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HOLY WEDNESDAY

On this day, the Church remembers at the divine service a woman who washed Jesus's feet with precious fragrant oil and wiped them with her hair. The disciples were indignant at the woman, saying that the oil could be sold for a big sum of money and distributed to the poor. But Christ does not just accept her gift, He promises: "Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:13).

Stichera of the Great Wednesday (written by nun Cassia):
A woman who had fallen into many sins, O Lord,
when she perceived Thy divinity,
equaling herself with the myrrh-bearing women,
In tears she brought Thee myrrh before Thy burial,
Crying: “Woe is me!
For I live in the night of licentiousness,
shrouded in the dark and moonless love of sin.
But accept the fountain of my tears,
Thou Who didst gather the waters of the sea into clouds!
Bow down Thine ear to the sighing of my heart,
O Thou, Who didst bow the heavens in Thine ineffable condescension!
Once Eve heard Thy footsteps in Paradise in the cool of the day,
and in fear she ran and hid herself.
But now I will tenderly embrace those pure feet
and wipe them with the hair of my head.
Who can measure the multitude of my sins,
or the depth of Thy judgments, O Savior of my soul?//
Do not despise Thy servant in Thine immeasurable mercy!"