2nd Sunday of Lent

On the 2nd Sunday of Lent priest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy at St. George’s Church. On this day we commemorate St. Gregory Palamas, a great theologian and teacher of the Church. Our particular, Russian Church also celebrates gathering feast of all Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves.
Fr. Igor had a homily followed after the reading from the Gospel. He said that on the 2nd Sunday of our Lenten journey we are given an instructive story from the holy Gospel about our Lord Jesus Christ healing a paralytic. But before the healing our Lord forgave the sins of that man. That teaches us about the power granted by God to His Son, and through Him to His Church, to absolve people from their sins. Therefore, we should use the Mystery of Penance, especially during Lent. Penance helps us in our spiritual efforts during such a special time. And the examples of St. Gregory Palamas and of the holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves are also very helpful at this point of our Lenten pilgrimage toward the holy Resurrection. St. Gregory Palamas taught about uncreated light of God, the divine energy that may be obtained through intense prayer and spiritual life, and Venerable Fathers of the Caves did practice spiritual and prayerful life and became the partakers of that light.
Fr. Igor then continued his sermon with a lecture on Liturgy. He described the ceremony of the Great Entrance pointing out that the whole Liturgy is an act of universal remembrance. That is why at the Great Entrance we have a commemoration of the Church hierarchy, clergy, civil authorities, founders and benefactors of the temple, and all Orthodox Christians. We ask God to remember them in His Kingdom. Fr. Igor further described the symbolism of the ceremonies at the end of the Great Entrance. When the priest places the Gifts upon the altar, takes off small covers from the vessels and cover them with the veil he recalls taking down of the body of Jesus from the Cross and laying Him in the tomb. This is why the priest, doing so, recites the troparia describing those holy actions.
At the end of the Liturgy Fr. Igor reminded faithful of the celebrations of the Presanctified Liturgy on Fridays. He invited parishioners to attend those services. Such services may comfort the people in their Lenten endeavor. Thanks to them faithful may receive the Eucharist and participate in divine worship not only on Sundays, but on some other days of the week.