We began the Pre-Lenten season yesterday, with the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican. If you have a minute, listen to the recordings linked to the first two hymns.
The pharisee went up to the temple with a proud and empty heart:
The publican bowed himself in repentance.
They both stood before You, O Master:
The one, through boasting, lost his reward,
But the other, with tears and sighs, won your blessing:
Strengthen me, O Christ our God, as I weep in your presence,
Since you are the lover of mankind!
The pharisee was condemned by his pride, O Lord;
The publican was justified by his sighs, O Christ,
For You clearly see all things hidden in the hearts of men;
You spurn the arrogant, but never refuse a broken and contrite heart.
Therefore we fall down before You in repentance:
Grant us forgivness and great mercy!