The Great Canon, Monday of Clean Week

All the demon chiefs of the passions have plowed on my back, and long
has their tyranny over me lasted

(Great Canon, Ode 2, Troparion 12, Clean Monday) 

We read this troparion tonight, in the first of four nights of serving
the Great Canon service. Unfortunately, in our church, few heard it.

This is one of many poetic and powerfully brutal representations of sin
which St Andrew uses, and it has always particularly moved me. 

I suppose it is because we are not able to easily protect our back, and
it is on our ?blind side¦. How many sins do I commit and not see them?
How easily the demons punch through my weak defenses v often without me
even knowing they are there! 

I also always think of the ?good ground¦ from the parable of the Sower
when I hear this troparion. We should be ?good ground¦ and yet we grow
so many tares from our passions in this ground, which is our soul. St.
Andrew likens his soul here to ?ground¦ on his back, over which the
demons sow their tyranny over us.

Can you feel how tired he is here? We should be this tired! 


This is the plaintive cry of a man who has had enough. He, like the
Apostle Paul, is saying 

?The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off
the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.¦ (Romans
13:12, read on the Sunday of Forgiveness, 1 day before this troparion,
from the Great Canon of St Andrew, is sung on Clean Monday) 

Oh! if only our soul felt the full weight of our sins, and was truly
tired and disgusted with our condition! We would change immediately, if
only we could join our weak voice to St Andrew's with complete sincerity
and resolve. 

Priest Seraphim Holland      HYPERLINK ""  St
Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas  

e-demon-chiefs_great=canon2;12.doc  "

e-demon-chiefs_great=canon2;12.html "

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