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Orthodox Christians start Lent
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The Orthodox Lent begins on Monday, March 2, according to RIA Novosti. It is considered the longest and the strictest one.
This church custom is set to commemorate the forty-day fasting of Jesus Christ that he spent in the wilderness before going out to preach. Great Lent consists of the Holy Pentecost and ends with Holy Week.
Tonight, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church will lead the service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The day before, Patriarch Cyril, by tradition, asked everyone for forgiveness. In the first week of fasting, he will perform services every day. A service is scheduled for tomorrow at the Epiphany Cathedral. On Wednesday, March 4, it will be held in the Danilov Monastery, the next day - in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
The Primate of the Russian Church calls Lent a period that is meant to cleanse oneself from sin and to repent. In his opinion, restrictions on food, drink, entertainment are only ways aimed at changing the state of our souls.
It is required to fast for 40 days. The most important limitation that the Orthodox must observe is food. Everyone already knows that during Lent they don’t eat meat and dairy products, eggs, fish. The first week is the strictest. However, the church recalls that older people, children, and pregnant women can make leeway during this period.
Lent will end with the celebration of Christ's Resurrection, or Easter. This year it is celebrated on April 19.