On Clean Monday, February 27, the Orthodox Church entered the period of Great and Holy Lent. Lent ‒ also known as the springtime of the soul ‒ is a special time of repentance and cleansing of man’s soul.
The first week of Lent is special: the divine services in this period are very rich, full of meaning, and engaging, and comprise the historic liturgical inheritance of monastic rubric and many centuries of experience and the legacy of the Holy Fathers – the ascetic laborers and teachers of the Orthodox Church.
The appointed divine services were held in Our Lady of Pochaev Church in North Port, FL, in accordance with the traditions of the Orthodox Church.
Every morning at 7:00 AM, Matins, First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours (with kathismata), Typica, and Vespers were served. The morning services concluded with a litia for the departed and the singing of "May your memory be eternal, O our fathers and brethren, right-blessed and ever-memorable." While during the rest of the year the Psalter is read in its entirety at the divine services once per week, during Great Lent, the Psalter is read fully twice.
On Wednesday and Friday mornings, Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was celebrated.
From Monday to Thursday, Great Compline and the Great Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete was read in the evenings. The Canon is a prayerful appeal to God and to one’s own soul, a summons to repentance and a change in one’s way of thought and life. The Canon is saturated with Biblical examples and analogies, illustrating the repentance of the ancient righteous ones of the Old Testament. Parish rector Archimandrite Stefan Khilchuk) read the Canon, while the irmoi and other Great Lenten hymns were sung by the monastic brethren: Hieromonk Arkadii (Polishchuk) and Hierodeacon Paisius (Alexeevets).
On Friday, after the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the canon to the Holy Great-Martyr Theodore Tyro was read, and the kolivo blessed.
North Port, FL: First Week of Great Lent in Our Lady of Pochaev Church - 02/27/23