Category: Triodion

Holy Week

A Liturgical Explanation of Holy Week

The Beginning of the Cross: Saturday of Lazarus “Having fulfilled Forty Days… we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion.”With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ’s suffering, death and Resurrection.

Great Lent

Catechetical Homily at the Opening of Holy and Great Lent

Our Lord Jesus Christ grafts us into His body, inviting us to become saints, “just as He is holy.” (1 Peter 1.16) Our Creator wants us to be in communion with Him in order to taste His grace, which is to participate in His sanctity.

Saturday before Cheesefare (Forgiveness) Sunday

On Saturday of Cheese Fare Week we commemorate “all the venerable Fathers and dedicated Mothers of the Lord, with the Hieromartyrs and Holy Women, known by name and unknown, “who brightly shone forth living ascetically”.

Holy Week

Synaxarion for Great and Holy Monday

Joseph was the eleventh son of the Patriarch Jacob, born to him of Rachel. Envied by his brothers on account of certain dreams that he had, he was first cast into a pit. Jacob was deceived by his other sons into believing, on the basis of a bloodstained robe, that Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast. Joseph was then sold to some Ishmaelite travellers for thirty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites in turn sold him to Potiphar, the chief eunuch of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt.

Holy Week

Synaxarion for the Saturday of Lazarus

Lazarus was a Hebrew by birth and a Pharisee by profession, and, as has been ascertained, was a son of Simon the Pharisee, from the village of Bethany. When our Lord Jesus Christ was sojourning in the land for the salvation of our race, Simon was united to Him in friendship. Since Christ was constantly conversing with Simon, in view of the latter’s professed belief in the resurrection of the dead, and frequently visited his house, Lazarus became His close friend, and not only Lazarus himself, but also his two sisters, Martha and Mary.

Fifth Week

The Memory of Saint Mary of Egypt

On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Church honours the memory of a “street-walker”, a woman who led such a dissolute life that the word “prostitute” is more of a euphemism rather than an exact description of the depth of her sinfulness. The figure of Blessed Mary is highlighted on the last Sunday of Great Lent: on the one hand, to strike at our Churchy prissiness, since a common harlot is presented as a model of life; and, on the other, to provide an example and a ray of hope for repentance for all those who are slaves to their passions and continue to struggle to find ways to free themselves of them.

Third Week

The Cross, the Symbol of Victory

In the middle of Holy and Great Lent, the Church places before the faithful the Honourable Cross of the Lord for us to venerate and draw strength from, so that we can continue the gruelling but lambent journey towards Great Week.

Great Lent

Approaching Christ During Holy and Great Lent

The main elements of Great Lent are prayer and fasting. Prayer presupposes faith. Without prayer one is helpless, insecure, blind and alone. Tied to the earth, to matter, one is not aware that they can fly high, to shine in the heavens, to have needed heavenly assistance. They are magnetized, tied, attached to the perishable and earthly. They are not easily detached. They try to acquire treasure on earth. They constantly look for pleasure to cheer them up, instead they get pain out of it. It is sad and pathetic to look for happiness in the mud.