The Third Sunday of Lent - The Veneration Of The Holy Cross

From the "Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion", HDM Press.

Saints Peter and Paul Bulletin, March 30, 2003

 

As we have “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24), and will have mortified ourselves during these forty days of the Fast, the precious and life-giving Cross is now placed before us to refresh our souls and encourage us who may be filled with a sense of bitterness, resentment, and depression. The Cross reminds us of the Passion of our Lord, and by presenting to us His example, it encourages us to follow Him in struggle and sacrifice, being refreshed, assured, and comforted. In other words, we must experience what the Lord experienced during His Passion - being humiliated in a shameful manner. The Cross teaches us that through pain and suffering we shall see the fulfillment of our hopes: the heavenly inheritance and eternal glory.

As they who walk on a long and hard way and are bowed down by fatigue find great relief and strengthening under the cool shade of a leafy tree, so do we find comfort, refreshment, and rejuvenation under the Life-giving Cross, which our Fathers “planted” on this Sunday. Thus, we are fortified and enabled to continue our Lenten journey with a light step, rested and encouraged.

The Second Sunday of Lent - St. Gregory Palamas

From the "Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion", HDM Press.

Saints Peter and Paul Bulletin, March 23, 2003

On this Sunday...we celebrate the memory of our Father among the saints, Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica and Wonder-worker. Our holy father Gregory was born in the imperial city of Constantinople. Gregory’s father reposed while the saint was of a tender age; but his mother continued to rear him and his brothers and sisters in the law of the Lord, instructing them in the divine Scriptures and in the rules of good conduct. She arranged for them to be taught by learned teachers….

Gregory disdained everything worldly as a deceptive dream - and wishing to cleave to God, the well-spring of all wisdom - at the age of twelve resolved to take up the monastic life….In time, she came to rejoice in the Lord over Gregory’s desire and decided to follow him in embracing the monastic life; moreover, with God’s help, she persuaded all her other children to do likewise….After leaving his mother and sisters in a convent, he went with his brothers to the holy mountain of Athos where they took up their dwelling in one of the monasteries. He gave himself over in complete obedience to a wondrous and perfect holy man named Nicodemus...Under his guidance, Gregory advanced in the virtues, and because of this, the Virgin Theotokos deigned to appear to him, receiving him under her protection and promising to be his mediatress.

Homily On the Hand of the Betrayer

"But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table" (Luke 22: 21)

It is most difficult for a general to wage war when he has an enemy within the camp— not only external enemies but also internal enemies in his own ranks. Judas was considered among his own. However, he was the enemy from within. Rows of enemies crowded and closed ranks around Christ while Judas was preparing betrayal from within. His hand was on the table that Christ blessed, but his thoughts were aligned with the enemies, where the darkest evil, hatred and malice seethed against the gentle Lord.

On Confession

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
1st sermon
12th September 1999

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

I was asked to give a certain number of sermons on Confession; because many come to Confession and repeat only things which they have read in manuals of devotion or which other people have told them about.  And I would like to start where I start with a child and attract your attention to the fact that our situation is the same.

When a child comes to Confession, usually he brings either on paper or by memory a long list, or a short list, of sins.  And when he has finished, I always say, "Are these things which break your heart?  Are these things which you feel are wrong in you?  Did you invent for yourself this confession?“  And most of the time the answer is, "No, my mother gave me this list because that makes her cross!"  After that I usually have a conversation with the mother.  But as far as the child is concerned, it has nothing to do with him, it is not his confession.  It is the judgement which the parents have established, accusations against him.  And the same could be asked about grown-up people who come with lists of sins which they have found in manuals, or been told to consider by their spiritual fathers.  And the answer is always the same: it is not my confession, yet it is a challenge which I was given.

Homily on Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins

"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name" (Luke 24: 47).

This is the final instruction of the Savior to the holy apostles. In these words, as in a nutshell, is contained the Gospel of reconciliation between God and men. What does God seek from men and what does God give them? He seeks repentance, and He grants forgiveness of sins. He seeks little, but He gives all. Let men only repent for sins committed and cease sinning, and men will receive all from God — all, not only all that their hearts could desire, but even more, much more. In truth, everything is promised to the righteous. The righteous will be the inheritors of the Kingdom of God, they will be the sons of God, and they will be the children of light, the children of immortality, companions of the angels, brothers of Christ. The righteous will have an abundance of life, peace, wisdom, power and joy. The righteous will have all, for all has been promised to them.

2015 Lenten Fasting Guidelines

Here are the fasting guidelines for the coming 2015 Lenten season.  The Church Calendar has also been updated with the following dates:

  • Prodigal Son Sunday - February 8:  We observe the usual fasting discipline during the week following.
  • Judgment (or Meatfare) - February 15:  We fast from flesh-meats during the week following, but dairy, fish, wine and oil are permitted on all days.
  • Forgiveness (or Cheesefare) Sunday - February 22:  The last day for dairy fish, wine and oil -- except as permitted by the Typikon.
  • Pure Monday (Start of the Great Fast) - February 23:  We observe the usual fasting discipline during this fast -- wine and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Thursday of the Great Canon - moved to Monday, March 23 (because of the Feast of The Annunciation): Thursday of the 5th Week of the Great Fast -- wine and oil are permitted.
  • Feast of the Annunciation - March 25:  Wednesday of the 5th Week of the Great Fast -- fish, wine and oil are permitted.
  • Lazarus Saturday - April 4:  Wine and oil are permitted.
  • Palm Sunday - April 5:  Fish, wine and oil are permitted.
  • Great and Holy Saturday - April 11:  We fast from oil on this Saturday, but wine is permitted.
  • Holy Pascha - April 12:  Tthe week following known as "Bright" or "New Week" is fast-free.

Have a blessed Lenten season and a glorious Pascha!!

The Lenten Season

Fr. Joseph Longofono, Lent, 2013, Ss. Peter and Paul, Topeka, KS.

Once again, we continue our journey through Great Lent, on the Road to the heavenly gates of the Kingdom, in the Feast of Feasts: PASCHA! It is a journey that only you can take for yourself, for the reward you receive is based solely on the effort you put into it. Therefore, we encourage you to make the following a part of your daily and weekly experience as we continue through this Lenten season:

  1. DAILY PRAYER: Please remember your morning and evening prayers, including prayers for our bishops, our clergy and their families, your Parish Council and all parishioners, the sick and suffering, those who hate us and those who love us, those who are kind to us and minister to us, and all those in need of God’s mercy, and especially St. Ephraim’s Prayer.

  2. THE WORD OF GOD: When you come to pray, take 10 minutes and read the Word of the Lord. You can start with a few chapters each day from the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Book of Job, or the Gospel according to St. Luke. But whatever it is, READ IT, and ask questions on those areas you find difficult.

  3. THE WEEKDAY SERVICES: GOD’S GIFT OF LIFE TO YOU! 

- Presanctified Liturgy, Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm, a uniquely peaceful time of prayers, followed by a potluck Lenten meal in the church basement.

- Akathist (Madayeh) Service, Friday evening at 6:00pm, a prayer service of supplication to the Virgin Mary.

- Ninth Hour and Great Vespers, Saturday evening, 5:45 pm, in preparation for:

- Orthros and Divine Liturgy, Sunday morning 9:00 am

- Holy Week Services (Please see Weekly Bulletins and Web Site Calendar Page for the lastest information) 

Discover Orthodox Christianity

 Each link below will take you to a series of articles pertaining to the selected topic.  These are authored by various people .  This series is hosted on the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese website.

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