'''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]], 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 ==
: 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 ==