This evening, during the Vigil for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, we opened the Lenten Triodion for the first time this year. Just after the Gospel reading at Matins we heard chanted one of the hymns that encapsulates the spirit of the Great Fast:
Open unto me, O Giver of Life, the gates of repentance: for early in the morning my spirit seeks Thy holy temple, bearing a temple of the body all defiled. But in Thy compassion cleanse it by Thy loving-kindness and Thy mercy.To listen to a snippet of this hymn sung in Slavonic, click here.
Photograph by Kostas Balafas, depicting the choir of the Simonopetra monastery on Mt Athos.