Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee. Luke 15:18
Words: Joseph of the Studium (Βυθος αμαρτηματων). Translated from Greek to English by John M. Neale in his Hymns of the Eastern Church. This is a portion from the Triodion of the Canon at Lauds for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, answering to Septuagesima of the Anglican Church, and later in use in the Greek church.
Th’abyss of many a former sin
Encloses me and bars me in;
Like billows my transgressions roll:
Be Thou the pilot of my soul,
And to salvation’s harbor bring
Thou Savior and Thou glorious King.
My Father’s heritage abused,
Wasted by lust, by sin misused;
To shame and want and misery brought,
The slave to many a fruitless thought,
I cry to Thee, who lovest men,
O pity and receive again!
In hunger now, no more possessed,
Of that my portion bright and blest,
The exile and the alien see,
Who yet would fain return to Thee,
And save me, Lord, who seek to raise
To Thy dear love the hymn of praise!
With that blest thief my prayer I make,
Remember for Thy mercy’s sake!
With that poor publican I cry,
Be merciful, O God most high!
With that lost prodigal I fain
Back to my home would turn again!
Mourn, mourn, my soul, with earnest care,
And raise to Christ the contrite prayer;
O Thou, who freely wast made poor,
My sorrows and my sins to cure,
Me, poor of all good works, embrace,
Enriching with Thy boundless grace!