I greet you on this the 4th Sunday of Great Lent dedicated to the memory of St. John of the Ladder, who lived in the late 6th century and the early 7th century. St. John was tonsured a monk at the Monastery of St. Catherine located at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from Almighty God.
This Sunday April 4, 2021 we Orthodox Christians celebrate the Veneration of the Cross. The Cross is presented to us today for refreshment and support, for remembrance of the passion of Our Lord and most of all for encouragement to continue our journey to the precious and holy Pascha of Our Lord.
This the Second Sunday of Great Lent, is dedicated to the memory of the 14th century Saint, Gregory of Palamas. He initially started out in his life as a young scholar, monastic and eventually Archbishop of Thessaloniki, serving as a shining example to his contemporaries.
This Sunday, the first Sunday of Great Lent is called the Sunday of Orthodoxy, or the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This Sunday is an impressive reminder of the centrality of Christ in the Orthodox Church. It is a spiritual feast during which we Orthodox Christians reaffirm our confession of faith in Jesus Christ and His saving work. It is the day in which we lift up Christ in praise and glorification.
This Sunday March 14, 2021 is Cheesefare Sunday, the Sunday of Forgiveness. The gospel for this the last of the preparatory Sunday’s before Great Lent is from Matthew 6:14-21. Forgiveness is the central theme of this Sunday for let us recall the words of the Apostle Peter, “turn to God, so that He will forgive your sins!” (Acts 3:19).
This Sunday we hear the words of the Gospel of the Last Judgement from the Evangelist Matthew 25:31-36. This Sunday is also known as Meatfare Sunday because it is the last day before the Feast of Feasts, on which the eating of meat is allowed. Next week is Cheesefare Sunday, when in addition to refraining from meat, we begin our fasting, according to the Church, from dairy products etc, thus ushering us into the more stricter discipline of Great and Holy Lent.
On this the last Sunday and day of the month of February 2021, we again hear the Gospel of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). This gospel lesson is about a son who runs away from his home and his father, squalors away his inheritance and eventually down and out from high living returns home to his welcoming father.
With this Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, we Orthodox Christians begin the Lenten Triodion which is the ten-week period of Pre Lent and Great Lenten days ending on the Saturday of Holy Week. Thus, this book the Triodion prescribes the order for the four Pre-Lenten Sundays, the six weeks of Great Lent (40) and Holy Week.
Mitchell Orrin, 72, of Folsom, PA passed away on February 15, 2021. He was born September 19, 1948 in Philadelphia, PA to Leo and Jean Orrin. He graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1967 and attended Villanova University. Mitch married Diane Fisher at Our Lady of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia on May 1, 1988. They have two sons, Christopher and Michael, a dog, Charlie, and a cat, Lacey.