Much as we began our study of the entire order of Vespers by focusing on “Lord, I Call” and its stichera, so we’ll begin to learn about Matins by first looking at the Canon, which many find to be a daunting form of hymnography to understand and to do.
Lent is a time for us to become much more conscientious about what impressions we allow to be made on our souls. What do we watch? What do we listen to? Do these things befit our dignity as human beings? Are we cleansing and adorning the image of God within us, or are we obscuring and damaging it?
The Lord came to save and to restore, to transfigure and illumine; but inevitably this involves death and judgment and destruction. He Himself submitted to death at the hands of false judges, so that death might become the path to incorruptible life. The resurrection, both of man and of the entire created cosmos, will only occur after death. The “new heaven and the new earth” will be consummated only after “the former things have passed away.” History had a beginning, and it will have an end. And that end is destruction, and that destruction will give way to boundless, unimaginable glory and beauty.
"Our culture is drowning in music; many people are to some extent addicted to having music playing in the background throughout their day, and much of that music does not edify but draws us away from Christ in subtle or sometimes blatant ways, to say nothing of the resulting absence of silence. With the choral advent calendar, I’m trying to give people an opportunity to be more intentional about their music, and to help folks find music which can warm their hearts and help them draw near to God."