The Lent and the Wedding in Cana
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 Wedding feast in Cana
On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.