This revised edition of Fr Alexander Schmemann's Lenten classic examines the meaning of Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the Prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian, the Canon of St Andrew of Crete, and other neglected or misunderstood treasures of Lenten worship. Schmemann draws on the Church's sacramental and liturgical tradition to suggest the meaning of "Lent in our life."
The Lenten season is meant to kindle a "bright sadness" within our hearts. Its aim is precisely the remembrance of Christ, a longing for a relationship with God that has been lost. Lent offers the time and place for recovery of this relationship. The darkness of Lent allows the flame of the Holy Spirit to burn within our hearts until we are led to the brilliance of the Resurrection.
Father Alexander Schmemann was a prolific writer, brilliant lecturer, and dedicated pastor. Former dean and professor of liturgical theology at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, his insight into contemporary culture and liturgical celebration left an indelible mark on the Christian community worldwide.
Great Lent has been called our "tithe" of the year to God. If we are to tithe properly, understanding the real meaning and force of this most important time of spiritual preparation, we must be lead by Orthodox thinkers like Alexander Schmemann. He writes with real insight, drawing spiritual gems out of the period of Great Lent, bringing us into a greater communion with Christ, the whole point of Great Lent.
One of the founding fathers of the Orthodox Church in America, Fr Alexander Schmemann was par excellence one of the great thinkers, writers and protoprsbyters of the church. With great mastery, he is able to uncover the true meaning of the services and the sacraments of the Orthodox Church while drawing real insight into the state of modern man and the modern church. Great Lent is a necessary work in understanding, enjoying and participating in the Churchs journey to Pascha.