TRANSITIONING TO HOLY WEEK
“We have finished the spiritually-beneficial forty days! O Lover of Mankind, we ask: Grant us also to see the Holy Week of Your passion, that we may glorify Your mighty deeds, and Your ineffable dispensation for our sakes, as we sing with one mind: Lord, glory to You!” (Lenten Triodion, Friday of Week 6)
Today is a difficult day to write one of these reflections, because there is so much going on in our liturgical calendar(s). Some of us, on the Older Calendar, are celebrating the great feast of the Annunciation, or “the beginning of our salvation” (as this feast is called in its Troparion-hymn). At the same time, we are transitioning to the beginning of Holy Week, having “finished the forty days” of Lent, according to the Byzantine liturgical calendar. Today Lazarus rests in his tomb for the third day, to be raised from the dead tomorrow by the all-powerful Word of God.
As I am carried into all these mysteries, which unfold before me in our beautiful traditions, I ask in the above-quoted hymn that I be given “to see” the great, “ineffable dispensation for our sakes.” Indeed, I need to ask for this vision, lest the hustle-and-bustle of my pre-Paschal preparations distracts me from the Vanquisher of Death, Whom we now prepare to accompany into Jerusalem. Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!