The Beginning of the Lenten Triodion

Icon of the Publican and the Pharisee in Saint Michael's Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Icon of the Publican and the Pharisee in Saint Michael's Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Throughout the world today Orthodox Christians mark the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, known for the Gospel account in Luke 18 read at the divine liturgy that juxtaposes the self-righteousness of the Pharisee with the deep humility and repentance of the Publican.

On this Sunday we also begin singing hymns in preparation for the Great Fast, which itself begins on Monday, February 27. These hymns are taken from the ancient book of lenten hymnography called the Triodion. One is Open to Me the Doors of Repentance, sung in English beautifully below.

The Royal Hours of Christmas

Join us at Saint Elizabeth Friday at 10:00 am to celebrate the majestic service of the Royal Hours of Christmas!

Prepare, O Bethlehem,
For Eden has been opened to all.
Adorn yourself, O Ephratha,
For the Tree of Life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave.
Her womb is a spiritual paradise planted with the fruit divine;
If we eat of it, we shall live forever and not die like Adam.
Christ is coming to restore the image which He made in the beginning.

--Hymn of the Prefeast of Christmas