H Sarakosti

As I began to think about what to write about this week, Ι couldn’t let the week pass by without acknowledging the Sarakosti.  Sarakosti or the Great Lent, is the 40 day Lenten period that starts with Clean Monday and ends on Holy Saturday night.  I remember growing up and clean Monday was a big deal.  My mom would make a lagana, we’d have tarama, and even though we were restricted in our eating, we made a party out of it.  My husband, although not one to go to church, does usually fast before Easter and Christmas.  This year he decided 50 days over the typical 40 days.  It is a man’s prerogative to do as he likes.  I have been trying to come up with some great Lenten recipes and came across something that I had personally never seen before, the Sarakosti poem.  I think it will be a perfect way to begin to explain Lent to my almost three year old.  As a former Sunday School teacher, I honestly can’t believe I didn’t come across this earlier in life as it would have been an amazing tool to use with the children.  For my friends with little ones or those of you who are current Sunday School teachers, please check out the link here .  A big thank you to our friends over at Orthodox Mom for bringing this great tradition to our attention.

As we embark on the Great Lent, prayers is also such an important part.  Our nightly ritual is to kiss Panagia’s icon before making our way into my daughter’s room.  Since she’s still young, all of the icons in her room are hung high up where she can’t reach.  Over 15 years ago, during my Sunday School teaching days, we made this icon with our students.  I still have it today and it is on a table as you enter our home.  She must pass by it to reach her room so it has become the ritual to say thank you to Panagia, kiss the icon and off to bed we go.  I was thinking how I could incorporate something more during Lent.  I was able to find an easy toddler prayer on the website of the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Lowell, MA of all places, bringing it back to Massachusetts.

Praying With Toddlers: each them early to venerate icons and to Cross themselves. Explain simple concepts of God and Jesus. Pray with them by helping enumerate their blessings:  Jesus loves my _______ . Thank you God, for _______ .

Child’s Prayer:  Heavenly Father, bless my parents and all those who love and care for me. Help me in all ways to be respectful and obedient to them according to Your will. Send down upon me Your grace to perform all my duties carefully and faithfully, to avoid unacceptable company and influence and to resist all temptation that may come my way. Help me Lord to live a serious, good and godly life, praising You constantly and glorifying Your holy Name. Amen.

Your child is never too young or too old to begin to pray.  They have a wonderful Orthodox Prayer Book, that you can find in full here.  Thank you to the Transfiguration Community for this wonderful resource.

Kαλη σαρακοστή σε ολλους σας.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Friendship

I recently had a friend who is very popular on social media tag me in a photo of us.  He stated in the photo that we’ve been friends for 20 years. This photo prompted an acquaintance to message me asking me what the secret was to being friends with someone for so long.  I wrote back saying that I actually had friends that went back more years than that and not to sound to cliche but in order to have good friends you need to be a good friend.  Friendship should be easy when you’re together.  It should be comfortable.  But never think for a moment that friendship is without work.  The older you get the harder it is to coordinate schedules, spouses, children, jobs, etc.

This conversation got me thinking about those people who I know I can count to on anything.  The people who if I texted in the middle of the night (because really who calls anymore) would respond ASAP.  The people who you don’t have to explain your feelings to because they’ve been through the roller coaster of life with you and they just know so you can pick up where  you left off and keep going. I am so fortunate to be able to say that I have a few of those people.  I hope they know that the feeling is mutual and they have this friend in me as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I have also had friendships slip through my fingers.  It seems that every 7/8 years a friend cleanse happens and people go their separate ways.  At the beginning it really bothered me.  I wanted to know what I did and what happened.  Now at this phase of my life I realize that it just happens.  People grow apart.  People don’t want to put the effort in, and that is okay.  I’m a believer when one door closes another opens and I have had many amazing people come into my life since I’ve moved to this country.  Nothing can replace those 15, 20, 25 years of memories from my ‘forever friends’ but I can tell you that these newer friendships I have no doubt will be just as amazing.

I leave you with a few of my favourite friendship quotes:

best-friendship-quotes

friendship-quotes-as-we-grow-up-we-realize

friend-quote2

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

More Posts