Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

The First Sunday of Great Lent

Posted in Fasting, Sermons, Uncategorized by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 16 March 2019

Glory to God! We have completed the First Week of Great Lent. For many people, the First Week of Lent is when they try to fast or pray more than they are used to, but the rest of Lent until the Passion Week is somewhat less strict. Psychologically, this is quite understandable: there is still almost a month and a half until Passion Week–a period of time that is too long for most people to continue to maintain the same intensity of asceticism. And so, many of us revert back to DEFCON 4 or even 4.5–maintaining some notion of the fact that we are still in the middle of Great Lent, but otherwise re-entering our normal everyday routines. For most lay people (and I have no business writing to or about monastics, since I myself have never been one) this is very much normal and to be expected. (more…)


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Great Lent: An Instruction Manual

Posted in Fasting, Sermons, Uncategorized by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 9 March 2019

See also: 2010- Forgiveness Sunday

It is that time of year again, and the internet is filling up with homilies and musings on the theme of Great Lent. It seems that every year the messages are the same: be kind, pray more, fast more–and, by the way, here are a few Lenten recipes to die for. On the one hand, the repetitions are understandable.

First, what more can be said that has not already been said over the centuries? Any modern writer who wishes to write about Lent inevitably has to take into account the very same writings of the very same great saints that every other writer has been reading and quoting for a millennium. Of course, there are some occasional extravagant takes on the issue of Lent. One priest posted an opinion, not altogether unfounded, on a reputable web resource that goes roughly as follows: “Lent is not about food. If you want yogurt, eat your yogurt. If you want a beef cutlet, eat your beef cutlet. Just don’t devour your neighbor.” (more…)

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