Schedule of Lenten Services
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The Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephraim

O Lord and Master of my life, Give me not the spirit of laziness,
despair, lust of power, or idle talk.

Give rather, the spirit of chastity, humility, patience,
and love to your servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, Grant me to see my own sins
and not to judge my brother,
for You are Blessed forever, Amen!

LENTEN GUIDE 2024

Great Lent begins on March 18, and is followed by Holy Week, 
leading us to Pascha, Easter Sunday, May 5, 2024!

We will greet the holy season of Great Lent with joy and enthusiasm and with the hope that we will be found worthy of its beauty and power.  It is the season of repentance, a time to slow down and once again rediscover the meaning of our life in Christ.  It is the time set aside each year for a renewal of our soul in the hope which has been given to us in Christ.  This simple Lenten Guide highlights some of the Lenten services and activities taking place this year. Please try to take advantage of the unique opportunity of this holy season for the purpose of spiritual cleansing and healing.  May God help us all to do so!

Each Sunday during Great Lent, Matins is celebrated at 9:00 a.m. and the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. as usual. However, during the five Sundays in Great Lent, the Liturgy of Saint Basil is celebrated, instead of the usual Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. The Liturgy of Saint Basil contains some of the most beautiful prayers of the Church.

The Sacrament of Holy Confession

The Sacrament of Penance—Confession is our opportunity for  reconciliation with God and man in the Church. There are three main elements to the act of formal penance:   Sincere sorrow for sins committed; an open and heartfelt confession of sins; and the prayer of absolution given by God through the priest and through which the forgiveness of God is bestowed upon the repentant sinner.

To prepare for Confession, you may use the guide on our website: Click here

Holy Confession is offered as follows:
Saturdays 6:00 p.m. and Sundays 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. (so that the liturgy may start on time at 10:00 a.m)..  Confession of families together may also be scheduled or by appointment with the Dean.

This Lenten Guide

The schedule of special services and events  taking place during this holy  season of lent is provided on in this small publication. For more detailed information and  explanation of Great Lent, its special features and characteristics, please visit Saint Steven’s  website at www.saintstevens.org

SUNDAYS OF GREAT LENT
Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special theme.

Sunday, March 24, 2024
THE SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY
The First Sunday of Lent is called The Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. It is a historical feast that commemorates the return of the icons to the churches in the year 843 after the heresy of iconoclasm was overcome. The spiritual theme of the day is first of all the victory of the True Faith. "This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith" (1 John 5: 4). Secondly, the icons of the saints bear witness that man, "created in the image and likeness of God" (Genesis 1: 26), becomes holy and godlike through the purification of himself as God's living image.  

Sunday, March 31, 2024
SECOND SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT:  SAINT GREGORY PALAMAS
The Second Sunday of Lent is the commemoration of St. Gregory Palamas. It was St. Gregory (d. 1359) who bore living witness that men can become divine through the grace of God in the Holy Spirit; and that even in this life, by prayer and fasting, human beings can become participants of the uncreated light of God's divine glory.

Sunday, April 7, 2023
THIRD SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT:  VENERATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
The Third Sunday of Lent is that of the Veneration of the Cross. The cross stands in the midst of the church in the middle of the lenten season not merely to remind men of Christ's redemption and to keep before them the goal of their efforts, but also to be venerated as that reality by which man must live to be saved. "He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10: 38).  For in the Cross of Christ Crucified lies both "the power of God and the wisdom of God" for those being saved (1 Corinthians 1: 24).

Sunday, April 14, 2024
FOURTH SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT: SAINT JOHN OF THE LADDER
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is dedicated to  St. John of the Ladder (Climacus), the author of the work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. The Abbot of Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai (6th century) stands as a witness to the violent effort needed for entrance into God's Kingdom (Matthew 10: 12). The spiritual struggle of the Christian life is a real one, "not against flesh and blood, but against...the rulers of the present darkness...the hosts of  wickedness in heavenly places..." (Ephesians 6: 12). St. John encourages the faithful in their efforts for, according to the Lord, only "he who endures to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24: 13).

Sunday, April 21, 2024
FIFTH SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT: SAINT MARY OF EGYPT
The Fifth Sunday of Lent recalls the memory of St. Mary of Egypt, the repentant harlot. St. Mary tells us, first of all, that no amount of sin and wickedness can keep a person from God if he truly repents. Christ himself has come "to call sinners to repentance" and to save them from their sins (Luke 5: 32). In  addition, St. Mary tells us that it is never too late in life - or in Lent - to repent. Christ will gladly receive all who come to Him even at the eleventh hour of their lives. But their coming must be in serious and sincere repentance.  [From The Orthodox Faith by Fr.+ Thomas Hopko]

THE PAN-ORTHODOX CELEBRATION OF ICONS
Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
at the Holy Virgin Mary Cathedaral in Los Angeles

 

THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION
Sunday, April 7, 2024

The services of the feast of the Annunciation, the Matins and the Divine Liturgy, stress again and again the joyous news of the salvation of men in the birth of the Saviour.

Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery. The Son of God becomes the Son of the virgin, as Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you(Troparion).

The celebration of the Annunciation is the feast of our own reception of the glad tidings of salvation, and our own glorification of the maiden Mary who becomes the Mother of God in the flesh.

 

LAZARUS SATURDAY AND PALM SUNDAY
APRIL 27 - 28, 2024: 

The weekend feast celebrates the raising of Lazarus and the Triumphant Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. It is followed by Holy Week, also known as Passion Week, leading up to the “Three-Day Pascha” Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Pascha, Easter Sunday, when once again in a very special way, our life in Christ centers around a Great Mystery–the Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
Holy Confession is offered as follows:
Saturdays 6:00 p.m. and Sundays 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. so that the liturgy may start on time at 10:00 a.m..  Confession may also be scheduled or by appointment with the Dean.

 

 LITURGY OF PRE-SANCTIFIED GIFTS
 * Wednesdays of Lent at St. Steven’s, 10:00 a.m. on: March 20,  and April 3, and  April 17

And at 7:00 p.m. on March 27, and April 10

*Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of Holy Week at 10:00 a.m. on: April 29, 30, and May 1.

 

AKATHIST HYMNS TO THE BLESSED THEOTOKOS
Celebrated with the Evening Service of Small Compline
on Fridays at 7:00 p.m during Great Lent

The Akathist Hymn is a profound, devotional poem or chant, which sings the praises of the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God.  It is chanted in all Orthodox Churches throughout the world during the five Fridays in the Great Lent and constitutes a very concrete spiritual preparation for the Holy Week and Easter Services.

Devotional Hymns to the Mother of God are as ancient as the first Christian Church. The title of the Hymn" Akathistos," in Greek meaning 'not seated,' as the faithful stand in praise of the Blessed Mother of God, the Incarnation of the Son of God, and their ultimate salvation in Him.

The Akathist Hymn is a very important and indeed an integral part of our religious and ecclesiastical life. When we are present during the first Friday Service, we firmly realize that we commence to ascend the spiritual steps of the lengthy Lenten period, to finally reach the peak with our Lord's Glorious   Resurrection.

Join us at St. Steven's with family and friends on the following days for this beautiful service: Fridays, March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19


CATHEDRAL MEN'S LENTEN RETREAT AND PARISH FACILITY CLEAN UP DAY
Saturday, April 13, 2024

DIOCESAN WOMEN'S LENTEN RETREAT  
The Importance of Family in Today’s World Fr. Josiah Trenham, Guest Speaker 

Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20.  For more information CLICK HERE

 

HOLY UNCTION OF THE SICK
Great and Holy Wednesday, May 1, 2024  at 7:00 p.m.

 

THE “FEAST OF FEASTS” PASCHA-EASTER SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2024
Matins and Liturgy 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night, May 4, 2024

Vespers and Banquet, 12:00 Noon on Sunday, May 5, 2024

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Saint Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
1621 West Garvey Avenue
Alhambra, CA 91803
 

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Saint Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
1621 West Garvey Avenue
Alhambra, CA 91803

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