On Wednesday night the Lord passed into Bethany (Mt. 26:6-17). Here while He was in the house of Simon the leper and the high priests, scribes and elders in assembly already decided to seize Jesus Christ by trickery and to kill Him, a certain “sinful” woman) poured precious myrrh on the head of the Savior and in this way prepared Him for burial as He Himself judged her action). Here at the same time, as opposed to the disinterested action of the sinful woman, the criminal intention to betray his Teacher and Lord to the lawless assembly was born in ungrateful soul of Judas, one of twelve disciples of the Savior. Therefore in the church services of Great Wednesday the sinful woman is glorified and the love of money and betrayal of Judas is censured and cursed. “As the sinful woman”, the Holy Church sings this day, “was bringing her offering of myrrh, the disciple was scheming with lawless men. She rejoiced in pouring out her precious myrrh. He hastened to sell the Priceless One. She recognized the Master, but He departed from the Master. She was set free, but Judas was enslaved to the enemy”; “O the impieties of Judas! O God, deliver our souls from this”).

Kontakion, Tone 4

Though I have transgressed more than the harlot, O Good One, I have not offered Thee a flood of tears, But praying in silence I fall down before Thee. With love I embrace Thy most pure feet. As Master, grant me remission of debts. When I cry to Thee, O Savior: Deliver me from the filth of my deeds.

S. V. Bulgakov, Handbook for Church Servers, 2nd ed.

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