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References to the Toll Houses in the Canon of the Parting of the Soul from the Body

by Anastasios Hudson on March 18th, 2013

Here are just a few of the many references to the Toll Houses which are found in the Canon of the Parting of the Soul from the Body found in the Great Book of Needs(these are from the St. Tikhon’s edition).

“Noetic roaring lions have surrounded me, seeking to carry me away and bitterly torment me. Do thou crush their teeth and jaws, O pure One, and save me” (Ode 3, Troparion 2).

“Behold, terror has come to meet me, O Sovereign Lady, and I am afraid of it. Behold, a great struggle awaits me, in which be thou unto me a helper, O Hope of my salvation” (Ode 4, “Both Now”).

“They that shall lead me hence have come, holding me on every side. But my soul shrinks back and is afraid, full of great rebelliousness, which do thou comfort, O pure One, by thine appearance” (Ode 7, “Glory”).

“O thou that gavest birth to the Lord Almighty, when I come to die, do thou banish from me the commander of the bitter toll-gatherers and ruler of the earth, that I may glorify thee unto the ages, O holy Theotokos” (Ode 8, Troparion 3).

And from another canon at the departing of the soul from the body, for those who have suffered a long time, by St. Andrew of Crete:

“Come all you that have gathered together, who have lived your lives in piety, and lament the soul bereft of the glory of God, for shameful demons are striving to enslave it” (Ode 1, Troparion 1).

“Behold, a multitude of evil spirits are standing about, holding the handwriting of my sins, and they cry out exceedingly, shamelessly seeking my lowly soul” (Ode 1, “Glory”).

“O Sovereign Lady! O Sovereign Lady! Have mercy now on my perplexed soul looking to thy protection only, and do not disdain me, O Good One, who am being given over to demons” (Ode 4, “Both now”).

“Have mercy on me, O all-holy Angels of God Almighty, and deliver me from all the evil toll-collectors, for I have no good deeds to balance my evil deeds” (Ode 7, Troparion 2).

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