But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Psalms 5:7

We recently heard the Gospel of Luke retelling the story of the repentant Zacchaeus. This lesson serves as a herald to the upcoming time of the Triodion. The services in this time are filled with calls to repentance where the theme of each week challenges us to prepare for the coming Lent, that time of repentance-par excellence. Each lesson pierces our heart and conscience as we know that the Saviour was thinking of each of us in a deeply personal way when He gave us these parables.

The Divine Services take on a whole new character – the hymns become more austere and even the tones used in the hymns become more penitent, leading us to understand the deepening time of introspection and repentance.

Something sets apart the worship of the Orthodox Christian from other western confessions – this is a time of solemnity and radiant sorrow. Worship casts down the passions and emotions which are so prevalent in other forms of worship. Our souls are pierced as we prepare for the Saviour’s awesome Passion. This Passion is contrary to our passions and weaknesses for this is the saving Passion, by which our passions are healed.

We worship as our Lord directed. According to the teachings of our fathers, we will worship the Lord with

…Sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do. Exodus 31:11

And further

 …Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29

May our Lord accept our prayer offering, as we bend the knees of our heart. We will not worship our Lord with whaling and waving of the arms, but we will worship Him in holiness and fear.