Lenten Resources

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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby Theophilus » January 30th, 2010, 10:46 am

Sunday of the Prodigal Son (Second Sunday before Lent)

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When I disobeyed in ignorance Thy fatherly glory, I wasted in iniquities the riches that Thou gavest me. Wherefore, I cry to Thee with the voice of the prodigal son, saying, I have sinned before Thee, O compassionate Father, receive me repentant, and make me as one of Thy hired servants.

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son is the second Sunday of a three-week period prior to the commencement of Great Lent. As with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the theme of this Sunday is repentance, and the focus on the parable of the Prodigal Son leads Christians to contemplate the necessity of repentance in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
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Then Jesus said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

- St. Luke's Gospel

Lenten reflection on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Brethren, let us learn the meaning of this mystery. For when the Prodigal Son ran back from sin to his Father's house, his loving Father came out to meet him and kissed him. He restored to the Prodigal tokens of his proper glory, and mystically He made glad on high, sacrificing the fatted calf. Let our lives, then, be worthy of the loving Father who has offered sacrifice, and of the glorious Victim who is the Saviour of our souls.
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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby mpempa » February 5th, 2010, 11:43 am

The Saturday of Souls

This is the Saturday before Meat-Fare Sunday.

Through the Apostolic Constitutions (Book VIII, ch 42), the Church of Christ has received the custom to make commemorations for the departed on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after their repose.

Since many throughout the ages, because of an untimely death in a faraway place, or other adverse circumstances, have died without being deemed worthy of the appointed memorial servicee, the , b loo foman, have decreed that a common memorial be made this day for all pious Orthodox Christians who have reposed from all ages past, so that those who did not have particular memorial services may be included in this common one for all. Also, the Church of Christ teaches us that alm should be given to the poor by the departed one's kinsment as a memorial for him.

Besides this, since we make commemoration tommorrow of the Second Coming of Christ, and since the reposed have neither been judged, nor have received their complete recompense (Acts 17:32, II Peter 2:9, Heb 11:39-40), the Church rightly commemorates the souls today, and trusting in the boundless mercy of God, she prays Him to have mercy on sinnders. Furthermore, since the commemoration is for all the reposed together, it reminds each of us of his own death, and arouses us to repentance.
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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby mpempa » February 5th, 2010, 11:50 am

Kontakion, Plagal of the Fourth Tone

WITH the Saints grant rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is neither pain, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life unending.
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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby Theophilus » February 6th, 2010, 4:31 pm

Sunday of the Last Judgment (Week Before Lent)

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When Thou comest, O God, upon the earth with glory, the whole world will tremble. The river of fire will bring men before Thy judgment seat, the books will be opened and the secrets disclosed. Then deliver me from the unquenchable fire, and count me worthy to stand on Thy right hand, Judge most righteous.

The Sunday of the Last Judgment is the third Sunday of a three-week period prior to the commencement of Great Lent. On this day, focus is placed on the future judgment of all persons who will stand before the throne of God when Christ returns in His glory. Read More>>

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

-St. Matthew's Gospel
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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby Theophilus » February 7th, 2010, 10:15 am

Sermon on the Sunday of the Last Judgment

Fear is an emotion oft mentioned in the services for this preparatory Sunday before the onset of the Great Fast: fear of the Last Judgment, fear of the divine justice of God, fear of the just punishment awaiting sinful man. One encounters here an emotion that many in the modern world are loathe to address or discuss, much less ponder, still less cherish. Yet it is this very emotion that pours forth in abundance from the hymns and prayers of the divine services celebrated on this great day, and one therefore that deserves our fair and full attention...

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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby mpempa » February 11th, 2010, 10:38 pm

Saturday Vespers: In commemoration of the casting out of Adam from Paradise

"Lord I call..." (6 stikhera of the resurrection) Tone 6

The Lord took a handful of dust from the earth.
He breathed into it, and created me, a living man!
He made me lord and master of all things on earth;
Truly I enjoyed the life of the angels!
But satan the deceiver, in the guise of a serpent, tempted me:
I ate the forbidden fruit, and forfeited the glory of God.
Now I have been delivered to the earth through death.//
My compassionate Lord, call me back to Eden!

When the enemy tempted me,
I disobeyed your command, o Lord.
I exchanged the glory of my immortal body for shame and nakedness.
Now I must wear garments of skins and fig-leaves;
I am condemned to eat the bread of bitter hardship
By the sweat of my brow.
The earth is cursed, and brings forth thorns and husks for me.
Lord, you took flesh from the virgin in the fullness of time://
Call me back and restore me to Eden!

Paradise, garden of delight and beauty,
Dwelling-place made perfect by God,
Unending gladness and eternal joy,
The hope of the prophets and the home of the saints,
By the music of your rustling leaves beseech the creator of all
To open to me the gates which my sins have closed,
That I may partake of the tree of life and grace//
Which was given to me in the beginning.

Adam was exiled from paradise through disobedience;
He was driven from eternal bliss, deceived by the words of eve;
He sat naked and weeping before the gates of paradise.
Let us hasten to enter the season of fasting;
Let us carefully obey the gospel commands,
That we may be made acceptable to Christ our God,
And regain our home in eden.

Glory...

Adam sat before the gates of eden,
Bewailing his nakedness and crying out:
Woe to me! I have listened to wicked deceit;
I have lost my glory, and now am driven away!
Woe to me! My open-mindedness has left me naked and confused!
No longer will I enjoy your delights, paradise;
No longer can I see my lord, my God and creator.
Me formed me from dust, and now to the dust I return!
I beg you, compassionate lord://
Have mercy on me, who have fallen!

Now and ever...(of the resurrection tone of the week)

Apostikha (of the resurrection)

Glory... Tone 6

Adam ate the forbidden fruit and was driven from paradise.
He sat outside, weeping bitterly:
Woe to me! What will become of me, a worthless man?
I disobeyed one command of my master, and lost every good thing!
Holy paradise, planted for me by God
And closed by the weakness of eve,
Grant that I may once again gaze on the flowers of your gardens!
The savior said to him:
I do not wish the death of my creation!
I desire that all should be saved
And come to the knowledge of the truth,//
For he who comes to me I shall never cast out!

Now and ever... (theotokion) tone 6

My maker and redeemer, Christ the Lord,
Was born of you, most Pure Virgin!
By accepting my nature, he freed adam from his ancient curse!
Unceasingly we magnify you as the mother of God!
Rejoice, celestial joy!
Rejoice, o Lady!//
The protection, intercession and salvation of our souls!
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Re: Lenten Resources

Postby Theophilus » February 14th, 2010, 7:58 pm

Forgiveness Sunday (Day before Lent)

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Forgiveness Sunday, also called Cheesefare Sunday, is the final day of pre-Lent. It is the Sunday after Meatfare Sunday and the Sunday before the Sunday of Orthodoxy.


Significance of the day

On this last Sunday before Great Lent, the last day that traditionally Orthodox Christians eat dairy products until Easter, the Church remembers the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. God commanded them to fast from the fruit of a tree (Gen. 2:16), but they did not obey. In this way Adam and Eve and their descendants became heirs of death and corruption.

On Forgiveness Sunday many attend Forgiveness Vespers on the eve of Great Lent. They hear on the Lord's teaching about fasting and forgiveness and enter the season of the fast forgiving one another so that God will forgive them. If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses (Matthew 6:14).

The Gospel reading of the day also gives advice on fasting. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:16-18).


Master, Teacher of wisdom,
Bestower of virtue,
You teach the thoughtless and protect the poor:
Strengthen and enlighten my heart.
Word of the Father,
Let me not restrain my mouth from crying to you:
Have mercy on me, a transgressor,
O merciful Lord.



The Scripture Readings for
Forgiveness Sunday


Matthew 6:14-21
Romans 13:11-14:4


Reflection: At the Threshold of the Fast ~ The Sunday of Forgiveness
Written by M.C. Steenberg

http://www.monachos.net/content/lent/ma ... orgiveness


More Information

Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheesefare Sunday) from GOARCH website:
http://lent.goarch.org/forgiveness/learn/

Forgiveness Sunday by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann:
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/forgivenesssunday.html

Questions on Forgiveness Sunday from the parish website of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox:
http://www.orthodox.net/questions/forgi ... day_1.html



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