The Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas is the Second Sunday of Great Lent. It commemorates St. Gregory Palamas (+1359). It falls between the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the Sunday of the Holy Cross.
Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special themes. These can be seen as historical and spiritual. This Sunday’s theme is that men can become divine (theosis) through the grace of God in the Holy Spirit.
It was St. Gregory (November 14), who bore witness that by prayer and fasting human beings can become participants of the uncreated light of God’s divine glory even in this life. After his glorification in 1368, a second commemoration of St. Gregory Palamas was appointed for this Second Sunday of Great Lent as a second Triumph of Orthodoxy. It celebrates the condemnation of St. Gregory’s enemies and the vindication of his teachings by the Church.
This Sunday was originally dedicated to St. Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23).
The spiritual theme adds to the First Sunday of Great Lent’s theme, faith. In addition to faith, one needs effort. The scripture readings are Hebrews 1:10-2:3 and Mark 2:1-12. The epistle says to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away… how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? The Gospel lesson has the image of effort and desire in the paralytic who is brought to Christ through the roof.
Troparion (Tone 8)
O light of Orthodoxy, teacher of the Church, its confirmation,
O ideal of monks and invincible champion of theologians,
O wonder-working Gregory, glory of Thessalonica and preacher of grace,
Always intercede before the Lord that our souls may be saved.