Looking Ahead to Holy Week & Pascha

Looking Ahead to Holy Week & Pascha

Looking Ahead to Holy Week & Pascha
March 31 – April 8, 2018

On Lazarus Saturday (March 31), we enter into the special and sacred time of Holy Week and Pascha. Each and every one of us is called to truly “lay aside all earthly cares,” i.e., all activities and concerns that distract from the great mystery which is happening for us and to us. It must be an experience that transcends the fulfilling of an annual religious obligation or custom. It is more than a beautiful “tableau” which emotionally uplifts us.

Holy Week and Pascha must make present a power which affects everything in our lives — self perception, relationships with others, the world around us, our callings in life, our possessions, our bodies and physical health, and finally our own impending deaths — “the power of God unto salvation for everyone who has faith” (Romans 1:16).

Practically Speaking

For us to properly lay aside all earthly cares, experience shows that prayerful preparation is helpful. Some questions we might want to ask ourselves:

  • Have I marked up my personal and work calendars so that I won’t accidentally schedule a conflict between my family, work, and church commitments?
  • Have I finished my taxes and other “big” projects that compete for my mental space?
  • Have I made peace with anyone that I’ve offended?
  • Can I do extra chores around my home or projects at work to give a little extra space to Holy Week?
  • Have I remembered to formally request Great and Holy Friday (April 6) off work? Even in today’s secular age, every employer understands and has a policy to accommodate this sentence: “Hi, Orthodox Good Friday is April 6 this year. I’d like to take a day off for religious reasons.”
  • How can I avoid the stress and “rushing around” that sometimes accompanies the Great Sabbath (Holy Saturday, April 7)? It is good for us to be involved in the work of our hands as we prepare for the great night of Pascha, and the schedule allows for what is necessary. With preparation and forethought, can I avoid the kind of stress and anxiety that I know can separate me from the experience of the Passion?

Planning Ahead

Sat. March 31:
9:00 am Baptisms and Lazarus Saturday Liturgy
Confessions for children
6:00 pm Festal Vigil with Blessing of Palms

Sun. April 1:
10:00 am Divine Liturgy of Palm Sunday
6:00 pm Bridegroom Matins

Mon, Tue, & Wed
9:00 am Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
6:00 pm Bridegroom Matins

Thu. April 5:
10:00 am Vespers and Divine Liturgy
6:00 pm Great Friday Matins: 12 Gospels

Fri. April 6:
10:00 am Royal Hours
4:00 pm Vespers of the Deposition (This service is particularly “child friendly”)
6:00 pm Great Saturday Matins (with procession)

 Sat. April 7:
9:00 am Vespers and Divine Liturgy
11:30 pm Midnight Office. At midnight, Paschal Procession and Matins, Paschal Divine Liturgy

CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

Sun. April 8:
1:00 pm Paschal Vespers