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READING THE SCRIPTURES WITH BYZANTINE EYES: THE HERMENEUTICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ST ANDREW OF CRETE’S GREAT CANON
This paper reflects a stage in an on-going research of traditional approaches to Genesis 1-3, a biblical pericope characterised by existentially meaningful suggestions and diversely interpreted in patristic and liturgical contexts. My current understanding is that beyond this variety there is a common denominator to all interpretations relevant to the ecclesial mindset, that is, the existential key1, bringing to light the spiritual reliefs of the text. Unsurprisingly therefore, this key represents the (implicit) hermeneutical tool at work throughout the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete2, an early eighth century Byzantine poem. In the following, the Canon will be explored in its liturgical setting and from the point of view of its hermeneutical significance to the Church. To my knowledge, the place of the poem in the history of Byzantine scriptural interpretation was never before addressed in a consistent manner, or other than tangentially, by modern scholarship3. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that – beyond its immediate meaning, as an expression of the author’s personal state of repentance – the Great Canon epitomises the spirit of Byzantine hermeneutics and that its interpretive method corresponds to the ultimate goal of Scripture which is existential in nature: the reshaping of life according to the divine wisdom. I hope that in the process it will become obvious that the hitherto understanding of the Byzantine tradition as estranged from the biblical spirit has no factual ……….52………. foundation, although its specific scriptural approach does not meet the rigours of contemporary biblicism. After briefly addressing the hermeneutical potential of Byzantine hymnography, to which our poem belongs, the paper introduces the liturgical context, the structure and the main characteristics of the Canon. Subsequently, it outlines the key interpretive principles active in the poem, and end by analysing a few stanzas, which illustrate the way St Andrew interpreted the biblical narrative of Genesis 3.
A context: Byzantine hymnography One of the prejudices disseminated in the past by scholars of eastern Christianity is that after the fifth century the Byzantines lost touch with Scripture and left behind forever the so-called golden age of patristic biblical interpretation4. The historical evidence attests, however, that the Byzantine fathers (notwithstanding their reluctance to return to the earlier genre of biblical commentary) did in fact take various other hermeneutical avenues. Noteworthy are the exegetical homily, delivered exclusively within the liturgical environment, and the spiritual Philokalic literature. Closer to the topic, and of great hermeneutical significance is the ecclesial hymnography, to which the analysis will now turn. The Byzantine tradition canonised its specific approach to Scripture in the form of its hymnographical creativity, designated as ‘poetical preaching’ and an ‘effective substitute for school and pulpit’5. Functioning as an implicit interpretive framework, hymnography has indeed made massive use of biblical material – imagery and terminology6 –, thoroughly paraphrased and reorganised, in a strenuous attempt to ‘speak the Scripture’ in relevant ways and not just to read it. An outcome of this endeavour was the confirmation of Scripture as privileged language of spiritual experience. This is where the Great Canon comes into the picture. Building upon the liturgical poetry known as κοντάκιον7 (sharp, succinct
formulation), a genre whose paternity is attributed to St Romanos the Melodist in the sixth century8, the κανών (norm, measure), whose ……….53………. innovation is traditionally ascribed to St Andrew of Crete9, reiterates the pattern of nine scriptural odes10. Thus, already in its structural make-up, to which I will return, the Canon gives testimony to the Byzantines’ familiarity with the Bible, reflecting also the ideal of ‘speaking the Scripture’. One of the Great Canon’s outstanding features, as paragon of the genre, consists in bringing together to a meaningful synthesis two aspects of the ecclesial experience, namely the liturgical mindset of the Church (with its solid scriptural component11) and the monastic contemplative tradition12. On the one hand, in line with the liturgical spirit, the lexical building blocks of the Canon and the imagery underlying its structure are both essentially biblical. On the other, the Canon incorporates and creatively transforms a literary genre known to the monastic milieus, that is, the κεφάλαια or chapters. Consisting of a series of 250 strophes13 or τροπάρια (metrical compositions chanted vividly), the Great Canon may be indeed considered a poetic variant of the customarily prose chapters. To grasp the import of this fact, it is worth noting that the monastic κεφάλαια (originating in fourth century Egypt and being part of a spiritual daily practice) were concise sentences (mostly belonging to the aphoristic genre but also appearing as succinct elaborations on topics related to asceticism and contemplation) that were meant to be repeatedly pondered throughout the day. Alternatively, when transfigured into strophes the chapters composing the poem became a classic exercise of scriptural meditation – a Byzantine counterpart of the Western lectio divina –, illustrative for the process of assimilating the biblical message within the spiritual experience of the Great Lent.
The liturgical setting According to the Byzantine order, the Canon is celebrated in the Orthodox Church in the first and the fifth weeks of the Great Lent14. In the fifth week the poem is chanted in its entirety in connection with the service of Thursday’s matins, accompanied by the Life of St Mary of Egypt and perhaps dedicated to her (since the fifth Lenten Sunday commemorates her). The order for the first Lenten week is, however, much more complex: ……….54………. the text is divided into four portions and chanted in the evenings, from Monday to Thursday, within the great compline. Each portion contains nine odes of varying numbers of strophes, ending with hymns dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the Theotokos. Within the scope of this paper, it is notable that simultaneously within the vesperal services the reading of Genesis begins in the first week of Great Lent15. This association seem to have had occurred on purpose, even if there is no direct connection between the four portions of the Canon and the scriptural pericopes read within the service of vespers. An inventory of the lexical, onomastic, historical and topographical background of the poem, no matter how superficial, proves how the poem makes abundant references to Genesis (see Table 1), along with other biblical books. This aspect is conducive to the logical inference that, both in its original design and the way it is celebrated in the first Lenten week, the Canon has been appropriated by the Church from the outset – in line with the famous fourth century homilies (of Saints Basil the Great, Ambrose of Milan, Ephraim the Syrian and John Chrysostom) on the days of creation – as a contemplative framework meant to introduce God’s people to the wisdom of biblical readings. Before exploring the Great Canon’s approach to Scripture, it will be addressed the connection between theology and spirituality as reflected by its poetic threads. This link corresponds to the very manner in which the Bible conveys theological messages in a spiritual frame and vice versa, within the broader picture of salvation history.
……….55………. Table 1 References to Genesis in the Great Canon (first week) Portion Monday Ode 1 2 3 4 5 9 1 2 3 4 2 3 4 5 6 2 3 5 Occurrences 5 7 3 3 6 1 4 8 3 4 3 6 1 1 1 4 4 1
Theology and spirituality It has been aptly observed that the Canon summarises and intensifies the mystical purpose of Great Lent, characterised as a transformative journey16. Consequently, the Lenten context already suggests what one might expect of it – a poetic narrative dominated by spiritual overtones, taking the Scripture as an existential parable. The term ‘spiritual’ designates here an interpretation which makes the Bible relevant to those seeking guidance on the way towards perfection. Along with its explicitly spiritual discourse, there can be identified in the Great Canon a series of theological statements17 concerning the Holy Trinity (e.g., Monday, ode 2, doxastikon), the mystery of the incarnation (with the Theotokos as its epiphany; e.g., Monday, odes 2 and 9, eirmoi), ……….56………. and the providential presence of God in creation and history (e.g., Monday, ode 5, theotokion). The presence of theological digressions in a spiritual text is not surprising. To the Byzantine understanding, theology is spiritually determined and spirituality is theologically anchored, so that despite the quantitative imbalance between the theological motifs and the rest of the Canon18 the former are not deprived of existential significance. Theology is called here to proclaim the divine love as eternally lived by the Holy Trinity (cf. Monday, ode 7, doxastikon) and historically mediated through the Logos’ incarnation (cf. Monday, ode 4, theotokion) as principle of the restored life and the realisation of the fullness of life. This aspect adds more strength to the overall positive and optimistic message of the Canon. The spiritual focus of the poem is thoroughly and diversely manifested. Building upon a long list of biblical figures and events, mostly drawn from the Old Testament either explicitly or simply by allusion, the Canon reiterates major ascetic themes such as conversion (cf. Monday, ode 8, troparion 1), compunction (cf. Thursday, ode 1, troparion 1), repentance (cf. Tuesday, ode 8, troparion 1), tears (cf. Tuesday, ode 2, troparion 9), prayer (cf. Tuesday, ode 9, troparion 1), contemplation (cf. Monday, ode 4, troparion 6), fasting (cf. Monday, ode 9, troparion 4) and watchfulness (cf. Wednesday, ode 3, troparion 6). Together
with the scriptural paradigms, the presence of these themes concur to make the soul – or mind, consciousness – aware of its current sinful or anti-natural state, identical to the fallen Adam’s condition. Wounded by ignorance, idolatry (i.e. uncritical attachment to false representations) and irrational passions, human consciousness is guided back to the everlasting joy that it unwisely abandoned for the sake of ephemeral things. This return is possible only if human consciousness realises its own failure: Having rivalled Adam the first-moulded through [my own] deviation, I found myself deprived of God, the eternal kingdom and pleasure (γυμνωθέντα Θεοῦ, καὶ τῆς ἀϊδίου βασιλείας καὶ 19 τρυφῆς) because of my sin (Monday, ode 1, troparion 3) . Great emphasis falls upon the call to self-scrutiny as a prerequisite of awakening, the human person being exhorted to remember the original ……….57………. identity. By contrast to the claim of self-sufficiency characterising those lost in their inner labyrinth, the Canon invites humility, realism and hope20 through rediscovering our primary truth, as being God-made: ‘have compassion, O God and Saviour, on your creation’ (Monday, ode 2, troparion 3). This realistic approach echoes the traditional ascetic theme of recovering the awareness of oneself by expelling all self-gratifying misrepresentations, a stepping stone in the healing process that aims towards the renewal of one’s life. In this process, the innumerable biblical events and characters referred to in the poem (along with the illuminating theological statements) are meant to serve as implicit criteria whose function is to assist people in their endeavour to gain and exert spiritual discernment. Thus, the goal of contemplating these figures is to be enabled to choose rightly, a feature shared by the Great Canon and St Andrew’s exegetical homilies21. Stanza 4 from Monday, ode 9, notes: I have produced for you examples from the New Scripture, O soul, to guide you toward compunction (πρὸς κατάνυξιν). So emulate (ζήλωσον) the righteous and avoid the [path of] sinners, and regain Christ’s mercy by prayers, fasts, abstinence and sobriety. A high tension, personal in nature and inherent to any spiritual struggle, can be felt pervading the entire poem, marking the quest for truth. Its hermeneutical significance will be further explored in due course. The biblical substance Usually, both scholars and devout readers endeavour to explore the Great Canon’s spiritual dimension22 yet manifest no serious concern for its hermeneutical connotation. Even when acknowledged as ‘recital of the rebellious deeds of various Old Testament figures’23, still the Canon is not seen as an interpretation of Scripture. In fact, along with inviting spiritual meditation, the poem undoubtedly introduces – albeit implicitly – the interpretive criteria inherited by the Orthodox Church from the Byzantine ……….58………. tradition. The poem constitutes primarily a way of reading the Bible whose substance is wholly scriptural. Its biblical substance is obvious both in structure and terminology. In its structural make-up, for instance, it does more than simply echo the nine biblical odes mentioned previously, reflecting symbolically – and proportionally – the content of the two Testaments. To be more specific (with exceptions), the first eight odes explore a series of Old Testament themes while the ninth refers to various characters and events related to Christ’s life24. This structure seems to purposely correspond to the author’s obvious intention to rewrite the Bible in the existential key, as a characteristically Byzantine – and prominently Philokalic – way of assimilating the scriptural message. In the process, the spiritual aspect of the Bible is uncovered, with the evoked biblical figures being interpreted as existential paradigms or guidelines for those walking the path of self-scrutiny and personal transformation.
By contrast with the elevated, classicising style of his encomia, the exegetical homilies of St Andrew share with the Canon the vast reliance on scriptural vocabulary25. What is, however, unique about the poem is the high biblical density of its texture, drawn from the Septuagint’s vocabulary and the Greek New Testament. For example, in its lexical background of spiritual import the only notable word of non-scriptural origin is ἀπάθεια (dispassion, serenity; cf. Thursday, ode 6, troparion 4), borrowed from the monastic tradition and used exclusively in a strophe dedicated to St Mary of Egypt, whose author is perhaps not St Andrew. By incorporating Scripture to such a degree, the poem represents a celebration of the divine Wisdom as scripturally manifested and an endorsement to the spiritual authority of the Bible. A way of reading Scripture It has been observed that within the Great Canon the biblical characters are ‘at liberty to wander in and out, not shut up inside the Bible’26. Along with testifying to St Andrew’s familiarity with the Bible, this shows the ……….59………. tremendous effort he undertook to rewrite it so that ‘every word of the Scriptures had become his own’27. Symptomatic for the Byzantine approach to Scripture, this procedure reiterates the Church’s original – formative – goal when canonising the scriptural writings. The purpose of the author’s undertaking, however, was not to ‘master’ the Bible but rather to extract from it the required wisdom for the readers’ renewal. To reach this goal, he made the effort to transfigure Scripture by personalising, interiorising and subjectifying all biblical events and characters evoked in the poem (except Christ and the Theotokos). Integrated into this new and personalised metanarrative, the scriptural figures, typifying general human attitudes, become pretexts to speak of, and speak to, oneself. Consequently, there is no longer Adam or David who have done such and such – it is ‘you, my soul’ who did all these and more, and for whom the Lord ‘has made compassionate salvation in the midst of the earth’ (Wednesday, ode 4, troparion 3). In Schmemann’s words28, the events of sacred history are revealed as events of my life, God’s acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation… To pass from merely reading the Scripture with its (at times) personally irrelevant story on a literal level, to an existentially significant interpretation, St Andrew had to devise a complex hermeneutical apparatus. This corresponds to the method at work in his exegetical homilies, with the exception of the literal approach, less represented in the Canon since it is ‘you, my soul’ who constitutes the story’s subject. Among the instruments used in the homilies, Cunningham29 counted the moral, typological and spiritual interpretations, rhetorical devices, dialogue and monologue, the same being used throughout the poem as well. Florovsky noted that in its complexity this method should be acknowledged as moral, not speculative, allegory30. As peculiar as it might seem to readers obsessed with (impersonal) objectivity, the poem takes a methodologically different path: nothing in Scripture is reducible to information; everything aims toward personal ……….60………. formation and holistic transformation. This approach highlights ecclesial allegory as a powerful hermeneutical tool designed to bridge the chasms between meaning, text and readers31, bringing the latter into the closest proximity to the Bible’s existential substance and making them participants in the mysteries of the Kingdom to come. In the perspective of this connection – allegorically established – between Scripture and readers, the Canon unveils, however, perhaps a more challenging aspect. For as an interactive reality, the Bible is no longer an objective instrument, efficient of itself (the way it is often represented);
instead, its function depends on the activation operated by the readers. If one may always find wisdom and hope in the Bible, the Bible itself suffers a loss of energy when thoroughly ignored and rejected: The Law is weakened (Ὁ Νόμος ἠσθένησεν), the Gospel is ineffectual (ἀργεῖ το Εὐαγγέλιον), the whole of Scripture is neglected by you (Γραφὴ δὲ πᾶσα, ἐν σοὶ παρημέληται), [my soul,] the prophets and every word of the righteous have become feeble (Προφῆται ἠτόνησαν, καὶ πᾶς δικαίου λόγος) (Monday, ode 9, troparion 3). Beyond its peculiarities, as experienced by contemporary readers, and its methodological incommensurability with scholarly criteria, this holistic and interactive approach is no less hermeneutical. Furthermore, this characteristically ecclesial method is much more relevant on an existential level than any of our contemporary techniques of Bible exploration. All things considered, the analysis turns now at the practical ways in which the Canon treats the paradisiacal events as narrated in Genesis 3. Paradigms of our experience Archbishop Stylianos remarked that the unity of the cosmos and the human race – as one creation – is one of the Great Canon’s main theological presuppositions32. Indeed, the theme recurs frequently in the poem (see Table 2), for at least two reasons. First, it constitutes a reverberation of the Lenten readings’ starting point, that is, the beginning of Genesis, explicitly referred to in Monday, ode 9, troparion 2: ‘I have presented you, my soul, Moses’ narrative about κοσμογένεσις, the world’s making’. Second, it shows ……….61………. the fact of being created as the primary definition of humanity and the cosmos. As such, the spiritual message of Genesis is conveyed in all its strength by the poem, depicting mankind’s journey – and fall – in history as an event of cosmological magnitude. Table 2 Presence of the Creator-creation theme (first week) Portion Monday Ode 1 2 3 4 8 9 1 2 5 8 2 4 5 6 8 1 2 5 6 8 9 Occurrences 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 3 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 1 3 2
In the following it will be exemplified the aforementioned tool, by way of analysing a few stanzas from the Monday’s portion, which are of high existential intensity. As already noted, when approached in an interiorising, existential manner, Scripture becomes a paradigmatic criterion meant to help its readers reach awareness of their true selves and so be renewed spiritually. In St Andrew’s rendition, therefore, the story of Adam and Eve no longer ……….62………. signifies a past event, but encapsulates the readers’ own experience in the world. Far from any obsession with the so-called original sin, the Canon presents Adam and Eve as merely two amongst all sinners and as epitomes of an endless series of similar behaviour within the general landscape of human sinfulness. However, the sinner par excellence is not Adam; it is ‘you, my soul’. As Sister Thekla observed33, ‘the Fall was once the Fall of Adam and the Fall is now the Fall of the Soul’. The above quoted strophe from Monday, ode 1, stating that ‘you, my soul’ have rivalled Adam, expresses a realistic acknowledgment of personal responsibility for one’s decisions and deeds. Within the same context, the author explains what motivates such an assessment. Living far from divine wisdom like Adam, people take the path of the passions, yearning exclusively for the facile happiness provided by the epidermal life. Therefore, it is no surprise that they gain, like Adam, just more emptiness – ‘I lie naked’ (κεῖμαι γυμνός; ode 2, troparion 8) – as a result of their alienation from their theological, authentic, identity (as being made in God’s image). Taking literally the fact that in the scriptural narrative it was Eve, not Adam, who first succumbed to the passionate attachment, the Canon renders her the type of any rash propensity to abandon spiritual standards: Woe, miserable soul! Why do you resemble the first Eve? For you gaze viciously (εἶδες γὰρ κακῶς) and are bitterly wounded; you have touched the tree and impulsively tasted (ἐγεύσω προπετῶς) the prohibited food (ode 1, troparion 4). Eve had immaturely hastened to experience pleasure, mistaking it as having supreme value yet discovering instead that underneath beauty and sweetness there is ever sorrow. In the context, the poem ascribes this failure to the act of turning away from spiritual discernment, an estimation applicable also to the soul which – without proper guidance and intoxicated by the dream of self-sufficiency – falls into the abyss. Always like Eve, the soul realises only post factum the deceptive side of any pleasure void of deeper theological significance: ……….63………. The place of the real Eve34 has been taken in my case by the figurative Eve35 [that works] as a passionate reasoning (ἐμπαθὴς λογισμός) in the flesh, showing me the appearances (ἠδέα) of sweetness yet ever making me devour bitter things (ode 1, troparion 5). Any existential failure has psychological and physiological repercussions (not to mention the cosmological ones, outside our immediate scope). Thus, along with disorientation and despair, breaking communion with God equates to the disconnection from the source of life: ‘I found myself deprived of God and of the eternal kingdom and pleasure’ (ode 1, troparion 3). As a result, weakness and illness may occur. The advantages of this interpretive method are quite obvious. On the one hand, it assists the readers in their endeavour to identify their own spiritual state and find the appropriate solutions to their problems. On the other, it proves the relevance of Scripture for any society or culture that shares the fallen yearnings of Adam and the likes, and the ideals driving humanity toward the inexorable circularity of an existential failure.
Conclusion Far from losing its interest in Scripture, Byzantine Christianity appears resonant in the symphony of the Great Canon (this epitome of the patristic method and paradigm of a lectio divina) as being thoroughly biblical. Indeed, this interpretive pattern looks strange if assessed from the viewpoint of modern methods, yet this approach – ecclesial, traditional, liturgical and biblical in spirit – has an obvious existential relevance irreplaceable by contemporary criticism and literalism. Although the poem makes no reference to the Pauline verses in Romans 15:4 and 2 Corinthians 3:6, one may readily identify its underlying interpretive method – the existential key – as inspired by those texts. As such, for St Andrew and the ecclesial tradition he represented, Scripture constitutes a faithful witness to divine wisdom whose function is to provide God’s people with instruction, guidance and impetus for the spiritual life. Having no immediate interest ……….64………. in the dilemmas of historical and textual criticism, the ecclesial approach to the Bible inspired by the Byzantine hermeneutical criteria contributes to reinstate the authority of Scripture as the expression of the Word of God – an authority which claims not the exclusivity of truth, but to be the privileged guide to those who seek to live the truth. Acknowledgements An earlier version of this paper was presented for Hermeneutics and the Authority of Scripture, an international conference organised by the Australasian Theological Forum (University House, Australian National University, Canberra, 23-26 November 2007). I am indebted to the two referees and Mr Dimitri Kepreotes for their observations and suggestions.
For the existential key, see T. Stylianopoulos, The New Testament: An Orthodox Perspective, vol. 1, reprinted (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2004), 11-2. 2 On the author, see M.B. Cunningham, ‘Andrew of Crete: A High-Style Preacher of the Eighth Century’, in M.B. Cunningham & P. Allen (eds.), Preacher and Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics (Leiden – Boston – Köln: Brill, 1998), 268-9. 3 For such attempts, see J. Breck, The Power of the Word in the Worshipping Church (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1986), 128; G. Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers of the Sixth to Eighth Century (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1987), 24; T. Hopko, The Lenten Spring: Readings for Great Lent (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1983), 42; A. Schmemann, Great Lent, revised edition (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1974), 64-6; E. Theokritoff, ‘Praying the Scriptures in Orthodox Worship’, in S.T. Kimbrough, Jr. (ed.), Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural Understanding and Practice (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2005), 84. 4 See e.g. H. von Campenhausen, The Fathers of the Greek Church (New York: Pantheon Books, 1959), 156-60. 5 Cf. A. Di Berardino (ed.), Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from the Council
of Chalcedon (451) to John of Damascus (750) (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 2006), 162; J. Meyendorff, The Byzantine Legacy in the Orthodox Church (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), 37-8. 6 Cf. E. Theokritoff, ‘The Poet as Expositor in the Golden Age of Byzantine Hymnography and in the Experience of the Church’, in Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural Understanding and Practice, 259-75. 7 Cf. A. Louth, St John Damascene: Tradition and Originality in Byzantine Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 255. 8 Cf. Ch. Kannengiesser, ‘Romanos the Melodist’, in Handbook of Patristic Exegesis: The Bible in Ancient Christianity (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2006), 932-6. 9 Cf. Di Berardino, Patrology: The Eastern Fathers, 162. Concerning the origins of the genre, see Louth, St John Damascene, 256-7; Ν.Β. Τωμαδάκης, <<Ἀνδρέας ὁ Κρήτης>>, in Θρησκευτικὴ καὶ Ἠθικὴ Ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία, 2ος τόμος (Αλ-
Απροσδιοριστία) (Αθήναι, 1963), 687; M.B. Cunningham, ‘Andreas of Crete’s Homilies on Lazarus and Palm Sunday:
The Preacher and his Audience’, Studia Patristica 31 (Leuven: Peeters, 1997), 29. Cf. Σ.Σ. Χαρκιανάκης, Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Αὐστραλίας, <<Ποίηση καὶ δόγμα εἰς τὸ ἒργο τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀνδρέου Κρήτης>>, in Ἱερὰ Μητρόπολις Μυτιλήνης, Ὁ Ἃγιος Ἀνδρέας, Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Κρήτης, ὁ Ἱεροσολυμίτης (Μυτιλήνη, 2005), 322. The nine biblical odes are: Exodus 15:1-19; Deuteronomy 32:1-43; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Habakkuk 3:1-19; Isaiah 26:9-20; Jonah 2:2-9; Daniel 3:26-56; Daniel 3:57-88; Luke 1:46-55 & 68-79. 11 Cf. J. Breck, Scripture in Tradition: The Bible and its Interpretation in the Orthodox Church (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), 12-3. 12 Cf. D. Kristoff, ‘A View of Repentance in Monastic Liturgical Literature’, St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 28/4 (1984), 267, 273. 13 Cf. Di Berardino, Patrology: The Eastern Fathers, 162. 14 For the order of the service, see Γ.Γ. Μπεκατώρος, <<Κανών, ὁ Μέγας>>, in Θρησκευτικὴ καὶ Ἠθικὴ Ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία, 7ος τόμος (Ιωάννης-Κωνσταντίνος) (Αθήναι, 1965), 320-1. 15 Readings from Genesis in the first week: Monday, 1:1-13; Tuesday, 1:14-23; Wednesday, 1:24-2:3; Thursday, 2:419; Friday, 2:20-3:20. 16 Schmemann, Great Lent, 63. Cf. Sister Thekla, ‘Introduction’, in St Andrew of Crete: The Great Canon & The Life of St Mary of Egypt (Normanby: The Greek Orthodox Monastery of Assumption, 1980), 14.
For an analysis of the Canon’s theology, see Χαρκιανάκης, <<Ποίηση καὶ δόγμα>>, 317-27. Cf. Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers, 24. 19 The original text of the Canon, referred to in all the quotes, is published in Τριώδιον (Αθήναι: Έκδοσεις Φώς, no year). The translations into English are mine. 20 Cf. Schmemann, Great Lent, 63-4. 21 Cf. Cunningham, ‘A High-Style Preacher’, 282. 22 For a thorough analysis, see P. Nellas, Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997), 163-96. 23 J. Breck, The Power of the Word, 128; cf. Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers, 24. 24 Cf. Χαρκιανάκης, <<Ποίηση καὶ δόγμα>>, 324. 25 Cf. Cunningham, ‘A High-Style Preacher’, 270-2, 288-9. 26 Cf. Sister Thekla, ‘Introduction’, 13. 27 Cf. ibidem. 28 Great Lent, 64; cf. also Kristoff, ‘A View of Repentance’, 271. 29 Cf. ‘A High-Style Preacher’, 270, 278, 280-1. 30 Cf. The Byzantine Fathers, 24. See also Schmemann, Great Lent, 64 and Hopko, The Lenten Spring, 42. 31 Cf. Theokritoff, ‘Praying the Scriptures in Orthodox Worship’, 84. 32 Cf. Χαρκιανάκης, <<Ποίηση καὶ δόγμα>>, 326. 33 Cf. Sister Thekla, ‘Introduction’, 15. 34 Literally: sensible or accessible to senses, αἰσθητή. 35 Literally: mentally represented, νοητή.
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