“The Great Canon is a treasure to which we must reflect for hours and days in a row,” His Grace Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova said on the first evening of Lent at the Patriarchal Cathedral.
“Tears” is one of the themes of this treasure that the bishop spoke about in his sermon.
The Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest recalled the service passages on Monday evening referring to tears.
“The Church Fathers tell us that tears are the second Baptism, and Baptism washes away, cleanses all sins. So are the tears,” His Grace explained March 15.
The Assistant Bishop said that the Holy Gospel points to “the tears of love that the Saviour shed for his friend Lazarus,” but also that “so many times, we have encountered in the hagiographic writings, the lives of the saints, so many testimonies of those who have wept all their lives for a sin or their sins.”
“We know from Philokalia accounts that the faces of some have never dried up because of how many tears they shed.”
In this context, Bishop Timotei referred to Elder Paisie Olaru:
“Fresh memories tell us about a great spiritual father who was often seen crying with his penitents at confession. It is about the wonderful Father Paisie Olaru from Sihăstria Monastery.”
“He wept both at church services and confessions. He was seen together with his disciples, who also cried under his epitrachelion,” Bishop Timotei of Prahova stressed.
“If we shed at least one tear from the bottom of our hearts, it could blot out many of our sins,” was His Grace’s conclusion.
The Assistant Bishop to the Bucharest Archdiocese emphasized that the author of the Great Canon, Saint Andrew of Crete, “was a man with high feelings.”
“No one has ever been able to say so many things in a confession made before God,” said the bishop, comparing the Great Canon to other church hymns.
The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete is sung during the Great Compline, divided into four parts – in the first four days of Lent and in full on Wednesday of the fifth week of Lent.