In the Orthodox Church Lent is a long and sweet, helpful preparation for Easter, Resurrection Sunday, PASCHA! But four weeks before Lent we get to start preparing for the preparation, you might say, by means of four thematic Sundays. I’m so glad Deb wrote about this, better than I could have. But what I would like to mention is that it was on Zacchaeus Sunday, which was yesterday, that I became an official catechumen three years ago.
I had been a sort of unofficial catechumen for about seven years before that, so my official period was not long–just about long enough to get ready for Lent, and then enter into its “joy-creating sorrow” and finally be baptized on Holy Saturday. Every Pascha, indeed every Sunday, I remember that event of fully entering the Church, but I mark my first formal commitment with every Zacchaeus Sunday.