GREAT LENT is upon us (and not too soon for me)!
Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes,
The Lenten worship is...a school of repentance. It teaches us what is repentance and how to acquire the spirit of repentance. It prepares us for and leads us to the spiritual regeneration without which ‘absolution’ remains meaningless. It is, in short, both teaching about repentance and the way of repentance. And since there can be no real Christian life without repentance, without this constant ‘re-evaluation’ of life, the Lenten worship is an essential part of the liturgical tradition of the Church.These remarks underscore the on-going nature of repentance. They stand in sharp contrast to easy affirmations of having "been saved."
Some say it's a long period of time. But, an extended period is needed for developing a good habit, especially one like the "constant 're-evaluation' of life."
If you're looking for some helpful online material, look to coptichymns.net, which has a nice collection.
Additionally, Fr. James Kordaris sent me a link to some very helpful resources from our friends at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
Finally, thanks to Danny Meleka, who sent me the following articles:
St Basil, "On Fasting"
H.H. Pope Shenouda III, "Spiritual Exercises While Fasting"
H.H. Pope Shenouda III, "Communal Worship and Fasting"
H.G. Bishop Surial, "A Practical Journey through Lent"
Gospel readings of the Great Lent
St. John Chrysostom, "Great Lent: Our Journey to meet our Heavenly Bridegroom"
H.G. Bishop Serapion, "Preparing for Great Lent"
H.G. Bishop Serapion, "Great Lent: A Joyful Journey"
H.G. Bishop Youssef, "The Holy Great Fast and Spiritual Discipline"
Fr Matta el Maskeen, "The Deep Meaning of Fasting"