Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907

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Great Lent Quick Links: Great Lent I Lenten Worship I On Fasting I On Confession
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Scroll Down for a Special Video by Fr. Zacharias:

Preparing for Great Lent in the Spirit of St. Silouan and St. Sophrony

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The Pre Lenten Period . . .

The Expulsion from Eden
The Expulsion from Eden
The Expulsion from Eden
 PRE-LENTEN RESOURCES



Special Articles from Fr. Steven:

Dear Parish Faithful,
 

As we “gird our loins” for the lenten struggle, I will periodically send out some reminders about the various types of practices that we embrace on a  more intense level during this season.  There are three such articles attached to this letter, dealing respectively with prayer, almsgiving and fasting. Please read them carefully at your convenience.

 
In Christ,
Fr. Steven

 

 
 

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Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Additional Resources


The Pre-Lenten Sundays

Special pages for each of the Pre-Lenten Sundays, rich with inspiring exhortations on the major themes on our road to Great Lent:

Zacchaeus Sunday - Awareness of Sin, Desire to see Jesus, and Active Repentance

The Publican and the Pharisee - Humility based on Reality

The Prodigal Son - Returning to the House of our loving Father

The Last Judgment - Becoming God's children by serving Christ through our neighbor

Forgiveness Sunday - We enter the Fast forgiving one another, and seeking God's forgiveness

 

These bullet points barely scratch the surface of the depths of insights our Orthodox Faith offers us for this profound season of repentance. Spend some time here as we journey towards the 'bright sadness' of Great Lent.



Fr. Steven's Meditations

 
Beginning with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, Fr Steven has been sharing frequent, brief excerpts from the teachings of the Fathers, as well as short articles by modern writers, to stir us to deeper personal examination, more full understanding, and true repentance. These small, daily doses are great helps as we approach Great Lent.

This special page on our website hosts numerous articles free for download and links to additional sites of interest to help make our lenten effort more fruitful.

and other introductory articles on Great Lent, on the OCA website.

 
 

A large selection of rich articles on the pre-lenten Sundays, featuring teachings of St Gregory Palamas, St Cyril of Alexandria, the Desert fathers, and many others.  Continuously updated throughout the Pre-Lenten and Lenten season.
 
Making Lent Real in the Orthodox Christian Home

 

Including in our prayers the various Triodion Sunday kontakia during the following week, helps keep us attuned to the spiritual tone of the Church. By beginning this practice with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, we will find we are better prepared for the beginning of Lent three weeks later. These hymns can be found on the various special pages for the Pre-Lenten Sundays, and the Sundays of Great Lent, and are published weekly in our parish church bulletin.

 

Many Orthodox Christians, in their Morning Rule of Prayer, replace the Morning Troparia to the Holy Trinity with these Morning Hymns from the Triodion. In fact, these hymns are prescribed to be chanted in the Church following the reading of the Sunday Matins Gospel (beginning with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee), showing their central place in our lives during the Lenten Season.

 

The Triodion Morning Hymns
 
 
 
The doors of repentance do Thou open to me, O Giver of life, for my spirit waketh at dawn to pray towards Thy holy temple, bearing the temple of my body all defiled. But in Thy compassion, cleanse it by the loving kindness of Thy mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit...

Guide me in the paths of repentance, O Theotokos, for I have defiled my soul with shameful sins, and wasted all my life in laziness, but by thine intercessions, deliver me from all uncleanness.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions, blot out my transgression. When I think of the multitude of evil things I have done, I the wretched one, I tremble at the fearful Day of Judgment. But trusting in the mercy of Thy loving kindness; like David do I cry to Thee: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy!

Lord have mercy (12 times)

Followed by the Lenten Kontakion for the preceding Sunday.
(e.g. Publican and the Pharisee, Prodigal Son, etc.)
 
Followed by 'Come let us worship...'
(and the rest of your Morning Rule - e.g. Psalm 50, the Creed, etc.)
 
Fr Zacharias on Preparing for Great Lent

 

This wonderful talk is the perfect way to begin our Lenten Journey, and is so rich and profitable that you may wish to revisit it often. Fr Zacharias discusses the spiritual lessons of the pre-Lenten Sundays, leading us into the journey to Pascha.

 

Fr Zacharias is from St John the Baptist Monastery in Essex, England, and is a disciple of St Sophrony, who was himself the disciple and biographer of St Silouan the Athonite.

 

His books presenting the spirituality of St Silouan and St Sophrony are deeply inspiring and instructional, and are filled with pastoral wisdom taken from the Scriptures and the Church Fathers.



 Books and Lectures by Fr Zacharias:

A profound description of the three stages in the Christian life according to Elder Sophrony of Essex (†1993), disciple of St. Silouan the Athonite (†1938). $27.95 from Mt Thabor Press.
A profound description of the three stages in the Christian life according to Elder Sophrony of Essex (†1993), disciple of St. Silouan the Athonite (†1938). $27.95 from Mt Thabor Press.
(Audio) Excerpts from the lectures which led to the book, 'Remember Thy First Love'. $20 from Patristic Nectar Publishing.
(Audio) Excerpts from the lectures which led to the book, 'Remember Thy First Love'. $20 from Patristic Nectar Publishing.
More books by Archimandrite Zacharias.
More books by Archimandrite Zacharias. "Not only do they uncover the inner life of the Church, they initiate the reader into that life." Mt Thabor Press.