This week marks the beginning of the Great Fast with services every day culminating in the Liturgy on Sunday where we celebrate the victory of the Church over the Inconoclast movement and the restoration of the Holy Icons. This happened not too far after the 7th Ecumenical Council where the teaching on Icons was defined, however, peace over this matter was not restored until a local synod was called in Constantinople and a triumphant procession was held to the great cathedral at Hagia Sophia on the 19th February 842 (the first Sunday of Great Lent that year). The Synod also decreed that a perpetual feast be observed each year on the First Sunday of Great Lent, and named the day, “the Sunday of Orthodoxy”
Please note: The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian is said with morning and evening prayers by all Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, except on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:
O Lord and Master of my life, give me not a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition or vain talking. Prostration.
But rather a spirit of purity, humility, patience and love, bestow on me Thy servant. Prostration.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou to the ages of ages. Amen. Prostration.
O God, cleanse me, a sinner. (12 times, with a bow made for each)
Then the entire prayer:
O Lord and Master of my life . . . with one prostration made at the end.