Lent is a time for slowing-down, for taking ourselves to account, in order that we may be spiritually prepared for the feast to come. Lent is the time when the Church withdraws from the New Testament into the Old Testament. Lent is the time when we become nostalgic for communion.

In a larger sense, Lent is a permanent dimension of Christianity. It is not a spiritual bath. Lent expresses the church as pilgrimage, as movement, as exodus. Lent opens our eyes to the things that we do not see. Let us remember the idea of Church as fast and feast, as expectation and fulfillment, as humility and glory.

-Rev. V. Berzonsky

Lent: Journey to Pascha

An excerpt from Great Lent, by Alexander Schmemann


A journey, a pilgrimage! Yet, as we begin it, as we make the first step into the "bright sadness" of Lent, we see — far, far away — the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom. And it is this vision, the foretaste of Easter, that makes Lent's sadness bright and our lenten effort a "spiritual spring."  ...read more


Making Good Use of Great Lent

by Fr. Peter G. Rizos


The Holy Fathers of the Church have determined that there are three indispensable means of participating in Great Lent. They are fasting, spiritual vigilance and prayer. These disciplines derive from God's word and have through the centuries been the mainstay of Eastern Orthodox spirituality or life in Christ.  ...read more


A Culture Obsessed with Food
by Douglas Cramer


We can learn to bring our relationship with food in to balance. And in the process, we can bring healing to our relationship to not just food, but to other parts of our earthly lives—how we spend our money, how we spend our time, how we care for our loved ones. The fasting days and seasons of the Church are there to teach us how.  ...read more



Simple Tips for Keeping Lent in Our Families

by Virginia Nieuwsma


Life sure doesn’t stop during Lent, does it? It relentlessly marches on..... We have to decide at the beginning of each Lenten week what to do, and what to forgo. In this, there are two temptations: to try to make each service and live as if nothing else is happening, or to shrug and give up attempting extra Lenten efforts.... As always, we need to strive for balance.   ...read more

Ways to Share Great Lent and Pascha with Your Child
by Ann Marie Gidus-Mercera


Make it a point to attend every service you can with your children. Be creative so that you can keep little ones directed and occupied. Locate service books for children who can read. Explain what's going to happen. Talk about what Holy Week and Pascha were like when you were growing up.  ...read more




The Great Canon

An excerpt from Great Lent, by Alexander Schmemann 


The events of sacred history are revealed as events of my life, God's acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation, the tragedy of sin and betrayal as my personal tragedy. My life is shown to me as part of the great and all-embracing fight between God and the powers of darkness which rebel against Him.  ...read more



Forgiveness and Reconciliation: How to Forgive Others and Receive Forgiveness

by Hieromonk Jonah


Real reconciliation means complete and authentic acceptance of one another, despite sins, offenses, and transgressions: an authentic bond between persons in a spirit of love and humility. There will always be sins and offenses.... But if we can live in mature forgiveness and communion with others.... then our communities and churches will be transparent—revealing the Kingdom of Heaven, filled with divine grace.  ...read more



The Ethos of Lent

by Fr. George Morelli


The ethos of Lent for the committed Orthodox Christian is told to us by St. Dorotheus of Gaza. He likened it to a wake up call, ‘a coming to one’s self’ (like the Prodigal Son) to find meaning for the entire year. The “great and saving forty days” are to wake us up to all times and seasons of all year.  ...read more


Almsgiving is Christian

by Fr. Andrew Harmon


Why is giving our money away so spiritually healthy? Because we all greatly love money and what it does for us. Giving some of it away is hard. It’s one of the most direct and concrete ways of practicing self-denial, of taking up our cross and following Christ. ...read more



Lent is a Time for Parish Renewal and Growth

by His Grace Bishop John (Abdalah)


Lent is a gift of the Church to us for renewal. We can’t reduce it to fasting and personal benefits. Lent is an opportunity to build the Church up, and a stronger parish will result in stronger parishioners and stronger families. ...read more

On Living Lent

by Janice Bidwell


My life is not within a monastery, but within the community of my family. I must adapt the fullness of my life to the rhythm of Lent. Within our family community we discuss and develop a strategy for this journey within a journey. ...read more



A Lenten Journey to Love

by Matthew Gallatin


But one year ago, during the holy season of Lent, God worked a miracle in the life of Nick Damascus. It was a quiet and gentle miracle, without lightning or fanfare. Yet by the Holy Spirit, through the divine power of the sacraments and the Lenten services, God transformed this man. Journeying through the weeks and liturgical beauty of the Great Fast, Nick joyously discovered the life of divine love that "surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). ...read more


Lent Section Home