Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bridegroom Matins of Great and Holy Tuesday: 'Work diligently with the talent given to you...'

May all who have received a talent from God,  now, with the help of Christ, increase according to the grace given by Him and sing: “Bless the Lord, O works of the Lord!” (from Ode 8 of the Canon)

Behold the Bridegroom...
The first half of Holy Week in the Orthodox Church directs us to repentance, fruitfulness and vigilance, in anticipation of the Lord's Second Coming.

As the enemy of our salvation stirs up persecutions against us and our brothers and sisters throughout the world, together with "wars and rumors of wars," and as he "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet 5:8), trying to lull us into laziness and love for the pleasures of this life, therefore we must rouse ourselves and contend for "the Faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

May these excerpts from the Bridegroom Matins of Holy Tuesday help inspire us to "Work diligently, therefore, with the talent given to us..." 

Tone 8 Troparion

Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight,
and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching;
and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighted down with sleep,
lest you be given up to death 
and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom!
But rouse yourself, crying: “Holy, holy, holy, are You, O our God!”
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Tone 4* Kathisma Hymn (following Kathisma 9)

Let us love the Bridegroom, O brothers!
Let us keep our lamps aflame with virtues and true faith,
so that we, like the wise virgins of the Lord,
may be ready to enter with Him into the marriage feast!//

For the Bridegroom, as God, grants unto all an incorruptible crown.

Tone 2 Kontakion

You know that this is the last hour, O wretched soul,
and fear the cutting of the fig tree.
Work diligently, therefore, with the talent given to you.
Keep watch and cry://
“Let us not remain outside the bridal chamber of Christ!”


Why are you idle, my wretched soul?
What useless cares cause you to be lost in dreams?
Why busy yourself with things that pass away?
The last hour is at hand, and we shall be parted from all earthly things.
Therefore, while there is time, rouse yourself and cry:
“I have sinned before You, O my Savior!
Do not cut me off like the barren fig tree!
In Your compassion, O Christ, take pity on me who call out in fear:
‘Let us not remain outside the bridal chamber of Christ!’” 

Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

Ode 8 of The Kanon

Let us cast aside all idleness, 
and with shining lamps and hymns meet Christ, the Immortal Bridegroom, singing:
“Bless the Lord, O works of the Lord!”   Refrain

May we together have enough oil in the vessels of our souls, 
so that, not wasting the time of rewards in buying more, we may sing: 
“Bless the Lord, O works of the Lord!”  Refrain

May all who have received a talent from God, 
now, with the help of Christ, increase according to the grace given by Him and sing: 
“Bless the Lord, O works of the Lord!”


Your bridal chamber I see adorned, O my Savior,
and I have no wedding garment that I may enter.
O Giver of Light,
enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me!

The Praises (Psalms 148. 149, 150)

v. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His exceeding
greatness! (Ps 150:2)

Tone 1 (from the Lenten Triodion) 

How shall I, the unworthy one,
appear in the splendor of Your saints?
For if I dare enter Your bridal chamber with them,
my garments will betray me:
they are unfit for a wedding.
The Angels will cast me out in chains.
Cleanse the filth of my soul, O Lord,//
and save me in Your love for mankind!

v.  Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with strings
and pipe! (Ps 150:4)

Tone 2  

O Christ the Bridegroom,
my soul has slumbered in laziness.
I have no lamp aflame with virtues.
Like the foolish virgins, I wander aimlessly when it is time for work.
But do not close Your compassionate heart to me, O Master!
Rouse me, shake off my heavy sleep!
Lead me with the wise virgins into the bridal chamber,
that I may hear the pure voice of those that feast and cry unceasingly://
“O Lord, glory to You!”

Tone 4  

You have heard the condemnation, O soul,
of the man who hid his talent.
But do not hide the Word of God!
Proclaim His wonders,
that, increasing the gift of grace,//
you may enter into the joy of your Lord!


Tone 6 (from the Lenten Triodion)

Come, O faithful,
let us work zealously for the Master,
for He distributes wealth to His servants!
Let each of us, according to his ability,
increase his talent of grace:
let one be adorned in wisdom through good works;
let another celebrate a service in splendor!
The one distributes his wealth to the poor;
the other communicates the Word to those untaught.
Thus we shall increase what has been entrusted to us,
and, as faithful stewards of grace,
we shall be accounted worthy of the Master’s joy.
Make us worthy of this, O Christ our God,//
in Your love for mankind!