Friday, May 17, 2024

Supplicatory Canon to the Master, Our Lord Jesus Christ, on account of his Second Coming, by the Nun Melani Mboura

Refrain:  “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.”

Ode I.
Irmos.  After crossing the sea as if it were dry ground and escaping the wickedness of Egypt, the Israelite cried out:  Let us sing to our redeemer and God.

May your face shine with joy when you look upon your wretched servant, O Judge, in the frightful day of your second, future and unspeakable coming upon earth.

O angel guardian of my soul, establish my soul in the bright light of your hopes in the fearful hour, granting me a defense at the coming judgement.

By the streams of your mercy, kind Lord, quench the flame of the fiery river which flows before your tribunal and draws the accursed souls to destruction.

O First and Last of life, Alpha and Omega:  Be merciful to me, Jesus, for the Father and the Spirit have committed the Judgement to you as to the Son of Man.

Most pure temple of God, make me a pillar standing eternally in your temple, in which the Lamb, whose slaughter pierced your heart, is its light and lamp.

 

Ode III.
Irmos.  You covered the vault of the sky with a roof, O Lord, and built the church; confirm me in your love, O summit of desires, support of the faithful and only compassionate Lord.

I stand silent and fearful at heart in prayerful vision of the coming judgement, always groaning and trembling, and I cry out to my God, “Merciful Lord, be gracious to your wretched servant.” 

You will open the vaults of the heavens, O Lord, and the divine brightness of your life-bearing Cross will be manifested in glory; then all who with joy hope in your grace will fall down in supplication. 

Having scattered with all folly the talents of my soul, I supplicate you with groans, O Master, that I may return to you before your coming judgement and hear you say, “Come, servant, into my house.”

O Mother of the God-man, O all-holy Mary, you have become the cleansing of the filth of all creation; wherefore I beg you, in the hour of judgement, Mother, grant me courage with your joyous face.

 

[Prayers following Ode VI.]

Preserve from condemnation in the hour of trial, O only all-ruling and Trinitarian Godhead, those who confess you in all their life.

Kathisma.  Tone 2.  Fervent intercession.
Sweet hope of the despairing heart and glorious choir of the heavenly powers, fervently I implore you:  Come to me quickly when I am being judged, and on behalf of my soul, which longs for Paradise, render the just Judge favorable to me.

 

Ode IV. 
Irmos.  I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of your dispensation; I have meditated on your works and glorified your divinity.

I lament, O Master, when I grasp in my mind the torment which the wretches will undergo who despised your judgement.

Spiritually I am delighted when I grasp in my mind how the just, whose life was crucifixion with Christ, will enjoy the eternal rest.

Deem me worthy, Forerunner, of discerning the glory of the manifestation of my Bridegroom who is very near, as you are the pioneer of monks.

Before my death, cleanse my defiled heart of the anxiety that leads to carelessness, pure Virgin, so that it may be seen as clean by the Judge.


Ode V.
Irmos.  Illumine us with your commandments, O Lord, and by your lofty arm grant us your peace, O merciful God.

So that we may wash away the abominable filth of our sins with repentance, we hold fast to the memory of your judgement with tears.

Pierce my soul with remorse, august twelve apostles, so that I may contemplate the divine judgement and be confident in the hope of my salvation.

On the fearful day of your second coming, O Christ, deem us worthy to sit with you at the banquet.

O sweetest hope of monks, deliver me from the spiritual disease of sloth, so that I may be saved from eternal torments.

 

Ode VI
Irmos.  I will pour out my supplication to the Lord and to him will I declare my afflictions, for my soul has been filled with troubles and my life has approached Hades, so like Jonah I pray:  Raise me up from death, O God.

In your spiritual activity and sobriety, keep in mind the comforting thought of the day of the coming of Christ, so that you, my soul, may acquire thoroughly the desire to cry out to the savior fervently:  O my Judge, O King of all, I glorify you.

Intercede for us before the Lord, O glorious clouds of martyrs, so that when you cry with joy, seeing the reward of righteousness, we may cry with you, “O most just Judge, glory to you.”

I am exposed by my conscience, Master, perceiving every day the unfathomable depth of my insensibility, in view of your coming judgement.  Wherefore I cry to you fervently, “O Judge, pity me, an unprofitable sinner.”

Let the angels rain down sweetness, singing joyfully in Psalms, and so prepare for the throne of glory on which the Son of Man will sit and pass all judgement, beginning the eighth day of creation.

Men rejoicing on Earth cheerfully celebrate you in song, O Mother of God, for you are the queen and the true Mother of life and the renewal of the race of mortals, and they faithfully trust in you to render the Judge merciful to us.

 

[Prayers after Ode VI.]

Preserve from affliction, O threefold, all-ruling, single Deity, those who confess you in their whole life in the hour of condemnation.


Kontakion
Tone 2.  By the streams of your blood.
Those who will see the glory of the Bridegroom in the last day of judgement will immediately cry out with joy when they hear the sweet voice saying, “Enter into my bridal chamber.”  Glory. 

Father, Word, Spirit—Trinity in Unity—deem me worthy of the lot of the saved on the right.  Both now. 

Merciful Lord, by the intercessions of the Mother of God, deliver me from the sentence of the lamentable wicked.


Prosomoion.  Tone 6.  Having laid all hope. 
Most just judge, when you come in glory, then will all the present creation be raised groaning, and the hosts of men will stand with fear before your tribunal; the books will be opened and the secrets of life will be manifested.  Your face will be seen, and all existence will be judged.  O Lord of the throne, we wretched sinners beg that we may join the company of those who have loved you.

 

Ode VII.
Irmos.  The youths from Judea, having come to Babylon of old, by their faith in the Trinity trampled down the flame of the furnace, chanting, O God of our fathers, blessed are you.

Looking down with fear upon Hades—already yawning to receive them—those who have sinned offer hopeless lamentation to the Creator, and they cry to men, “Repent now, who still live in the world!”

When the trumpet of the seventh day has sounded in glory and triumph, all will hear and hasten with trembling to meet the Lord; be gracious, then, O Judge, to those who praise you in hymns.

O sacred and elect order of ministers who stand about the heavenly altar of the Most High:  Beseech the Lamb on behalf of the whole trembling universe.  Be gracious then, O Judge, to those who praise you in hymns.

I entreat you, O Mother of God, as the fountain of mercy:  save me in the hour of judgement and set me on the right hand of the King of all, so that I may dwell blessedly with joy in the choir of the living.

 

Ode VIII
Irmos.  The king of Heaven whom the hosts of angels hymn, hymn and exalt him above all forever.

The choir of martyrs of the great tribulation entreats the Savior of our souls that they meet him in the clouds.

Accept now my garlands of songs of praise, O choir of monks and virgins, and give me in return your intercession at the judgement.

Let heartfelt thanksgiving be offered to the Creator, who gives to men the ways of repentance when it is time to work.

O Virgin who leads us to the Bridegroom as we sing a song of rejoicing!  O unwedded Bride, betroth my soul to the Bridegroom forever.

 

Ode IX
Irmos.  O Mother of God, we who have been saved through you fittingly confess you, and with the incorporeal choirs magnify you, O pure Virgin.

We wear black clothing in life, having dressed the dead in joyful clothes, seeking to have the enjoyment of deathless life.

O entirety of all saints in Heaven and on Earth, beseech Christ also to judge mercifully the whole mortal race.

The choirs of monks offer you the fragrant hyacinth of the ointments of repentance, beloved Bridegroom, on behalf of all.

I, a wretch, have turned black from despair, for I have paid no regard to the articles of the covenant with God, and from the depths I cry out, “My Savior, save me.”

Accept a suppliant’s song, O Virgin, and set it before the feet of your Son, so that I may offer at the Judgement a ransom for my soul.

 

 

ENDNOTES FOR THE CIRCUMSPECT

This canon may be found at https://www.proseyxi.com/paraklisi-eis-ton-despoti-xristo-gia-tin-deutera-autou-parousia/.  I thank Zoilus for patiently proofing my translation and I thank eagle-eyed Aeteia, my lawfully wedded, for proofing my English.  Any errors surviving their ministrations are purely my own.  

This canon was much more difficult than the average canon, which typically exhibits Pindaresque obscurity, misspellings, neologisms, modern semantics, textual confusion etc.  While I was working on it, I happened to be reading Peter Botsis’ The Elder Ieronymos of Aegina, wherein he comments on a letter written by his subject.  “The letter is translated in the way it was written, with abrupt sentences and peculiar grammatical syntax.  This is the typical Cappadocian manner of speaking and writing.  The Cappadocians would say a few words and the hearer was supposed to fill in the rest.”  This would appear to be a good description of much of this canon.  The Cappadocians had the charming habit of describing themselves as Romans, not Greeks.  They remembered that they belonged to the Roman empire, which was currently under Turkish occupation.  The Population Exchange purged them of that memory, within a generation, Romans became Greeks. 

Ode I.
“May you look gladly” (λάρυνον μμα Σου, Κριτά, ν φρικτ μέρ).  Lit., “gladden your face.”  λάρυνον underlies the familiar words of Ps. 104:15 (LXX).  The different versions of this verse sketch out our choices:  “oil to make his face to shine” (KJV) and “to make his face cheerful with oil” (Brenton, Douay-Rheims).  In fact, the Hebrew verb translated by λάρυνον can mean either shine or be cheerful.  There is a similar expression in Spanish (el mostro buen semblante he looked happy).  With Gifford, we may take St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s λάρυνον τ τς ψυχς σου πρόσωπον to mean “make the face of your soul to shine,” but it could be said “be cheerful”?  And don’t we say that someone’s face shines with joy?
“Granting me” is inserted to make the text readable.
“Judgement.” I vote with Fowler on the spelling of this word.  
“Kind” (γαθέ).  The definitions of γαθός vary according to eraand context.  Following Montanari, we find that in Homeric Greek, it means good in the sense of valiant, skilful or capable.  In Classical Greek, it can (according to Cremer) refer to qualities which are admirable (perfect, excellent) or advantageous (suitable, sound, useful). However, Cremer omits mention of qualities clustering about the Latin word faustus (propitious, favorable, lucky).  In modern Greek, the meanings of γαθός are closer to the Hellenistic development noted by Kittel—benevolent, kind.  Here again we see the problem of using the first definition in the dictionary.  We know that God is good; what we need to remember is that God is also kind and benevolent.  
“Flows” is inserted to complete the picture.
“And” is inserted to clarify the syntax.
“Of the fiery river etc.”  Zoilus recommended the translation adopted here.  It was not until I was in church that I realized that the this line was borrowed from a stichos of the Last Judgement Vespers.  
“Accursed” (εωνυμούσας) is a conjecture, based on the fact that εωνυμέομαι (to have a good name) is liable to euphemism.  Lampe defines εώνυμος as evil, for instance.  Therefore, I supposed that εωνυμέομαι can also mean be evil or accursed.
Omit Σου δέομαι (I beg of you).  There seems to be no place to fit this into the translation without sounding awkward.  If we translate λάρυνον literally, we could say, “Make your face shine with joy when you look upon your wretched servant, O Judge, in the frightful day of your second, future and unspeakable coming upon earth, I beg of you.”  Also, we could say, “I beg of you to make your face etc.”  
English word order is, as a minimally inflected language, much more restricted than Greek.  May arguably lexicalizes Σου δέομαι, although my immediate purpose was to avoid addressing the Judge imperiously.
“Son of man.”  Cf. Daniel 7:13.
Theotokion.  I sincerely thank Zoilus for his help with this troparion, which he said made him think of Revelation 22:5.


Ode III.
The Greek of this troparion is unintelligible, as the morphology provides no guide to syntax.  My hunch is that this is the work of a Turkish-speaking “Roman” from, say, Cappadocia or Trebizond.  I translated it the way certain, ecclesiastical translators routinely do their work—by stringing words together as sense or whim suggested.  The usual consequences of this method are disastrous.  Since the Greek of this troparion is already a D-Day of a noble language, and since its concepts involve fairly predictable themes, the results may not be too far off the mark. 

“Joyous” (λαρός), taking Giles’ suggestion.  This adjective normally is taken as glad, hilarious, jolly (Montie), though oddly taken as gladsome in the standard translation of the Vespers hymn Φς λαρν.


Ode IV. 
“I grasp in my mind” (κατά νον λαμβάνω).  Odd that the hymnographer uses the same expression—which is already puzzling from at least the Classical view—in successive troparia. 

“As you are” is my G-flat translation of πτανόμενος.  The hymnographers, apparently in imitation of Pindar, studiously avoid the substantive verb.  The employment of the present passive participle of πτάνομαι (be seen) as a substitute substantive is a new one for me.  This verb is late.  It shows up once in the NT, where it is amazingly found in the proemium of Acts (1:3) and twice in the LXX; Lampe cites several fathers who used it, notably St. John of Damascus.  This verb was formed from φθην (was seen, appeared), which evidently originated from a lost, more primitive form of πτάνομαι itself.  The hymnographers usually prefer as circumlocutions verbs like φθην (as in the theotokion immediately following) and δείκνυμι.  

“Pure” (σπιλε).   σπιλος joins the ranks of synonyms for pure.

“That leads to sloth” (αθυμοτόκος).  LBG renders “causing “thoughtlessness, carelessness.”  Lampe:  “breeding indolence, sloth-inducing.”  Sloth means “laziness, indolence” (COED).

 

Ode V.
“With repentance” (να τ λουτρ μετανοίας) omits τ λουτρ in order to avoid saying “wash . . . with the washing of repentance.”  This canon’s combination of sentence fragments and pleonasm is particularly oppressive.

“With remorse” added.  Lit., “deem us worthy to attain to banqueting with you at the banquet.”

 

Ode VI.
“In Psalms” (ψαλμικς).  Lexicographers and translators differ (in Psalmswith Psalmsin the language of the Psalms?).  The reader may make up his own mind about this word.

“Prepare for the throne” (τοιμασία το Θρόνου).  A puzzling expression exhibiting Cappadocian obscurity.

“Sits” (καθέζεται) etc.  This hymnographer generally prefers the present when we would use the future.  But that very rare bird, the future active participle, is found in the kontakion. 

“Trust in” (περίδονται).  The verb is a misspelling of περείδονται.  The Classical definition is to lean on, leading naturally to the modern definition to trust in.

“Keep in mind” does not translate πέργασαι (“conceive”), but does seem to do less violence to the associations favored by the English language.


Kontakion
“In the last day of judgement” (ν τ σχάτ μέρ τς Κρίσεως) is an awkward combination of what are usually separate expressions.


Prosomoion
“All existence” (πσα . . . παρξις).  Perhaps the hymnographer intended every creature.
“We may join the company” (ς ν τς στάσεως τύχωμεν).  The Greek literally says, “attain to the company.”


Ode VII.
“Hopeless” (πέλπιδα).  A modern word.  Kontopoulos renders “in despair.”


Ode VIII.
The first troparion is another one that does not pull together grammatically.  I have handled it roughly.
“Time to work” (καιρ τς ργασίας) seems to be an allusion to an idiomelon from Great and Holy Tuesday:  “I slumber in slothfulness of soul, O Christ the Bridegroom; I have no lamp that burns with the virtues, but like the foolish virgins I go wandering when it is time to work” (ν καιρ τς ργασας).

 

Ode IX.
“We wear black etc.”  Presumably written by someone living under Moslem rule, as Christians were required to wear black.
“The dead” (νέκρωσιν).  Lit., “death.”
“From the depths I cry out” (κ βαθέων κραυγάζω).  Cf. Ps. 129 (LXX):  κ βαθέων κκραξ σοι, Κριε.
“So that I may offer at the Judgement a ransom for my soul” (να ν Κρίσει προσφέρω ψυχς ξίλασμα).  It seems to me that this last troparion is reminiscent of δελφς ο λυτροται λυτρσεται, νθρωπος ο δσει τ θε ξλασμα ατο κα τν τιμν τς λυτρσεως τς ψυχς ατο (“A brother does not redeem, shall a man redeem?  He shall not give to God a ransom for himself, or the price of the redemption of his soul” [Brenton]) (Ps. 48:8-9 [LXX]).  If I understand the hymnographer correctly, he trusts the Mother of God to grant him the redemption which he knows he cannot offer of himself.  The word ξλασμα is also used in I Samuel to mean "bribe."  Stephanos defines it as "means of appeasing, lenitive."  Lampe defines it as "atonement, propitiation."  Great Scott defines it as "ransom, propitiatory offering."  I would expect a hymnographer to be more conversant with the Psalms than with Samuel.  These are treacherous waters for the Anglophone, as the dogmatic history of Western heresiarchs combine with the general ignorance of English vocabulary to confuse appeasement, ransom and propitiation.  The fact that a related word, ­λα­σμός, is used by the hymnographers to mean not “an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party” but “pardon” or “forgiveness” should prevent us from jumping to conclusions about ξίλασμα.  I would not be surprised if in the years to come—some of the words in these canons require a few years to fully work out—evidence should come to light requiring a revision of my translation of ξίλασμα.  In the meantime, it seems to me that we may suppose that the hymnographer is not trying to make a literal, theological claim but a hyperbolic, poetic one—that his composition of this canon will be exhibited as exculpatory evidence at the heavenly tribunal.  The problem in the post-schism West is that we, like the Puritans of at least Nathaniel Hawthorn's imagination, say, take everything seriously.  We tend to imagine that anything connected with the faith must be gloomily bound up by the tightest cords of literalism to the very bedrock of our salvation.  This leads to the ridiculous result that educated people are unable to distinguish rhetorical embellishments from gravely pronounced dogma.  The only solution is—to the degree possible—to become as well-read as the Fathers themselves.  Otherwise, by refusing to recognize hyperbole, pleonasm, apostrophe, scheme, trope as literary devices, we will make them articles of the faith.

Monday, April 8, 2024

METROPOLITAN JOEL'S CANON TO ST. PAISIUS THE ATHONITE


Ode I.
Irmos.  After crossing the sea as if it were dry ground and escaping the wickedness of Egypt, the Israelite cried out:  Let us sing to our redeemer and God.

You were a wondrous field of Mt. Athos, producing sweet fruits, divine Father Paisius, and a new defence of ascetics.

O Father, you taught your sons to guard their thoughts against wicked mischief and constantly to have in mind noble thoughts of Christ.

With streams of tears you intercede with Christ, O Father, for all those in need, Paisius, and for all who entreat you in your cell.

In manner transcending nature, Paisius the new truly saw with his eyes your divine form, Mary, on Athos in the last times, ever-virgin Mother of God.


Ode III.

Irmos.  You covered the vault of the sky with a roof, O Lord, and built the church; confirm me in your love, O summit of desires, support of the faithful and only compassionate Lord.

The grace of Christ revealed you as a victor, Father Paisius, for you wholly humbled the possessed man—Little George—who had been trained in Tibet by the destroyer of man.

Inspired Father, the Lord of the whole world long ago showed his likeness to you on Mt. Athos for the sake of the benefit of men, and you were filled with great grace, O Paisius.

The mind of men is at a loss to know how in reality you received in your cell, O blessed one, the greatly hymned megalomartyr and wondrous Euphemia, holy Paisius, boast of the Fathers.

We who are all worn out by diseases of the body, Mother, know you to be a well of healings and the noblest physician; therefore, we ask you in faith for your divine help, Bride of God.


Ode IV. 

Irmos.  I have heard, O Lord, the mystery of your dispensation; I have meditated on your works and glorified your divinity.

The assemblies of those who approach you, Paisius, confessed that you were the patron of their salvation by your instructions, saintly monk.

You were the noble healer of the two sick boys, O saint, at the supplication of their physician father, O honorable Paisios.

In a wonderful fashion, O Paisios, you often shed the light of Christ during prayer and you chanted hymns and melodies from your heart.

O Bride of God, grant light to my darkened soul, for you bore the Lord of the universe and the inaccessible light of men.


Ode V

Irmos.  Enlighten us with your commandments, O Lord, and by your lofty arm grant us your peace, O merciful God.

Raise your hands constantly to the Lord on behalf of those who seek your miraculous power and on behalf of youths who have fallen into sins, O Paisius.

By your intercession with the Lord, wise Paisios, you dispel the atheism of many young people who come to your hut and break their fetters.

With assistance from above, most holy saint, you guide many young men to the course of Christ and you show them the noblest things of life.

By your birth-giving you have been recognized as a wall that cannot be broken and the unshaken foundation and protection of the faithful, all-pure Mother of God.


Ode VI

Irmos.  I will pour out my supplication to the Lord and to him will I declare my afflictions, for my soul has been filled with troubles and my life has approached Hades, so like Jonah I pray:  Raise me up from death, O God.

Your venerable hut, Paisios, truly rests in the monastery of Souroti as the source of its happiness, O godly minded one, and supplies to the faithful gifts, healings of diseases of soul and treatment of the wounds of the flesh.

We often had the splendor of your form, God-bearer, in the last days, for you were recognized as a wise healer of those suffering from cancer, Paisios, physician of the possessed and support of those exhausted by toil and suffering.

The elated pride of the enemy is rocked by your holy might, all-blessed saint, for you came as one living from your tomb, and you freed the possessed youngster from slavery to the enemy and from his malice.

I have not acquired the gift of tears to bewail the multitude of my sins, and I am deprived of compunction and of soul-saving groaning of heart, O Mother; wherefore, by your intercessions with Christ crush my terrible dissoluteness.


Ode VII

Irmos.  The youths from Judea, having come to Babylon of old, by their faith in the Trinity trampled down the flame of the furnace, chanting, O God of our fathers, blessed are you.

You were subject to the Lord, a strenuous faster and a lover of prayer, a teacher of the young, a most attentive physician of the sick and the suffering in these last days, O Paisios.

Discreetly and justly you completed your life in Athos and other places, God-bearer, and you received the gift of discernment in abundance, guiding the faithful on the paths of salvation.

You illumine with your words the young who had fallen amid the tumults of Belial, showing them the deeds they must do as enjoined upon them by Christ, all-blessed one, and explaining to them the will of the Lord.

Enable us all to see by your intercessions the form of your Son, for we honor you, Maiden, and venerate with affection your holy icon, for you are the divine protection of us all.


Ode VIII

Irmos.  The king of Heaven whom the hosts of angels hymn, hymn and exalt him above all forever.

Your divine tomb in Souroti was, godly-minded one, shown to be a meadow of spiritual gifts and of healings of various diseases.

Wholeheartedly we praise your honorable memory, God-bearer, and beg for your grace, Father Paisios.

The most wicked serpent, Father, creeps stealthily to strike down my miserable soul, but I have confidence in and rely on your power.

You were seen to be the protector of men, most-holy Virgin, as you virginally bore the Word of the Father, Christ the life-giver.


Ode IX

Irmos.  O Mother of God, we who have been saved through you fittingly confess you, and with the incorporeal choirs magnify you, O pure Virgin.

Having seen your grace and the healings, which you, O admirable one, do every day, we hymn together your life, Father Paisios.

Your tomb became a stream of gifts in Souroti, Paisios, giving healing to the ailing in both body and soul.

They honor your divine memory gladly in Konitsa, Athos, Souroti and in all the church, Father Paisios.

I worship your Son, Mother of God, and I celebrate with hymns the beauty of your countenance, ever-blessed Mother.

 


ENDNOTES FOR THE CIRCUMSPECT

This canon is by Metropolitan Joel of Edessa.  This canon is found on several sites on the Internet, including Fr. Christopher Klitou's website here.  Any reader unacquainted with St. Paisius may avail himself of John Sanidopoulos's wonderful Saint Paisius the Athonite Resource Page.  I thank Zoilus for proofing the Greek and I thank my eagle-eyed Aeteia, the Lawfully Wedded, for proofing the English.  Any errors surviving their ministrations are purely my own.  

Ode I.
“Were” (φθης).  A plain vanilla translation of a tricky verb.  It is the suppletory aorist passive of ράω (see).  This form may be used to mean appeared, seemed, were seen, proved to be.  However, we have to remember that Pindar and his imitators avoided the substantive verb (εμί) in preference for more poetic substitutes.  Among the hymnographers, that substitute is often φθην.  In this canon, that word shows up four times.

“Defence” (παλλάδιον).  According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, “miraculous guardian statues were common in ancient cities, but none was more famous than the Trojan Palladium, a small wooden image of armed Athena.”  The reader may note that παλλάδιον is not capitalized, so it has passed from being a proper noun to a common noun.  Classical lexica know this word as a proper noun—παλλάδιον; modern lexica know it as a common noun.  Of the modern lexica which I consult, only Alexandrou’s admits both the proper (Palladium) and common definitions (shield, protection).

“Guard their thoughts.”  The meanings of λογισμός include calculation and reckoning (cf. logistics) (Montanari), reasoning (Great Scott) and imagining (Lampe).  One thinks of a bad man imagining how he could pull something off and defend himself if caught.

“Thoughts.”  ννοήμα also means concept, notion (Montanari) or even mental concept (Lampe).  Muraoka has “that which results from pondering.”  Schrevelius adduces “reflection.”  One does not describe a bad man as being reflective or a good man as calculating.  The DGE cites Aristotle (τς μπειρίας ννοήματα [pensamientos surgidos de la experiencia]).  It would appear from other texts using this word that these thoughts are about Christ.  We might say “good reflections about Christ.”

“Entreat” (ξαιτουμένων . . . ποικίλα ατήματα).  Lit., “ask (or beg) for various requests.”  The problem is that words of entreaty in English tend be selective about their arguments.  E.g., we do not “ask for requests.”  “Make various requests” carries connotations in English (politely phrased command, e.g.) that don’t belong in a hymn.  Entreat, however, is one of those marsupial verbs, so to speak, for it carries within itself the object of entreaty.

“Above nature” etc.  This troparion is a good example of how hymnographers shove as many distractions into a single sentence as they possibly can. 

Ode III. 
“Little George” is apparently mentioned in Hieromonk Isaac’s Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, trans. Hieromonk Alexis (Trader) and Fr. Peter Heers, ed. Hieromonk Alexis (Trader), Fr. Evdokimos (Goranitis) and Philip Navarro (Chalkidiki, Greece:  Holy Monastery “Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian,” 2012), 212-215.

Ode V.
“Raise . . . constantly” (ψεις σταθηράς) presents some spelling issues.  ψεις appears to be a misspelling for ψοις, which is optative, and is therefore a polite substitute for the imperative.  σταθηράς seems to be a misspelling of σταθερώς (constantly).  This is an unusual spelling error.  Hymnographical misspellings typically involve vowels whose pronunciation are the same.  E.g., ψοις and ψεις are pronounced the same, but σταθηράς and σταθερώς are not (to the best of my knowledge) pronounced the same. 

Ode VI. 
“We often had the splendor of your form” (μφάνειαν, τς μορφς σου σχομεν) may be a convoluted way of saying, “we often visited you,” but I am not sure.  μφάνεια is not a common noun.

“Dissoluteness” (κρασίαν).  Or incontinence, intemperance (Alexandrou).

“Have confidence in and rely on” (θαρσομαι κα λπίζω).  In modern Greek, θαρσομαι means have confidence in or be hopeful of.  Montie reports have courage, be confident, confide.  Similarly, λπίζω does not only mean hope but rely or trust.  I selected the definitions which went together most smoothly.  There is no denying that this line is pleonastic.  Also, it is curious that θαρσομαι is middle/passive voice, but the only indication of a change in meaning—found in Montie—does not seem appropriate (risk?  dare?).

Ode VIII.
“Protector” (σώτειρα).  Really, savior.  Muraoka finds σωτήρ to be applied to God, men, doctors, secular rulers in the LXX.  In our language, of course, savior is uniquely construed.  Montie reports savior, protector, deliverer for σωτήρ.  Pape reports Erhalterinn for σώτειρα, but that is one uncommon German word.

Supplicatory Canon to the Master, Our Lord Jesus Christ, on account of his Second Coming, by the Nun Melani Mboura

Refrain:  “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.” Ode I. Irmos.  After crossing the sea as if it were dry ground and escaping the wi...