On Holy Tuesday, we honor the parable of the ten virgins, which our Saviour related as He was coming to His Passion. This parable teaches us that the accomplishment of the great work of virginity should not make us careless in other matters, especially in almsgiving, wherewith the lamp of virginity is made radiant. Further, it teaches us that we should not be remiss about the end of our life, but should be prepared for it at every moment, like the wise virgins, so that we may meet the Bridegroom, and not be tarrying about for the trivia of this earth instead.
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.6 And at midnight there was a cry, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Matthew xxv: 1-13, KJV
(Entry) Apolytikion of Holy Tuesday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
See! The Bridegroom sets forth in the dead of night. And blessed is that servant whom he shall find on watch; unworthy the one he shall come upon lazing. See to it, soul, that sleep does not overtake you, lest you be given up to death and be shut out of the kingdom. Bestir yourself, then, and sing out: “Holy, holy, holy are You, our God; through the prayers of the Forerunner, save us.”
(Exit )Kontakion of Holy Tuesday in the Second Tone
Soul, mindful of your final hour, and dreading the fate of the fig tree, cultivate with diligence the talent you were given. Endure, be vigilant, and say: “May we not be shut out of the bridal chamber!”