Holy and Great Lent Worship Schedule 2019

As you know, Great and Holy Lent begins on March 11th and therefore we will begin a period of 40 days that is both joyful yet solemn; I am doing my best to communicate with our parish in advance so we can all plan a period during which parties, extravagant dinners, dances, loud music, elaborate receptions and weddings are not permitted for Orthodox Christians.
“Why is that?”, some would ask. “Why is it so strict? What is the big deal if I have a party for my child or whoever? Doesn’t God want us to be happy?” These are indeed valid questions but it is not about being strict or unhappy at all but as baptized Orthodox Christians it is all about keeping focus or trying to re-focus, to hit the “reset” button in our spiritual life.

We are called to participate in the fasting guidelines that are set for us by the Holy Church (for those who are physically able). Just as important it is to fast from various foods, we are also directed to perform acts of charity toward the poor, enter into a deeper prayer life and meditate on the lessons learned through the divine services in the Holy Church. Attending the divine services as often as possible throughout the Lenten period and all of Holy Week is paramount for a successful Lenten journey.
During these 40 + days, it is also important, as St. John Chrysostom said, that “more attention be paid to things that come out of one’s mouth rather than things that go in.” Therefore, we need to “guard our tongues” and watch what we say. We fast not only from food but from “idle talk” gossip, bad language, etc. as well. Fasting is invaluable to those who take it seriously and not merely as an expression of outer piety which they feel they should observe. The solemn approach to Great Lent must be expressed most importantly by the way in which we live our lives with each other; this, in turn, will bring us to the glorious empty tomb of Christ in celebration of His resurrection from the dead through Holy Week. Remember, Great Lent is a joyous repentance, it is not about doom and gloom and sadness. It is ALL about embracing the joy of the Risen Christ. Please see attached liturgical schedule and plan accordingly. We love you all!!!