Lent is a season of repentance, forgiveness, and prayer. The season helps us to draw nearer to our God and our neighbor, and to get ready to celebrate the Resurrection.
Great Lent is our opportunity to turn our minds from useless and destructive pursuits and turn toward the life-giving way the Lord has shown us. This change of mind and life cannot be done in a moment, which is why we are given Great Lent each year.
We open the season of Lent with the Rite of Forgiveness. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 18, each of us has the chance to start afresh with one another, bowing and saying, “Forgive me, my brother” — “Forgive me, my sister.” Then we respond, “God forgives,” because the Lord warns us that God will not forgive us unless we make sure to forgive others. The Fast is of no use unless we are ready to make peace.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of the first week of Lent (Feb. 19 to 22), we will celebrate the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, starting at 6 PM each evening. If you cannot come to all, come to one service. If you have to arrive late or leave early, do so — but come! There is no better way to enter the spirit of Lent than by making St. Andrew’s words to his soul our own.
Finally, that first week begins our weekly Pre–Sanctified Liturgies on Wednesdays at 6 PM, followed by supper. Confessions will be heard from 4:30–5:45 PM beforehand. Confessions will also be heard after Vespers services and by appointment.