06 March 2010

Third Sunday of Lent

We're halfway to Pascha (Easter)!

For Byzantine Catholics today is dedicated to the "Adoration of the Holy Cross". The Cross is the center of our faith, so here it is at the center of our Lenten journey.

This is a good time to review your spiritual progress (or lack of it). Have you been fasting, praying, and giving to the poor? Have you been controlling the passions?

Have you even observed Lent? It's not too late to start. Lay down your life at the foot of the Holy Cross. The season of sacrifice continues.

"Hail! life-giving Cross, the fair Paradise of the Church, Tree of incorruption that brings us the enjoyment of eternal glory: through you the hosts of demons have been driven back; and the hierarchies of angels rejoice with one accord, as the congregations of the faithful keep the feast. You are an invincible weapon, an unbroken stronghold; your are the victory of kings and the glory of priests. Grant us now to draw near to the Passion of Christ and to His Resurrection." ~From Great Vespers

The following Troparion and Kontakion are sung in the Byzantine Catholic Church today:

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritence. Grant victory to Your Church over evil, and protect Your people by Your cross.

No longer does the flaming sword guard the gates of Eden, for the tree of the Cross has come to quench it wondrously. The sting of death and the victory of Hades have been driven out.

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