Great Lent Begins

Today is Clean Monday for Eastern Orthodox Christians, marking the beginning of Great Lent.

Orthodox Christians traditionally abstain from the eating of meat and dairy, and the typicon calls for fasting from food. Many Orthodox do not eat at all on Clean Monday– some going as far as the first three days or even full week with a limited diet of only sparse eating if any.

Great Lent commemorates a number of teachings of the faith, with each Sunday having a somewhat different focus in relation to our salvation. The forty days symbolize the days Our Lord Jesus Christ was in the desert; Holy Week commemorates the trial and death of Our Lord, culminating in Pascha, the resurrection of Christ, at which point fasting ends.

NFTU will, thanks to the Diocese of Portland’s Holy Nativity Cathedral Schola, broadcast Saturday Vespers, and possibly even the Akathist held Fridays of Great Lent.

From all of us, to all of our readers, a belated request for forgiveness, and may Great Lent be spiritually useful to us all.