Learn about the solemn period of Triodion.
It is Holy Friday today, my beloved and brethren fellow-sinners, a holy day full of memories, a day which calls forth strong emotions and tears.
The Beginning of the Cross: Saturday of Lazarus “Having fulfilled Forty Days… we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion.”With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ’s suffering, death and Resurrection.
As we approach Great Lent, the time given to us specifically for repentance, the Church gives us a whole host of images to help us.
Our Lord Jesus Christ grafts us into His body, inviting us to become saints, “just as He is holy.” (1 Peter 1.16) Our Creator wants us to be in communion with Him in order to taste His grace, which is to participate in His sanctity.
On Cheesefare Saturday, we commemorate all the Saints, both men and women, who shone forth in asceticism.
Joseph was the eleventh son of the Patriarch Jacob, born to him of Rachel. Envied by his brothers on account of certain dreams that he had, he was first cast into a pit. Jacob was deceived by his other sons into believing, on the basis of a bloodstained robe, that Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast. Joseph was then sold to some Ishmaelite travellers for thirty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites in turn sold him to Potiphar, the chief eunuch of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt.
On this day, the Saturday before Palm Sunday, we celebrate the Raising of Lazarus, the holy and righteous friend of Christ, who lay for four days in the tomb.
On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Church honours the memory of a “street-walker”, a woman who led such a dissolute life that the word “prostitute” is more of a euphemism rather than an exact description of the depth of her sinfulness. The figure of Blessed Mary is highlighted on the last Sunday of Great Lent: on the one hand, to strike at our Churchy prissiness, since a common harlot is presented as a model of life; and, on the other, to provide an example and a ray of hope for repentance for all those who are slaves to their passions and continue to struggle to find ways to free themselves of them.
In the middle of Holy and Great Lent, the Church places before the faithful the Honourable Cross of the Lord for us to venerate and draw strength from, so that we can continue the gruelling but lambent journey towards Great Week.