The Great Canon has been described as one of the jewels of Orthodoxy's ascetic spirituality. In the first week of Lent, during Great Compline, it is sung and declaimed in portions; on Thursday of the fifth week, during Matins, in its entirety. Throughout, accompanied by bows or prostrations, the refrain is: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me. This short, yet full, essay by Olivier Clément serves as an enriching commentary and guide for reading The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete. The author begins the journey with a study of the meaning of "awakening" and "the fear of God" the stepping stones toward true repentance. He then follows the Canon's path of identifying our fallen nature, the passions, Christ's liberation from sin and death, humility, and asceticism, and ends with a comparison between the shedding of tears and the holy chrism of baptism. Clément ultimately encourages us to see repentance as the key to being fully alive-and The Great Canon as our roadmap toward becoming alive in Christ. A translation of the Great Canon accompanies the text.