[[Image:Andrewofcrete.jpg|right|thumb|200px|St. Andrew of Crete]]
The '''Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete''' is a lengthy penitential [[canon]] composed in
7th century, which is performed during the [[Great Lent]].
Composition==The Great Canon consists of four parts, each divided into 9 odes like a regular [[canon]]. However, there are slight differences between the the odes of the two compositions. In the Great Canon, there is a greater number of [[troparia]]. At the refrain "Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy on me" , a full [[prostration]] is performed. Also, some of the odes have additional refrains and troparia to the author of the canon, [[ Andrew of Crete|St. Andrew of Crete]], or [[ Mary of Egypt|St. Mary of Egypt]], one of the greatest models of repentance in Christianity.
[[Image:Zosimas and Mary of Egypt.jpg|right|frame|Sts. Zosima and Mary of Egypt]]
The Great Canon is performed during the first week of the Great Lent. During
the [[Compline]] on Monday, Tuesday, Wendesday and Thursday, one portion of Canon is sung after Psalm 69 is read. On Wendesday of the fifth week of the Great Lent, Life of St. Mary of Egypt is read together with the entire Great Canon at [[ Matins]] service. This practice was implemented during the life of St. Andrew, who was also the author of St. Mary's hagiography.
A basic distinguishing feature of the Great Canon is its extremely broad use of images and subjects taken both from the Old and New Testaments. As the Canon progresses, the congregation encounters many biblical examples of sin and repentance. The Bible
(and therefore, the Canon) speaks of some individuals in a positive light, and about others in a negative one - the penitents are expected to emulate the positive examples of sanctity and repentance, and to learn from and avoid the negative examples of sin, fallen nature and pride. However, one of the most notable aspects of the Canon is that it attempts to potray the Biblical images in a very personal way to every penitant: the Canon is written in such form that the faithful identify themselves with many people and events found in the Bible.
*[http://www.monachos.net/monasticism/andrew_of_crete/great_canon.shtml Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete]
[[Category: Liturgics]][[Category: Hymnography]]