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Great Lent

2,100 bytes added, 17:16, February 19, 2007
re-arranged info and incoporated some text from Wikipedia
'''The Great Fast''' or ''Lent'' is the period of preparation leading up to [[Holy Week]] and [[Pascha]]. The [[Lenten Triodion]] governs the divine services of Great Lent as well as those of the Weeks of Preparation preceding Great Lent. ''Lent'' is a Middle English word meaning "spring." The Great Fast has come to be called Lent by association; it is called "great" to distinguish it from the other [[fast]]s.
Following [[Meatfare Sunday]]Observance of Great Lent is characterized by abstention from many foods, intensified private and public prayer, personal improvement, meats and almsgiving. The foods traditionally abstained from are removed meat and dairy products, fish, wine and oil. (According to some traditions, only olive oil is abstained from the diet; in others, all vegetable oils. ) Following Since strict fasting is canonically forbidden on the [[Cheesefare SundaySabbath]] (also known as and the [[Forgiveness Sunday|Lord's Day]]), dairy is removed, initiating wine and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays. If the Feast of the strict [[fastingAnnunciation]] of falls during Great Lent, then fish, wine and oil are permitted on that day. Besides the additional liturgical celebrations described below, Orthodox Christians are expected to pay closer attention to their private prayers and to say more of them more often. The Fathers have referred to fasting without prayer as "the fast of the demons" since the demons do not eat according to their incorporeal nature, but neither do they pray. During the weekdays of Great Lent, there is a liturgical fast when the weekday [[pericopeEucharist|readingeucharistic]] [[Divine Liturgy]]s are taken only from is not celebrated. However, since it is considered especially important to receive the Holy Mysteries during this season the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, also called the Liturgy of St. [[Old TestamentGregory the Dialogist]], focusing may be celebrated on Wednesdays and Fridays. At this [[Genesisvespers|vesperal]]service some of the Body and Blood of Christ reserved the previous Sunday is distributed. On Saturday and Sunday the Divine Liturgy may be celebrated as usual, although on Sundays the more solemn Liturgy of St. [[Book Basil the Great]] is used in place of Proverbs|Proverbsthat of St. [[John Chrysostom]]. Like Western Lent, Great Lent itself lasts for forty days, but unlike the West, Sundays are included in the count. It officially begins on Monday seven weeks before Pascha and concludes on the eve of Lazarus Saturday, the day before [[Palm Sunday]]. However, fasting continues for the following week, known as Passion Week or [[Book of Isaiah|IsaiahHoly Week]], up until Pascha.
== Structure of Great Lent ==
: 5. [[Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt]].
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]]. Great Lent is followed by [[Holy Week]], the week beginning with [[Palm Sunday]] and preceding Pascha.
== Purpose of Great Lent ==
* [[Fasting]]
* [[Pascha]]
==External link==
*[ Great Lent on Wikipedia]

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