07 April 2009

The Hymn of Kassiana

O Lord, the woman who
had fallen into many sins,
sensing Your Divinity,
takes upon herself
the duty of a myrrh-bearer.
With lamentations
she brings you myrrh
in anticipation of
your entombment.
"Woe to me!" she cries,
"for me night has become
a frenzy of licentiousness,
a dark and moonless love of sin.
Receive the fountain of my tears,
O You who gathers into clouds
the waters of the sea.
Incline unto me,
unto the sighings of my heart,
O You who bowed the heavens
by your ineffable condescension.
I will wash your immaculate feet
with kisses and dry them again
with the tresses of my hair;
those very feet at whose sound
Eve hid herself from in fear when
she heard You walking in Paradise
in the twilight of the day.
As for the multitude of my sins
and the depths of Your judgments,
who can search them out,
O Savior of souls, my Savior?
Do not disdain me Your handmaiden,
O You who are boundless in mercy."

~Bridegroom Matins (Byzantine 9th c.)

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