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What are folks' plans for Great Lent 2010?


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#1 Michael Stickles

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:00 AM

I had rather enjoyed the last couple of years reading what people were planning to do during Great Lent, so - with Cheesefare Week just a few days away - who is willing to share their plans for Great Lent 2010?

(Since I started the thread, I'll go first)

For reading, my priest gave me his blessing to go through the Ladder of Divine Ascent according to the Lenten reading plan. That covers weekdays; for weekends, I'll be reading The Way of the Spirit by Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra.

I'm also planning to spend some time working on learning the tones and getting familiar with the rubrics, so I can be of more help to the choir director.

I'm still firming up my plans for other things (I've come up with a lot of grandiose plans, but have scrapped all of them due to my lack of grandiose capacity).

In Christ,
Michael

#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:10 AM

try to work out my salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)

#3 Benjamin Amis

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 02:46 AM

I would like to read The Ladder of Divine Ascent. But, I don't know. I haven't spoken with my priest and this is my first Great Lent. I just want to attend all the services I can and really meditate on it all. Since I've only been Orthodox (attending an Orthodox church, that is: I'm not baptized) for a few months, I'll be praying for God to really work on me this season and show me what I need to be doing. My conversion as turned my future "plans" upside down, so, I'm hoping to just immerse myself in the Church, pray and grow as God wills.

#4 Paul Cowan

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:45 AM

I had rather enjoyed the last couple of years reading what people were planning to do during Great Lent, so - with Cheesefare Week just a few days away - who is willing to share their plans for Great Lent 2010?

(Since I started the thread, I'll go first)

For reading, my priest gave me his blessing to go through the Ladder of Divine Ascent according to the Lenten reading plan. That covers weekdays; for weekends, I'll be reading The Way of the Spirit by Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra.

I'm also planning to spend some time working on learning the tones and getting familiar with the rubrics, so I can be of more help to the choir director.


In Christ,
Michael


Yeah, Michael that's great and all but what are you going to do on the second day?

#5 Davor

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 05:22 AM

I'm going to try and attend Church service as much as possible; this means taking a two hour ride to the the capital, we have service only once a month. Also, I'm looking forward to reading "On The Incarnation" by St. Athanasius as well as "The Life of Saint Anthony".

I have been Orthodox my whole life, but this is only the second time that I will be observing Lent - last year was the first and it was an amazing experience.

Oh and I'm looking forward to going to Georgia (the country not the state) for about 10 days in March, its going to be exciting, I'm very much looking forward to attending the Church services there.

#6 Jacksson R.

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 05:32 AM

I plan to attend as many services as possible. Living 32 miles from a Greek Monastery, I may be able to attend the full schedule. I don't know if they will have Divine Liturgies every day, but if they do, they are at 4 AM for Orfhros and DL at about 5 AM. Being retired, I can do that, but being old it is much more difficult than it used to be. I remember when I was still working, the monastery priest did 40 straight Divine Liturgies during the Nativity Fast and I was able to attend every one of them except one when the Abbess told me not to because I was too tired. Anyway, this Lenten period holds great promise, God willing I will come out on Holy Pascha a better man. Then comes Bright Week and the monastery feast day on Bright Friday (The Theotokos, The Living Spring). God is good.

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:15 AM

Plans? 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.'

#8 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:01 PM

Plans? 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.'


True, Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel parable does speak this "word".

A word taken out of context can certainly defeat its purpose. God in His loving mercy
does allow us to make plans, but He is the one who disposes as the Scripture says.

If one gives the plans to God in simple surrender to His will, God will dispose according
to our present need, teach us along the way, sometimes say "Yes" at other times "no".
the disposition of the "heart" is necessary in making a plan for Lent. that is, as Jesus says
"Learn of me that I am humble and gentle of heart. Your will be done, Father, not mine"

I might be a "fool" in making a plan for Lenten Season; it might just be "foolishness for Christ's sake" who knows?

marie-duquette

#9 Michael Stickles

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:12 PM

Plans? 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.'


Hey, if making plans was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it's good enough for me!

Because I was confident of this, I planned to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.
2Cor. 1:15-16


As long as one always remembers that, as Solomon said (Prov 19:21):

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.


and holds the plan lightly, one should be (relatively) safe. If I recall correctly, only half of Paul's plan worked out (which is about how my last two lenten plans worked out).

In Christ,
Michael

#10 Caleb Shoemaker

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 02:06 PM

The RCs have a reading plan through the Apostolic Fathers + Justin for each of the 40 days. I've actually read through most of them, but I don't think re-reading Ignatius or Polycarp or the Didache would be a bad choice. :-) I also plan on listening to a Gospel a day. I got a audio NT from the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze program, and I'm going to plan on listening to Matthew-Luke one for each day and for the 40 days of the Fast. My wife is pregnant, so fasting will be weird in our house, but I'll drop off meat and wine b/c we can't afford to buy both milk and soy products. We're really hoping that God will give us revelation this year as to what He would have us do with job/career/living situations.

#11 Michael Stickles

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:53 PM

The RCs have a reading plan through the Apostolic Fathers + Justin for each of the 40 days.


If anyone else has an interest in that, I found a copy online at ChurchYear.net. There is a full plan and a "lite" plan, plus a PDF containing all the full-plan readings for anyone who doesn't have the texts.

Note that the date for each reading on the plan is based on the RC 40 days of Lent (i.e., from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, excluding Sundays). To use the Orthodox 40 days (i.e., every day from Clean Monday through the Friday before Palm Sunday), you'd need to keep track of the dates yourself.


The full plan goes through:
  • Didache
  • Mathetes: Epistle to Diognetus
  • Polycarp: Epistle to the Philippians
  • St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letters to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, and Smyrneans, plus the Letter to Polycarp
  • St. Justin Martyr: First Apology
  • St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I)
  • St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony
  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures (Lectures 19-23)
  • St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries
  • St. Leo the Great: Letter XXVIII (called the "Tome"), Sermon XXI (On the Feast of the Nativity I), Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI), and Sermon LXXII (On the Lord's Resurrection)
While the "lite" plan goes through:
  • Mathetes: Epistle to Diognetus
  • St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letters to the Ephesians and Magnesians
  • St. Justin Martyr: First Apology
  • St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I)
  • St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony
  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures (Lectures 20, 22 & 23)
  • St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries
  • St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI) and Sermon LXXII (On the Lord's Resurrection)
In Christ,
Michael

#12 Mary

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 08:01 PM

I know it's there somewhere - a link on monachos that has all the Scripture readings for Lent. I printed it out last year, when I found that it was easier to have all the readings in one place instead of just the references. (too lazy to flip through the Bible to the right places!) Anyway - I'm going to stick to those readings as much as I can. And of course, the services! Won't miss them for the world! The 'world' is being good to us. Kids' have the whole first week of Lent off from school! Some unexpected winter break. But that means.... i don't have to think about bed-times and waking them up in the morning, and stuff like that! We don't have to miss any of the Canon of St Andrew services!

#13 Jacksson R.

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 12:27 AM

Plans? 'Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.'


That is why plans are always couched in the term 'God willing'.

#14 Theodora E.

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 12:27 AM

Services are my first priority. They would be anyway, but I'm also a choir member. My parish has Friday evening Vespers, in addition to Wednesday evening Presanctified. Our deanery also has Sunday evening Vespers at different parishes, and I attend, carpooling with friends from my parish.

As for the reading, it will primarily be the NT. Here's why: I'm a student in my deanery's higher ed/late vocations program (I'm going for lay catechist certification, but the remainder are men who are late vocations diaconal candidates). Our class reading is about 10 hours a week (in addition to meeting for four hours every other Saturday). We just finished the OT class (in which we read the entire OT), and our NT class will be starting in late February. So this year, I'm going to concentrate on the NT, due to class work, and my personal reading will be the Psalms, as they are easy to fit into my crazy schedule. I have a Bible on my iPhone, so I can even do Psalms in the grocery store check out line.

My parish's adult study group on Sunday mornings will be reading Way of the Ascetics by Tito Colliander. That was my own personal Lenten reading last year and I'm looking forward to going through it again. I read the entire Ladder in the first class of the deanery program over the summer, and may dip into it occasionally over during the fast, but I won't be able to read the entire thing this year.

#15 Ilaria

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:09 AM

How wonderful, all that I read in this thread! It seems to me that everyone is looking forward to this very special period and I feel that God is well pleased with our schedules; it is like the preparation of the monks before the Great Lent as described in the Life of St Mary of Egypt; of course, they prepared for the real desert, but we too have our desert place, am I wrong?

I would suggest, with the spiritual fathers consent, where possible, reading the Psalter in the church; for an hour, two or just a half
in our church, we have a schedule list, which we adjust weekly, according to the services hours; the aim is to read the whole Psalter for a day; (this is a plan for the community)
where not possible in the church, because I know the distances there, the 20 canticles are to be divided on a daily basis, in order to be read at home

#16 Mary Ann H.

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 05:30 PM

Mary, I see that you have printed out all the scripture readings for Lent so as not to have to flip through the Bible. But what about the rest of the year? I can recommend "The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox" edited by Johanna Manley - this is a book that has all the epistle and gospel readings in chronological order plus a lot of wonderful patristic passages related to them.

#17 Nina

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:13 AM

Andreas, I see your point, as I was preparing to make koliva for last Saturday (Sat of Souls) and the snowfall halted the life in general here and liturgical life too (no Sunday Liturgies). Today we have another snowstorm so let's see how things will be with cleaning, and being able to go to church and having services, God willing. But you like us all make plans too like for instance going to the monastery, traveling to Moscow and so on. We as believers rely on God about our plans/wishes since He has the last word. And that is why in Greek we say: "Prota o Theos" (First God; God leads) , or in English "God willing". And in this case poor Michael did not make plans to gather material things out of greed like the man in the parable. lol These Lenten plans are all such blessed plans with all people looking forward to repentance and betterment and theosis. This is very blessed! These are blessed plans! Imagine if the entire world was making plans for Lent like these. Plus we are asking the blessing of our spiritual fathers about undertakings during Lent and that means God is blessing these wishes we have to fulfill for and in His love.

#18 Mary

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:53 AM

Mary, I see that you have printed out all the scripture readings for Lent so as not to have to flip through the Bible. But what about the rest of the year? I can recommend "The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox" edited by Johanna Manley - this is a book that has all the epistle and gospel readings in chronological order plus a lot of wonderful patristic passages related to them.


Mary Ann, I know this book. We use it at our parish. Every Tuesday, we have vespers and whoever can stay afterwards, stays and we go through that book together, with our priest. I haven't thought about getting it for myself. I am a random person and I cannot buckle myself down for more than the duration of Great Lent with intensive and regular readings. I used to think it was unforgivable to be reading five or six books at once, and never getting to the end of any book for years. But I noticed once, that it didn't seem to matter to God what I picked up to read. He always had a message for me in every book. Once, it was quite exciting. I was running away from God because He wanted me to deal with my anger. So I put away that book and picked up another. Although it wasn't about anger, it sure pointed to it! So I picked another, and that too, showed me a different side of anger. Then I gave up and asked God to forgive me and asked Him to heal me. You know... later when I went back to those books, I never could understand where I found those passages that seemed to talk about anger! Now, I don't even remember what books they were. God has been exceedingly good to me.

in Christ,
mary

#19 Mary

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:05 AM

How wonderful, all that I read in this thread! It seems to me that everyone is looking forward to this very special period and I feel that God is well pleased with our schedules; it is like the preparation of the monks before the Great Lent as described in the Life of St Mary of Egypt; of course, they prepared for the real desert, but we too have our desert place, am I wrong?


I've been feeling the same way myself! And so have others. I've always loved going on a journey, especially with family and friends. The excitement of the preparations, the journey itself, and the glorious end of the journey. I like to travel light. So, I'll be leaving monachos behind for the next few weeks. Thank you for all the things I've learned from so many of you. Thank you for your kindness to me, for listening and for answering my questions. Please forgive me for insensitive and thoughtless words I've said. And all the unnecessary ones too.

I hope you all have a blessed Lent. God willing, we will 'see' each other again, on the other side of Great Lent. =)

Please pray for me, a sinner.

in Christ,
mary.

#20 Anna Stickles

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:18 PM

We've been reading through the Matins hymns in The Lenten Triodion Supplement after our morning prayers. This is a great preparation for Lent and helps the kids and I get a taste for why the fasting is important. We hope to continue this on weekdays through Lent. The Church's hymns are so much more beautiful and appealing then any kind of lecture Mom could give as to why we fast. :) I figure if we read poetry in our homeschooling, why not do this for our poetry.

The gateway to the Fast has been opened; the arena of abstinence lies here before us. let us rouse ourselves with fiery eagerness, and so we shall receive God's grace to quench the burning flames of our offenses.

The Blessed season of the fast has dawned and shines upon us with the light of repentance. Let us draw near with love and reverence, and greatly rejoicing let us shake off the darkness of sloth. ...

Accepting the Fast as a gift, let us glorify the Giver who established it for our salvation. With all our strength let us observe it and so receive from our Creator the forgiveness of our trespasses.


Edited by Anna Stickles, 10 February 2010 - 02:32 PM.
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