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|Crkva: Uskrsnji Post / Church: Great Lent|
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From Saturday, 25. February 2012 - 08:00
To Sunday, 15. April 2012 - 17:00
26.februar 2012. god.- Nedelja prastanja
27.februar - pocetak Vaskrsnjeg posta
Prva nedelja posta (04.03)-pricesce vernika
Postovani parohijani, draga braco i sestre,
Vernici ce moci, uz pripremu i sa blagoslovom svestenika, da se u toku ovog posta pricescuju na nedeljnim liturgijama. Nas narod najcesce ima obicaj da se pricescuje prve, takozvane ciste nedelje i na Vaskrs. Ispovest ce prve sedmice posta biti u petak 2. marta u 18h i u subotu 3. marta pre i posle sluzbe, a vernici koji nisu dovoljno upuceni u ovu svetu tajnu pravoslavne crkve, neka potraze u crkvenim knjizarama knjige koje objasnjavaju sta je ispovest i kako se treba ispovedati.
(pozovite vaseg svestenika u vezi dana i vremena kada se mozete ispovediti)
U ponedeljak 27. februara pocinje Vaskrsnji post. Jedna od velikih koristi za one koji steknu kulturu posta i usvoje tu spasonosnu naviku u svom zivotu je to da oni jacaju svoju dobru volju i uce da izlaze na kraj sa iskusenjima koja nas sve bez razlike u ovom zivotu snalaze. Istinski post nije samo uzdrzavanje od hrane vec uzdrzavanje i udaljavanje od zlih dela.
Jedan svetitelj je rekao:
”Kakva je korist ako se uzdrzavamo od mesa i mrsne hrane, a svoje bliznje grizemo i izjedamo?”
Svaki vernik zna da je Gospod prastanje nasih grehova uslovio time da i mi oprastamo bliznjima sagresenja njihova prema nama:
”Oprosti nam dugove nase kao sto i mi oprastamo duznicima svojim ”
U srpskom narodu postoji jedan lep obicaj da se u ovu nedelju uoci pocetka Vaskrsnjeg posta, na poklade, posle sv. liturgije svi oproste (svak od svakog trazi oprostaj) za sve sto je zgresio prema svom bliznjem.
Post za pravoslavnog hriscanina jeste jedno od sredstava koji mu pomazu u izgradjivanju svoga spasenja i duhovnog uzrastanja.
Stari i Novi Zavet su prepuni primera posta i plodova posta. Post je sveta crkva bogomudro ustanovila na korist svih ljudi.
Post je koristan za nase telo i zdravlje, ali pre svega, neprocenjivo koristan, vredan i neophodan nasoj dusi.
Period posta je vreme kada vise mislimo na dusu nego na telo, na vecno nego na prolazno, na nebesko nego na zemaljsko.
Postoji telesni i duhovni post. Telesni post je kada se uzdrzavamo od izvesne vrste hrane, a duhovni post je kada se uzdrzavamo od poroka, greha i strasti. U telesnom postu, uzdrzava se stomak, a u duhovnom se uzdrzavaju misli, oci, usi, jezik, ruke, noge... Telesni post treba da prati duhovni, jer bez duhovnog posta telesni post gubi svoj smisao. Duhovni post je ne ciniti zlo ali u isto vreme ciniti i dobro.
Kada posti stomak od masnih i teskih jela, onda treba i um da posti od gordih, sujetnih i gresnih misli, srce od strasnih i pohotljivih zelja, jezik od ruznih reci i psovki, ruke od zlih dela i noge od krivog puta.
Post i molitva su dva najaca sredstva u borbi protiv greha i djavola. Ovo potvrdjuju i reci Gospoda naseg Isusa Hrista da se:
"rod djavolji nicim drugim ne moze isterati osim molitvom i postom" (Mt. 17, 21).
Ne varajmo sebe raznim izgovorima kao: greh ne ulazi na usta i slicno, vadeci cesto citate Svetog Pisma iz njihovog konteksta i dajuci im znacenje koje nam momentalno odgovara. Cineci tako samo pokazujemo i svedocimo o sebi da nismo dobri vernici.
Ovaj vaskrsnji post traje 7 nedelja i priprema nas za praznik nad praznicima - Vaskrsenje Hristovo.
Narocito poslednja nedelja koja se naziva strasna (stradalna) nedelja, nas priprema za ovaj praznik koji je najveci i najradosniji dogadjaj na nasoj planeti u istoriji ljudskog roda.
Sebe cemo za Vaskrs najbolje pripremiti upravo postom, molitvom (i dolascima u ovom periodu na bogosluzenja u crkvu), ispovescu prilikom koje cistimo svoju dusu od taloga greha i strasti koje se u svakome od nas vremenom skupe i primanjem svetog pricesca - Tela i Krvi Hristove kao krunom nase vere i sjedinjenja sa Gospodom Bogom.
Oni koji se ne trude prvenstveno da dolaze redovno na svete liturgije (narociti u toku posta) i ostalim duhovnim vrlinama (molitvi, citanju, postu, trpljenju, prastanju, neosudjivanju...), nece dobiti blagoslov da se pricescuju jer im sveto pricesce u tom slucaju ne bi bilo na korist.
Postovani parohijani, neka je srecan i Bogom blagosloven pocetak Vaskrsnjeg posta i da bude svima nama na blagoslov Boziji, vecno spasenje, duhovno uzrastanje, jacu veru i razvijanje vrlina.
The Great Lent in Orthodox Christianity
This 2012, Great Lent is beginning on Monday 27th of February. Holy confession will be on Friday 2nd of March at 18h and on Saturday 3rd of March at 14h.
Dear parishioners, now we are preparing with seven weeks of fasting for Great Feast of Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. With the faith, sacrifice, love and reverence, we will be able to feel and understand better our Great Church Feasts. Holy communion, believers will be able to receive any Sunday of this lent when they prepare with confession and one week strict fasting (without oil, fish...) and specially we are receiving Holy Communion on first Sunday and on the Great Feast of Resurrection. For any other information, you can phone me or send e-mail.
In the life of the Church of Christ there are many institutes created and maintained to meet the needs of the people. Among these is the Great Lent which falls within the year-cycle of the life of the Church before Pascha-Easter. Lent is the period of time for self-examination by the believer; of putting on the spiritual armor of the Militant Church; of applying the riches of prayers and almsgiving; of adopting deeply the meaning of repentance; of atonement and reconciliation with God Almighty.
The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ does not fall on the same date each year, but according to the determination of the position of the moon and spring equinox, which is based on the original setting during the last Events of the life of Christ on earth.
This 40-day period of Lent is a period of "abstinence" from foods, but primarily from personal iniquities.
Abstinence from foods (fasting) alone is a means of attaining virtue; it is not an end in itself. During the period of fasting one makes a special attempt to evaluate his calling as a Christian; to listen to the voice of the Gospel and heed its commandments; to accept the constant invitation to enter Christ's Kingdom.
It is an open invitation to everyone willing to enter; who believes in Christ and repents his iniquities; who makes an "about face" directly to Christ.
To accomplish this - Which is a year-round concern - the Christian Church, dating back many years, out of experience and according to the nature of man instituted certain days of prayer and fasting as steps in a ladder to help those who need guidance to reach this spiritual plateau. All of these steps must have genuine personal meaning to avoid becoming merely a habit and routine. Fasting encompasses the entire pious life of the Christian, as Christ proclaimed, that symbolizes a deep acceptance of His admonition to "repent". This can be achieved not so much in terms of time, but in deeds in love of God and one's fellow man.
During the period of the Great Lent the awakening of the spirit of man comes about through inspiration from the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. It is a time of self-examination and preparation, and of taking an inventory of one's inner life. He and Christ know his exact condition. At this time one sees himself in the mirror of the Gospel - how he looks.
One finds the means and ways to correct and improve himself. Lent is a period of time when one delves into himself with the light of the Holy Spirit in order to rid himself of the impediments which hold him back.
It is a period when one strengthens his faith by more prayer and devotional life.
Let us then examine the meaning of fasting, which became an Institute of the Church. Fasting means the total abstinence from foods, as the original Greek word in the Bible, nesteia, literally means.
The word fasting today is used for selection of foods and a limiting of their quantity. Fasting also can mean eating once a day bread, salt and water, after sunset.
Although the period of Lent appeals to the function of man as a whole in repentance, self-examination, almsgiving, relationship with people with whom one is at odds, attitudes toward life, the abstinence from foods plays a vital role in the life of the Christian.
The quantity and kinds of foods selected for this period of Lent help control carnal desires and develop discipline and a pious life. Fasting from foods is not a virtuous activity in itself, but a means for its achievement. But it has a distinct place in the life of the Christian, especially during the Great Lent.
THE MEANING OF THE FEAST DAYS OF LENT
Great Lent is a period of time when the people are more conscious of their spiritual character. The passages of the Gospels and the Epistles, the hymnology and prayers, the spirit of the Church - all endeavor to help the Christian cleanse himself spiritually through repentance.
"Repent" is the first word Jesus Christ spoke in His proclamation to the people, as the epitome of His Gospel. Repentance is the main motivation of the Christian which acts to free him from sin. One's recognition of his sin, his contrition over it and lastly his decision to make an about-face change of his attitude are the steps of repentance.
For one can learn to recognize iniquities from the Bible and the teachings of the Church. During the period of Lent the Christian is called to self-examination and self-control by the radiance of the Event of the Resurrection of Christ. This is why the Church designated such a period of time be observed before this great feast day.
Fasting in its religious setting is abstinence from food, always in relation to a religious event or feast.
Fasting in itself has no meaning in the Christian Church, but has a role the attainment of Christian virtues. It is not to be accepted as a mere custom without a spiritual purpose. Fasting is understood as a means of temperance and sobriety, especially in relation to prayer, devotion and purity. It is also understood to be related to giving alms to the poor.
The roots of fasting in the Christian Church are to be found in the Old Testament and the Jewish religion, both for certain days and certain foods.
As a general rule, fasting precedes a religious feast. Many verses in the Old Testament refer to this:
"Thus says the Lord of Hosts: the fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore, love, truth and peace", Zechariah 8:18-19.
In continuation of the practice of fasting, the Christian Church determined the period of Lent to depend upon the great Feast of Easter, as set forth by the First Ecumenical Synod in 325. The Church determined the day on which the Resurrection of Christ would be celebrated, according to the conditions that existed at the time of this Event.
Thus, the Synod set forth that the great Feast of Easter would be celebrated on: the first Sunday, after the full moon, after the Spring Equinox (March 21), and always after the Jewish Passover. Thus, this great Feast is a moveable date in the calendar. Therefore, Great Lent, which depends upon the date of Easter, also is moveable, each year being celebrated on a different date, (Sunday), depending on the above conditions.
The four weeks which precede Great Lent are considered preparatory, a forerunner to Lent. These four weeks, along with the eight weeks of Lent, are characterized by the Church as Triodion, meaning "thrice-hymns", a name which has no bearing on the substance of Lent itself:
The four weeks preceding Lent are known as: Sunday of the Tax Collector and Pharisee (from the Parable), Sunday of the Prodigal Son (from the Parable), Sunday of Meat (the Final Judgment), Sunday of Cheese (Adam's expulsion from Paradise);
The eight weeks of the Great Lent are:
First Sunday (Sunday of Orthodoxy),
Second Sunday (St. Gregory Palamas),
Third Sunday (Adoration of Cross),
Fourth Sunday (St. John of Climax),
Fifth Sunday (St. Mary of Egypt),
Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GREAT LENT
Great Lent before Easter is when the Christian participates fully in preparing himself to praise and glorify his God as Lord and Savior. Great Lent is like a "workshop" where the character of the faithful is spiritually uplifted and strengthened; where his life is rededicated to the principles and ideals of the Gospel; where the faith culminates in deep conviction of life; where apathy and disinterest turn into vigorous activities of faith and good works. Lent is not for the sake of Lent itself, as fasting is not for the sake of fasting. But they are means by which and for which the individual believer prepares himself to reach for, accept and attain the calling of his Savior.
Therefore, the significance ofGreat Lent is highly appraised, not only by the monks who gradually increased the length of time of the Lent, but also by the lay people themselves, although they do not observe the full length of time. As such, Great Lent is the sacred Institute of the Church to serve the individual believer in participating as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and, from time to time, to improve the standards of faith and morals in his Christian life. The deep intent of the believer during the Great Lent is "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus", Philippians 3:13-14.
Beloved brothers and sisters, what is the purpose of Great Lent?
The purpose of the Great Fast is the same as that of our entire life: the attainment of God's likeness. Last Sunday we heard about the Last Judgment, when at the 2nd coming of our Lord we will all be judged on the basis of our works of mercy — on the extent to which we have become like our merciful and loving God.
"The night is past, the day is at hand," says the Apostle Paul, "therefore, put aside the works of darkness and clothe yourselves in the armor of light."
The night is the life of this sinful world, life according to the flesh, life without Christ. The day is life in Christ, life in the Church, illumined by the Light of Christ. Great Lent is given us in order that we might obtain that life in Christ, that we might acquire the divine likeness.
And what "armor of light" does the fast give to us? What must we do to become children of light?
First, we must remember that
"by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves" —
and the Holy Church thus instructs us to humble ourselves and run to God for help.
And during Lent, we should fervently run to the sources of Divine Grace given us in the Church:
the Holy Mysteries of Repentance and Communion.
And this is not all.
The Church also provides us with sources of Divine Grace which involve an effort on our part — and this is important, because salvation is impossible without the active participation of our own will.
These are prayer, fasting, reading the Holy Scriptures and almsgiving.
May the Lord grant that all of us would make proper use of this armor, of these means of acquiring the grace of God!
But the Holy Church also warns us: when using this armor – fasting, prayer, almsgiving — keep your eyes on God and on your own soul.
Whether other people see your good works is not important. On the contrary, it is safer for you if all these works are done in secret, for our Lord says,
"when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."
Are others doing good? This is not our business.
"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."
And if your brother offends you, then forgive him.
For our Lord says,
"if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
May the Lord help us all to successfully struggle during this time of Great Lent, so that we might worthily meet the bright and glorious day of Christ's Pascha, so that we might worthily meet the end of our own lives, and so that we might worthily, by God's grace, meet Christ as His second coming.