Skip to Navigation

February Liturgical Texts are Now Available

Metropolitan Joseph at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA, during the “Ceremony of the Presentation of the Boys” in 2015Metropolitan Joseph at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA, during the “Ceremony of the Presentation of the Boys” in 2015In February, the Orthodox Church finishes the forty-day celebration of Christmas and begins its journey into Great Lent. The liturgical texts for the month of February, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

February 2 marks the Great Feast of the Meeting (Presentation) of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ into the ancient Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-40). This was not some random meeting. This feast celebrates our forty-day-old incarnate Lord's first official encounter and manifestation with His people in the person of Simeon. In one of many acts of extreme humility, the divine Word thus lowers Himself and submits to the law in order to fulfill it and save mankind. In honor of this, churches offer the Ceremony of the Presentation of Boys, where our young men receive an extra blessing on this day.

This year, on February 21, the Church starts the path to Great and Holy Pascha by using the Lenten Triodion. The first of the four pre-Lenten Sundays is that of "The Pharisee and the Publican." Humility is key to our salvation, and so Christ teaches in a parable (Luke 18:10-14) that "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." In an ironic twist, the revered Pharisee (religious leader) tries to justify his worthiness while the reviled publican (tax collector) confesses that he is a sinner and repents.

On February 28, we remember "The Prodigal Son" in the Gospel of Luke (15:11-32) who wasted away his life in sin, but repented and ran back to his father, that is, our God. This Sunday reminds us to turn back to our Father in Heaven. It also reminds us that we are to be neither the younger son who lived in sin, nor the older son who became jealous when his brother was celebrated for his return, but to be as merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful (Luke 6:36).

The Online Liturgical Guide, produced by the Committee on Liturgics, provides the official, uniform word-for-word texts to be used for the divine services in all parishes across the Archdiocese. Should you have any questions, please contact Subdeacon Peter Samore at service_texts@antiochianladiocese.org.