Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Liturgy of the Presanctified

I love the Presanctified Liturgy. It is one of those great "western" imports into the Eastern Orthodox Church in that it's author was St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome. With the exception of Great Compline with the Great Canon (and even without the Great Canon), no other service is imbued with the Lenten penitential character as this one.

From the Third Wednesday's hymnography:

I have blindly squandered my father's riches. I am now empty, living in a land of evil men. In my foolishness, I have become like the senseless beasts, and am now stripped of every divine grace. So in my return, I cry to thee, O merciful and compassionate Father: I have sinned, O God, receive me in repentance and have mercy on me.--1st Sticheron at Psalm 140, Fourth tone

I, the prodigal, have wandered away into a land of evil and I have squandered the riches which thou hadst given me. Now I am pining with hunger, O compassionate Father. Clothed in the same of transgression, I am now stripped of righteous deeds and grace. I cry to Thee: I have sinned, but I know Thy goodness. Receive me as one of Thy servants, O compassionate Christ, through the prayers of the apostles who loved Thee.--4th Sticheron at Psalm 140, Plagal of the Second Tone

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