This service book provides the texts for services in the pre-Lenten weeks of preparation, Great Lent, and Holy Week—offering many of the texts necessary to observe the great fast. It contains all the offices to be found in the Greek Triodion, excluding the daily Triodion hymns outside the first week of Lent and Holy Week. This classic English edition, translated by Mother Mary and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, was first published by Faber & Faber in 1978. It offers an extensive introduction, containing “The Meaning of the Great Fast” by Met. Kallistos, and a section on the structure of the Lenten offices.
“The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God.” (Page 16)
“The Fathers simply state, as a guiding principle, that we should never eat to satiety but always rise from the table feeling that we could have taken more and that we are now ready for prayer.” (Page 17)
“On the contrary, whatever we achieve in the Lenten fast is to be regarded as a free gift of grace from God.” (Page 21)
“During the forty days that now follow, although this wider perspective is never forgotten, there is an increasing concentration upon the central moment in sacred history, upon the saving event of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, which makes possible man’s return to Paradise and inaugurates the End.” (Page 47)
“The resurrection of Lazarus is a prophecy in the form of an action. It foreshadows Christ’s own Resurrection eight days later, and at the same time it anticipates the resurrection of all the righteous on the Last Day: Lazarus is ‘the saving first-fruits of the regeneration of the world’.” (Page 58)
Mother Mary is a nun at the Monastery of the Veil of the Mother of God in Bussy-en-Othe, France. She has been involved in translating a number of divine service texts into English.
Kallistos Ware is a titular metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Great Britain. He served as Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at Oxford University from 1966–2001.