Moveable Festal Season Upon Us!

“Refuse to listen to the devil when he whispers to you: give me now, and you will give tomorrow to God. No, no! Spend all the hours of your life in a way pleasing to God; keep in your mind the thought that after the present hour you will not be given another and that you will have to render a strict account for every minute of this present hour. “ ~St. Theophan the Recluse & St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain from “Unseen Warfare”

Dearest Spiritual ‘Ohana,

We find ourselves headed into the Moveable Festal Season for 2024.  It begins this year on February 25th with the opening of the Liturgical Book of the Triodion.  We journey through this moveable period leading up to Great Lent, through Great Lent, to Holy Week, then opening up the Liturgical Book of the Pentocostarion on Holy Pascha, which is used all the way through the week following Holy Pentecost. This entire moveable part of the year has been calculated many years ago by the Holy Fathers of the Church based on the Moon Cycles of every year.  The Holy Fathers have done so with such precision throughout the years to a science, with the God-given grace-filled gifts and talents of having brilliant minds given to them!  All this moveable festal part of the year centers around what is central to our hope in salvation, namely the Resurrection of our Lord/Holy Pascha.  This time of the year, helps us to redirect and refocus on our true purpose as human beings, which is to be in constant communion with God and ever strive to know Him, which is an inexhaustible and an everlasting endeavor.

The challenge set before us is “time,” as our  earthly lives are bound and limited by it.  In this earthly life, we are to focus on our relationship with God in the constant “now,” ever preparing for the everlasting and eternal life to come.  On a typical Sunday, at the conclusion of Orthros, our choir sings the following, at the end of the Doxology:  “Today, salvation has come to all the world.  Let us sing praises to Him Who rose from the tomb, and is the Author of our life.  Having destroyed Death by Death, the Victory He gave to us, and the Great Mercy.”

As we enter into this Blessed Moveable Festal time of the year, let us strive to live our lives with true purpose and meaning.  Seize every moment  of the “now” to do so and, perhaps, strive to participate in the prescriptions given by the chart/illustration entitled “Our Journey to Pascha 2024.”  Also, you are welcome to participate in the many upcoming services throughout this time of the year.

With Continued Love and Joy in Christ,

+Fr. Alexander