Thoughts on Great Lent

Thoughts on Great Lent

Metropolitan Ioïl (Frangkakos) of Edessa, Pella, and Almopia   In this period, we have two fasts, as we all know. There are about seven weeks of strict fasting, eight if you include the Cheese-fare weekwhich precedes. For a lot of people this is an enjoyable and desirable time, for others...

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Loving Others: Be Ye Doers of the Word

Loving Others: Be Ye Doers of the Word

In his poem “The Second Coming,” the Irish poet William Butler Yeats describes the post-World War I atmosphere in 1919. His first stanza is not only gripping, it speaks of so much of what we have seen during the past year. “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon...

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The end of the fast and the ‘air’ of asceticism

The end of the fast and the ‘air’ of asceticism

Having completed the forty days that bring profit to our soul, we beseech You, in Your love for us: May we behold the Holy Week of Your Passion that in it we may glorify Your majestic works and ineffable dispensation for us, singing with one mind, ‘Lord glory to You’....

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Finding the Deep Heart during Great Lent

Finding the Deep Heart during Great Lent

Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou   The grace of God has gathered us together today at the heart of Great Lent in order to express to the Lord our longing for His salvation, for the acquisition of the spirit of wisdom and for understanding of His commandments. Holy Scripture, however, warns us:...

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‘My soul, my soul’, Kontakion in the Great Canon (Gr. Daravanoglou)

‘My soul, my soul’, Kontakion in the Great Canon (Gr. Daravanoglou)

With the vocal resonance which is his hallmark, Archon Maestro of the Great Church of Christ, Grigorios Daravanoglou sings ‘My soul, my soul’ the famous kontakion of Great Lent and the Great Canon. It is one of the most moving troparia of the time of Great Lent, a period of...

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The Crucified Jesus: A Book Review

The Crucified Jesus: A Book Review

Holy Week is the prime time for our spiritual life. It is when we spend more time at Church, increase our privet prayers and, for many people–especially those who do not often read–we usually pick up a spiritual book to peruse. The following is a quick review of a book...

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The Memory of the Blessed Mary the Egyptian

The Memory of the Blessed Mary the Egyptian

Nektarios Thanos   “… her many sins have been remitted, because she loved greatly” Luke 7, 47. 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...

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Saint John of the Ladder

Saint John of the Ladder

Archimandrite Georgios Alendas   Great Lent is a period of repentance, during which our stony hearts must become, through God’s grace, softened in the flesh, and move from being callous to being sensitive, from cold and hard to warm and open to others, particularly God Himself. Great Lent is a...

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‘Do not turn away your face’ (sung by Matthaios Tsamkiranis)

‘Do not turn away your face’ (sung by Matthaios Tsamkiranis)

In Great Lent, the Orthodox Church, through its long, penitential services, seeks the mystical experience and approach of the Passion and the Resurrection. With this in mind, the hymns of this period are of an appropriate content, and present the events of our salvation to us the faithful. The joyful...

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The Epistle Reading for the 4th Sunday in Lent

The Epistle Reading for the 4th Sunday in Lent

In today’s Epistle, Saint Paul calls hope ‘a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul’. A ship without an anchor runs the risk of being dashed against the rocks along a coast. When people without hope are faced with the adversities of life, they’ve got nothing to lean on. What...

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