Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Great and Holy Tuesday

Yesterday's prayers of anticipation for the Bridegroom were stern warnings calling to mind the price of spiritual lassitude, letting us know that nothing good befalls those who are not prepared to greet the Bridegroom.  Today, Great and Holy Tuesday continues the theme of anticipating the arrival of the Bridegroom and emphasizing the dangers of unpreparedness, and so the Troparion of the day refrains the Troparion from Monday.

But now there is a shift in emphasis from a description of negative consequences of spiritual death to an exhortation to positive response that calls upon us after a long period of fasting and interior preparations to burn with love for the Bridgroom, burn with the oil of charity in radiant faith:

Troparion: Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night, and blessed is that servant whom he finds watching; but unworthy is the one whom he finds slothful. Take care then, my soul, not to be overcome with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and be shut out of the kingdom; but rouse yourself and cry: Holy, holy, holy are you, O God.   Through the prayers of the Mother of God, have mercy on us.

Sessional Hymn I:  O faithful, let us be on fire with love for the Bridegroom, and with lamps burning, let us go out to meet him.  May the light of our virtue burn brightly, and may our faith be radiant.  With the wise Virgins, let us prepare to enter the banquet hall of the Lord; for the Divine Spouse offers us all the crown of Immortality.

Hymn of Light:  I see your bridal chamber completely engulfed with light, O my Savior, and I do not have a wedding garment to enter and enjoy your brightness; fill the garment of my soul with light, and save me, O Lord, save me.

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