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His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has raised the bar substantially for the Antiochian Orthodox Archiocese for Great Lent.

www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/liturgical_instructions_spring_2016_0.pdf [antiochian.org]

This week, all parishes must serve Great Compline with a quarter of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete each week night Monday - Thursday, with Presanctified iturgy on Wednesday and Salutations on Friday.

The subsequent three weeks follow typical Otthodox Lenten practice of Great Compline one evening, Presantified on Wednesdays, and Salutations on Friday.

During the Fifth Week of Great Lent all parishes are required to serve the ENTIRE Great Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete on Wednesday along with a recitation of the Vita of St. Mary of Egypt. Presanctified is to be served on Thursday of that week.

Pray for Megadynamis for the faithful of the Archdiocese; and, espeically, for its many bi-vocational Clergy.

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I bear the name of the Apostle who doubted, so my initial skepticism may be understandable although not excusable.

But having watched my parish from the choir, I can now say that I not only understand but appreciate His Eminence's wisdom. First; the Great Canon is so profound that it cannot be truly apprehended in just a single recitation. Second; on a purely practical level the serving of Great Compline on each weekday presents more opportunities for the faithful to experience the richness of this office.

It was largely a different group every night. One very small core carried over; but the others varied; and, on the whole, more were able to enter into the Lenten journey through this profound portal than in previous years.

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I love the Canon. It's gut wrenching, but redemptive at the same time. I went on Monday, then I realized I wanted to go back, when it was offered that Wednesday.


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