Hymn 1

The is the fast of the First Born, the first of his victories.
Let us rejoice in his coming; for in fasting he has overcome.
Though he could have overcome by any means,
He revealed for us the strength hidden in fasting, Overcomer of All.
For by means of it a man can overcome that one who with fruit overcame Adam;
He became greedy and gobbled it. Blessed is the First-Born who encompassed
Our weakness with the wall of his great fasting.

Blessed is the King who adorned the Holy Church with Fasting, Prayer and Vigil.

This is the fast which exalts; which shone forth from the First Born
So as to exalt the younger ones. In fasting there is an occasion for delight for the discerning;
When one sees how much he will have grown. Fasting secretly purifies the soul
So it can gaze on God and grow in the vision of Him.
For the weight that is from the earth, bends it back to the earth.
Blessed is he who gave us fasts,
The sheer wings by which we fly to him.

Fasting is bright and beautiful for any who pure enough
To gaze on God. The turbid one, stirred up by anything
Cannot fix his eye on the Clear One. He who possesses a clear eye,
Can gaze upon him; as much as it is given to him to gaze.
Instead of clarifying wine, let us clarify our thought
So that we will be able to see the Clear One
Who overcame the Evil One by means of fasting, that Disturber of All.

This is the fast at which Greed is disgorged
The peoples at the top of the mountain. Clothed in fasting, He overcame the Greedy One,
Who had clothed himself with the food of Adam's house.
The Lord of Victories gave us his weapon; He ascended on high to be an observer.
Who would not run to the weapon by which God overcame?
It is a shameful thing, my brothers, to be bested by the weapon
Which overcomes and causes all creation to overcome.

Because the enemy is not visible, let us polish our thinking so that he sees that we see him.
Of those whom he sees taking notice of him
He is able to steal..
When a soul undertakes a fast,
The the fast bears it and gives it back to its companion.
Amid their volleys of sharpened arrows, the hidden eye
Is polished to see whence come the sharp arrows hidden from viewers.

This fast is an teacher which teaches the athlete the stories of the contest.
Draw near to him, study, learn to struggle for discernment.
Behold he instructed us to fast with bothour mouths and hearts,
Let us not fast from bread and think anxious thoughts
In which the hidden poison of death is concealed.
Let us confess on the fast day the First Born
Who gave us the word of life to meditate on.

Let the scriptures be for us like a mirror, let us see in them our fast
For the Bible discriminates between fasts and fasts and prayer and prayer.
It chooses one type of fast and rejects another
Some fasters appease [God] and others anger [him].
There is a prayer which is sinful, and another which is the medicine of life
May our Lord rejoice in our fast
As he rejoiced, my brothers, in his own fast.

Fasting certainly did not defile the Holy One; He came down in it and triumphed
Another admixture makes the fast defiled, though it itself is pure.
Examine nature! Is not desirable fruit
Polluted by something loathsome?
Our mind abhors them though they be washed many times.
Blessed is the Pure One who receives the fruits
Which the penitent have polished and given to him.

The Turbid One mixes filth with our Clarity,
So as to make the first-fruits of our prayer and fasting hateful.
It is possible that his jealousy can make our offering the object of reproach.
Take away deceit from your fasts, remove mockery from your praise.
May your voices cleanse your mouths from lies.
Allow us, O First Born, in your mercy
To uproot the hidden tangle of briars from our minds.

Do not trust, O Simple Ones, in the Deceiver who robs Fasters.
For whomever he sees abstaining from bread,
He fills with anger. Whomever he sees standing to pray
To him he holds out one distraction after another.
He steals from his heart the prayer of his mouth.
O Lord of ours give us an eye to see,
How he steals the truth in deceit.

Come be gathered, my brothers, on this fast day let us sit and marvel at how evil the Evil One is.
When he makes a transaction, he impoverishes us by what is his.
But he does become wealthy through what is ours; the truth that he steals suits him not.
The deceit he gives to us is of no avail.
Like his companion, the whore, he does not belong to us, nor we to him.
Judge O Lord, between us and him,
For it is through you that Solomon judged the harlots.

Let us seek the track of truth in fasting; Let us go forth by it on the way with its way-stations.
For the Blind People, on a fast day, run along pridefully and aimlessly
Fasting is in their mouth, an idol is in their heart;
Prayer is on their lips, divination in their mind.
Their stomach is empty of bread, but full of lies;
Though they wash their hands every day,
The hidden blood on them screams out against them.

Blessed is he who endured, withstood, and triumphed; his head is held high with his crown.
He is like a creditor who demands his fee with a bold voice.
He is not like me, too weak to fast, too weary for the vigil
The first to succomb. My enemy is skillful.
When he overcomes me, he lets me rise only to throw me down once more.
O Sea of mercies give me a handful of mercy
So that I can wipe out the note of my debt.

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