First Sunday of Lent
[Sung] in [the melody] “On this holy day”
Blessed is Christ who gave victory to mortals in his fasting
and humbled the power of the tyrant in view of those watching the fight.
Satan went up, humiliated from the first fight,
and changed the arena of battle and the weapons for a second war.
From battle to battle, he longed with vain hope,
considering the many opportunities before him.
“With the root of the love of money, which bears the mould of avarice,
I shall fight against him, for evil things sprout from it.”
With the love of money he wished to make war against him;
upon a mountain he longed to show off the beauty of his possessions.
The Creator gave him his desire, knowing what he wanted,
and brought our Savior up to the mountain to wrestle against the evil one.
Satan was humiliated by our Lord, and his hosts were scattered,
and all [those on] the left sat down, and lamented the rebel’s fall.
Second Sunday of Lent
[Sung] in [the melody] “The Race of Mortals”
Behold, free mercies grant forgiveness:
O true abstainers, come, receive benefits.
Behold the fast, my brethren: it forgives for free.
Let us love its benefits; let us rejoice in its medicines.
The abstainer who descended from mount Sinai
to the camp of the wicked healed [them] from [their] wounds.
Holy fasting uplifts our fall and bandages the grievous fracture of our mind.
Glory to the Abstainer who gave victory to abstainers,
and who set up his abstaining as a standard for abstainers.
May our abstaining not be to the pleasure of the evil one;
but may our abstaining be to the satisfaction of God.
Behold pure fasting, the enricher of the soul;
let us receive from its treasury, and be enriched by its abundance.
Indeed, in the beginning Adam was repaid with harm,
in his eating of the tree which transgressed the law.
Holy fasting requites sins,
impoverishes bellies and fattens up souls.
Let us give glory to the First-Born of abstainers,
for he gave our weakness the capital of abstaining.
Third Sunday of Lent
[Sung] in [the melody] “On this day”
Blessed is the One who adorned the diligent
through vigil, fasting and prayer,
and made them a sight
for those watching for the truth.
Moses, great among those who fast
was armored in fasting.
He stripped off the habits of the Egyptians
and loved the fear of God.
He despised and rejected milk and honey,
on which the daughter of Pharaoh raised him.
He loved fasting and prayer,
and was raised to perfection.
Moses, the head of those who fast,
despised the bountiful banquet of Pharaoh;
he cast away the pleasure of the kingdom
and cherished fasting on the mountain.
He fasted, and his countenance shone,
he prayed, and won his reward.
He went up with a human complexion,
and came down in heavenly brightness.
He went up with an earthly complexion,
and came down with the glory of the angels.
The man went up like any man,
he descended an abstainer without equal.
This fasting atop the mountain
became a most beautiful Spring.
Moses the shepherd went up and returned,
and called upon the Name of God.
Fourth Sunday of Lent
[Sung] in [the melody] “The heights of the Lord of all”
Thanksgiving to him who gave us his holy fasting
as a mighty armor against the enemy.
O God, open my mouth, that with it I may sing
the story of holy fasting, whose labors are filled with blessings.
It refines thoughts; it scours the body; it expels sin from our race.
It is the adversary of death and the schemes of the evil one.
It overthrows the enemy with its mighty power.
My brethren, put on the armor and the shield of salvation,
and let us all labor valiantly as long as possible:
let us adorn our bodies and our souls as well,
let us appease God through fasting, tears of repentance, and pure customs,
and let us visit the sick and give to the poor.
Let us fast in body and soul mutually.
Let us not fast from bread and loathe the poor,
nor show in ourselves the [mere] likeness of the just,
lest we hear the voice which proclaims:
“begone from me, you accursed, to the eternal fire,
which is promised to all sinners!”
Fifth Sunday of Lent
[Sung] in [the melody] “By the prayer of the just”
Let us love holy fasting,
by which the victorious were crowned,
and let us share in their contest
and be mingled with their crowns.
Daniel longed for fasting
like a man thirsting for wines,
and abstinence was as loveable to him
as greed to gluttons.
He doubled his fasting and was made young:
he fasted for three weeks,
and his old age was burned away from his beauty;
he became lovely because of his fasting.
The angel Gabriel called a man
who longed, in his old age,
to disdain the delicacies of his youth
and be sustained by grasses.
He fasted the three weeks
as if one day in his old age,
and like a prosperous merchant,
he carried his fortune upon his shoulders.
Because he despised the desire for food,
he became desirous to the heavenly,
and because he loved fasting and prayer,
he was called a man of loveliness.
May Daniel be like an icon for us O brethren,
and let us shine in his likeness
in vigil, fasting and prayer.
Sixth Sunday of Lent
[Sung] in its own [melody]
By the prayer of the just who pleased you,
pity the sinners who call to you,
and send us, from your treasury,
pity, mercies and salvation.
If our creation is hateful, the blame is toward the Creator,
but if our free will is evil, the accusation falls to us.
If we do not have free will, why then is our will held responsible?
If we do not have it, he judges [our creation] unjustly;
but if we do have it, he tries it rightfully.
Responsibility accompanies freedom, and the law is tied to both,
for freedom is responsible because it crossed the boundary of the Judge.
Indeed, what would the Creator, the Honest One, gain in decieving us?
That is, if without giving us freedom he decreed and gave us the law?
Honesty stands in the middle, to inquire and to be questioned:
“Has our Maker given us Freedom or not?
Well, Questions and Debates are born of Freedom,
and Inquiry and her sister Investigation are the daughters of Freedom.”
Seventh Sunday of Lent – Hosanna Sunday
[Sung] in [the melody] “A great wonder”
Glory to him who instructed the children of the Hebrews
to cry out ‘hosanna to the Son of David.’
“Go to this village near us quickly,” our Lord said,
“and find a colt tied with an ass standing there,
whose noble back has never been subjected to men,
and whom man has not ridden,
which has been brought up in the wilderness from its youth.
Untie it, and bring it to me directly.
Zechariah proclaimed, and showed the mystery of his incarnate humility.
“Cry out to Zion and declare to her: ‘Lo, your magnificent King
comes to you riding on an ass.
Show how sweet and kind he is in his coming to us!”
He comforted the preacher in the completion of his prophecy,
as the children praised him with hosannas.
And many of the crowds threw their cloaks before the Son of David,
that the marvel and wonder that is indescribable and incomprehensible
might be fulfilled.
A marvel to speak of; a wonder to express
how the word of the prophet was fulfilled,
who proclaimed, saying: rejoice greatly and be glad, O daughter of Zion!
[Sung] in [the melody] “On this day”
My brethren, let us speak this day about the glory of Christ,
and sing this day in hosannas about the greatness of his Honor.
Let us play stringed harps, for wretched flesh has been exalted,
and with the son of Jesse sing to him with a ten-stringed lyre.
Come and rejoice today, O David, in the wedding-feast of your Son,
heighten the sound of your harp, and acknowledge him for his greatness.
Come and dance, as is your custom, in the procession of Christ the King,
and play more upon your harp, songs of praise in his honor!
You leapt for joy before the Ark, and rejoiced with many;
rejoice today, for the words of your prophecy have been fulfilled!
You brought in the Ark to the holy temple in a great procession,
come, make merry and rejoice today among many with hosannas.
As in mockery of your death, the daughter of Sheol, before the Ark,
come and mingle today among the heavenly assemblies.
All translations by Fr. Andrew Younan.