Great Canon and Compline

I’ve just gotten home from night two of Great Canon and Compline at the Orthodox parish I go to for such things. My Russian Greek Catholic Church isn’t having them for a number of reasons, but apparently the plan is to have them next year in our new location.

I’m curious, amongst our Eastern Catholics here which of your parishes has these central services of the first week of Great Lent?

The final hymn sung tonight was A Most Grieving Mother at which point I was in tears. I don’t see a place on line where I can link to a version of it.

Byzantine Compline of the Great Fast:


O Most Grieving Mother

I’m not sure if my parish offers the Great Canon and Compline during Lent. I know we have Pre-Sanctified on the proper days and the Akathist on Fridays, but I’d have to check our website for the Great Canon. My gut thought is that we don’t have it. Neither, I think, does the Greek Orthodox Church that’s a couple of blocks up the street from me.

In the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church here in the U.S., a Lenten Compline was just released. The link Vico provided is an accurate “point” to the newly released service book. That said, I have little sense as to the extent of its use as yet: it is, indeed, quite newly released.

For us, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at least once weekly (typically on one of the required days of abstinence, Wednesday or Friday) is the norm.

Some parishes will also chant the Great [Penitential] Canon of St . Andrew of Crete (in whole or in part) on the fifth Thursday of the Great Fast. For some reason, we do not take sections of the Canon throughout the Great Fast as is done in other traditions. Perhaps with the introduction of a Great Compline for Lent (as noted), this tradition will be gradually restored.

The Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos is also traditionally chanted on Akathist Saturday (fifth Saturday of the Great Fast).

We read the entire Great Canon on the fifth Wednesday evening and in conjunction with the reading of the Life of St. Mary of Egypt. It’s a wonderful service! Our deacon gave me a gift of a holy icon of Sts. Zosima and Mary of Egypt last year on her feast day, he knows how much I love her story.

We brought a friend tonight, her first time at this parish. She was already posting it to Facebook while we were waiting to see Father afterwards. (Monk Moses know this ;))

troparia (Of course I prefer the translation we sing :))
The day being past, I give Thee thanks, O Lord; the evening, I pray, together with the night * without sin grant me, O Savior, * and save me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Spirit.
The day being past, I glorify Thee, O Master; * the evening, I pray, together with the night * without temptation grant me, O Savior, * and save me.
Both now and ever, * and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
The day being past, I hymn Thee, O Holy One; * the evening, I pray, together with the night * without peril grant me, O Savior, * and save me.

The bodiless nature of the Cherubim * with unceasing hymns glorify Thee. * The six-winged beings, the Seraphim, * with never-ceasing voices supremely exalt Thee. * And all the ranks of the Angels * praise Thee with thrice-holy hymns. * For before all art Thou the existing Father, * and Thou hast Thy co-unoriginate Son; * and bearing the co-honorable Spirit of life, * Thou dost manifest the Indivisible Trinity. * O Most holy Virgin Mother of God, * and ye eyewitnesses of the Word and servants, * all the choirs both of Prophets and Martyrs, * as those that have attained unto life immortal, * supplicate earnestly for us all, * for we all are in distress; * that, being delivered from the delusion of the evil one, * we may cry out the angelic hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy, Thrice-holy Lord, * have mercy and save us. Amen.

:thumbsup: . :love:

When speaking to old timers of the Ruthenian tradition they ALL remember growing up with the Great Canon as part of Great Compline in years past. They would refer the it as the service with all the prostrations (they have a name for it in Slavonic I just cant remember it right now).

Its good to see that this traditional service is being restored!

It is, indeed! Regrettably, the new service book was issued too close to the start of the Great Fast to be adopted parochially. That said, that we are routinely doing the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete and the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos pretty uniformly, in addition to at least a weekly celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, is a far cry from what I remember in my youth and a blessing indeed.

And the word for bow is “poklon”, “zemnoy poklon” for a great bow (literally, “ground bow”), as opposed to the more common “poyasny poklon”, or little bow (literally, “belt bow”).

Us younger folks were first taught the Greek word, “metania”.

I see it opens with a quote from Metropolitan Kallistos. :slight_smile:


O Most Grieving Mother

Thank you!

I am happy that it was what you were looking for.

I am very happy to have the sheet music for it. I realized tonight that an audio track is online here at Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish Theosis CD. Click on the CD and skip ahead to #21 The Grieving Mother.

We sang it again tonight at the close of Great Canon & Compline.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit