Fr Stephen’s reading List for Lent

Here are some texts / books you might like to read this Lent. It is not intended that you should read them all before Pascha, but try to read them one day.

From the New Testament

  • The Gospel according to Mark (the shortest and earliest gospel. In the 1980’s an actor recited the gospel from memory as an act in about two hours. Try to read this.)
  • The letter to the Hebrews (the most theologically important epistle. It will not take you long to read this either.)

From the Old Testament

  • Isaiah (This we read in Lent. Not the simplest book but worth the effort)
  • Ecclesiasticus (Jesus Ben Sirach) (we read pieces of this at Vespers but worth reading the whole book through)

From the Fathers

  • The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St John Climacos (this is read in monasteries every Lent. Not the most approachable to read at a sitting but can be read in chunks)
  • Hymns of St Symeon the New Theologian (the great mystic of the Church. A real help to a direct encounter with God. There is a recent translation of this).
  • Lent Homilies of St Theodore the Studite (we will be uploading these to our website, the first is here)
  • On Fasting and Feasts by St Basil the Great (Excellent! The standard for all of our feasting and fasting).

Modern Authors

  • An introduction to God by Father Andrew Damick (a very useful starter book for those finding their way into the Orthodox Faith)
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Prayer by Father Michael Keiser (a short but helpful book on prayer)
  • Bread & Water, Wine & Oil by Archimandrite Meletios Webber (lots of helpful insights into the spiritual life).
  • Encouraged by the Scriptures by Theodore Stylianopoulos (helpful introduction to how some of the Fathers of the Church used the Scriptures).
  • Return by Archimandrite Nektarios Antonopoulos (a very good introduction to the mystery of Confession)

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