Greetings with the beginning of Great Lent.

posted Mar 18, 2013, 10:26 AM by
Dear Parents and Teachers of Students at St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy,

Greetings with the beginning of Great Lent, 2013!  As most of you know, the Lenten period at St. John's Orthodox Academy brings with it not only a spirit of repentance, introspection and preparation for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also a series of extracurricular activities that help students descry the subtle but deep joy of the Lenten season.  All of this began on 12 March with
Cheesefare/Spirit Week, when students were asked to dress in their most motley house colors in order to express their House Pride.

Now that we are in the first week of Great Lent, I would like to apprise you of the schedule of weekly Lenten activities from now until Bright Week.  You may want to bookmark this schedule so that you can refer to it over the course of the next eight weeks.  This schedule should be used together with (not in place of) the regular Google calendar on the school's website:

17 March: Pure Week

Every day of this week, from Monday 18 March through Thursday, 21 March, all students are required to attend the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete at the Holy Virgin Cathedral. All students should come in uniform.  For those students who attend a parish which serves the canon of St. Andrew outside a twenty mile radius of the city it is permitted to attend those canons.  Otherwise, all students at St. John's Academy are asked to please arrive no later than 6 PM at the
Cathedral to celebrate this poignant service.

In order to allow students to focus all of their attention on meeting the spiritual challenges of the first week of Great Lent, no homework will be assigned to students for the entirety of Pure Week.

During the school week, students will be asked to attend the services surrounding the pre-sanctified Liturgy throughout the day.

24 March: Will Week

The 25th of March, Monday, is a day off from school. Students who attend new calendar parishes will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation.

The second week of Great Lent exercises the virtue of self-control, and is called "Will Week."  Through various games and activities, St. John's students will rise to the challenge of testing their willpower, as well as learning the difference between one's personal will and the Will of God.

31 March Heart Week

During Heart Week, students will be challenged to create significant works of art according the theme of this year's school year: "Love never fails".  There will be a drawing contest, as well as a painting contest.

7 April Soul Week

Soul Week is dedicated to poetry and music.  St. John's students are asked to write poems based in the theme, "Love never fails", as well as to sing songs about this theme.

14 April Mind Week

The contests during Mind Week will involve chess, mathematics and brain games.

21 April Strong Week

Among other physical activities, Strong Week contests will challenge students at beanbag toss, arm wrestling, limbo and pogo stick.

28 April Holy Week

Holy Week will be dedicated to attending services and preparing for Pascha.  Please refer to the online calendar or to you parish's calendar for scheduled Holy Week events.

05 May Bright Week

In honor of the bright and holy Resurrection of Christ, there is no school for the entire week of Bright Week.