Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas
Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special themes. They can be seen as historical and spiritual. This Sunday’s theme is that men can become divine through the grace of God in the Holy Spirit.
It was St. Gregory (remembered on November 14), who bore witness that by prayer and fasting human beings can become participants of the uncreated light of God's divine glory even in this life. After his glorification in 1368, a second commemoration of St Gregory Palamas was appointed for this Second Sunday of Great Lent as a second Triumph of Orthodoxy. It celebrates the condemnation of St. Gregory's enemies and the vindication of his teachings by the Church.
The spiritual theme, adds to the First Sunday of Great Lent’s theme, faith. In addition to faith, one needs effort. The scripture readings are Hebrews 1:10-2:3 and Mark 2:1-12. The epistle says to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away… how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? And the Gospel lesson has the image of effort and desire in the paralytic who is brought to Christ through the roof.
Troparion (Tone 8)
- O light of Orthodoxy, teacher of the Church, its confirmation,
- O ideal of monks and invincible champion of theologians,
- O wonder-working Gregory, glory of Thessalonica and preacher of grace,
- Always intercede before the Lord that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
- Now is the time for action!
- Judgment is at the doors!
- So let us rise and fast,
- Offering alms with tears of compunction and crying:
- "Our sins are more in number than the sands of the sea;
- But forgive us, O Master of All,
- So that we may receive the incorruptible crowns."
Kontakion (Tone 8)
- Holy and divine instrument of wisdom,
- joyful trumpet of theology,
- together we sing your praises, O God-inspired Gregory.
- Since you now stand before the Original Mind, guide our minds to Him, O Father,
- So that we may sing to you: "Rejoice, preacher of grace."
Great Lent, Journey to Pascha, By Alexander Schmemann (1974) St Vladimir's Seminary Press - ISBN 0913836044