Articles Tagged ‘Lent’

2016 Lenten Schedule

2016 Lenten Schedule

Lenten Schedule 2016

14:MARCH

Monday: Great Lent Begins


14:MARCH

Monday: Forgiveness Vespers at 7pm


16:MARCH

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm


18:MARCH

Friday: Akathist Hymn at 7pm


19:MARCH

Saturday of Souls: Orthros at 9:00am followed by Liturgy at 9:30am


19:MARCH

Saturday of Souls: Memorial Prayers/Westlake Village at 11:30am


20:MARCH

Sunday: Procession of Icons. Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


23:MARCH

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm


25:MARCH

Friday: Annunciation Divine Liturgy at 9:30am


25:MARCH

Friday: Akathist Hymn at 7pm


30:MARCH

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm


1:APRIL

Friday: Akathist Hymn at 7pm


3:APRIL

Sunday: Veneration of the Holy Cross: Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


6:APRIL

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm


8:APRIL

Friday: Akathist Hymn at 7pm


10:APRIL

Sunday: Sunday of St. John Climacus: Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


13:APRIL

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm


15:APRIL

Friday: Akathist Hymn at 7pm


17:APRIL

Sunday: Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt: Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


19:APRIL

Tuesday: Holy Week Prep Choir/Chanter Meeting at 7pm


23:APRIL

Saturday of Lazurus: Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


24:APRIL

Palm Sunday: Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


25:APRIL

Monday: Bridegroom Service at 7pm


26:APRIL

Tuesday: Bridegroom Service at 7pm


27:APRIL

Wednesday: Holy Unction at 7pm


28:APRIL

Thursday: Liturgy of St. Basil at 10am


28:APRIL

Thursday: 12 Gospels of Christ 6:30pm


29:APRIL

Friday: Royal Hours 10am


29:APRIL

Friday: Decent from the Cross 3:00pm


29:APRIL

Friday: Lamentations 7:00pm


30:APRIL

Saturday: Liturgy of St. Basil at 10am


30:APRIL

Saturday: Resurrection Service 11:00pm


30:APRIL

Saturday: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom 12:00am (Midnight)


01:May

Sunday: Agape Vespers 12:00pm (Noon)


01:May

Sunday: Agape Picnic 1:00pm


2017 Lenten Schedule

2017 Lenten Schedule

Lenten Schedule 2017


27:FEB

Monday: Great Lent Begins "Clean Monday" - Strict Fast


27:FEB

Monday: Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00pm


1:MAR

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:00pm


3:MAR

Friday: Salutations to the Theotokos at 7:00pm


4:MAR

Saturday of Souls: Orthros at 9:00am followed by Liturgy at 9:30am. Memorial Services (off Site)


5:MAR

Sunday of Orthodoxy. Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


8:MAR

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:00pm


10:MAR

Friday: Salutations to the Theotokos at 7:00pm


12:MAR

Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas: Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


15:MAR

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:00pm


17:MAR

Friday: Salutations to the Theotokos at 7:00pm


19:MAR

Sunday of the Holy Cross, Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


22:MAR

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:00pm


24:MAR

Friday: Salutations to the Theotokos at 7:00pm


25:MAR

Saturday: Annunciation of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy at 9:30am


26:MAR

Sunday of St. John Climacus, Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am


29:MAR

Wednesday: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:00pm


31:MAR

Friday: Akathist Hymn at 7:00pm


COME, RECEIVE THE LIGHT …
HOLY WEEK 2017

During Holy Week, we follow the footsteps of Christ, Who passed from Death to Life. We, too, experience Christ’s journey to the Cross. This journey takes us to the reality of sin and death. Christ conquered sin and death, and His triumph is ours as well. By uniting ourselves with Christ, we discover that death has no power over us.

Open your heart to Christ! The events of Holy Week are the most moving of the year. To get the most out of them, participate in each day’s services. Make prayer, fasting and Holy Communion essential parts of your Holy Week.

8:APR

Saturday: Saturday of Lazarus Liturgy at 9:30am On Lazarus Saturday, we find that death is the enemy which Christ cam to conquer, and that Christ is truly the giver of life! The raising of Lazarus is celebrated on this day. We, too, receive the promise of new life. We celebrate the divine love that brought Lazarus back to life --- the same love that Christ offers to each one of us today. The Scripture readings are Hebrews 12:28-13:8 and John 11:1-45.

8:APR

Saturday: Pancake breakfast and making of Palm Crosses after Liturgy at 10:30am


9:APR

Palm Sunday, Orthors at 9:00am followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We receive Palms on this day to show that we too accept Jesus as King, and that we are willing to follow Him to the Cross. The scripture readings are Philippians: 4:4-9 and John 12:1-18.

10:APR

Palm Sunday: Bridegroom Service at 7:00pm This Service helps us understand Christ’s passage from death to life – and how each of us can also become free from sin and death. So we commemorate: 1) Christ the Bridegroom. The priest carries the Icon of Christ the Bridegroom in procession. We behold Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, bearing the marks of suffering, yet preparing a marriage Feast for us in God’s kingdom; 2) The Blessed Joseph, who was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by the brothers, and who later became a powerful ruler. In the same way, Christ was rejected, betrayed and crowned with glory in God’s Kingdom; 3) The Barren Fig Tree, which Christ cursed and withered because it bore no fruit. The tree is like those who have heard God’s word but fail to bear fruit by not obeying it. The Gospel reading is Matthew 21:18-43.

10:APR

Monday: Bridegroom Service at 7:00pm This Service urges us to be spiritually prepared to receive Christ. We should take this time to reflect on the Parable of the Ten Virgins. The maidens who filled their lamps with oil were prepared to receive the Bridegroom. Those with empty lamps where shut out of the marriage feast. So each of us should light our lives with faith and good works and be ready to receive Christ. The Gospel reading is Matthew 22:15-46; 23:1-39.

11:APR

Tuesday: Bridegroom Service at 7:00pm This Service asks us to repent our sins and to forgive others. We remember the sinful woman who anointed Christ in anticipation of His death. Her repentance and love of Christ is the theme of the Hymn of Cassiane changed tonight. We, too, may be forgiven if we confess our sins and obey God’s will. The Gospel reading is John 12:17-50

12:APR

Wednesday: Holy Unction at 6:00pm The Sacrament of Holy Oil is celebrated on Holy Wednesday Evening when we seek to be reconciled with God. The priest anoints us with holy oil that we may be healed physically and spiritually. The Orthodox Church has always viewed body and soul as inseparable, and for that reason has stressed the necessity for preserving both in good health. The Sacrament of the Holy Unction is an enduring sacrament of faith for healing the sick and forgiving sins, with the most familiar celebration of the sacrament on Great Wednesday of Holy Week.

13:APR

Thursday: Liturgy of St Basil at 10:00am At this solemn service, we celebrate the meaning of what Christ said and did at the Last Supper. Before the great entrance, this special hymn is changed: “At Thy mystical supper, O Son of God, accept me today a communicant, for I will not speak of Thy mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss, but like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom.” Holy Communion from the Lamb (The “Amnos”) is consecrated at this Liturgy. It is used throughout the rest of the year for Holy Communion for the sick and for those who cannot come to Church.

13:APR

Thursday: 12 Gospels/Passion of Christ at 6:30pm On this day, our Lord went to the Cross and died to atone for our sins. The power of death and the reality of evil rule the world on this dreadful day. Yet, Christ’s death marks the beginning of His – and our – victory over death’s power. This solemn service consists of 1) The Twelve Gospel Readings. These narratives from the four Gospels relate the events of Jesus’ Holy Passion, and His last instruction to His disciples; 2) The procession. The Cross is adorned with a flower wreath, and carried in procession. This symbolizes Christ’s coming to Golgotha to offer Himself as sacrifice for the sins of the world.

14:APR

Friday: Royal Hours at 10:00am This Friday Morning Service retells the story of Christ’s passion with the addition of prophecies, psalms and hymns. These services, or “Royal Hours,” help us keep vigil at the side of the crucified Christ, and relate Jesus’ suffering to our own redemption.

14:APR

Friday: Sunday School Retreat and adorning the Epitaphios with flowers


14:APR

Friday: Descent from Cross at 3:00pm During this Service, the priest takes Christ’s body from the Cross, wraps it in a white cloth and places it on the Altar, as a sign of His burial by Joseph of Arimathea. The Gospel during the Friday afternoon serve are Matthew 27:1-38, Luke 22:39-43; Matthew 27:39-54; John 19:31-37; Matthew 27:55-61

14:APR

Friday: Lamentations at 7:00pm We lament Jesus’ undeserved death for our salvation. With both sorrow and joy we sing the Lamentations to Him Who is symbolically buried, yet Who we already know is the Risen Lord. The Epitaphios is taken in a candlelight processing around the Church.

15:APR

Saturday: Liturgy of St Basil at 10:30am Today is a day of hope and waiting. We know that because Christ died, death is no longer the end of life. Today’s Liturgy anticipates the Resurrection. It includes readings form the Old Testament and special hymns. The Scripture readings are from Romans 6:3-11 and Matthew 28:1-20

This service is a festive one! The Acolytes hand out bells and noise makers to the children in attendance. As the Priest showers the church with rose petals and bay leaves, rejoicing in the celebration of the resurrection the children are encouraged to make a “joyful” noise!

15:APR

Saturday: Resurrection Service at 11:00pm Tonight we celebrate our Lord’s glorious Resurrection. In a darkened Church, the faithful receive the Resurrection light from the priest. The congregation hears the good news of Christ’s triumph from the Gospel. The joyous hymn of Christ’s Resurrection is triumphantly changed – Christ is Risen! The Paschal Liturgy and sermon of Saint John Chrysostom invites us to take part in the feast of the Resurrection.

16:APR

Sunday: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom 12:00am (Midnight, after Saturday Night Service)


16:APR

Sunday: Agape Vespers 12:00pm (Noon)


16:APR

Sunday: Agape Picnic 1:00pm


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Archbishop Demetrios' 10 Suggestions for Lent

Archbishop Demetrios

Archbishop Demetrios' 10 Suggestions for Lent

Mar 18, 2016

NEW YORK –Archbishop Demetrios offered ten suggestions for each Orthodox Christian to strive for during the Lenten season, during his homily at the annual Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology Clean Monday Retreat, March 14, at the Holy Cross Chapel in Brookline, Mass. Below is an edited excerpt of these ten suggestions.

 

Ten Suggestions for Lent

By His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America

 

1.Meditate on the History of Salvation

Think of the Lenten period as a time of meditating on the history of salvation.  Think about the creation of the universe and of Adam and Eve as the beginning of human life on earth.  Think about the fall of Adam and the entrance of sin in humanity.  We see in the hymnology of the liturgical book of Lent, the Triodion, constant references to the tragedy of the fall of the first human beings.  For example, in the Oikos of the Matins on yesterday’s Cheesefare Sunday, we read: “Adam sat and cried in those days across from the delights of Paradise; beat his hands upon his face, and said: Merciful One, have mercy on me who have fallen.”

The memory of what happened through the fall of Adam and Eve continues on in us to this day.  Think of the current condition of the world with its chaotic situation, confusion, violence, poverty, injustices, oppression, sickness and death, and remember it all started way back with Adam and Eve as a consequence of their sin and fall.  But then contemplate the course of history and how the amazing, unimaginable, and unpredictable act of God Himself to become a human being radically changed everything.  So in the course of Lent remember the history of salvation: From the fall of humankind, to the promise of redemption, the Incarnation of God as the new Adam, His Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension into Heaven, and the Second Coming.  Take time to reflect on God’s divine actions through history.

2.Review the understanding of fasting

Take fasting seriously as a very important aspect of Lent.  Think of fasting not simply as an item of diet, but as something related to the fall of humankind, and at the same time as a victory through Christ.  We fast for forty days in Lent before Holy Week not merely as an exercise, an ascesis, but also because there is an important Christological significance attached to fasting.  We have forty-day fasting models from both the Old and New Testaments.  In the Old Testament, Moses fasted for forty days on Mount Sinai before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28, Deut. 9:9, 9:18) and Prophet Elijah fasted for forty days on Mount Horeb (3 Kingdoms 19:8).  Both of these instances are connected with an encounter with God at the end of their fasting.  In the New Testament, we have the forty-day fasting in the desert by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13).  At the end of the forty-day fasting by Christ in the desert, there are the well-known “Temptations” of Christ, the first of which is related to eating: And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he [Christ] answered, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’”(Matt. 4:3-4).  Is this event in the life of Christ in any way connected to the Fall of Adam?  Indeed, the Fall of Adam was caused by an eating situation, yet the victory of Christ also happened through an eating situation.  While Adam said “yes” to the temptation and ate (Genesis 3:1-6), Christ said “no” to the temptation and did not eat.  This is why the fasting of the forty-days during Lent is not simply a matter of abstention or an issue of diet, but is a major Christological and soteriological situation; the fall of humankind, and then the restoration through the victory of Christ.  So let us take fasting seriously and prepare ourselves for a blessed encounter with God.

3.Reconsider our life of prayer

Great Lent is a special time to pray.  But what is the content of our prayer?  What is our praying language?  For several people, their prayer is still on the same level of that when they were ten or fifteen years old; it has stayed undeveloped.  Why when speaking to God are we using a poor language?  What efforts are we making to improve and enhance our prayer in terms of content and expression?  Looking at the Triodion, we see many examples of different types of prayer language and content.  Try to pray and study the prayers that the Church has given us which are superb examples of conversing with God and try especially to prayerfully read the Psalms, the standard and universal book of prayer.

During Lent we find an increased number of opportunities for community prayer and worship.  The Church invites us each week to pray the services of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, the Presanctified Liturgy, the Salutations to the Theotokos, the Great Compline, and others.  So try to pray more frequently this Lent and develop through constant praying a more refined language of prayer.

4.Be conscious of the gravity of sin

Sometimes we don’t take sin seriously.  Yet Scripture offers a very strong and unequivocal picture of the gravity of sin.  The hymnology of the Triodion is replete with occurrences of the word “sin” or variations of it.  Sin is a very serious issue.  In the Hebrew Old Testament, there are fourteen different words to describe sin, but chiefly four: sin as a matter of human weakness, sin as a distortion or perversion, sin as a rebellion (borrowed from the political realm), and sin as an error or mistake related to ignorance.

If we believe in God becoming a human being and willingly being crucified on the Cross for the sins of the world, then we must understand the seriousness of sin.  Let’s reflect on how sin has control in our lives, and how it has distorted the divine image within each of us.  Let us deal seriously with our sins with an understanding that they are part of the huge amount of sins and evil that led Christ to the Cross.  But then remember that God has given forgiveness as the perfect antidote through the very same Cross.  Forgiveness, however, is inseparably connected to repentance.

5.Make Lent a season for repentance

Along with sin, we are called to reflect upon repentance. Repentance is a very important aspect in our lives and is a dominant theme throughout the Triodion.  We should not forget that Jesus Christ our Lord began His public ministry with the words, “Μετανοεῖτε· ἤγγικε γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.”“Repent [change your mind], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”(Matt. 4:17).  The whole Sermon on the Mount is a commentary on this fundamental declaration on repentance.  The writings of St. Paul and the other New Testament writings are permeated by calls to repentance.  Repentance is not merely a shallow or superficial act, but a radical change of mind, soul, will and mentality.  It is a central issue and an essential component of the Lenten period.  God is always ready to forgive, but first we must repent.

6.Reflect on our reading the Bible

Lent is a time to reflect on our relationship with the Holy Scriptures, because the Bible is central in the texts of the Triodion.  We must always keep the biblical element at the forefront in our worship and in our life.  How close are we to the Bible?  Most people think about the Bible only at the reading of the Epistle and Gospel on Sunday at the Divine Liturgy.  It is unthinkable that we as Christians do not have the Word of God as a central guide in everything we do.  The Lenten period assists us to come closer and more frequently to the Bible and encourages us to reflect upon the Scripture.  We should try to make reading from the Holy Bible a daily practice during this Lenten season and beyond.

7.Be aware of the Christocentric focus

Of course, the greatest focus of Lent should be on Jesus Christ Himself.  Sometimes we can get caught up in fasting, in saying prayers, in going to Church, on our sins, or in all the rituals of this holy season; yet in the midst of all we do, we forget about Jesus Christ Himself.  Lent is above all else a time to draw closer to Christ!  Christ is the center of this Lenten period and should be the center of our lives.  As we go through Lent and arrive at Holy Week with the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Christ must be at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of all things.  This Lenten period is a tremendous opportunity to come closer to Christ, and to be Christocentric in all that we think, say, or do.

We remember that the fall of Adam and Eve occurred through eating in disobedience to the commandment of God (Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-24), and that the restoration and victory in Christ was realized through His overcoming the temptation of eating (Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13).  But what does our incarnate God offer to us as the ultimate possibility of union with Him?  He gave us His Body and His Blood to be eaten.  He said to us, “Ὁ τρώγων μου τὴν σάρκα καὶ πίνων μου τὸ αἷμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μένει, κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ.” ”He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:56).  Here is the ultimate paradox: During Lent, abstinence from food, i.e. fasting, is accompanied by partaking of the imperishable food, i.e. the Body and Blood of Christ.  Adam and Eve fell away from paradise and from their connection to God through eating, and we are restored and united to God in the highest way through the Holy Communion by eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ.  This is much more than being Christocentric.  This is having Christ dwelling in us in a palpable way.

8.Cultivate human relationships

The season of Lent is also an opportunity to cultivate our human relationships in more authentic ways.  Looking again at the hymnology of the Triodion, we clearly ascertain that there is an emphasis on loving and caring for each other, on moving away from evil and wrong things, on forgiving one another, and on being reconnected with our fellow human beings.  The Book of Isaiah, read in its entirety during Lent, begins with a condemnation of the people of Israel because they had abandoned God, and then continues with an admonition to the Israelites to return to God and to be fair and to establish proper relationships with their fellow human beings.  So we are called to think of any relationships that are not in the proper condition and make every effort to remedy them.  This is a very integral part of living our lives during Lent.

9.Practice almsgiving

Almsgiving is a vital aspect of the Lenten period.  On one of the multiple occasions speaking about the need to be a person who takes care of others, St. John Chrysostom said that we are all called to give alms.  He continued to say that even those who claim to be poor are not free from offering alms.  Poverty is a poor excuse not to give.  Indeed there are poor people who give the half of what they have (see Mark 12:41-44).  It could be said that almsgiving is a requirement for living our life as Christians.  Christ said, “when you give alms” (Matt. 6:3), not if you give alms.  Almsgiving is especially emphasized during this Lenten period, evidenced again by the hymnology of our Church.

10.Make this Lent a time for transformation

Ultimately, our Lenten season is a time of having a transformative experience.  We are challenged to resolve that at the end of the Lenten period, when we celebrate Pascha, we are different from what we are today.  The transformative aspect of Lent is an absolute necessity for spiritually enjoying this season.  We are in the process of transformation if we steadily become Christocentric in all things, through the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This Lenten season provides us with a tremendous possibility to prepare spiritually, to be constantly transformed, and to be with Christ in His Passion and Resurrection.

== 30 ==

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

God’s Holy Word


A great benefit of spending time at summer camp is the opportunity to disconnect from technology. Not having a phone or internet connection gets you excited to receive mail. A great joy is receiving a (good old fashioned) letter from home. The delight in holding an envelope with the familiar handwriting of a loved one is a highlight for all the staff, counselors and campers. Everyone gets electrified when they get mail (real, handwritten, stamped envelope mail).

One afternoon at St. Sophia Camp, the Director handed me a small envelope sent to me from Christie. I took it, looked at it and put it in my pocket. “You gonna read it?” He asked. I nodded, smiled and walked to the chapel to prepare for evening vespers. I placed it on the altar and put my vestments on for the service.

Vespers ended and the kids were excited to go up the hill to mail call, anticipating their own letters and packages. Prior to their leaving the chapel I shared with them the unopened envelope from my wife. I asked, “What if I just set this letter from my wife on my night stand and never opened or read it?” The responses were touching and hilarious.

One little guy said, “I think you should read it, it will make you happy!” Another jokingly said, “You might end up sleeping on the couch if you don’t.” An older teen girl said, “That’s just coldhearted, what if...

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