Updated: Apr 8
Over the past several weeks, the students of our Catechism class have been learning more about Great Lent. More particularly, our lessons have explored the purpose of Great Lent and how, during this ecclesiastical period, to spiritually prepare ourselves for Holy Week and Pascha (that is, through prayer, fasting, and helping the poor and needy). We have, also, discussed the focus of each Sunday in Great Lent.
The students learned that on the First Sunday of Great Lent we celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy with a procession of icons to remember and recognize their importance in the practice of our faith. The students, then, learned that on the Second Sunday we celebrate the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, whose teachings on the Orthodox doctrine of essence/energies helped to preserve the faith. Particularly, St. Gregory upheld that while human beings cannot know the essence of our Triune God (that is, who God is), we can know Him through our experience of His Uncreated Energies (such as His grace). This is a helpful article about St. Gregory’s teachings on this matter:
And on the Third Sunday of Great Lent, students learned that we celebrate the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross. This Sunday not only marks the middle of Great Lent, but, also, reminds us of the purpose of our spiritual struggle during Great Lent and serves to strengthen us as we continue in our spiritual struggle to prepare ourselves spiritually for Holy Week for Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion, and, then, rejoice together in His Glorious Resurrection! In the coming weeks, we will continue to journey through and explore Great Lent as we approach Holy Week.
And, in case you or someone you know is interested, here is a good resource for a list of children’s activities to spiritually engage and strengthen them during Great Lent and Holy Week:
We wish you and your loved ones a spiritually-edifying Holy Week and a spiritually-uplifting celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Pictured: Students practicing full prostrations in preparation for the Third Sunday of Great Lent commemorating the Veneration of the Holy Cross