The Leaves of Paradise
Verses from the services for the Sunday of Forgiveness, the final Sunday before the Great Fast. Today we remember Adam’s expulsion from Paradise.
O precious Paradise, unsurpassed in beauty, tabernacle built by God, enending gladness and delight, glory of the righteous, joy of the prophets and dwelling of the saints:
with the sound of thy leaves pray to the Maker of all: may He open unto me the gates which I closed by my transgression,
and may he count me worthy to partake of the Tree of Life and of the joy which was mine when I dwelt in thee before.
— Vespers sticheron
O Paradise, share in the sorrow of thy master who is brought to poverty,
and with the sound of thy leaves pray to the Creator that He may not keep thy gate closed for ever.
I am fallen; in Thy compassion have mercy on me.
— Ikos from Matins.