Skip to comments.Preparing for Lent: 9 Liturgical Gems from the Byzantine East
Posted on 02/07/2013 9:57:41 AM PST by marshmallow
Listers, the season of Lent is fast approaching. Our brethren in the East call the period of Lent the Great Fast, or alternatively, Great Lent. It is the most important of the four fasting seasons in the Eastern churches, since it is the preparation for the feast of feasts, namely Pascha, or Easter. In the Byzantine rite, the period of Great Lent is preceded by four Sundays (five in the Slavic reckoning), during which the faithful prepare themselves for the asceticism, prayer, and repentance which accompanies the Fast. The first of these is the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, followed by the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, the Sunday of the Last Judgment, and then and then the Sunday of Forgiveness.
These last two Sundays are called Meatfare and Cheesefare Sundays respectively, since the one marks the end of the eating of meat two weeks before Lent, and the other the end of the consumption of dairy products one week before. The Monday after the Sunday of Forgiveness (known as Clean Monday) heralds the beginning of the Great Fast proper, after which time wine, oil, and fish, are allowed only on certain days, meat and dairy being excluded altogether. The particulars of the Great Fast are as ancient as they are fascinating, and while certainly meriting their own study, in this list we will be focusing on some of the more general virtues of Lent extolled in the East. In particular, we will cover nine Byzantine liturgical gems of wisdom to gaze upon, as we prepare to enter into the spiritual arena of the Fast. A quote from the hymns of the Byzantine liturgy will be provided, either extolling a particular virtue or repudiating the vice which must be rooted out in order to possess it :
(Excerpt) Read more at stpeterslist.com ...
Don’t the Orthodox Christians start their Lent later? Catholics, both west and east start theirs, which include I, a Catholic next week?