4th Sunday of Lent

On March 25th, on the 4th Sunday of Lent our parishioners gathered for the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. The Liturgy was served by priest Igor Tarasov.
During his sermon the Rector lectured on Divine Liturgy. Fr. Igor shared some interesting facts about the place of the Nicene Creed in the liturgical celebrations in different ritual traditions. Roman Catholics, Armenians and Syro-Malabara Christians (in India) say the Creed right after the reading of the Gospel. In their rites it belongs to the Liturgy of the Word (our Liturgy of the Catechumens). In our Byzantine ritual which became the Orthodox tradition we include the Creed into the Liturgy of the Faithful. We say it right before the Eucharistic canon, or Anaphora. Fr. Igor also mentioned the symbolic meaning of the removal of the large veil from the gifts and of the waving or shaking the veil above them during the Creed. It symbolizes the stone being removed from the Tomb of Christ and nearness of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. Waving the veil also recalls the earthquake felt in the time of the Resurrection of Christ.
After the Creed the clergy serving the Liturgy (the deacon and the priest) have a dialogue with the faithful called the Eucharistic Dialogue. It includes an appeal to the faithful to stand aright for the offering of the holy oblation and a blessing with a wish the congregation to be blessed by the Holy Trinity.
Following the dismissal of the Liturgy Fr. Igor recalled the honored Saint of today’s Sunday, Venerable John Climacus. This holy Father wrote an ascetic book called “The Ladder of Divine Ascent”. It describes a number of steps of the spiritual work and warfare against sins and vices in order to achieve spiritual perfection and ascend to the heavenly glory. Fr. Igor reminded parishioners that we are called for perfection and should read that important book. “it was said that the book of St. John should be read almost the whole life. It is not like a novel that we can read in one week or one month and then totally understand it. The content of the St. John’s book is to be experienced by our own spiritual work against our sins and passions in order to get closer to out Creator,” – said Fr. Igor.