Beloved in the Lord,
The Journey to Pascha through the spiritually superb period of Great Lent and Holy Week is a unique time in the liturgical life of the entire Orthodox Church, but for every individual Christian as well.
It is a time for reflection. A time for repentance. For prayer and almsgiving. For fasting and forgiveness. An opportunity to exercise virtues and a time to grow in Christ.
During the previous two periods of Great Lent, our Holy Metropolis developed and published weekly spiritual reflections. In 2017, we initiated a “40 Day Challenge” that was received with high enthusiasm by the faithful. Its purpose was to highlight certain virtues and connect them to the celebrations and saints celebrated during the Sundays of Great Lent.
Last year, in 2018, we published “Great Lent: Sunday Bible Reading” that spoke to some of the key lessons and themes captured in the traditional Gospel readings for the five Sundays of Lent. The aim of this initiative was to shine a light on Holy Scripture and to show the universal applicability and contemporary relevancy of the Word of God.
The feedback from these two initiatives was truly outstanding. Given the overwhelming response, together with the desire to make these resources more readily available to the faithful across the country, we are re-publishing the texts of these two initiatives in this Journey to Pascha booklet.
Together with the booklet published last year by our Holy Metropolis, I’m Orthodox: What Does That Mean?, we hope and pray that this spiritual resource will help people deepen their faith, their relationship with the Church, and their connection to Christ.
As we will soon enter the “Arena of Virtues,” for what else is Great Lent than a time to exercise Christian goodness and righteousness, may this humble offering be for you an inspiring resource that will lead you to joyously proclaim on the Sunday of Pascha, “Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!”
With fatherly love and blessings,
METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP SOTIRIOS
Clean Monday 2019