AT PSALM 140
In Tone 1
In You, born of the Virgin, the harlot recognized her God;
ashamed of her sinful deeds, she sighed and wept, and said:
O Lord, loosen my debt to You, as I unloosen my hair.
Grant Your love to the one who loves You, despite all my unworthiness;
and I shall exalt Your love for all,
harlots and publicans alike,
O Lover of humankind and their Benefactor.
The harlot mixed her tears with the precious myrrh,
as she poured them over Your most pure feet,
which she covered with kisses;
thus You showed her to be justified.
O Lord, who suffered for us,
grant us Your forgiveness and save us.
While the sinful woman was offering You her ointment,
Your disciple conspired against You.
She rejoiced to pour out the precious myrrh,
while he hastened to sell the One who is beyond price.
As she came to recognize her Lord,
the disciple separated himself;
she was set free,
while Judas became enslaved to the Enemy.
She was ennobled through repentance,
while he was disgraced by his vile actions.
O Saviour, who suffered for us,
grant us Your forgiveness and save us.
O the misery of Judas!
He saw the sinful woman kiss the feet of the Lord, and he shamefully thought of his kiss of betrayal.
She loosened her hair,
while he let himself be bound up by passion;
instead of the fragrance of myrrh, he bore the odour of his perverse and evil ways;
for jealousy does no know how to seek what is good.
O the misery of Judas!
O Lord, keep our souls from falling like him.
In Tone 2
The sinful woman hastened to buy the precious myrrh,
in order to anoint her Saviour.
She said to the merchant:
Give me the myrrh that I might anoint the One
who washed me of all my sins.
In Tone 6
Drowning in the abyss of sin,
the harlot found in You a harbour of salvation.
She poured out myrrh with her tears, and said:
O Lord, You can forgive sins,
but You await the repentance of sinners.
Behold me, O Master, for I am sinking in the storm of sin;
in Your great goodness, save me.
Today Christ comes to the house of the Pharisee,
and the sinful woman falls at His feet.
She bows before Him and says:
Behold, I am drowning in the abyss of sin;
I have lost all hope because of my deeds.
In Your goodness, do not turn away from me;
but grant me forgiveness, O Lord, and save me.
The harlot loosened her hair for You, O Lord,
while Judas reached out his hand to the godless ones.
One acted to receive Your forgiveness, the other to gain money.
Therefore, we cry out to You:
O Lord, sold for our deliverance, glory to You.
Filled with the odour of sin, the woman drew near to You, O Saviour;
she poured out her tears over Your feet and thus proclaimed Your Passion.
“O Master, how shall I dare to raise my eyes to You,” she cried.
Yet You came to save the fallen;
You raised Lazarus from the tomb;
so lift me also from the abyss of death.
O Lord, accept me in my misery and save me.
She who was rejected because of her life,
and who was accepted because of her conversion,
came to You, bearing myrrh, and saying:
Do not cast me out, O Son of the Virgin, for I am a wretched one;
O Joy of the angels do not despise my tears;
but receive me in repentance, and in Your goodness, accept me a sinful one.
In Tone 8
O Lord, the woman who had fallen into a multitude of sins,
recognized Your divinity and thus joined the ranks of the myrrh-bearing women;
before Your burial, she offered You myrrh with her tears:
“Alas,” she said, “Woe is me!
The stinging night of pleasure seizes me;
the dark and moonless love of sin grasps me.
Accept the stream of my tears and my copious weeping, O Lord,
for You make the waters fall from the clouds into the sea.
Incline Your ear to the cry of my heart,
for You incline the heavens in Your ineffable condescension.
Allow me to kiss Your most pure feet,
and to dry them with the locks of my hair;
for these are the feet that Eve heard in Paradise,
and, trembling at their approach, she hid herself.
O Lord, who can search out the number of my sins?
Who shall search the depth of Your judgments, O Redeemer and Saviour of our souls?!
In Your infinite love, do not despise Your servant.”
PROKEIMENON I, TONE 4
To the God of heaven give thanks* for His love endures forever.
verse: Give thanks to the God of gods, for His love endures forever.
READING I (Exodus 2:11-22)
It came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, “Why are you striking your companion?” Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!” When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. When they came to Reuel their father, he said, “How is it that you have come so soon today?” And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.” So he said to his daughters, “And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses. And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”
PROKEIMENON II, TONE 4
Your love, O Lord, is eternal,* do not discard the work of Your hands.
verse: I thank You, Lord, with all my heart.
READING II (Job 2:1-10)
There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
GOSPEL (Matthew 26:6-16)
At that time, Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, and a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.