Silouan & All Saints GBI
St Andrew's Great Canon of Repentance
Updated: Mar 5, 2022
The longest hymn in the Orthodox Church, St Andrew of Crete’s Great Canon is read in four parts over the first four days of Lent as part of compline (service before bedtime), then again in its entirety at matins on Thursday of the 5th week of Lent. St Andrew (+712) was a monk in Jerusalem from the age of 14, later archbishop of Crete, and wrote the canon towards the end of his long life.
The Great Canon here is presented in its entirety, divided into the four parts for the first four days of Lent. There are also opening and closing prayers taken from great compline, but abbreviated. The idea is to have a manageable service to be read or sung at home, without removing any of the power and beauty of the canon itself.
Using the below text, the service for each day should take around an hour if the irmoi (first stanza of each ode) are sung, and less if the whole is simply read aloud or intoned. The contents of the Canon can also be read and meditated upon throughout Lent.
Part I of the Great Canon (Mon)
Part II of the Great Canon (Tue)
Part III of the Great Canon (Wed)
Part IV of the Great Canon (Thu)