The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent—St John Climacus

On the Fourth Sunday of the Fast, we celebrate the memory of our Holy Father John the author of the Ladder.

In the Church services for the fourth Sunday the Holy Church offers us a great example of the life of fasting in the person of the Venerable John of the Ladder, who, “having overcome the flesh through fasting” and “by the sweat of his ascetic efforts quenched the fiery arrows of the enemy” and “renewed the strength of souls” and, “ascending to the height of virtues”, [read more…]


The Third Sunday of Great Lent—Veneration of the Holy Cross

The Third Sunday of Lent is called “The Veneration of the Cross.” At the Vigil of that day, after the Great Doxology, the Cross is brought in a solemn procession to the center of the church and remains there for the entire week-with a special rite of veneration following each service. It is noteworthy that the theme of the Cross which dominates the hymnology of that Sunday is developed in terms not of suffering but of victory and joy. Read more


The Second Sunday of Great Lent—St Gregory Palamas

On the Second Sunday of the Fast, we celebrate the memory of our Father among the Saints, Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica.

The situation in St. Gregory’s time was that Orthodoxy was being debased; it was becoming worldly and being changed into either pantheism or agnosticism. Read more


The First Sunday of Great Lent—Sunday of Orthodoxy

The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, [read more…]


On Forgiveness Sunday and the Spirit of the Great Fast

This Sunday is a very important Sunday for all faithful Orthodox Christians, coming as it does before the beginning of Great Lent, and as part of the Church’s Triodion journey to help us achieve Theosis.

Reviewing our progress, the first Sunday of Triodion taught us how to pray: with the humility of the Publican, recognizing our sinfulness and asking for the mercy of God. The second Sunday we are reminded that we have a patient and loving Father who always waits for His Prodigal Sons and Daughters to return to Him, no matter how we who separate ourselves through the Passions and our sins. The third Sunday demonstrates just how we can build a closer relationship with our Creator, which depends on the loving and Godly-oriented ways in which we treat our neighbors: our grandparents, parents, siblings, children, classmates and coworkers—and especially the least among us.

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