Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for Holy and Great Lent 2017

As we begin this sacred journey through Holy and Great Lent, through a time of earnest prayer and sincere reflection, we are guided by the presence of our Lord and the hymns and prayers of this season to experience the power of God’s grace.
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2016)

The spiritual impact of this sacred time of year is tremendous if we dedicate our full being—heart, body, soul and mind—to God. This transformation in our lives and the witness of life and faith we offer others through Great Lent is affirmed in the opening of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2015)

In the hymns and services of the Triodion period and at the entrance of this holy season of Great Lent, we are called to repentance. We are invited to come before God in the humility of the Publican. We are beckoned to return to His dwelling and His compassionate embrace as the Prodigal Son. We are confronted with the causes of our separation from God and our need for His great mercy. It is truly a time of repentance as we prepare to commemorate and contemplate all that has been done for us through Christ our Lord.
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Encyclical for the Beginning of Great Lent (2014)

On this journey we are led by the prayers and services of the Church to reflect on our struggles and our spiritual challenges. We are called into the holiness of worship and the presence of God, so that we might see our weaknesses and the aspects of our lives that are contrary to His divine and saving will. However, Lent is not a time of despair, hopelessness and defeat. It is a season of grace.
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2013)

Among the Saints are a group of holy people who were called by God to preach repentance, justice, and mercy - the Prophets. During this season of Great Lent, we encounter the message of the Prophets through readings and commemorations, and especially in their role of preaching the restoration and salvation that would come through the Incarnation and Passion of Christ. At the Vespers of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the first Sunday of Great Lent, we sing: "The divinely inspired Prophets preached You in word and honored You in works.... They renounced the whole world for the Gospel's sake, and in their suffering they were conformed to Your Passion which they had foretold."
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2012)

As we begin this season of Holy and Great Lent, we do so in anticipation of the blessings we will receive as we commune with Christ through the special services, observances, and disciplines of our Orthodox Christian faith. We embark on a journey of faith, with the destination of the joy of Pascha before us, knowing that abundant spiritual treasure awaits if we are committed to intensifying prayer and fasting and service to others in charity.
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2011)

We are truly blessed and filled with anticipation as we enter into the holy and reflective season of Great Lent. It is blessed because it is an intense time of prayer, fasting, worship and service, which leads us into greater communion with our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. It is also a time of reflection when we examine our entire being - mind, body, and soul - and seek spiritual victory through the power and grace of God over anything that separates us from Him.
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2010)

We begin this holy season of the year in anticipation of the great spiritual blessings that we will receive through a deeper commitment to God and through our repentance and humility as we live each day in His divine presence. Great and Holy Lent is a very treasured period, filled with moments in which we can focus our hearts and minds on the grace of God. Through daily prayer, fasting, worship, and offering for the needs of others, and by the grace of God our lives will continue to be transformed by Him and our souls will be drawn closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Encyclical on the Beginning of Great and Holy Lent (2009)

On this first day of Great and Holy Lent, which our Holy Orthodox Church designates as "Clean Monday," we are called to intensify the manner by which we contemplate our lives.
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Encyclical for Great and Holy Lent (2008)

Once again we express our gratitude to God for bringing us to the beginning of Great and Holy Lent. We recognize this as an extension of our time on this Earth to experience another Lenten season, another period to come closer to Him and to His infinite and saving love. We begin the period of Great and Holy Lent on this day known as Clean Monday, an appropriate term that implies purity of mind, heart, and soul. This purity is paramount to a productive start to our Lenten journey, which we begin with vigilant prayer, fasting, and worship so that we may properly orient ourselves as we enter the Lenten season. Throughout this forty day period, we review with heightened scrutiny our shortcomings, our inadequacies, our inabilities to live up to our full potential as Christians, and the myriad of ways in which we may have fallen short of expressing the fullness of our love to God and neighbor.
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Encyclical for Great and Holy Lent (2007)

Once again the most inspiring season of Great and Holy Lent is upon us, a time in the life of our Church in which we anticipate remarkable opportunities to grow spiritually in Christ. Before all other matters, we are thankful to God for the gracious extension of time that He has given to each of us to live on this, His Earth, that He created out of His love for us. We are thankful for the gracious addition of one more Lenten season to our life, a season that enables us to experience the unique blessings associated with our identity as Orthodox Christians.
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Encyclical for Great and Holy Lent (2006)

As we begin the season of Great and Holy Lent, we embark upon a spiritual journey replete with abundant opportunities for spiritual growth in Christ. This forty-day period is a time for intensified prayer and fasting. It is a time whereby the Church invites us to seek the forgiveness of our loving and compassionate God, to distance ourselves from sin, and to remain steadfast along the path of righteousness toward His heavenly Kingdom.
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Encyclical for Great and Holy Lent (2005)

As we begin the holy Lenten period, it is important to affirm that we are entering a very sacred time of the year that has tremendous spiritual potential for our souls, our relationship with God, and our life in His Kingdom. Lent is not merely a chronological marking of the days and weeks that lead to the commemoration of the Feast of Feasts. It is a gift, a spiritual treasure, a special opportunity to direct our full attention to the cultivation of the soul through repentance and prayer.
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Encyclical for Holy and Great Lent (2004)

As we embark upon the sacred period of Holy and Great Lent, we approach the salvific Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, entering into a season filled with resplendent opportunities to prepare ourselves for the sacred and exhilarating celebration of His Resurrection. Our journey throughout these next few weeks is, thus, of extraordinary significance for our spiritual lives. During this time, our occasions for prayer and worship are greatly increased, and our fasting efforts are deeply intensified. As we cultivate these important Lenten disciplines, we become the recipients of a magnificent myriad of spiritual fruits.
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