The first week of Great Lent was observed at Holy Trinity Monastery with customary solemnity. There were no classes at the seminary that week, so the seminarians, the monks, and the local Orthodox community all joined in prayer at the divine services.
Every day the services began early in the morning, before dawn. The semantron woke the monastery and seminary communities and called them to prayer. The full liturgical cycle was followed each day, with Midnight Office, Matins, the Hours, Typika, and Vespers. On Wednesday and Friday, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was served at Vespers. The services took over seven hours with readings from the Holy Fathers, and ended after noon, when the only meal of the day was served without oil. After a rest, at six o’clock in the evening all gathered again in the monastery church for Great Compline. Archimandrite Luke read the Great Canon of St. Andrew from Monday to Thursday. On Friday we read the canons for Holy Communion. Everyone in the community prepared to receive Communion on Saturday morning, which this year commemorated both St. Theodore the Tyro and the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.
On Sunday, which celebrates the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan came to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with the monastery clergy. At the end of the Liturgy, the Anathema Service began. Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk intoned the anathemas. This year, another anathema was added to the service taken from from the Pan-Orthodox Council of 1583 anathematizing all who, “[do] not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceeds out of only the Father, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ says in the Gospel.”