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Orthodox Lent

Experience Orthodox Lent's soulful journey, a period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, preparing oneself for the joy of Easter.
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March 18
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Begin your spiritual journey this year because Orthodox Lent begins on March 18! This deeply sacred time in the Orthodox Christian calendar traces its roots back to the 4th century when St. Athanasius encouraged a period of fasting leading up to the commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection. Behind each chime of the church bell, each heartfelt prayer, and each act of charity, you will find a profound sense of purpose and spiritual renewal that permeates Orthodox Lent. So mark your calendars, prepare your hearts, and step into this time of reflection and introspection as we undertake this soulful journey together, all in anticipation of the joyous celebration of Easter!

History of Orthodox Lent

Orthodox Lent Dates

Orthodox Lent Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>328</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>St. Athanasius Advocates Fasting</div><div class='timeline-text'>Saint Athanasius, then bishop of Alexandria, encouraged a 40-day fast preceding Easter in one of his Festal Letter sermons.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>390</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>The Lenten Homilies</div><div class='timeline-text'>Saint John Chrysostom delivers his famous Lenten homilies, which shed light on the purpose and practices of the Lenten fast in the Orthodox Church.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1600s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Lent Practices Popularized</div><div class='timeline-text'>Orthodox Lent practices became more uniformly observed across the Orthodox Church with the spreading of religious texts and teachings.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1817</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Lenten Charity</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Russian Orthodox Church started a charity program during the season of Lent, emphasizing caring for the needy as part of spiritual preparation.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1963</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Lent Prayers Translated</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Lenten Triodion, a central prayer book for Orthodox Lent, was translated into English, making Orthodox Lent practices more accessible worldwide.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Orthodox Lent

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Attend church services</h3><p class='facts-text'>Regular attendance of the divine liturgy and other church services during Lent is one of the most traditional ways to observe the period. During these services, the faithful partake in prayers, hymns and scriptural readings that highlight the themes of repentance and renewal.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Read spiritual literature</h3><p class='facts-text'>Enhance your Lenten journey by spending some time each day reading spiritual books. You could opt for Holy Scripture, the writings of the Church Fathers, or modern Orthodox Christian literature that is designed to guide you through the Lenten season.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Organize group fellowship</h3><p class='facts-text'>Gather with your fellow parishioners for prayer, Bible study, or meal sharing. This spirit of community strengthens the bonds among individuals and reinforces the communal aspects of Christian Orthodoxy.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Commit to acts of charity</h3><p class='facts-text'>Participate in or organize charitable works in your local community. This could take the form of food drives, volunteer work at shelters, or assisting the elderly. Such actions reflect the spirit of almsgiving, a key aspect of Lent.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Explore lent-friendly recipes</h3><p class='facts-text'>Reinforce your fast by exploring and experimenting with Orthodox Lent approved recipes. These recipes respect the fast's dietary restrictions, while also offering hearty and flavorful meals. Sharing such meals with friends or family can provide a connective and reflective experience.</p></div></div>

Why Orthodox Lent is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Opportunity for spiritual renewal</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>During Orthodox Lent, believers fully immerse themselves in prayer and scripture, finding a profound sense of purpose and spiritual renewal. This time encourages inward reflection and introspection, and it allows individuals to deepen their relationship with God.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Promotes benevolence and charity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By giving alms, or doing charitable works within the community, Orthodox Lent reminds its observers the importance of selflessness and compassion. It encourages empathy and gives an opportunity to make a positive impact in other people's lives.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Cultivating Discipline through Fasting</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Fasting during Orthodox Lent not only mirrors Jesus Christ's sacrificial love, but also encourages self-discipline. It challenges believers to resist physical cravings and focus on their spiritual health and it is always an opportunity to explore culinary diversity within the dietary rules of fasting.</p></div></div>

5 Intriguing Facts for Orthodox Lent Journey

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Lent Lasts for 40 days</h3><p class='facts-content'>Just like the biblical significance of the number 40, such as the 40 days Moses spent on Mount Sinai or the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert, Orthodox Lent also lasts for 40 days, aiming to prepare believers for the Resurrection of Christ.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Vegan Fare is Usually Served on Orthodox Lent</h3><p class='facts-content'>To observe fasting rules during Orthodox Lent, most participants eliminate animal products from their diet entirely and opt for vegan fare using simple ingredients.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Fasting goes Beyond Food in Orthodox Lent</h3><p class='facts-content'>Orthodox Lent fasting goes beyond simply giving up certain foods. It also includes abstaining from sinful behavior and cultivating a spirit of worship through prayer, reading scriptures and acts of charity.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Each Week of Orthodox Lent has a Special Theme</h3><p class='facts-content'>To guide the prayers and meditations of the faithful, each week of Orthodox Lent has a special theme, including the Cross, Saint John of the Ladder, the Holy Icons and Saint Mary of Egypt.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Great Compline Holds a Special Place During Orthodox Lent</h3><p class='facts-content'>One special feature of Orthodox Lent is the Great Compline service, a solemn evening prayer that is more extensive during Lent. During this service, hymns like the "Prayer of Saint Ephrem" are sung, emphasizing repentance and humility.</p></div></div>

Orthodox Lent FAQs

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