In the Armenian Church, the final weekend of Lent strikes a theme of endings and beginnings, urging us to reflect deeply about the passages and changes in our lives.
Saturday, March 20 is the one of the feast days of St. Gregory the Illuminator—this one dedicated to remembering his Commitment to the Pit, the years of physical torment he endured in the dungeon of Khor Virab, and the Christian faith that sustained him through the darkest hours. It’s a story that resonates powerfully today, after all that’s happened during the pandemic year. Read more about Armenia’s patron saint by clicking here.
Last Sunday of Lent
The following day, March 21, is the Sunday of the Advent: the last in the cycle of Lenten Sundays.
Early in our journey through Great Lent, we observed the Sunday of the Expulsion, which told the story of mankind’s exile from paradise, and the beginning of humanity’s long separation from God.
In a nice expression of continuity and resolution, Lent finally leads us to the Sunday of the Advent: that is, the coming of Jesus Christ, through whom God entered human history and restored what had been lost in the exile from Eden.
The Advent calls to mind the birth and revelation of our Savior, his subsequent sacrifice for mankind, and his victory over sin and death. But as the last Sunday of Lent, this day is especially devoted to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, reminding us that he is our eternal Lord and King. Just as everything once began with God, so too will everything one day end with Him.
Above: The magnificent depiction of Christ the Judge, from the 13th-century Deësis (“Entreaty”) mosaic, in Hagia Sophia Cathedral.