Today is the first Sunday of a three-week period before Great Lent in the Orthodox Church. This is a preparatory time for the spiritual journey of Lent. It is a time that Orthodox Christians attempt to draw closer to God through worship, prayer, fasting, and acts of charity(Note: This is not the only time we do that - it’s just a time we set in the church year to be particularly mindful of it.) The Triodion, a special liturgical book used during the Lenten period, will be used today as it contains the hymns, prayers, and services of Lent held between this Sunday and Pascha Sunday. ...continue reading "Sunday Reflections – The Publican and the Pharisee"