Great Lent: Most Important Fasting Season of Eastern Orthodox Church

Great Lent is the most important, longest and most rigorous of all Orthodox fasts. It is based on the imitation of the forty-day fasting of Christ in the wilderness. In 2020, the post began on March 2 and will end on April 18. On April 19 Easter is celebrated. The most strict weeks of fasting are the first and last ones, religious journal Foma reports. 

In Great Lent, the Church Charter calls for the complete rejection of food of animal origin (meat, eggs, milk). Dry-eating (water, fruits, vegetables, stewed fruit) is prescribed on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday is given hot, oil-free food. On Saturday and Sunday – food with vegetable oil. Fish is allowed only on the days of the Annunciation and the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. On Lazarev Saturday, fish caviar is allowed.

People who are not monks are allowed to fast lighter, correlating their food calendar to Lent in accordance with their life circumstances, health and consulting with their confessor. For pregnant, lactating, children, and seriously ill patients, fasting is seriously mitigated. For children, expectant and nursing mothers, it is usually enough to deny themselves meat (unless there is a specific doctor’s instruction). Anyway, it is recommended to deny yourself at least something tasty, but not necessary, like sweets.

Ru-Main, 03.03.2020

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