Schedule of events during the Great Lent at SBGOC this year.
Resources for Great Lent
Advice for Great Lent:
1. Set your dietary rules – Set your mind on how you will fast/abstain. The Orthodox Church calls all its members to abstain from any types of animal foods (meat, chicken, fish) as well as dairy products like cheese and milk. The Church also calls for us to fast (meaning not eat anything – water is allowed) typically until 12pm or 3pm on Wednesday and Fridays. If these rules seem to difficult to you, then set a rule that will work. The goal is to set a rule and work on obeying the rule so that we practice self-control. Feel free to talk to Vijay Achen to figure out the best options for you and your family. (Read below for further advice on how to fast)
2. Set your prayer schedule – Great lent is a time where increased prayer is needed. Look at your daily schedule and try to find set times to pray. Use the Daily Prayers of the Church. Talk to Vijay Achen if you need help finding a prayer rule that works for you. (Read below for further advice on how to pray)
3. Set your spiritual enrichment – Instead of occupying ourselves with TV and other entertainment. During these 40 days, find other things to do to enrich your mind and spirit like reading the bible and spiritual books, working on serving others, listening to podcasts/sermons, etc…
4. Look for Opportunities to Give – Look into ways to use your time, talent, finances, and resources to help those in need or the Church.
How to Fast:
- If you are new to fasting, then it is a good idea to take it slow. If you have fasted before, it is good to increase your personal rule. Every year we should take on a new challenge that is doable and will be spiritually beneficial.
- Fasting requires that we abstain from food. For beginners, try missing breakfast on Wednesday and Friday. Or try, skipping lunch one day. Whenever you skip a meal, replace it by “feeding” on Scripture or praying. Those who are more experienced with fasting can try intermittent fasting.
- Fasting also requires reducing the quantity of food that you eat. So, watch your portions.
- Abstain from certain types of food. For beginners, abstain from meat and fish. For experienced, abstain from dairy.
How to Pray:
- For beginners, find a daily time to pray by yourself for 5 to 10 minutes. You can say the kauma (Holy Art Thou O God…) or spend time in silence.
- Pray as a family.
- Try using the Church’s Lenten Prayers. See prayer links above or check out this link: – http://www.ds-wa.org/lenten-daily-prayers.html
- Read the Bible. Start a book of the Bible or a reading plan (there are many apps on the phone for that) Or use the Malankara Church’s Daily Bible Reading List for Great Lent: http://mosc.in/lectionary/great-lent
- Read a spiritual book or listen to a podcast and spend time reflecting on it – http://www.ancientfaith.com/