Friday, March 31, 2023

Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Mary of Egypt)

Hello friends, and welcome to our last post before Holy Week, WOW! This Great Lent absolutely flew by, and I've been trying to savor every moment. Holy Week is one of my favorite times of the entire liturgical year, so I'm gearing up for that big time. We have a busy weekend ahead with some enjoyable activities (plays and dance shows to see, the church Easter Bazaar) before launching into the stark splendor of Palm Sunday. This past weekend, we lit nearly all of the candles on our Lenten festal wreath, 5 purple candles. The final 6th candle will be swapped from purple into a special black candle just for Holy Week. 😍 Then the yellow candle for Easter day, and afterwards we'll move into a full set of white candles for the Easter season until Pentecost!


But first, we have some additional journeying to do this Great Lent. This past Sunday, the feast of St. Mary of Egypt, was the one year anniversary of attending my very first Divine Liturgy with my Anne. 🥰 I remember Father's homily about her quite well, detailing her life prior to finding Christ, and then her sojourning into the desert to live an isolated life of repentance and faith for many decades prior to her death. Not long before she died, she encountered Saint Zosimas of Palestine, who gave her the Eucharist, and promised to return the following Lent to give her communion again. But the next year when he looked for her, he found that she had died, seemingly soon after he left her the previous year, and thus soon after receiving the Eucharist. The story so made an impression on me that one of the first icons I ever purchased is of St. Mary of Egypt receiving communion from St. Zosimas of Palestine:

This past weekend also marked the closest Sunday to one of the 12 Great Feasts, the feast of the Annunciation, and Father was wearing his Marian blue vestments to mark the occasion. I invested in a bigger set of the Great Feasts icons to hang in our kitchen so that we can all see and learn from them much more easily when we sit down at mealtimes:

Well, I purchased the sets of the spring and summer feasts. I'll get fall and winter ones closer to September and the feast of the Veneration of the Cross, to divide up the cost a bit! Legacy Icons has a great system for that

My kids are both off from school for Holy Week, and thus this past week they had some liturgical activities and confession in lieu of that. I am very much looking forward to the special liturgies and prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours that are coming up!

How are you preparing for Holy Week? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

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