Lenten (& More) Resources at Your Fingertips


            If you have access to a computer and the internet, you have a wealth of Orthodox educational resources literally at your fingertips. One site is highlighted below - our Archdiocesan Website. Here is a sampling of what you can find that may bless your lenten journey. Follow this path; get on the internet and go to www.goarch.org. At the top of the page move your mouse to the tab that says “Our Faith”, and then move down to “Great Lent and Holy Pascha” and click. You will find the following articles and more. These are just excerpts. You will have to visit the site to read the entire article.

 

The Origins of Pascha and Great Week by Rev. Alkiviadis C. Calivas, Th.D

In worship we encounter the living God. Through worship God makes Himself present and active in our time, drawing the particles and moments of our life into the realm of redemption. He bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, who makes real the promise of Jesus to be in the midst of those gathered in His name (Matt. 18:20). In our ecclesial assemblies, therefore, we do more than remember past events and recall future promises. We experience the risen Christ, who is "clothed with his past and future acts," as someone has noted. Thus, all that is past and all that is future are made present in the course of our liturgical celebrations.

Pascha, which commemorates the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is the oldest, most venerable and preeminent feast of the Church. It is the great Christian festival, the very center and heart of the liturgical year...

Jesus' passion, death and resurrection constitute the essence of His redemptive work. The narrative of these salvific actions of the Incarnate Son of God formed the oldest part of the Gospel tradition...

The prototype of Pascha is the Jewish Passover, the festival of Israel's deliverance from bondage. Like the Old Testament Passover, Pascha is a festival of deliverance...

Our earliest sources for the annual celebration of the Christian Pascha come to us from the second century. The feast, however, must have originated in the apostolic period. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to imagine otherwise...

 

THE GREAT LENT - A Week by Week Meaning by Rev. George Mastrantonis

In the life of the Church of Christ there are many institutes created and maintained to meet the needs of the people - the Ecclesia. Among these is the Great Lent which falls within the year-cycle of the life of the Church before Pascha-Easter. Lent is the period of time for self-examination by the believer; of putting on the spiritual armor of the Militant Church; of applying the riches of prayers and almsgiving; of adopting deeply the meaning of repentance; of atonement and reconciliation with God Almighty.

This great period of Lent before Easter is called by the Orthodox Church, Tessaracoste (Quadragesimal), which comes from the word forty (the 40 days of "fasting"). This Institute of the 40 days of Lent precedes the Resurrection of Christ. The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ does not fall on the same date each year, but according to the determination of the position of the moon and spring equinox, which is based on the original setting during the last Events of the life of Christ on earth. This 40-day period of Lent is a period of "abstinence" from foods, but primarily from personal iniquities...

 

Holy Week Meditation and Study Guide by Fr. Andrew Demotses

The services of Holy Week transform us into eyewitnesses and direct participants in the awesome events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In readings taken from both Old and New Testaments, in hymns, processions, and liturgical commemoration, we see the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies, and the mighty acts by which God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, grants us forgiveness for our sins, and rescues us from the pain of eternal death.

PALM SUNDAY EVENING - Matthew 21:18-43. This evening's service calls to mind the beginning of Jesus' suffering. The gospel describes the plotting of the priests and elders to trap Jesus into convicting Himself as a religious heretic. Through parables, Jesus tells us of His coming betrayal, trial, conviction and execution by crucifixion...

 

Our Faith has many more articles you might find rewarding. Please consider this resource as one means of continuing your spiritual growth and Orthodox Christian education.