18marAll Day04mayThe Great Orthodox Lent

Event Details

The Great Fast, or Great Lent, is the most significant and solemn fasting period in the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar, beginning at sundown on Cheese Fare Sunday and culminating on Holy Saturday, just before Easter Sunday. This sacred time is dedicated to preparing the faithful both spiritually and physically for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Great Lent

Tradition and Spiritual Goals

Great Lent traces its origins back to the early days of the Christian Church, serving as a period of strict fasting, intensified prayer, and almsgiving. The primary goal of this fast is to cleanse the soul, repent for sins, and draw closer to God. It mirrors Christ's 40-day fast in the desert, offering the faithful a time to reflect on their lives, make amends, and grow in their faith and devotion to God.

General Rules of the Fast

During Great Lent, Orthodox Christians engage in a strict fast, abstaining from all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Fish is also typically prohibited, with some exceptions on specific feast days such as the Annunciation and Palm Sunday. Olive oil and wine are usually allowed only on weekends. This period is marked by full meals that are simple and modest, focusing on legumes, vegetables, and grains, to maintain the body's strength while observing the fast.

Suggested Prayers

The prayer life of Orthodox Christians intensifies during Great Lent, with special services such as the Presanctified Liturgy, the Great Compline, and the Akathist Hymn being central to worship during this period. The faithful are encouraged to participate in these services and to incorporate additional personal prayers into their daily routines.

Great Lent is a profound spiritual journey that invites Orthodox Christians to embark on a path of self-examination, prayer, and fasting. It is a time to detach from worldly pleasures and draw nearer to God, preparing the heart and soul for the glorious celebration of Christ's Resurrection at Pascha (Easter). Through this period of solemn reflection and devout observance, the faithful are renewed in spirit, strengthened in faith, and reinvigorated in their Christian walk.


March 18 (Monday) - May 4 (Saturday)(GMT+00:00)

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