Clean Wednesday: Spiritual Fast

My dish for the first Lenten potluck of 2015 is marinating in the fridge, but as much as I’m looking forward to the potluck, the thing that’s making me really happy is thinking about hearing Let My Prayer Arise for the first time. And the noise of everyone shuffling around in the chapel trying to find a spot to make prostrations during the Prayer of St. Ephraim. We also have some great stichera that teach us about the true meaning of the fast – that’s the great thing about Orthodox liturgical music, it has real meaning and you can learn so much from it. If you attend all the services for one year and pay attention to the music, you will learn everything the Church believes.

Here are a few stichera to get us through these last few hours before Presanctified Liturgy. I hope you all get to enjoy breaking the fast afterwards (to some degree) with your church family like I will! *Not the fast, the Clean Week/Eucharistic fast 🙂

While fasting physically, brethren, let us also fast spiritually. Let us loose every knot of iniquity. Let us tear up every unrighteous bond. Let us distribute bread to the hungry, and welcome into our homes those who have no roof over their heads, so that we may receive the Great Mercy from Christ our God.

Elias was enlightened through fasting. He mounted the chariot of good works and was taken up to the heights of heaven. Emulate him, O humble soul. Abstain from every evil and jealousy, from every fleeting pleasure, so that ye might be cleansed of corrupting disease, the fires of Gehenna, crying to Christ: O Lord, glory to Thee.

O divine apostles, fervent intercessors for the world, defenders of the Orthodox. Ye possess the authority to entreat Christ our God with boldness. We entreat ye to pray for us, O honorable ones, that we might spend the good time of fasting in joyousness and receive the grace of the consubstantial Trinity. Pray for our souls, O great and glorious preachers.

0 thoughts on “Clean Wednesday: Spiritual Fast

  1. Have you been doing the Cannon of St. Andrew this week. Man it really cuts deep! Can’t hide from it!
    Our first Presanctified Liturgy will be this Friday. I don’t believe we are having a pot luck though. I am sad about that. Usually on Wednesday Presanctifieds we do. The best thing is on Sunday evenings we have a Vespers service with all area churches. Different area churches host each week of Great Lent – we worship – there is a speaker – then we break bread and enjoy fellowship. It is so great!! Greek, Russian, Antiochian, Romanian, Bulgarian, and us little old Heinz 57 varieties converts :-)!! I see old friends make new friends – fabulous!! We have a few pan Orthodox groups here in Akron, Ohio. Truly a blessing!!

    • No, we didn’t do the Great Canon 🙁 One Antiochian parish in town does Great Compline on Mondays throughout Lent, each parish does Presanctified on Wednesdays with followed by a potluck (at least the Antiochian parishes), and then we do a pan-Orthodox Akathist service on Fridays with the parishes taking turn to host – just like on your Sunday evenings, the Akathist is followed by a guest speaker, but instead of a potluck the host parish provides the food. My favorite is the Romanian Church, they made the best desserts 🙂

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