g in front of us the characters of the Old Testament as well as a few from the New Testament. Unfortunately, many of us and our children have not been raised in homes that know and cherish the scriptures. This is a very sad state and one that prevents us from fully understanding the greatness of the Canon written by St. Andrew. Below is a useful guide to bring us back to a knowledge of the characters mentioned and used in the Great Canon. Characters that all Christians should know.
The Who's Who of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
General Themes of the Great Canon.
How we should think about ourselves
Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, for my present lamentation? But in Thy compassion grant me release from my falls (Monday:1.1).
Desire to change—dialogue with the soul
Come, wretched soul, with your flesh, confess to the Creator of all. In the future refrain from you former brutishness, and offer to God tears of repentance (Monday:1.2).
The end is drawing near, my soul, is drawing near! But you neither care nor prepare. The time is growing short. Rise! The Judge is at the very doors. Like a dream, like a flower, the time of this life passes. Why do we bustle about in vain? (Monday:4.2)
How to pray - Laments and supplications to God
Thou art the Good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect no me who have gone astray. (Monday:3.5).
OT and NT examples of righteousness and unrighteousness, for the purpose of emulation or avoidance.
Do not be a pillar of salt, my soul, by turning back; but let the example of the Sodomites frighten you, and take refuge up in Zoar.(Genesis 19:26) (Thursday: Ode 3:5)
I have reviewed all the people of the Old Testament as examples for you, my soul. Imitate the God-loving deeds of the righteous and shun the sins of the wicked (Tuesday: Ode 8)
The most important thing to know about the Great Canon
The Great Canon was written by a holy man to teach himself the right way to live. We cannot benefit from it unless we make it a priority to stand in prayer, in the church, and listen to it, with a great desire and expectation for God’s grace to teach us and heal us. Our theology is first and foremost—experienced and prayed, and not only “studied”.
The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete—The text
All these texts are available at http://www.orthodox.net/greatlent/
As chanted on Monday of the first Week
As chanted on Tuesday of the first Week
As chanted on Wednesday of the first Week
As chanted on Thursday of the first Week