The death of jesus christ our lord

Good Friday
Hebrews 1:1-3
By C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D.
Director, Perichoresis

The question confronting us in this hour is the question Why?  Why did Jesus Christ die?  Why was it necessary?  Why did it have to happen?  And with this question others follow. What happened in Jesus’ death?  How do we understand the sufferings of Jesus?  How do we understand what happened in this, the darkest hour in the history of the cosmos?

There is a part of me that says it is best not to venture forth here.  Standing before such a profound event as the death of Jesus Christ, we should simply cover our mouths in absolute silence.  For who are we to speak about such a matter?  But there is another part of me that asks how we can possibly be silent, when ignorance of such glorious truth leaves us in bondage.  How can we be silent when such errors abound about our blessed Lord’s death, and when these errors leave a trail of human wreckage behind them? We are forced, as St. Hilary said, “to deal with unlawful matters, to scale perilous heights, to speak unutterable words, and to trespass forbidden ground,”  and to “strain the poor resources of our language to express thoughts too great for words (Hilary, De Trinitate, II.2).  And so we pray with Hilary for “precision of language, soundness of argument, grace of style, loyalty to truth” (Hilary, De Trinitate, I.37).

Why did Jesus Christ die?  What happened in his death?  The answer to these questions is found in three words, and in what these three words represent.

The first word is Trinity.  If we are to understand why Jesus Christ died, we must go all the way back to the beginning, indeed to before the beginning.  We must go back before creation to the Creator who called forth the universe in the first place.  For the way we understand God–His being and character and heart­–decisively shapes the way we answer the questions,  “Why did Jesus die, and what happened in his death?”

As the early Church was forced, on the one hand, to wrestle with those who denied the deity of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, and on the other with those who said that God is alone and solitary and merely changes faces, the Church hammered out the Christian vision of God as Holy Trinity, and took its stand.  The early Church came to know that the relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit we see lived out on the pages of the New Testament was not a mere form that God assumed for a moment in time, but the eternal truth about God.  God is and always has been and always will be Father, Son and Spirit.

When we confess the Nicene Creed and affirm that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, we are saying with St. Athanasius and the whole Church that there was never a time when God was alone, when the Father was not Father, and the Son and the Spirit were not present.  There was never a time when there was just God, so to speak, just some abstract omni-being, some great, nameless unmoved mover, some faceless force up there somewhere.  From all eternity, God is Father, Son and Spirit, and this means that God is fundamentally a relational being.  This means that fellowship and togetherness, camaraderie and communion have always been at the center of the being of God and always will be.  It is critical that you see this.  And it is just as critical that you see that the shared life of the Father, Son and Spirit is not boring or sad or lonely.  There is no emptiness in this circle, no depression or fear or anxiety.  The Trinitarian life is a life of unchained fellowship and intimacy, fired by passionate, self-giving love and mutual delight.  Such passionate love, giving rise to such free-flowing fellowship and togetherness, overflows in unbounded joy, in infinite creativity and in inconceivable goodness.

If we are to understand why Jesus Christ died, we must begin with who God is, and therefore we begin with the Holy Trinity and with the abounding and glorious and rich and overflowing fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit.  For this Triune God is the Creator, and this divine life of togetherness and communion is the womb of creation, and this divine fellowship of unbounded joy is the rhyme and reason behind the existence of the human race and of every person within it.  There is no other god.

The second word that answers why Jesus Christ died and what happened in his death is the word ascension.  At this very hour, a man sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty.  At this moment, a human being lives and dwells and abides inside the circle of all circles, inside everything that it means to be God, inside the very life and fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit.  “On the third day he rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father,” as the Creed says.

There is no more stunning news in the universe than the news that a human being now exists inside the Trinitarian life of God.  It was not an angel or a ghost that St. Stephen saw standing at the right hand of God in heaven.   It was Jesus.  It was the incarnate Son.  What could be more astonishing than the news that the very communion of the Triune God has opened itself up, and that it now and forever includes a human being within it?  Do you see that?  Of all the things that we read about in the Bible, the most astonishing, the most shocking, the most mind-boggling is the ascension of the man Jesus, the incarnate Son.

Now let me ask another question.  Was the ascension of the incarnate Son an accident?  Is the fact that now and forever a human being, Jesus Christ, lives inside the circle of all circles an afterthought?  Is the existence of the incarnate Son of God an afterword, plan “B,” which God thought up and put into action after the failure of plan “A” in Adam?  Is Jesus Christ a mere footnote to the Fall of Adam, a footnote that would have never been needed or written if Adam had not taken his plunge into ruin?  Or is Jesus the secret plan of the Holy Trinity from all eternity?  Is Jesus Christ, seated at the Father’s side, the eternal Word of God in and through and by and for whom all things were created?  I tell you, the ascension of the incarnate Son was on the books in heaven before Adam, and Adam’s fall, were even ideas in God’s mind.

First, there is the Holy Trinity.  Then there is the stunning decision of the Father, Son and Spirit to include us in the Trinitarian life through the ascension.  As St. Paul says, the Father predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ (EPH 1:5).   How can you predestine the human race to adoption through Jesus Christ if Jesus Christ is not even to become human unless Adam falls into sin?  We have grossly underestimated the place of Jesus Christ in the whole scheme of things.  Shame on us!  He is the alpha and the omega, not a footnote.  Jesus Christ does not fit into Adam’s world.  Adam fits into Jesus Christ’s world.

Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity  (2TIM 1:8-9).

First the Trinity and the beautiful and abounding fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit, then the stunning plan of our adoption through the ascension of the incarnate Son of God.  And only within this context comes the creation of the universe, which sets the stage upon which the drama of the Triune God and of our adoption in Jesus Christ will be played out.  And within this context comes Adam, a mere man, who is given a place in the history of Jesus Christ, a place in preparation for the incarnation and the ascension of the incarnate Son. The Son of God was already on the road to incarnation and to ascension before the universe was called into being.  Before creation, our adoption–and its accomplishment in the ascension of the incarnate Son–was raised as the banner of all banners in highest heaven.

Most of the older Protestant theologies begin their discussions of the death of Jesus not with the Trinity and the staggering plan of our adoption, but with the holiness of God and the law, and with human failure and the problem of sin.  They superimpose a legal structure over the heart of the Triune God and expound the death of Jesus under the rubric of law and justice, guilt and punishment.  But such an approach eclipses the Trinity and the eternal purpose of the Triune God for us, and thus utterly betrays the fact that there is something much more ancient about God’s relationship with human beings than the law.

Before there was ever any law, there was the Trinity and the irrepressible life and fellowship and joy of the Triune God. Then there was the decision to give human beings a place in the Trinitarian life through Jesus Christ.  The eternal purpose of the Triune God is not to place us under law and turn us into religious legalists; it is to include us in their relationship, and give us a place in their shared life and fellowship and joy.  If we must speak in terms of law, then we must say that the law of this universe is the primal decision of the Father, Son and Spirit to give humanity a place in the Trinitarian life through Jesus Christ.

The first thing to be said about the death of Jesus Christ, therefore, is that his death figures into the larger and stunning plan of the Triune God to include us in the Trinitarian life.  He was predestined to be the mediator between God and humanity, the one in whom nothing less than the Trinitarian life of God would be united with human existence.  Jesus’ coming and his death are the living expression of the unwavering and single-minded devotion of the Father to His dreams for our adoption.  The reality that drives the coming of Jesus Christ, and pushes him even to the cross, is the relentless and determined passion of the Father to have us as His beloved children.  He will not abandon us.  It has never crossed the Father’s mind to forsake His plans for us.  Jesus is the proof.

The first word is Trinity, the second is ascension, and the third word is sin, the profound spiritual disease that infiltrated the human race in Adam.  Sin, in the Bible, refers not only to the original act of treachery on the part of Adam and Eve, but to the whole quagmire of human brokenness and darkness, alienation and estrangement that took root inside human existence through Adam’s false believing.  The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were created as the apex of all God’s works and stood before God as the objects of His personal affection and great delight.  They were created to walk with God, to participate in God’s work, and they were given a real place within God’s unfolding drama.  But they listened to and believed the lie of the serpent, and in believing the lie, they distrusted God, and in that act of distrust and wrongheaded belief, they opened the door for evil to enter into God’s good creation and find a foothold.

Through the unbelief of Adam and Eve, darkness infiltrated the scene of human history.  And with that darkness, loneliness and fear, isolation and loss, guilt and sadness and sorrow set up shop inside the human soul.  And within no time at all, brokenness and estrangement and frustration, anger and bitterness and depression, envy and jealousy and strife, gossip and slander and murder began to overtake human existence.  Anxiety became the poisonous roux which permeated the whole dish of human life and relationships, and indeed of all creation.  Darkness snatched the soul of man and began dragging Adam and Eve down into utter misery, so much so, as St. Athanasius said, that human beings began lapsing back into non-being and extinction.

What was God’s response?  What was the reaction of the Triune God to such a disaster?  The response of the Father, Son and Spirit to Adam’s plunge into ruin can be put into one word: No!  In that No! echoes the eternal Yes! of the Trinity to us.  Creation flows out of the fellowship of the Triune God, and out of the decision, the determined decision, to share the Triune life with us.  That will of God for our blessing in Christ, that determined Yes! to us, translates into an intolerable No! in the teeth of the Fall.  God is for us and therefore opposed–utterly, eternally and passionately opposed–to our destruction.

That opposition, that fiery and passionate and determined No! to the disaster of the Fall, is the proper understanding of the wrath of God.  Wrath is not the opposite of love.  Wrath is the love of God in action, in opposing action.  It is precisely because the Triune God has spoken an eternal Yes! to the human race, a Yes! to life and fullness and joy for us, that the Fall and its disaster is met with a stout and intolerable No!  “This is not acceptable.  I did not create you to perish in the darkness, not you.”  Therein the dream of the ascension and of our adoption in Christ becomes riddled with pain and tears and death.

There are those who want us to believe that on the day Adam fell, God the Father was filled with a bloodthirsty anger that demanded punishment before He would even consider forgiveness.  And they want us to believe that when Jesus Christ hung on the cross, the Father’s anger and wrath were poured out upon him, instead of us.  But that is to assume that the Father was changed by Adam’s sin, and that His heart is now divided toward His creatures.  I say to you, God does not change.  Adam’s plunge was met by the same God, and the by same determination to bless, and by the same passionate love that birthed creation in the first place.  The Fall of Adam was met by the eternal Word of God. The love of the Father, Son and Spirit is as tireless and unflinching as it is determined and unyielding.

How is the one plan of the Triune God for our adoption in Jesus Christ to be accomplished now, in the context of Adam’s Fall and the sheer disaster it sent rippling through the ocean of humanity?  Jesus Christ stepped into human history with the ascension in his sights, but the road to ascension and to our adoption is now paved with pain and suffering and death.  For how do you get from the Fall of Adam to the right hand of God the Father almighty?  The only way is through death.  The Fall must be undone.  Adam must be thoroughly converted to God.  Human existence, broken and estranged and perverted, must be radically circumcised and systematically recreated, utterly and thoroughly transformed, and bent back into right relationship with the Father.

Why did Jesus Christ die?  What happened in his death?  Jesus Christ died because the Father would not forsake us, because the Father had a dream for us that He would not abandon, because the love of the Father for us is endless and unflinching.  And Jesus died because the only way to get from the Fall of Adam to the right hand of the Father was through the crucifixion of Adamic existence.

Jesus Christ did not go to the cross to change God; he went to the cross to change us.  He did not die to appease the Father’s anger or to heal the Father’s divided heart.  Jesus Christ went to the cross to call a halt to the Fall and undo it, to convert fallen Adamic existence to his Father, to systematically eliminate our estrangement, so that he could accomplish his Father’s dream for our adoption in his ascension.

The price tag on his mission was 33 years of fire and trial, 33 years of temptation, with loud crying and tears. In the incarnation, the fellowship and life of the Holy Trinity established a bridgehead inside human alienation, as Dr. de Hart said last Sunday.  In the life of Jesus Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Trinity began beating its way through the whole course of human sin and estrangement and alienation.  The faithful and beloved Son entered into Adam’s fallen world, but he steadfastly refused to be fallen in it.  For 33 years he fought, moment by moment, blow by blow, hammering fallen Adamic existence back into real relationship with His Father.

What we see in Gethsemane, when Jesus falls on his face, the gut wrench of it all, the pain and overwhelming weight, the struggle, the passion, the agony, all of this is a window into the whole life of Christ.  His whole life was a cross, as Calvin said.  From the moment of his birth, he began paying the price of our liberation.  His whole life was a harrowing ordeal of struggle, of suffering, of trial and tribulation and pain, as he penetrated deeper and deeper into human estrangement.

On the cross, Jesus Christ made contact with the Garden of Eden, contact with Adam and Eve hiding in fear, contact with the original sin, with the original lie and its darkness.  There the Son of the Father plunged himself into the deepest abyss of human alienation, into the quagmire of darkness and human brokenness and estrangement.  He baptized himself in the waters of Adam’s fall.

There on the cross, he penetrated the last stronghold of darkness.  There he walked into the utter depths of our alienation.  There the intolerable No!, shouted by God the Father at the Fall of Adam, found its true fulfillment in Jesus’ Yes!  “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit,” as he took his final step into Adam’s disaster.  Jesus died–and the Fall of Adam died with him.

Brothers and sisters, that was the darkest of all moments in the history of the cosmos.  But, then again, how could it be?  For the darkness that infiltrated the scene of human history and wreaked such havoc upon the human race, on this day and in this moment, met the light of Trinitarian life in Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.  How could the darkness win?  As surely as the flip of a light switch dispels the darkness in our homes, so surely the light and life of the Triune God conquered darkness, and death itself, in this moment, in the very person of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.

It is not called dark Friday; it is called good Friday.  Amen.

www.perichoresis.org
the death of jesus christ our lord

QUESTION: Death of Jesus Christ – Is it meaningful to you?

ANSWER:

The Bible states; “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). The Old Testament sacrifices for sin began even before the law was given through Moses to the nation of Israel. That first sacrifice was the animal that was slain by God to “cover” the nakedness of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21) when they sinned by disobedience to God’s only requirement (Genesis 2:17). This covering was an act of God’s grace and was a foreshadowing of the last sacrifice for sin, the death of Jesus Christ.

The sacrifice of animals as a covering for sin continued throughout Israel’s history until the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. However, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was the last offering of the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). The death of Jesus was significant because His death did not just cover sin, it redeemed sin. Those who trust in the LORD Jesus Christ as their savior are redeemed or bought out of sin because Jesus paid the full price for sin and offered God’s grace to whoever believes.

The death of Jesus was significant because only that death was the complete and final, once for all sacrifice for the sins of the world. “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

However, there is truth about the death of Jesus on the cross that is overlooked by many. Jesus’ physical death or physical separation from His body was significant but it was only after the price for our sin had been paid and Jesus cried “It is finished” that He died physically. His physical death was important because of the resurrection that followed, however, it was not Jesus’ physical death that paid the ransom for the sin of man. If that were all it took then any man’s death would have sufficed. The death of Jesus was a unique, one of a kind, once for all death that ransomed mankind from sin and satisfied the righteousness of God and made it possible for man to once again have a personal relationship with God.

The simple definition of death is separation. Jesus and the Father are One and that knowledge was with Jesus through out His life here on earth (John 17:11). However, during the three hours of darkness as Jesus hung on the cross, God judicially placed upon Christ the sin of the world and then turned His face from the Son (Mark 15:34). It was this separation that paid the price for our sin. We know that the Father accepted the Son’s sacrifice because Jesus said, “It is finished” and then He cried, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). It was then that Jesus gave up His Spirit. As Jesus had taught, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father” (John 10:17-18).

Therefore Jesus’ statement, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) became total reality with the death of Jesus, His resurrection, and His ascension back to the Father to prepare a place for all who trust in His sacrifice for sin.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

– We have all

sinned

and deserve God’s judgment.

God

, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.

Jesus

, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He

died

for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was

buried

, and

rose from the dead

according to the

Bible

. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your

Savior

, declaring, “

Jesus is Lord

,” you will be saved from

judgment

and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions

www.allaboutjesuschrist.org

The hour of our Lord was at last come; his death-struggle had commenced; a cold sweat overspread every limb. John stood at the foot of the Cross, and wiped the feet of Jesus with his scapular. Magdalen was crouched to the ground in a perfect frenzy of grief behind the Cross. The Blessed Virgin stood between Jesus and the good thief, supported by Salome and Mary of Cleophas, with her eyes rivetted on the countenance of her dying Son. Jesus then said: ‘It is consummated’ and, raising his head, cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ These words, which he uttered in a clear and thrilling tone, resounded through heaven and earth; and a moment after, he bowed down his head and gave up the ghost. I saw his soul, under the appearance of a bright meteor, penetrate the earth at the foot of the Cross. John and the holy women fell prostrate on the ground. The centurion Abenadar had kept his eyes steadfastly fixed on the disfigured countenance of our Lord, and was perfectly overwhelmed by all that had taken place. When our Lord pronounced his last words, before expiring, in a loud tone, the earth trembled, and the rock of Calvary burst asunder, forming a deep chasm between the Cross of our Lord and that of Gesmas. The voice of God—that solemn and terrible voice—had re-echoed through the whole universe; it had broken the solemn silence which then pervaded all nature. All was accomplished. The soul of our Lord had left his body: his last cry had filled every breast with terror. The convulsed earth had paid homage to its Creator: the sword of grief had pierced the hearts of those who loved him. This moment was the moment of grace for Abenadar: his horse trembled under him; his heart was touched; it was rent like the hard rock; he threw his lance to a distance, struck his breast, and cried out: ‘Blessed be the Most High God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; indeed this Man was the Son of God!’ His words convinced many among the soldiers, who followed his example, and were likewise converted.

Abenadar became from this moment a new man; he adored the true God, and would no longer serve his enemies. He gave both his horse and his lance to a subaltern of the name of Longinus, who, having addressed a few words to the soldiers, mounted his horse, and took the command upon himself. Abenadar then left Calvary, and went through the Valley of Gihon to the caves in the Valley of Hinnom, where the disciples were hidden, announced the death of our Lord to them, and then went to the town, in order to see Pilate. No sooner had Abenadar rendered public testimony of his belief in the divinity of Jesus, than a large number of soldiers followed his example, as did also some of the bystanders, and even a few Pharisees. Many struck their breasts, wept, and returned home, while others rent their garments, and cast dust on their heads, and all were filled with horror and fear. John arose; and some of the holy women who were at a short distance came up to the Blessed Virgin, and led her away from the foot of the Cross.

When Jesus, the Lord of life and death, gave up his soul into the hands of his Father, and allowed death to take possession of his body, this sacred body trembled and turned lividly white; the countless wounds which were covered with congealed blood appeared like dark marks; his cheeks became more sunken, his nose more pointed, and his eyes, which were obscured with blood, remained but half open. He raised his weary head, which was still crowned with thorns, for a moment, and then dropped it again in agony of pain; while his parched and torn lips, only partially closed, showed his bloody and swollen tongue. At the moment of death his hands, which were at one time contracted round the nails, opened and returned to their natural size, as did also his arms; his body became stiff, and the whole weight was thrown upon the feet, his knees bent, and his feet twisted a little on one side.

What words can, alas, express the deep grief of the Blessed Virgin? Her eyes closed, a death-like tint overspread her countenance; unable to stand, she fell to the ground, but was soon lifted up, and supported by John, Magdalen, and the others. She looked once more upon her beloved Son—that Son whom she had conceived by the Holy Ghost, the flesh of her flesh, the bone of her bone, the heart of her heart—hanging on a cross between two thieves; crucified, dishonoured, contemned by those whom he came on earth to save; and well might she at this moment be termed ‘the queen of martyrs.’

The sun still looked dim and suffused with mist; and during the time of the earthquake the air was close and oppressive, but by degrees it became more clear and fresh.

It was about three o’clock when Jesus expired. The Pharisees were at first much alarmed at the earthquake; but when the first shock was over they recovered themselves, began to throw stones into the chasm, and tried to measure its depth with ropes. Finding, however, that they could not fathom its bottom, they became thoughtful, listened anxiously to the groans of the penitents, who were lamenting and striking their breasts, and then left Calvary. Many among the spectators were really converted, and the greatest part returned to Jerusalem perfectly overcome with fear. Roman soldiers were placed at the gates, and in other principal parts of the city, to prevent the possibility of an insurrection. Cassius remained on Calvary with about fifty soldiers. The friends of Jesus stood round the Cross, contemplated our Lord, and wept; many among the holy women had returned to their homes, and all were silent and overcome with grief.

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Prior to Reading the Canon

The Seven Bow Beginning

O God, be merciful to me, a sinner. (Bow)

O God, cleanse me, a sinner, and have mercy on me. (Bow)

Thou hast created me, O Lord, have mercy on me. (Bow)

Countless times have I sinned, O Lord, forgive me. (Bow)

My most holy Lady Theotokos, save me, a sinner, (Bow)

O Angel, my holy Guardian, protect me from all evil. (Bow)

Holy Apostle (or Martyr, or Holy Father) Name pray to God for me. (Bow)

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of Life, come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Trisagion

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins; O Master, pardon our iniquities; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Lord, have mercy. (Twelve times)

O Come, let us worship God, our King. (Bow)

O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God. (Bow)

O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, our King and God. (Bow)

Psalm 50

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Sion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

The Symbol of the Orthodox Faith

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.

Canon of Repentance to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Sixth Tone

Ode I

Irmos: When Israel walked on foot in the sea as on dry land, on seeing their pursuer Pharaoh drowned, they cried: Let us sing to God a song of victory.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: Now I, a burdened sinner, have approached Thee, my Lord and God. But I dare not raise my eyes to Heaven. I only pray, saying: Give me, O Lord, understanding, that I may weep bitterly over my deeds.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

O woe is me, a sinner! Wretched am I above all men. There is no repentance in me. Give me, O Lord, tears, that I may weep bitterly over my deeds.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Foolish, wretched man, thou art wasting thy time in idleness! Think of thy life and turn to the Lord God, and weep bitterly over thy deeds.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: O most pure Mother of God, look upon me, a sinner, and deliver me from the snares of the devil, and guide me to the way of repentance, that I may weep bitterly over my deeds.

Ode III

Irmos: There is none holy as Thou, O Lord my God, Who hast exalted the horn of Thy faithful, O Good One, and hast strengthened us on the rock of Thy confession.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: When the thrones are set at the dread judgment, then the deeds of all men shall be laid bare. There will be woe for sinners being sent to torment! And knowing that, my soul, repent of thine evil deeds.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

The righteous will rejoice, but the sinners will weep. Then no one will be able to help us, but our deeds will condemn us. Wherefore, before the end, repent of thine evil deeds.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Woe is me, a great sinner, who have defiled myself by my deeds and thoughts. Not a teardrop do I have, because of my hard-heartedness. But now rise from the earth, my soul, and repent of thine evil deeds.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Behold, thy Son calleth, O Lady, and directeth us what is good. Yet I, a sinner, I always flee from the good. But do thou, O merciful one, have mercy on me, that I may repent of my evil deeds.

Sessional Hymn, Sixth Tone

I think of the terrible day and weep over my evil deeds. How shall I answer the Immortal King? With what boldness shall I, a prodigal, look at the Judge? O compassionate Father, O Only-Begotten Son, and Holy Spirit, have mercy on me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Bound now with many fetters of sins, and inhibited by cruel passions, I flee unto thee, my salvation, and cry aloud: Help me, O Virgin, Mother of God.

Ode IV

Irmos: Christ is my power, my God and my Lord, doth the holy august Church divinely sing in godly fashion and she doth cry out with a pure mind, keeping festival in the Lord.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: Broad is the way here and convenient for indulging in pleasures, but how bitter it will be on the last day when the soul is separated from the body! Beware of these things, O man, for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Why dost thou wrong the poor man? Why dost thou withhold the wage of the hired servant? Why dost thou not love thy brother? Why dost thou pursue lust and pride? Therefore, abandon these things, my soul, and repent for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O mindless man! How long wilt thou busy thyself like a bee, collecting thy wealth? For it will soon perish like dust and ashes. But seek rather the Kingdom of God.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: O Lady Theotokos, have mercy on me, a sinner and strengthen and keep me in virtue, lest sudden death snatch me away unprepared. And bring me, O Virgin, to the Kingdom of God.

Ode V

Irmos: With Thy divine light, O Good One, illumine the souls of them that rise early to pray to Thee with love, I pray, that they may know Thee, O Word of God, as the true God, Who recalleth us from the darkness of sin.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: Remember, wretched man, how thou art enslaved to lies, calumnies, theft, infirmities, wild beasts, on account of sins. O my sinful soul, is that what thou hast desired?

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

My members tremble, for with all of them I have done wrong: with my eyes in looking, with my ears in hearing, with my tongue in speaking evil, and by surrendering the whole of myself to Gehenna. O my sinful soul, is that what thou hast desired?

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou didst receive the prodigal and the thief who repented, O Saviour, and I alone have succumbed to sinful sloth and have become enslaved to evil deeds. O my sinful soul, is this what thou hast desired?

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Wonderful and speedy helper of all men, help me. Mother of God, unworthy as I am, for my sinful soul hath desired that.

Ode VI

Irmos: Beholding the sea of life surging with the tempest of temptations, I run to Thy calm haven, and cry unto Thee: Raise up my life from corruption, O Greatly-merciful One.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: I have lived my life wantonly on earth and have delivered my soul to darkness. But now I implore Thee, O merciful Lord, free me from this work of the enemy and give me the knowledge to do Thy will.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy m me.

Who doeth such things as I do? For just like a swine lying in the mud, so do I serve sin. But do Thou, O Lord, pull me out of this vileness and give me the heart to do Thy commandments.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Rise, wretched man, to God and, remembering thy sins, fall down before your Creator, weeping and groaning, for He is merciful and will grant you to know His will.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: O Virgin Mother of God, protect me from evil visible and invisible, O immaculate one, and accept my prayers and convey them to thy Son, that He may grant me the mind to do His will.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion

O my soul, why dost thou become rich in sins? Why dost thou do the will of the devil? On what dost thou set thy hope? Cease from these things and turn to God with weeping, and cry out: O Kind-hearted Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Ekos

Think, my soul, of the bitter hour of death and the judgment day of thy God and Creator. For terrible angels will seize thee, my soul, and will lead thee into the eternal fire. And so, before thy death, repent and cry: O Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Ode VII

Irmos: An Angel made the furnace sprinkle dew on the righteous youths. But the command of God consumed the Chaldeans and prevailed upon the tyrant to cry: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: Put not thy hope, my soul, in corruptible wealth, and for what is unjustly collected. For thou dost not know to whom thou wilt leave it all. But cry aloud: O Christ our God, have mercy on me, who am unworthy.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Trust not, my soul, in health of body and quickly-passing beauty. For thou seest that the strong and the young die. But say: O Christ our God, have mercy on me, who am unworthy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Remember, my soul, eternal life and the Heavenly Kingdom prepared for the saints, and the outer darkness and the wrath of God for the evil, and cry: O Christ our God, have mercy on me, who am unworthy.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: Fall down, my soul, before the Mother of God, and pray to her; for she is the quick helper of those that repent. She entreateth the Son, Christ God, and hath mercy on me the unworthy.

Ode VIII

Irmos: From the flame Thou didst sprinkle dew upon the Saints, and didst burn the sacrifice of a righteous man which was sprinkled with water. For Thou alone, O Christ, dost do all as Thou willest. Thee we exalt unto all ages.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: How shall I not weep when I think of death? For I have seen my brother in his coffin, without glory or comeliness. What, then, am I to expect? And what do I hope for? Only grant me, O Lord, repentance before the end.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

How shall I not weep when I think of death? For I have seen my brother in his coffin, without glory or comeliness. What, then, am I to expect? And what do I hope for? Only grant me, O Lord, repentance before the end.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

I believe that Thou wilt come to judge the living and the dead, and that all will stand in order, old and young, lords and princes, priests and virgins. Where shall I find myself? Therefore I cry: grant me, O Lord, repentance before the end.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: O most pure Theotokos, accept mine unworthy prayer and preserve me from sudden death; and grant me repentance before the end.

Ode IX

Irmos: It is not possible for men to see God, on Whom the ranks of Angels dare not gaze; but through thee, O all-pure one, appeared the Word Incarnate to men, Whom magnifying with the heavenly hosts we call thee blessed.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia: Now I flee unto to you, ye Angels, Archangels, and all the heavenly hosts who stand at the throne of God: pray to your Creator that He may deliver my soul from eternal torment.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Now I turn to you with tears, holy patriarchs, kings and prophets, apostles and holy hierarchs, and all the elect of Christ: Help me at the judgment, that He may save my soul from the power of the enemy.

Glory to the Father, awl to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Now I lift my hands to you, holy martyrs, hermits, virgins, righteous ones and all the saints, who pray to the Lord for the whole world, that He may have mercy on me at the hour of my death.

Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion: O Mother of God, help me who have strong hope in thee; implore thy Son that He may place me on His right hand, unworthy as I am, when He sitteth to judge the living and the dead. Amen.

Following the Canon

Hymn to the Theotokos, Eighth Tone

It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless, and Mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, thee who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Prayer after the Canon

O Master Christ God, Who hast healed my passions through Thy Passion, and hast cured my wounds through Thy wounds, grant me, who have sinned greatly against Thee, tears of compunction. Transform my body with the fragrance of Thy life-giving Body, and sweeten my soul with Thy precious Blood from the bitterness with which the foe has fed me. Lift up my down-cast mind to Thee, and take it out of the pit of perdition, for I have no repentance, I have no compunction, I have no consoling tears, which uplift children to their heritage. My mind has been darkened through earthly passions, I cannot look up to Thee in pain. I cannot warm myself with tears of love for Thee. But, O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, Treasury of good things, give me thorough repentance and a diligent heart to seek Thee; grant me Thy grace, and renew in me the likeness of Thine image. I have forsaken Thee – do then not forsake me! Come out to seek me; lead me up to Thy pasturage and number me among the lambs of Thy chosen flock. Nourish me with them on the grass of Thy Holy Mysteries, through the intercessions of Thy most pure Mother and all Thy saints. Amen.

Trisagion

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins; O Master, pardon our iniquities; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

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