This week is Holy Week. This week offers us so many blessings. This week we are called to sacrifice in order to honour and commemorate (as we can never full repay it) the ultimate sacrifice Christ made for mankind. This week is a chance for deep repentance (change). This week is an opportunity to look inward, to examine ourselves, to see who we are and where we are going. Let us seize this week. Let us seize everyday as a gift from God. Let us continually focus on the Lord this week, on His Saving Passion.
If someone was to offer us a cure for cancer, heart disease or any other illness, would we not run to them? Would we not want to seek them out and learn more? Well, Christ and the Church offer all who believe an indestructible remedy for something much greater: death. By His death, He has destroyed death.
Therefore, let us make haste to this week's many holy services; let us make haste to confession, repentance and humility; let us make haste so that when on Paschal Sunday (April 20th) the Priest chants, "Come, receive the light from the unwaning light, and glorify Christ, Who has risen from the dead," we will truly feel its power in our hearts and in our souls. We will feel it and it will give us the courage and strength to face any obstacles. Let us strive to be transported from death to life and from earth to Heaven.
For the faithful, there is nothing greater than this: not work, not errands nor the daily running of routines. For the faithful, this is the week when we hear so many beautiful and powerful prayers (like those below) inspiring us to live a more virtuous life. This is the week where the noise and distractions of the world should especially fall on deaf ears. Where we remember, above all, that "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Let us not allow our relationship with Christ and the Church to be a transactional one. Let us do what the Gospel directs us to. Let us practice the holy words of Saint John Climacus:
"Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not hate anyone; do not be absent from the divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness..."
Bridegroom (Nymphios) Service Prayers
Behold the Bridegroom comes in the midst of the night; and blessed is the servant, whom He shall find vigilant; and unworthy is he, whom he shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, that you will not be overcome by sleep, lest you be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom. Wherefore, rouse yourself, crying out: "Holy, Holy, Holy are You, our God, through the protection of the Heavenly Hosts save us."
I see Your Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Saviour, and I have no wedding garment, that I may enter therein; O Giver of Light, make radiant the vesture of my soul, and save me.