Icon of Christ the Bridegroom

Great and Holy Lent

The season of Great Lent is the time of preparation for the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. It is the living symbol of man's entire life which is to be fulfilled in his own resurrection from the dead with Christ. It is a time of renewed devotion: of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It is a time of repentance, a real renewal of our minds, hearts and deeds in conformity with Christ and his teachings. It is the time, most of all, of our return to the great commandments of loving God and our neighbors.

In the Orthodox Church, Great Lent is not a season of morbidity and gloominess. On the contrary, it is a time of joyfulness and purification. We are called to "anoint our faces" and to "cleanse our bodies as we cleanse our souls." The very first hymns of the very first service of Great Lent set the proper tone of the season:

Let us begin the lenten time with delight ... let us fast from passions as we fast from food, taking pleasure in the good words of the Spirit, that we may be granted to see the holy passion of Christ our God and his holy Pascha, spiritually rejoicing.

Thy grace has arisen upon us, O Lord, the illumination of our souls has shown forth; behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the time of repentance.

It is our repentance that God desires, not our remorse. We sorrow for our sins, but we do so in the joy of God's mercy. We mortify our flesh, but we do so in the joy of our resurrection into life everlasting. We make ready for the resurrection during Great Lent, both Christ's Resurrection and our own.

— Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Orthodox Faith

Lent 2018 Key Days

  • Febr. 18 · Forgiveness Sunday
  • Febr. 19 · Beginning of Lent
  • Febr. 25 · Orthodoxy Sunday
  • March 4 · St. Gregory Palamas
  • March 11 · Sunday of the Cross
  • March 18 · St. John Climacus
  • March 25 · Annunciation
  • March 31 · Lazarus Saturday
  • April 1 · Palm Sunday
  • April 8 · PASCHA

The Orthodox Church follows the ancient Julian Calendar for the date of Pascha (Easter). Because of this, in most years our celebration of the Resurrection falls on a different Sunday from Western Easter.

Lenten Worship

During Lent we have several services each week. Click here for our service calendar.