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Sunday of The Publican and the Pharisee

An icon of The Sunday of the  Publican and the Pharisee.

The Icon

This Icon shows the Publican's offering being rejected because of pride and the publican's offering being accepted because of his humility. The curtain in the rear folds over the publican showing his justification.

The Feast

The Sunday after the Sunday of Zacchaeus is devoted to the Publican and the Pharisee. At Vespers the night before, the TRIODION (the liturgical book used in the services of Great Lent) begins.

Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee who scrupulously observed the requirements of religion: he prayed, fasted, and contributed money to the Temple. These are very good things, and should be imitated by anyone who loves God. We who may not fulfill these requirements as well as the Pharisee did should not feel entitled to criticize him for being faithful. His sin was in looking down on the Publican and feeling justified because of his external religious observances.The second man was a Publican, a tax-collector who was despised by the people. He, however, displayed humility, and this humility justified him before God (Lk 18:14).

The lesson to be learned is that we possess neither the Pharisee's religious piety, nor the Publican's repentance, through which we can be saved. We are called to see ourselves as we really are in the light of Christ's teaching, asking Him to be merciful to us, deliver us from sin, and to lead us on the path of salvation.

Taken from the OCA Website.

Kontakion - Tone 4

Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee!
And learn humility from the Publican's tears!
Let us cry to our Savior,
have mercy on us,
only merciful One!