The Lent and The Good Samaritan
The Lent period is the third cycle in the Liturgical year. This cycle is known as “the cycle of forgiveness” and it consists of eight Sundays the same as all other cycles. During six consecutive Sundays the church discusses Jesus’ miracles, beginning with the wedding feast in Cana and ending with the healing of the blind man. The seventh Sunday is Palm Sunday and the eighth is Easter. Melodies of this cycle are as usual eight: the wedding feast in Cana is Qadmoyo (the first) and it continues on until the Palm Sunday which is Shbi’oyo (the seventh). Easter’s melody is Qadmoyo (the first) and not Tminoyo (the eighth) because of its nature. It was decided that the melodies of bigger holidays have to be Qadmoyo (the first), which are joyful type of tunes.
During this cycle we will discuss the content and the theme of each Sunday which are arranged as follow:
The wedding feast in Cana
The healing of the Lepard
Healing the paralyzed man
Healing the Canaanite's daughter
The parable of the Good Samaritan
Healing the blind man
The first Saturday of Lent is designated for the memory of St. Ephraim. The twenty-fourth day of Lent, which is always Wednesday, (the middle of Lent) is designated for the memory of King Abgar IX (Abgar Oukomo) who converted to Christianity at Edessa in the second century A.D.
In this Period, it is noteworthy to list three special events:
1- During the masses of this period and especially before giving the sign of peace, the choir sings a special hymn called “Ho Edono Lasloutho” (it is time to pray). This hymn calls the believers to forgive each other before exchanging the sign of peace in the mass. It is sung during the masses of the six Sundays of this cycle, before saying the last sentence of “Abo Ahid” (creed) which is “Stawmen Qalous Qouryé Layson” (Let us stay in obedience and ask for merci). You may mention that priest doesn’t go up to the higher step of the altar until the verse of the hymn which says “It is the moment where priest go up to the higher stair to present offers for our forgiveness”. This hymn has been assigned specially to this period to emphasize the element of forgiveness.
2- A special ceremony takes place on Sunday is a collection of wonderful texts of forgiveness written by St. Jacob and St. Ephraim. This ceremony is repeated during these six Sundays.
3- The daily afternoon prayers are substituted by the forgiveness prayers of St. Ephraim.
This will be a good period to recount ones sins and try to forgive during this period of forgiveness.
The parable of the Good Samaritan
A lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."