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As of Monday, we entered the period of Great Lent (Medz Bahk), and the Church has taken on a somber, mournful, and penitential manifestation. The altar is closed, symbolic of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (See Genesis, chapters 2 and 3). Holy Communion is not offered during the liturgy. It is a period of repentance and reflection on our spiritual journey toward Easter.

Each of the Sundays during Lent has a theme. This Sunday, February 26, is the Sunday of the Expulsion (Ardaksman Giragi). The message of this day is a continuation of last Sunday’s Paregentan theme, namely, Adam and Eve’s fall from grace and banishment from Paradise. The hymn sung on the second Sunday of Lent reminds us of the expulsion and invites us to repentance.

“O Lord, you first gave the law of holy fasting in paradise. But the first creatures disobeyed you by eating the forbidden fruit and thus tasted the bitterness of sin and death. Therefore, grant us to taste the sweetness of your commandments.” (From the hymn sung on the Sunday of the Expulsion)