us speak the words of the Publican in the holy temple:
God, be merciful to me!
That with him we may obtain forgiveness
And be delivered from the evil boasting of the Pharisee.

Let us all emulate the groaning of the Publican,
And cry out to God with fervent tears:
We have sinned, lover of mankind.
In your compassion, be merciful to us and save us!

let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord.

God accepted the groaning of the Publican,
Justifying him, and showing us all
That he is turned to mercy by the groans and tears
Of those who beg forgiveness of sins.

Now and ever...

I offer you, pure and blameless Virgin,
As my intercessor and mediator with him whom you bore,
For I have no other help but you!
Set me free from all tribulation.

We praise, bless and worship the Lord,
singing and exalting him throughout all 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!

- the Magnificat is sung -

Canticle nine:

Irmos: No man is able to see God
Upon whom the hosts of angels dare not gaze,
Yet through you, O pure one, the word made flesh was seen by men.
Together with the ranks of heaven we magnify him and call you blessed!

Glory to you, our God, Glory to you!

Christ has set before us the abasement of the Publican
As a path to exaltation and a pattern of salvation:
Let us follow his example and reject disdainful pride,
And gain God's mercy through our humility.

Let us cast foolish pride from our souls,
Learning to think with truth and humility;
Let us not try to justify ourselves, but to hate pride's delusion,
And so with the Publican, obtain God's mercy.

As the Publican, let us offer the creator prayers for mercy.
Let us avoid the ungrateful prayers of the Pharisee
And the boasting words with which he judged his neighbor,
That we may gain God's mercy and enlightenment.

Weighed down by the great number of my sins,
I have surpassed the Publican in an excess of evil,
I have also made the boasting delusion of the Pharisee my own:
I utterly lack all good things: O Lord, spare me!

Bestow your blessedness on those who are poor in spirit for your sake!
We offer you a contrite spirit in obedience to your command:
Accept our sacrifice, O Savior,
And save those who worship you.

A Publican once went up into the temple with faith,
And was justified as he prayed to God.
For he drew near in contrition of heart, with tears and cries of
sorrow,
And obtaining mercy, he laid aside all the burden of his sin.

Theotokion

We honor you, all-pure Virgin, and magnify your child-bearing!
Grant us to praise, bless, and glorify you worthily,
For you alone are blessed.
You are the boast of Christians, and an acceptable intercessor before God!

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, O pure and blessed ever-Virgin, who gave birth to God!


Hymn of Light
(of the resurrection)

Glory to the Father... Now and ever...

Let us flee the vainglory of the Pharisee,
Learning instead the true humility of the Publican,
So that we may ascend to God and cry to him:
Forgive us, your sinful servants, O Christ our Savior:
You were born of the Virgin and willingly endured the cross for us,
Raising the dead by your power as God!

The Praises
(4 Stikhera of the resurrection)

Brothers, let us not pray like the Pharisee:
He who exalts himself will be humbled!
Let us prepare to abase ourselves by fasting;
Let us cry aloud with the voice of the Publican:
O God, forgive us sinners! (twice)

The Pharisee went up to the temple with a proud and empty heart;
The Publican bowed himself in repentance.
They both stood before you, O master:
The one, through boasting, lost his reward,
But the other, with tears and sighs, won your blessing:
Strengthen me, O Christ our God, as I weep in your presence,
Since you are the lover of mankind!

Tone 3

Now that you see the difference, my soul,
Between the Pharisee and the Publican,.
Flee from the vainglory of such a braggart;
Emulate instead the prayer of repentance, crying aloud:
God, be merciful to me, a sinner!

Let us, the faithful, flee the boastfulness of the Pharisee;
Let us repeat in reverence the Publican's prayer:
May our thoughts not be poisoned by pride, O Lord;
Grant us the grace to cry aloud from the depths of our hearts:
God, be merciful to us sinners!

Glory... Tone 6

The Pharisee was condemned by his pride, O Lord;
The Publican was justified by his sighs, O Christ,
For you clearly see all things hidden in the hearts of men;
You spurn the arrogant, but never refuse a broken and contrite heart.
Therefore we fall down before you in repentance:
Grant us forgiveness and great mercy!

Now and ever... Tone 2

You are most blessed...

(on the four preparatory Sundays, the Troparion of the resurrection is
Sung at the hours. The Kontakion is of the Triodion):

Kontakion Tone 4
Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee!
And learn humility from the Publican's tears!
Let us cry to our Savior:
Have mercy on us,
Only merciful one!
Cry aloud from the depths of our hearts:
God, be merciful to us sinners!
Glory... Tone 6