The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is the first Sunday of a three-week period prior to the commencement of Great Lent. It marks the beginning of a time of preparation for the spiritual journey of Lent, a time for Orthodox Christians to draw closer to God through worship, prayer, fasting, and acts of charity. It is also on this day that the Triodion is introduced, a liturgical book that contains the services from this Sunday, the tenth before Pascha (Easter), to Great and Holy Saturday.
“To be resurrected into a new life in Christ requires one also to suffer with Christ through crucifixion. This is precisely what the entire season of the Triodion, Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha mean to Orthodox Christians. The Triodion prepares us to undergo this annual renewal process of our life in Christ. It is four Sundays of spiritual preparation to undergo a more intense level of fasting and prayer during Great Lent which will serve as a means towards an end that will bear spiritual fruit.” Read More