Great Fast Readings

Reading and studying the  books of Genesis, Proverbs, and Isaiah. was the final phase of the catechumens' preparation. When they were prepared to take on the yoke of Christ, and more importantly, when their spiritual fathers decided that they were worthy, the catechumens entered into this final phase of preparation. They were expected to come to every service the Church had during the Great Fast. At each service, a prayer of exorcism was prayed over them and they were dismissed. At the service of the 6th Hour (prayed at noon), they studied a particular section of the Prophecies of the Prophet Isaiah. At Vespers (evening service), they studied passages from the Book of Genesis (which means Beginnings) and Proverbs. They studied these throughout the Great Fast. During Great (Holy) Week, they moved on to the Prophecies of Jeremiah at the 6th Hour, and the Books of Exodus and Job during Vespers. The culmination of this preparation was their Baptism at the Vespers and Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Holy Saturday evening, the most ancient Paschal Vigil service. The Orthodox Church still prays this Liturgy each year, usually on Great Saturday morning because Resurrection Matins has replaced it as the vigil service for Pascha.
Though the discipline developed for catechumens is no longer practiced by the Church, the readings which they read are still prescribed so that all the faithful have a chance during this holy season to come to a greater knowledge with the wisdom of God's revelation contained in sacred scripture. It is a laudable and worthwhile spiritual practice to take as many of these readings as you can during the Great Fast.

Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese Fare Sunday)

Sunday: Romans 13:11-14:4 • Matthew 6:14-21

Monday: Isaiah 1:1-20 • Genesis 1:1-13 • Proverbs 1:1-20

Tuesday: Isaiah 1:19-2:3 • Genesis 1:14-23 • Proverbs 1:20-33

Wednesday: Isaiah 2:3-11 • Genesis 1:24-2:3 • Proverbs 2:1-22

Thursday: Isaiah 2:11-22 • Genesis 2:4-19 • Proverbs 3:1-18

Friday: Isaiah 3:1-14 • Genesis 2:20-3:20• Proverbs 3:19-34

Saturday: Hebrews 1:1-12 • 2 Timothy 2:1-10 • John 15:17-16:2 • Mark 2:23-3:5


First Sunday of Great Lent: Sunday of Orthodoxy

Sunday: Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-12:2 • John 1:43-51

Monday: Isaiah 4:2-6; 5:1-7 • Genesis 3:21-4:7 • Proverbs 3:34-4:22

Tuesday: Isaiah 5:7-16 • Genesis 4:8-15 • Proverbs 5:1-15

Wednesday: Isaiah 5:16-25 • Genesis 4:16-26 • Proverbs 5:15-6:3

Thursday: Isaiah 6:1-12 • Genesis 5:1-24 • Proverbs 6:3-20

Friday: Isaiah 7:1-14 • Genesis 5:32-6:8 • Proverbs 6:20-7:1

Saturday: Hebrews 3:12-16 • Mark 1:35-44
 

Second Sunday of Great Lent: Commemoration of St Gregory Palamas

Sunday: Hebrews 1:10-2:3; 7:26-8:2 • Mark 2:1-12 • John 10:9-16
Monday: Isaiah 8:13-9:7 • Genesis 6:9-22 • Proverbs 8:1-21

Tuesday: Isaiah 9:9-10:4 • Genesis 7:1-5 • Proverbs 8:32-9:11

Wednesday: Isaiah 10:12-20 • Genesis 7:6-9 • Proverbs 9:12-18

Thursday: Isaiah 11:10-12:2 • Genesis 7:11-8:3 • Proverbs 10:1-22

Friday: Isaiah 13:2-13 • Genesis 8:4-21 • Proverbs 10:31-11:12

Saturday: Hebrews 10:32-38 • Mark 2:14-17


Third Sunday of Great Lent: Adoration of the Holy Cross

Sunday: Hebrews 4:14-5:6 • Mark 8:34-9:1

Monday: Isaiah 14:24-32 • Genesis 8:21-9:7 • Proverbs 11:19-12:6

Tuesday: Isaiah 25:1-9 • Genesis 9:8-17 • Proverbs 11:19-12:6

Wednesday: Isaiah 26:21-27:9 • Genesis 9:18-10:1 • Proverbs 12:23-13:9

Thursday: Isaiah 28:14-22 • Genesis 10:32-11:9 • Proverbs 13:20-14:6

Friday: Isaiah 29:13-23 • Genesis 12:1-7 • Proverbs 14:15-26

Saturday: Hebrews 6:9-12 • Mark 7:31-37

Fourth Sunday of Great Lent: Commemoration of St John Klimakos

Sunday: Hebrews 6:13-20 • Ephesians 5:9-19 • Mark 9:17-31 • Matthew 4:25-5:12

Monday: Isaiah 37:33-38:6 • Genesis 13:12-18 • Proverbs 14:27-15:4

Tuesday: Isaiah 40:18-31 • Genesis 15:1-15 • Proverbs 15:7-19

Wednesday: Isaiah 41:4-14 • Genesis 17:1-9 • Proverbs 15:20-16:9

Thursday: Isaiah 42:5-16 • Genesis 18:20-33 • Proverbs 16:17-17:17

Friday: Isaiah 45:11-17 • Genesis 22:1-18 • Proverbs 17:17-18:5

Saturday: Hebrews 9:24-28 • Mark 8:27-31


Fifth Sunday of Great Lent: Commemoration of St Mary of Egypt

Sunday: Hebrews 9:11-14 • Galatians 3:23-29 • Mark 10:32-45 • Luke 7:36-50

Monday: Isaiah 48:17-49:4 • Genesis 27:1-41 • Proverbs 19:16-25

Tuesday: Isaiah 49:6-10 • Genesis 31:3-16 • Proverbs 21:3-21

Wednesday: Isaiah 58:1-11 • Genesis 43:26-31; 45:1-16 • Proverbs 21:23-22:4

Thursday: Isaiah 65:8-16 • Genesis 46:1-7 • Proverbs 23:15-24:5

Friday: Isaiah 66:10-24 • Genesis 49:33-50:26 • Proverbs 31:8-32 Lazarus

Saturday: Hebrews 12:28-13:8 • John 11:1-45