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2: Great Lent

SUMMARY: ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN OBSERVANCE OF PASCHA

A Journey through Holy Week

The Orthodox date for Pascha (or “Passover”) is based on a decree of the Council of Nicaea, Asia Minor, held in 325 A.D.  According to this decree, Pascha must be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox but always after the Jewish Passover to maintain the Biblical sequence of events of the Crucifixion and ... Read More »

A Homily on the Importance of Dogma according to the Three Hierarchs

Icon of the Three Hierarchs

Introduction.             Moments ago, brothers and sisters, we heard the Holy Apostle Paul offer a hymn in praise of faith: “By faith Moses refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”[1]  By faith kingdoms have been subdued, righteousness has been worked, ... Read More »

Development of the Lenten Fast

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Fasting, in preparation for Pascha was universal in the Early Church, both in the East and in the West, as evidenced by various second and third century references to the practice. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History makes reference to St Irenaeus who had written on the debate regarding the date for Pascha and on the nature of the period of ... Read More »

Overcoming the Vice of Anger

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The ability to keep silent is very highly valued in human society. Not without reason is it said that silence is golden, but the word is silver. A silent person is able to control his thoughts, words, and actions. It is for this reason that silence was (and still is) so highly appreciated in the ascetic practice of the Church. ... Read More »

SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE FOR GREAT LENT AND HOLY WEEK

The Church Fathers have much to say about how we should approach Great Lent and Holy Week in all its aspects – fasting, prayer, our actions. They recognise that simply going through the motions of abstaining from certain kinds of foods while not paying attention to how we live our lives amounts to following the letter of the law, not ... Read More »

The Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephraim explained

A SPIRITUAL CHECKLIST Orthodox Christians recite a prayer during Great Lent that is described by Fr. Alexander Schmemann as a “check list” for our spiritual lives. This prayer, given by St. Ephraim the Syrian in the fourth century, is commonly called the “Lenten Prayer:” O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust ... Read More »

THE SIXTH WEEK OF GREAT LENT

Being disclosed in a Canon of the 5th week, the Gospel parable about the rich man and Lazarus serves as the subject of hymns also in the 6th week. The Holy Church calls us “to run from the cruelty and hatred of mankind of the rich man and to emulate the fortitude and long-suffering of Lazarus” and to beg the ... Read More »

The Journey of Great Lent

When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going. Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Easter, “the Feast of Feasts.” It is the preparation for the “fulfillment of Pascha, the true Revelation.” We must begin, therefore, by trying to understand this connection between Lent and Easter, for ... Read More »

Patriarchal Encyclical for the Holy and Great Lent

CATECHETICAL HOMILY For Holy and Great Lent + B A R T H O L O M E W By God’s Mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch To the Plenitude of the Church: Grace and Peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ And Prayers, Blessings and Forgiveness from us “Behold, now is the favorable time, now is ... Read More »

Saint Dorotheos of Gaza: On the Holy Lenten Fast

In the Law, God laid down that the sons of Israel should each year give tithes of all they possessed, and if they did so they were blessed in all their works. The holy Apostles, knowing this to be for the help and advancement of our souls, resolved to fulfil it in a better and higher way, namely, for us ... Read More »