Friday, April 15, 2011

Ten Tips for Holy Week & Pascha

As Holy Week approaches in the Orthodox Church, may we all strive to find reconcilation with our brethren, as we follows our Lord's steps towards His saving Crucifixion, Burial, and Glorious Resurrection.  The following article is stolen from Fr. Peter Preble’s blogsite

Resurrection of our Lord - Orthodox Paschal Icon
 Image Source

1. Make participation at the Services a priority. This is especially crucial for those families with children. They must experience as much of Holy Week and Pascha as possible with their parents.

2. In our homes we should strive to “keep out the world” and enter into the peace, solemnity, and theology of the events of the last days of our Lord.

3. Be sure to read the last chapters of the Holy Gospels that speak of the Passion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ.

4. If you are visiting another parish and wish to receive Communion, make sure that the priest knows who you are and that you are prepared. This should be done in advance by phone, email, or any other way.

5. Last year’s palms (and/or pussy willows) should be placed outside in an area to decay where they will not be disturbed. They are holy and should not be simply thrown out with the garbage.

6. Before venerating Holy Objects, such as the Cross, the Chalice, Icons, or the Winding-Sheet, make sure to wipe off your lipstick or chapstick. Reminder: we do not kiss the face of our Lord, His Mother, or the Saints; instead kiss the hands or feet.

7. If you haven’t yet made your Confession during Great Lent, try to make it before the end of Holy Week. Speak with your priest to arrange a time.

8. Make an attempt to make amends with those we may be upset with or those who are upset with us, so that on Pascha we can joyfully sing, “Let us call brothers, even those that hate us, and forgive all by the Resurrection!”

9. Stay after the “Midnight Service” on Pascha morning for the blessing of baskets and festive meal. Let us share in the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection with fellowship and love.

10. During Bright Week, sing or read the Paschal Hours instead of your “normal” morning and evening prayers. Let the joy of praising the Lord’s Resurrection accompany you throughout Bright Week, the Paschal season, and your whole life.

May your Lenten journey and Holy Week be blessed and fruitful!

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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