I don't post here much, but wanted to say this:
Amid the "fun" of the Maslenitza - Cheesefare or Butter-Sunday - there is the everpresent knowledge that Lent is almost here. Tomorrow we begin the Great Lent. Theodora has sent the Women's List the "Clean Monday" post <http://jennelou.tripod.com/Update20050423/Pillow/index.html>
, which illustrates so clearly the way this time was worked into the lives of the Russians of the 19th century.
This post asks us how we will live out Great Lent. Will we frivol the time away, or use it profitably for the salvation of our souls?
The Church calls us to prayer and repentance. The Canon of St. Andrew will be chanted in parts this week and in its entirety on the Thursday of the 5th week.
"It is time for repentance. I draw near to Thee, my Creator. Take from me the heavy yoke of sin, and in Thy compassion grant me tears of compunction."
The first Stichera of the Vespers of Forgiveness Sunday says it all:
Tone 2 (by Joseph)
Let us humble the flesh by abstinence:,
As we follow the divine path of pure fasting.
With prayers and tears let us seek the Lord who saves us.
Let us put an end to anger, crying out:
Save us who have sinned against Thee!
Save us, O Christ our King, as Thou didst save the men of Ninevah,
And make us partakers of Thy heavenly Kingdom, O compassionate One!
O dear friends! Forgive me, a sinner!
Love in Christ,
Dr. Elizabeth, the sinner
and Perennial Student