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SUNDAY OF SAINT JOHN THE CLIMACUS (JOHN OF THE LADDER)

Saint John Climacus (also known as John of the Ladder) is revered by the Holy Church as a great ascetic and author of a remarkable book called the "Ladder of the Spirit" (i.e. a ladder for spiritual ascent).

SUNDAY OF THE CROSS

The Week of the Cross marks the middle of Lent. On this Sunday the Church begins special glorification of Christ's Cross and recalls His suffering and the death of the Lord for our salvation. Without the death on the Cross, the Glorious Resurrection is impossible. The worship of the Cross strengthens the spirit of the faithful's journey through Lent and inspires them for the further effort of Lenten deeds.

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF THE LENT - WEEK OF SAINT GREGORY PALAMAS

In the second week of Lent we commemorate St Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica. In the second week of the Great Lent the Holy Church tells us about the mystery of the light, to which we must commune if we want to see the Resurrection of Christ. St. Gregory of Thessalonica and theological controversies in the fourteenth century associated with his name taught that the light of the Transfiguration is a light uncreated. Disproving the heresy of Western theologians, this teaching was reminiscent of the word of Scripture that God is light, and, confessing God the Father and God the Son, Light from Light, true God from true God, we believe that God the Light created another, created light , the one mentioned in the book of Genesis: "And God said, let there be light."

SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY

The Sunday of Orthodoxy (also known as the Triumph of Orthodoxy) is celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent (six Sundays before Pascha). The Feast is kept in memory of the final defeat of Iconoclasm and the restoration of the icons to the churches.
After the death of the last Iconoclast emperor, Theophilos, his widow the regent Theodora and Patriarch Methodios, summoned the Synod of Constantinople in 843 to restore the icons to the Church.
After Orthros, a procession is made with icons around the church.
Once the procession arrives at the place, the Synodicon (decree of the Synod of Constantinople) is read aloud by the deacon. This Synodicon begins with the memory of certain saints, confessors and heroes of the faith, to each of whose names the people cry out: "Eternal Memory!" three times. Then follows a long list of heretics of all kinds, to each of which the answer is: "Anathema" once or thrice. These heretics comprise all the major opponents of the Orthodox Faith, Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, Monothelites, Iconoclasts, and so on. Then comes again "Eternal Memory" to certain pious emperors, from Constantine the Great on.
The troparion of the feast:
We venerate Your most pure image, O Good One,
and ask forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ God.
Of Your own will You were pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh
to deliver Your creatures from bondage to the enemy.
Therefore with thanksgiving we cry aloud to You:
You have filled all with joy, O our Savior,
by coming to save the world.
Please note that this year the Pan-Orthodoxy Vespers will be held in Serbian church in Mississauga 2520 Dixie RD, Mississauga, ON L4Y 2A5, March 5 at 6pm

Forgiveness Sunday

Forgiveness Sunday, or Cheesefare Sunday, Sunday of Adam's exile from Paradise is the fourth and last of the four Sundays of preparation for Lent in Orthodox Christianity. On this day the Orthodox Christians hear the Gospel reading on the forgiveness of sins, fasting, and gathering of celestial treasures. On this day all the faithful ask forgiveness of each other - to begin the Lent with a good heart, to focus on the spiritual life, to purify the heart from sin in confession, and with a pure heart to meet the Easter, the the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is the last day when non-Lenten food can be eaten (but already without meat).

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