After the challenges of Great Lent and the special intensity that many express and share during Holy Week, once we have had our Pascha celebration, with all the singing, bell ringing, egg cracking, and lamb devouring, (not to mention the dancing!) many experience a bit of a letdown or even depression. Once the celebrations come to an end and the clean-up of the Church and our homes is complete, many begin to miss the “spiritual high” they experienced during Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha. If you experience what I’m talking about, then pay close attention to what I’m going to say next…
BRAVO! GOOD FOR YOU! WAY TO GO!
That means that you accepted the Church’s invitation during Great Lent and Holy Week and actively engaged in your faith. This may even be the first time you paid attention to the words because you FINALLY bought a Holy Week book and you could follow during the long prayers and hymns of Holy Week. You just completed two months of intense spiritual exercise and now you’re wondering, what comes next?
While the Church services are fewer following Pascha, your involvement in the spiritual life doesn’t have to come to an end. The Church continues a rich and full liturgical and prayer life YEAR-ROUND, not just during Great Lent. Many Churches sponsor Bible studies, weekday services, times for Holy Confession. Contact your local Orthodox Christian Church for a full list of services, lectures, classes, etc. There are many ways you can continue your spiritual journey, even if you have just begun during Holy Week. And to bridge the gap between Pascha and the rest of the year, the Church will sing Christ is Risen, the joyous Pascha hymn for forty days. There is only one thing the Church doesn’t do following Pascha…
The Church doesn’t “do it” for you. The Church opens her doors for you to embark upon a journey to heaven, but it is up to YOU to enter. It is up to YOU to make time, just as you did during Great Lent and Holy Week, to come to Church for special services and classes. It is up to YOU to live the Orthodox Christian way of life established by the Holy Apostles. The best part about Great Lent and Holy Week is that we get a chance to recommit our lives and schedules and priorities to God and live Christ-centered lives.
It’s up to you! Will you continue to accept the invitation of the Church? Or will you return to “normal” and the life you lived before Great Lent and Holy Week? Christ is risen, and you have been given a new start! Don’t waste it!
Christ is Risen!