The Sundays of Great Lent

The great lent for us is a great time, and the most important fast in our Coptic year. However, not all of us know the details of the Great Lent. Some of us just fast and pray, without knowing why. The great lent is the six week duration before Palm Sunday. Every Sunday, we discuss an important point and lesson that we can try to apply to our lives. Most of the messages are found in the gospels of Matthew and John.

Great LentPre-lent Sunday

On Pre lent Sunday, we start to prepare ourselves for fasting and glorifying God. We need to show God that we are fasting for him, and not anybody else, as is said in Matthew 6:1-4. We are not trying to show off to the whole world that we are fasting and praying, but only to God, as this fast should be a relationship between him and us only.

First Sunday of Lent

On the first Sunday of the great lent, we discuss to focus on our heavenly belongings and not on what we have. In the gospel of Matthew 6:19-21, it teaches us to let go on our earthly possessions, and to keep a simple eye. What will we do with all our possessions when we go to heaven? We will not have any use of it however much money we have. God teaches us however to focus on what we have on Earth. He has promised us a place in heaven, which is greater than anything we could ever want on earth. On this Sunday, we also are taught not to care about what comes tomorrow, as God will guide us there, as is mentioned in Matthew 6:26. We need to have faith in the Lord that he will protect us, and as long as we go in his name, no trouble will occur to us.

Second Sunday of Lent

On the second Sunday of lent, we talk about temptation, and how Jesus God tempted by the devil three times when he was in the wilderness. We can find this story in the gospel of Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus was tempted by the devil three times, where the devil was attacking both his soul and body. We are taught to always remember how devious and cunning the devil can be, and also that he is the father of lies. Many things that the devil promises are lies, mainly the fact that he has no authority, and is our Lord who has all power. We must always remember that the devil attacks us on both our body and soul, as he did with Jesus. We are taught to ignore the devil, for he is always trying to lead us from God.

Third Sunday of Lent

On the third Sunday of Lent, we hear the parable about the prodigal son. We can find this parable in Luke 15:11-32. This story is about a son who left his father to see the world. When he was treated badly and ran out of money, he went to his father, who took him into his arms. This story symbolises our lives and how we have left our Lord, the one where we had lived in contempt with, for sin. We have suffered a lot and been tricked a lot, but God still wants us back and takes us in his arms the second we seem to be coming back. This story teaches us how God forgives us and always wants us back, although we have sinned a lot. This story also teaches us to come back to God when everything goes wrong, for he is our true Father.

Fourth Sunday of Lent

On the fourth Sunday of Lent, we are taught about the Samaritan woman who was getting water from the well. We can find this story in John 4:1-42. From this story, we are taught that Jesus has come for everybody in the World, and not only for the Jews. The Pharisees were treated as underdogs, and it seemed strange that Jesus was talking to a Pharisee. Jesus came for the sinners, not those who were already going to the right direction, like a doctor; therefore we must learn that nobody is too sinful to God. We also learn the Jesus was gentle when he discussed with her, and did not accuse her of all the sins she had committed. We must be gentle when preaching in the name of God, so people can understand and look up to us as people who want to help them, not people who only criticize them. We are also taught that a single mouth can teach the whole neighbourhood about Christ. Once the Pharisee saw and knew Jesus, she preached to the whole city, and they believed.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

On the fifth Sunday, we discuss the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda. The gospel of John mentions it in chapter 5 verse 1-17. This story teaches us about patience and never to lose hope in God, no matter how bad the situation is. The man waited for 38 years to be healed, but his faith in God was that that had healed him. God will never ever forget us as we are his children and as long as we stay with him, no bad will happen to us, even if we think it is a bad situation, it is all the plan of God.

Sixth Sunday of Lent

On the last Sunday before Palm Sunday, we talk about the man who was born blind. This story is quite important and is found in John 9. This story teaches us not to judge people because of their appearances and disabilities. The blind man was left and not paid attention to as people thought he was blind as one of his parents committed a sin. This is unfair as he was treated differently and was not helped. He was healed when jess spat on the the ground, and with this he told the blind man to put the mud on his eyes and wash it in the pool of Siloam. This must mean that the blind man had faith in Jesus, as this pool was far away, and the man had never seen Jesus before. The fact that the man saw again emphasised the point that Jesus is the `light of the world`. The blind man had great faith in Jesus, as he had never seen him, and therefore didn`t he could have easily thought he was being tricked. We should learn from this lesson to always have faith in Jesus, and everything in the world, even some bad things, have a meaning and plan in Gods books.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the marks the beginning of the holy week, in which we praise Jesus and sing hymns. It is one of the most important weeks in our Coptic year. The church is decorated in palms and it is a joyous time in which happy hymns are sung.

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

  • St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX