Today, we as Orthodox Christians celebrate the end of Lent, the end of the Great Fast. At the Vespers Service we hear:
“Having come to the end of the forty days, we beseech You, O Lord and Lover of Mankind: May we also behold the holy week of Your Passion, and glorify in it Your lofty deeds and Your ineffable work of salvation, as we sing with one voice: O Lord, glory to You!”
Does that mean that the Fasting that we did during Lent is over? Can we now return to our “normal” lives? No. With these words we enter into Holy Week and an even more austere period of Fasting. We hear again at the Vespers Service:
“Having completed the forty days that bring profit to our soul, * let us cry: Rejoice, city of Bethany, home of Lazarus. * Rejoice, Martha and Mary, his sisters. * Tomorrow Christ will come, to bring your dead brother to life by his word. * Hearing His voice, bitter hell that is never satisfied will tremble and groan aloud, * and it will release Lazarus bound in grave-cloths. * Amazed by this miracle, a multitude of Jews will come to meet him with palms and branches; * though their fathers look on him with malicious envy, yet shall the children praise him, saying: * Blessed is he that comes in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel.
This is a very difficult time for all of us, my dear ones, as we begin Holy Week without being together as a Parish Family, as a Community of Believers. I shall attempt to daily update the web page with a brief meditation so that at least we can be together here and in the live streaming of all the Divine Services. The following are the Services that will be live streamed over the weekend (Saints Peter and Paul Facebook Page):
Please join us in prayer as we walk and talk with the Lord on His journey to Jerusalem. Let us witness His sacrificial love as He offers Himself for our salvation through His Passion, Death and Glorious Resurrection.