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Great Lent

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Following [[Meatfare Sunday]], meats are removed from the diet. Following [[Cheesefare Sunday]] (also known as [[Forgiveness Sunday]]), dairy is removed, initiating the strict [[fasting]] of Great Lent. During Great Lent, the weekday [[pericope|reading]]s are taken only from the [[Old Testament]], focusing on [[Genesis]], [[Book of Proverbs|Proverbs]], and [[Book of Isaiah|Isaiah]].
==Structure of Great Lent==: Monday following [[Forgiveness Sunday]] (also called [[Cheesefare Sunday]]):1. [[Sunday of Orthodoxy]] ([[Gospel of John|John]] 1:43-51), :2. [[Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas]],:3. [[Sunday of the Holy Cross]],:4. [[Sunday of St. John Climacus]], and:5. [[Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt]].
: Monday following [[Forgiveness Sunday]] (also called [[Cheesefare Sunday]])
: 1. [[Sunday of Orthodoxy]] ([[Gospel of John|John]] 1:43-51),
: 2. [[Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas]],
: 3. [[Sunday of the Holy Cross]],
: 4. [[Sunday of St. John Climacus]], and
: 5. [[Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt]].
Great Lent is followed by [[Holy Week]], the week beginning with [[Palm Sunday]] and preceding Pascha.
==Purpose of Great Lent== 
The original purpose of the pre-Pascha fast (now known as Great Lent) was the fasting of catechumens who were being prepared for baptism and entry into the Church. However, it quickly became a time for those who were already Christian to prepare for the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. It is the living symbol of man's entire life which is to be fulfilled in his own resurrection from the dead with Christ. It is a time of renewed devotion: of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It is a time of repentance, a real renewal of minds, hearts and deeds in conformity with Christ and his teachings. It is the time, most of all, of return to the great commandments of loving God and neighbors.
<!--- ==Church Fathers on Great Lent== ---> == See also ==
==See also==*[[Almsgiving]]*[[Confession]]*[[Fasting]]*[[Pascha]]

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