Orthodox Lent, or the Great Fast has started in Belarus on Monday, February 19. The most important fasting season will last till Easter, which is celebrated on 8 April this year.
The time of spiritual renewal for Orthodox Christians has come!
Great Lent officially begins on Clean Monday, seven weeks before Easter and runs for 40 contiguous days.
This is a time of abstinence, strict fasting, repentance, prayers, charity and good deeds.
The believers abstain from entertainment activities and eliminate alcohol, meat, dairy products, oil and eggs from their diet.
Fish is allowed only twice during the fast – on the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday.
What is the purpose?
Lent is not for the sake of Lent itself, as fasting is not for the sake of fasting.
These are means by which the worshippers prepare themselves to reach for, accept and attain the calling of Jesus Christ.
Great Lent is the time when the believer’s spirit is uplifted and strengthened and his life is rededicated to the principles and ideals of the Gospel.
Fasting and prayer culminate in deep conviction of life, while apathy and disinterest turn into vigorous activities of faith and good deeds.
Through spending more time in prayer and meditation, the faithful is believed to become more pure and godlike.
Fasting is facilitated for patients, the elderly, pregnant women, people doing hard work.