Journey Into Orthodox Christian Lent

The Orthodox Church's 'Rite of Forgiveness' is an exhilarating kick-start for a time that just gets harder.


02/18/2008 06:10:58 PM

I mark Lent as a time of reflection. I don't give up anything (food items, etc.) I try to gain more peace in my life, meditate more often, try to be silent when I can to hear life around me. It's a time to look toward renewal (spring); God's promise of what is to come.


02/27/2007 05:06:04 AM

When I was a catholic & a school teacher I used to have fish on Fridays and on Ash Wednesday as well as Good Friday, go to Stations of the Cross(say prayers at 12 depictions of the Passion of our Lord along with the priest & altar servers on Friday evenings.Now I am no longer a catholic I do meditate on the sufferings of My Lord through my own painful and daily serious and daily crosses of illness I carry & that He carried so courageously and have become more practical in my Lenten practices through reading of prayers,,meditation of Bible verses & the saying of Christian mantras as well as thankfulness of "daily bread",living alone in my own "desert experience",my supportive sister & mom who suffers Alzheimer's & going to a new denominatinal church with supportive friends ,those who do not disdain mental illness but are encouraging and the life of God that lives in me and my pet birds,fish.


03/21/2005 09:46:48 PM

Of course we're always called to stop our sins. Fasting comes hand in hand with worship, prayer, repentence, and service. Working on "giving up" our sins is a spiritual discipline--giving up food is also a spiritual discipline, but it amplifies our other efforts--the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, so we work on making the flesh stronger to enable the soul to be connected to God as it so earnestly desires. Fasting, IMHO, is quite entirely tied in a fundamental manner to sin and the avoidance thereof.


03/15/2005 07:43:36 AM

I don't observe Lent. Anyway it is not about giving up food, but giving up a particular sin. God wants us to live a holy life by forsaking sin, not food. Giving up food may help you focus on God, but it is not dealing with the fundamental issue of sin.


04/18/2003 08:28:42 PM

I'm a teen of 13, an Orthodox Christian. I don't have any meat or dairy products during lent. I try to go to confession more often. I gave up Eminem.


03/23/2003 03:55:58 PM

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church herself guides you into lent, so you know it's coming and start to prepare for it. How I 'mark' Lent - mostly by doing more confessions, going to as many pre-sanctified Liturgies as I can and going on a 'retreat' or pilgrimage (to a Skete). Also, the Television and VCR take a vacation into the garage during our 40 days. I'm on the internet due to my current at home job and to post prayer circles for the troops (US and UK) in Iraq right now. Marking Lent with more prayer, especially for our troops and for the innocent victims of this war is a new thing I'm doing. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on us all.


02/27/2003 08:28:34 PM

Hello! I am a teenager (16 years of age) that is just learning about religion and faith. My family doesn't go to church, so i take it upon myself to walk to the Baptist church every Sunday morning. To tell the truth, I think i'm falling inlove with religion. But i don't fully understand everything, and a lot of the sites i go to in order to learn more make me even more confused. I am looking forward to celebrating lent the right way for the first time! If there are any resources or anyway anybody can help me learn please email me at Thank You!~*~Nadina~*~


03/17/2001 11:32:37 AM

I think this season highlights how much we as Christian share in the passion and suffering of Christ. It is a time of heightened testing, in my personal experience. I am experiencing difficulties in the workplace, mostly work relationship wherein extra patience, extra understanding, extra endurance, extra perseverence becomes the call of the day. In short, it is a lot of giving up of my conveniences and allowing the Lord to use me to impart to non-Christians the loving way to go.


02/28/2001 06:52:32 PM

During Lent I avoid any alcoholic beverages.


02/25/2001 01:03:07 AM

this will be my first lent since returning to the Catholic church in November. I'm looking forward to learning more about Christ's sacrifice for us, and how I can show my empathy for his passionate suffering by sacrificing as well. I can't wait to learn more about my faith during this holy season.


02/24/2001 10:44:00 PM

This will be my first Lent. About a year ago I was barely aware of what Lent was! I was received into the Church in November 2000, and I am definitely looking forward to my first Lenten season. I am going to try to go to all the Lenten services, which is quite a task! May the blessings of God be with you all.


03/20/2000 02:13:41 AM

To Andrew: It sounds to me - and this is just my opinion, mind you - that you have been the unfortunate victim of an Orthodox community who is more concerned with money, receiving public credit for donatinos and stewardship, and concern with their heritage (Greek, perhaps) as opposed to the real cornerstone of our faith: Jesus Christ. This is a generational problem, linked to pride in where we came from. I know, because until just a few years ago, I struggled with the same problems. Priests controlled by the wealthy people in the congregation. People who had *never* read the Bible - OT *or* NT. People who really did not know that Jesus is the Son of God - but who had been Orthodox church members all of their lives. It is up to *our* generation to change this, Andrew - to take the negativity and simply *let it go* - all the pain, *let it go* - give it over to God and let Him handle it - and then move on. It's like One Minute Management - you handle it and start fresh.


03/20/2000 02:08:20 AM

To cbonner: no, God does not want us to be unhappy. It is Satan who strives to make us unhappy. God is there to support us, bail us out and comfort us in our times of need.


03/20/2000 02:05:35 AM

During Lent I double up on my Bible reading, prayers and make an extra effort to attend pre-sanctified Liturgy.


03/16/2000 12:27:49 PM

Andrew: I'm sorry that this beautiful tradition is so lost on you. Orthodox lent is indeed beautiful, but its beauty may be too subtle for most TV-trained Americans who need bright colors and pounding rhythm to get their attention. From such a perspective ritual fasting may look empty, but with understanding one can see that it's sincere and meaningful.


03/11/2000 04:52:37 AM

Orthodox Lent isn't really all that romantic. In Russian parishes it's nothing but stingy legalism parading as piety. Let's strain the gnat brigade rule O.K. as the faithful look for excuses to break burdensome rules. Charity is no longer the rule it becomes for many an excuse. Give me a break. I know of excommunication for drinking milk during Lent and people so sickened by the hypocrisy of Forgiveness Sunday they avoid going altogether. We refer to it as "Gymnastics Awfuldoxy" or "Knees Down Father Brown". And so amongst all this seeming gloom my practise this Lent will be most exacting and ascetic. I'll just try to be happy in the midst of the encircling gloom.


03/08/2000 10:51:19 PM

I was interested to read that Hindus honor ashes. Do they honor all ashes--even, say, ashes from burned paper--or just the ashes of cremated human beings?


03/08/2000 10:45:03 PM

Does God really want us to be unhappy just for the sake of being unhappy? I still don't see how it's for a higher purpose.