THE GREAT LENT 2017
The Great Lent is a time we should concentrate more in prayer. Having family evening prayer during the lenten season is integral in making it a blessed fast. Below is a prayer guideline provided by the Diocesan FOCUS Director, Rev. Fr. Jake Kurian.
There is a link to the diocesan website that has the Lenten Prayers for Monday through Friday for all the hours. If you are able to do this individually or as a family that would be great, but its long, and so I advise using a phone or tablet rather than printing the file. Also, it can seem a bit overwhelming, but you can use it for selected prayers for those hours of prayer for the day.
Below you will also find a PDF of a booklet that was prepared by Rev. Fr. Jake Kurian that has an abridged evening prayer that is good for families to do together at night. Rev. Fr. Jake Kurian has also provided an MP3 recording for the 2 songs that are in the booklet. I encourage all of you to please print this one and use regularly at home.
- Rev. Fr. Christopher Mathew
GUIDANCE FOR THE GREAT LENT
Here are three things you can do to participate in the fast:
Lenten Prayers - It's been great to hear people say how they're starting to incorporate the Shehimo in some way in their daily lives. For Great Lent however, Shehimo is only used on the weekends. For Monday through Friday there are special Lenten prayers which help direct out thoughts and meditation during the Lenten season.
The LRD has produced a preliminary version of the Lenten prayers in hymn form: http://www.ds-wa.org/lenten-daily-prayers.html.
If you think this might be overwhelming, I've also included a generic lenten evening prayer book that I compiled for St. Stephen's Houston based on the prose translated by Fr. Baby Varghese. This is for private use only as this is not an official book by any means.
Fasting & Lent - We are to fast, which means to forego eating anything for most of the day. The canons tell us to fast until the 9th hour (3pm). While that may be difficult, maybe we can try to go until 12pm (the 6th Hour), or as our health permits. Always try to break your fast with prayer (6th hour or 9th hour prayer).
In addition to fasting, we should observe lent throughout the 50 days. The Church rule for lent advocates a vegan diet, which means abstaining from all animal products (dairy, egg, fish, and all kinds of meat). Again, do what you can in consultation with your spiritual father.
Prostrations (Kneelings) - In addition to kneeling for the Qauma (Holy art thou O God...) and the Creed, we are to do 40 prostrations each day. While kneeling we chant:
Lord have mercy upon us (10x)
Lord be kind and have mercy (10x)
Answer Lord and have mercy (10x)
Given our work and school schedules it is difficult to do these 40 prostrations at the 6th Hour (12pm). However, we could try to do them in the evenings before we eat dinner.
Of course, in addition to all this asceticism, we are called to do almsgiving. I just wanted to share these guidelines, because many people may be unclear as to what lent should look like. But more importantly, when we as a group fast and pray together, it will be a blessing for our church as a whole.
"The righteousness from many people is greatly loved. / It always has the power to grant every request. / Though the drops of rain are separate drops, / when they are gathered together, / they become a flood that cannot be crossed."
SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THE GREAT AND HOLY FAST
Week 1 - Click to download
Week 2 - Click to download
Week 3 - Click to download
Week 4 - Click to download
Week 5 - Click to download
Week 6 - Click to download
Week 7 - Click to download