Monday, January 21, 2013

St. Maximus the Greek: Canon to the All-Holy Spirit


St. Maximos the Greek (+ 21 January 1556) was imprisoned in Russia, banished to the Monastery of Volokolamsk, where he suffered from hunger, bitter cold and all kinds of torments. There he was bereft of everything, even being deprived of Holy Communion and books, yet prayer alone sustained him. The Lord did not abandon him, but one day an angel appeared to him and said: "Have patience! You will be delivered from eternal torment by the sufferings here below." To thank God for this heavenly consolation, St. Maximos composed a poetical canon in honor of the Holy Spirit. Deprived of paper and pen, he wrote it on the walls of his cell in charcoal. This canon is sung on the Monday of the Holy Spirit in certain Russian and Serbian monasteries.

A Canon to the Divine, Worshipful & All-Holy Spirit, the Paraclete

By Saint Maximos the Greek

In Tone IV

Ode 1

lrmos: He who was slow of speech, having been covered with divine darkness, gave utterance unto the divinely written law; for, having shaken off the mire from his noetic eyes, he beheld the One Who Is and learned the understanding of the Spirit, uttering praise with hymns divine.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

O Master, Who of old didst feed Israel with manna in the desert, fill Thou my soul with the most Holy Spirit, that for such I may continually serve Thee in God-pleasing manner.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Making bold, with Thine incorporeal ministers I sing to Thee the hymn of the thrice-holy cry, though I am earth and ashes, O true Trinity and allgood Unity.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Ever assailed in my soul by the storms of destructive passions and spirits, I set my hope of salvation on Thee, the most good Paraclete, in that Thou art God.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Wretchedly drowning in the depths of ignorance and the slumber of grievous negligence, I cry out to Thee, Who art wholly all-pure: Deliver me from this corruption of soul!

Glory.. .:  

O thou who didst conceive in Thy virgin womb Him Whom the Father begat from within before time began, by thy mighty power free me who am enslaved by the pleasures of the belly.

Now and ever.. .: 

Thou alone art truly the holy ground, in that thou gavest birth to the divine Life of all. O Theotokos, unto thy Son show my soul forth as fertile ground.

Ode 3

Irmos: Of old, the mere prayer to the mighty God of understandings by Hannah the Prophetess, who bore a contrite spirit, broke the bonds of her barren womb and the reproach of the childbearing, which was hard to bear.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Great is the knowledge of Thy goodness, O Holy Trinity: it is the restoration of that which was created according to Thy divine image, which Thou didst ineffably show forth by the all-wondrous incarnation of One of Thee, as a divine habitation.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

0 Master, adorn my mind with Thy holy gifts and thoughts of sacred reverence, that in tranquility and holy disposition of soul I also may glorify Thee, 0 divine Paraclete.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

I pray Thee, O Master: Let not the hidden movements of the flesh destroy me, which are produced within me by the passion of pride, for they most vilely defile my wretched soul.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

With the bit and bridle of the fear of God curb Thou the onrushings of my shameless soul, that I may hymn and glorify Thee with great reverence and sober thought, 0 divine Comforter.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Utterly corrupted by many lusts, I hasten with faith to Thee, the all-radiant Sun. With Thy divine light deign Thou to enlighten the eyes of my soul, O divine Paraclete.

Glory...: 

As the one who fed the Life of all, O pure Mistress, with thy divine visitation deign thou to give life to my soul, which hath been slain by vile passions.

Now and ever...: 

O all-pure one, show me to be an eager and speedy doer of the life-creating commandments of thy Son, ridding my soul of grievous division and deep slumber.

Then say these verses:

Save Thy servant from misfortunes, O good Comforter, for the unclean demons greatly and constantly assail me with vile thoughts and illusions.

In thy compassion look down upon the grievous hardness of my heart, O most hymned Theotokos, and enlighten the darkness of my soul.

Kontakion in Tone I

In hymns let us reverently praise and magnify the Life of all, the ever-flowing Well-spring of divine gifts, the most Holy Spirit, as of one essence with the Father and equally eternal with the Son; and with faith let us worship Him as God.

Another verse:

I worship Thee, O Master, Comforter and God. Have mercy and save those who worship Thee, confessing Thee to be God!

Ode 4

Irmos: O Word, Thou King of kings, Who alone issued forth from such a One as Thou wast Thyself - from the Father Who is without cause and Thy Spirit, Who is equal to Thee in might: As our Benefactor, Thou didst truly send forth the apostles, who chant: Glory to Thy dominion, O Lord!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

0 Lord, vouchsafe that I may hear Thy much desired invitation, which will then summon all Thy saints to the heavenly bridal-chamber.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Man who was condemned through the deception of the author of evil didst Thou seek out and save, O Holy Trinity, and Thou hast glorified him. My heart, which hast grown weak through grief, do thou strengthen with Thy might from on high, and rouse Thou my thoughts.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Pierce Thou mine accursed carnal-mindedness with the fear of God, as with a nail, and afright Thou my soul with the thought of the torments which are to come.

Refrain: 0 most holy Theotokos, save us! O most hymned Theotokos, enrich thou my lowly soul with divine gifts, bringing low the height of greatness.

Glory...: 

O Theotokos, show thou my soul to be the sacred dwelling-place of thy Son, dispelling its countless defilements.

Now and ever.. .: 

By thy supplications, O most hymned one, make me steadfast in the fear of God and love, for I am grievously perishing in confusion of soul.

Ode 5

Irmos: O radiant children of the Church, receive ye the fiery dew of the Spirit, the cleansing of sins which bringeth deliverance; for now from Sion hath the law gone forth: the grace of the Spirit in tongues of fire.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Direct my life to Thy saving commandments, O transcendent Trinity, and enlighten my soul with Thy life, I pray Thee.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Be Thou well-pleased to loose me from the bonds of grievous transgressions which gird me about, O All-good One, and furnish me with wings through love of chastity.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

With Thy divine grace, O Paraclete, enlighten my soul, which hath been darkened by the passions, and drive away from it the deep darkness of ignorance.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Utterly undaunted, all the days of my life I anger Thee with vile deeds and words, O All-good One. Deliver me from this ungodliness.

Glory... : 

O most hymned one who alone gavest birth to the Well-spring of all wisdom, recall to reason my soul which hath become foolish through violating the divine commandments.

Now & ever.. .: 

O pure one, repel from my soul the evil thoughts which continually afflict it, and enrich me with God-pleasing instructions.

Ode 6

lrmos: O Christ Master, our purification and salvation, Thou didst shine forth from the Virgin, that Thou mightest rescue from corruption Adam, in whose fall our whole race fell, as Thou didst save the Prophet Jonah from the belly of the sea monster.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Embittered in mine accursed soul by bitter carnal passions, and drowning in them as in the uttermost depths, I pray to Thee, O Savior: Through the streams of the fountain which is in Thee impart life unto me!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

All Thy mysteries are truly worthy of great silence, for Thou art three Persons in one Essence, and, united, Thou remainest without confusion. O unoriginate Trinity, save me, the creature of day [fashioned by] Thy hands!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

The Son is believed to be wholly, completely and essentially in the Father, as is the Spirit; for from [the Father], as from a single principle, are they both emitted co-eternally, yet they remain themselves, in their life-creating hypostases.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Having armed himself against me in every way with the abominable goads of youth, the vile one hath thereby defiled my soul and my whole life. O all-good Paraclete, heal me with the fruits of repentance!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

In mind have I fallen into grievous perils, and I am wholly beset by perplexity, and am falling into divers misfortunes; and like a boat upon the waves of the sea am I bestormed. O all-good Comforter, quickly rescue me from this grievous battering, I pray Thee!

Glory.. .: 

I have stumbled into a grievous fall, breaking my vows to thy Son; yet do I entreat thee, O immaculate one, as the well-spring of compassions and the abyss of loving kindness: Render Him merciful unto me!

Now & ever...:

With thine invincible and divine power ever repel from my soul the destructive assaults made against me by mine invisible enemies, O Virgin, and grant me spiritual weaponry and a strategy [to use] against them.

Kontakion in Tone 2

O Most Holy Spirit, Thou life, light and consolation, hope and delight of all:Vouchsafe Thy gifts unto those who acknowledge Thee to be God, equally enthroned with the Father and the Son; and grant them remission of sins.

Ode 7

lrmos: The melodious music of instruments sounded forth, calling men to worship the inanimate idol wrought of gold; but the radiant grace of the Comforter preferreth that they cry: O Holy Trinity, Who art equal in power and equally without beginning, blessed art Thou!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Having rid me of all wickedness and evil morals, O Savior, with the most holy gifts of the divine Paraclete enrich me who chant: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Soften my heart, which is harder than any iron or stone, O Savior, that, saved, I may cry out with true compunction: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Theologizing, let us hymn the Son, the Spirit and the unoriginate Father in a single Essence and three Persons, [crying]: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Slavishly overcome by wicked and sinful habits, I pray, falling down before Thee, the Master of all: Deliver me from this vile bondage!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

With Thy mighty power be Thou well-pleased to make steadfast my soul, which hath been weakened by sin, that, saved, I may cry out: O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!

Glory.. .: 

With divine reason and fervent repentance deign thou to enlighten my mind and my soul, which hast been grievously darkened by sin, O thou who art full of the grace of God, that with the archangel I may sing unto thee: Rejoice, 0 Mistress!

Now & ever...: 

Since the iniquitous and passion-fraught movements of my flesh have utterly done me to death, O Theotokos, plant thou the grace of the Paraclete in my soul, that in sacred manner I may ever glorify thee, the All-holy One.

Ode 8

Irmos: The thrice-radiant image of the - Godhead looseth bonds and bedeweth the flame; and all of fashioned creation blesseth as is Benefactor the one Savior and Accomplisher of all.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Release me from the destructive burning of iniquitous thoughts, O my Jesus, that I may glorify Thee with a pure heart.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

With Thine incorporeal ministers we hymn Thee, the most high and all-accomplishing Trinity; and we, Thy servants [made] of dust, exalt Thee supremely.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Staving off from my soul the destructive assaults of mine invisible foes, 0 Paraclete, be Thou well-pleased for Thy grace to dwell therein.

Reftain: Glory to Thee, O our God, gloryto Thee! The petitions which in prayer I vigilantly ask of Thee in deed and with fear and love, O Comforter, do Thou vouchsafe unto me.

Reftain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

O Master, in ways that Thou knowest, heal Thou my soul, which is ever bedeviled by prideful satanic thoughts.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Having sinned more than the harlot and Esau, I flee to Thy compassions: Turn not Thy grace away from me, O All-holy Paraclete!

We bless the Father, the Son and the Spirit: the Lord. Loving sin far more than all other men, O most hymned one, I flee unto thee. Save me, thine unworthy servant!

Now and ever. . .: 

O most hymned one, show me to be a lover of the divine philosophy of the Truth, setting me aright with fear and love.

Ode 9

Irmos: Rejoice, O Queen, thou glory of mothers and virgins! For even the most skillful and divinely eloquent mouth is able to hymn thee as is meet; and every mind is at a loss to understand thy birth-giving. Wherefore, together we glorify thee.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

O my Savior, Enlightenment and Defender: At the holy supplications of Thine all-pure Mother turn me not away from Thy divine joy.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Falling prostrate with fear, I who am dust worship Thee with the heavenly hosts, and cry out to Thee with love: 0 Most Holy Trinity, glory to Thee!

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Save me who hymn, worship and glorify the dominion of Thine unapproachable glory.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Teach me goodly morals, the instruction of the law and the understanding of the divine dogmas, that I may hymn thee in pleasing manner, O divine Paraclete.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Deign Thou to vouchsafe unto me the joyful festivity of all the righteous who have been well-pleasing to Thee, that with them I may hymn Thee, O all-holy Comforter.

Refrain: Glory to Thee, O our God, glory to Thee!

Blotting out the terror of my soul and all its diverse evils and badness, O holy Paraclete, adorn it with the crown of the virtues.

Glory.. .: 

O most immaculate Virgin, by thy holy supplications heal my wretched soul, which hath been corrupted by all manner of fornication.

Now and ever.. .: 

O divine Mediatress between God and man, convey this, my poor supplication, to the divine Paraclete, I pray thee, O most holy Theotokos.

Then again: 

Save Thy servant from misfortunes, O good Comforter, for the unclean demons greatly and constantly assail me with vile thoughts and illusions.

In thy compassion look down upon the grievous hardness of my heart, O most hymned Theotokos, and enlighten the darkness of my soul.

And these troparia:

It is truly meet to magnify Thee, the Word of God, before Whom the cherubim tremble and are filled with awe, and Whom the hosts of heaven glorify: Christ the Bestower of life, Who without change became incarnate of the Virgin.

It is truly meet to magnify with glorifications and to glorify with fear Thee, the most Good and Most Holy One, the Preserver of our life, the Great and Awesome One, Who with the Father and the Son dost reign as God over all things visible and invisible, the Spirit of God Who proceedest from the Father.

Glory.. .: 

With divine hymns we all hymn Thee as God: the Father, the Son and the divine Spirit, the tripartite Might, the single Kingship and Dominion.

Now & ever...: 

0 Mistress, Mother of the Deliverer, accept the supplications of thine unprofitable servants, and thereby grant deliverance of sins and the acceptable correction of a God-pleasing life.

PRAYER TO THE AIL-HOLY SPIRIT

O Master, all-good Paraclete, Who art One of the holy and worshipful, consubstantial and indivisible Trinity, accept this poor entreaty which Thou hast allowed to be offered unto Thee by a man sinful and condemned; and forgive me mine offenses, voluntary and involuntary. Cleanse me of my hidden [sins], and take pity on Thy servant [in the face of the sins] of others. Extend Thy favor to me, the sinful and unworthy, visit the infirmity of my soul with Thy grace, and heal its broken state.

Have mercy on me, O Master, Paraclete and God! Have mercy on me, sanctify my soul and body, enlighten my mind and reason, and cleanse the conscience of my soul from all defilement. And from impure thoughts, from the plottings of the wicked and the intentions of the bad, from all vainglory, pride and self-aggrandizement, from arrogance and audacity, from satanic insolence, and from all pharisaical hypocrisy and mine every evil habit, do Thou utterly deliver me for the sake of the glory of Thy name. And grant me sincere repentance, contrition and humility of heart, meekness and serenity, and all Christian reverence, understanding and spiritual skill, with all nobility, thankfulness and perfect patience.

Yea, O God, for the sake of the glory of Thy name hearken unto me, the sinful one who prayeth to Thee, and vouchsafe that for the remainder of my wretched life I may sincerely repent of mine iniquities with all humbleness of mind, chastity and true temperance, having put away all doubt, double-mindedness and insensitivity; and fully preserve me in a pious and Orthodox confession of the Christian Faith, O Master, that I may be vouchsafed all the days of my life to hymn thee without doubting, to bless and glorify Thee, and to say: O holy God, unoriginate Father! O holy Mighty One, His Son Who is equally without beginning! O holy Immortal One, Holy Spirit Who proceedest from the Father and abidest and restest in the Son! O most Holy Trinity, glory be to Thee! Glory to Thee, O Holy Trinity, Who art consubstantial, life-creating and indivisible!

Glory to Thee for all things!

Glory to thee, O Mother of God, refuge of the faithful, deliverance for those beset by evils, and divine consolation of my soul! O thou who art full of the grace of God, my most wretched soul, which hast been wounded by the arrows of the enemy, do I entrust to thine almighty intercession; and protect and save it unharmed by the wiles of the demons, that I may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!

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