Behold the Bridegroom!

Behold the Bridgroom comes in the middle of the night; and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, but unworthy is he whom He shall find in slothfulness. Beware, then, O my soul, and be not overcome by sleep, lest thou be given over to death and shut out from the Kingdom. But return to soberness and cry aloud: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God: through the Theotokos have mercy upon us!
Troparion, Tone Eight, Matins for Holy Monday

Thou hast heard, my soul, how Christ spoke in prophecy to His holy disciples, foretelling the consummation of all things. Make ready, then, since thou knowest that the end will come; the hour of departure is at hand.

Thou knowest, O unfruitful soul, the example of the wicked servant. Fear, then, and neglect not the gift of grace which has been given unto thee, not to be hidden in the earth, but to be used.

May thy lamp shine brightly, O my soul; and, like the lamps of the five virgins, may it overflow with the oil of compassion; and so thou shalt find open before thee the door of Christ’s bridal chamber.
St Andrew of Crete, canon in Compline for Monday in Holy Week. From Mother Mary and Archimandrite [now Bishop] Kallistos Ware. The Lenten Triodion (St Tikhon’s Seminary Press, 2001).

Monday in Holy Week is the traditional date of the instruction on the Last Days given in Matthew 24 and 25 and parallels. The Matins service for Holy Monday is particularly beloved by the Orthodox, who generally refer to it as the Bridegroom Service.

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