Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life; for my soul rises early to pray toward your holy Temple, bearing the temple of my body all defiled. But in your compassion, purify me by the loving-kindness of your mercy.
Saturday night marked the beginning of the Lenten Triodion — the three weeks of preparation which lead up to Great Lent which prepares us for Holy Week which prepares us for Pascha. The Triodion is also what we call the book of Lenten hymnography, so at a certain point during Saturday Vespers the choir stopped in the middle of the verses of “set a watch O Lord” and Father John came out with the Triodion book, prostrated in front of the icon of Christ, and then gave the book to the choir from which they chanted about the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. I’m assuming this is a tradition from before the days of photo copiers, because they chanted the rest of the Lenten hymns from their Vespers binders. Anyway, it has been officially signaled — Lent will be starting in three weeks! No doubt I’ll write more on that at some point.