Thursday, April 13, 2006

Me, in a Stichera

Last night in Presanctified*, our attention was directed to Lazarus, and the first stichera** really blew me back a few steps. See if you can't find yourself in this one:

I am rich in passions; I am wrapped in the false robe of hypocrisy. Lacking self-restraint I delight in self-indulgence. I show a boundless lack of love. I see my mind cast down before the gates of repentance, starved of true goodness and sick with inattention. But make me like Lazarus, who was poor in sin, lest I receive no answer when I pray, no finger dipped in water to relieve by burning tongue;// and make me dwell in Abraham’s bosom in Your love for mankind.

Find the rest of them here.

(For those of you unfamiliar with those terms:

* The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated every Wednesday of Great Lent; a double portion of bread and wine are consecrated to be the Body and Blood of Christ the Sunday before--Sunday is the day of Resurrection and therefore a celebration, even in the midst of Lent, the weekdays of which are much more penitential and therefore devoid of such open rejoicing--and this second helping of the Body and Blood is set aside from Sunday to Wednesday night, when it is carried to and received by the faithful.

** a stichera is a verse that is chanted by a reader (or sung by a choir) between the sung verses of penitential psalms at the beginning of a vespers service.)