Lent is the longest (7 weeks) and a strict period of abstinence in the Orthodox Christian life.
It aims to ensure that the spirit of the believer to prepare for the solemn meeting of the main Orthodox celebrations - Easter Sunday.
The tradition to fast on Lenten period hasancient history. Already in the first centuries of Christianity, believers abstain from food of animal origin in the memory of the post sorokodnevnom Lord Jesus Christ in the desert.
The most severe week of Lent are the first, third and Holy Week.
In the first week of Lent charter defines xerophagy(The use of uncooked food without oil) until Saturday. Only on Saturday and Sunday of the first week for the first time permitted the eating of cooked food with vegetable oil. Some particularly zealous Christians in the first two days of fasting and did not partake of food, using only water and bread. However, it is more suitable strict monastic practice of fasting.
All Lent defines xerophagy on Wednesdaysand Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday - food with vegetable oil. An exception is the feast of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (22 th March) - on this day are allowed to eating food cooked with oil. Fish is used exclusively in Lent feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin (7th of April) and the Entry into Jerusalem (the last Sunday before Easter). On Lazarus Saturday (before the Entry into Jerusalem) may be eating caviar.
Holy Week requires the first three daysxerophagy, on Holy Thursday allowed oil. Good Friday is the most stringent in the afternoon for an Orthodox person. Many believers do not taste the food that day until the removal of the Holy Shroud in the middle of the church (afternoon). On Holy Saturday is permitted food with oil.
It should be noted that some orthodoxChristians can not adhere to Lent in all strictness. For example, not all fast xerophagy. On the small breaks in the post, use cooked food on Wednesdays and Fridays, for example, you need to take the blessings of the confessor.
If we talk about the most common products,consumed during Lent, it is worth noting the different kinds of vegetables, mushrooms. Calorie and wholesome food is figs, various types of nuts. Some believers try as much as possible to eat fruit during Lent.
Despite the severity of bodily abstinenceLenten period, you must realize that abstinence only food of plant origin referred to the ordinary diet. Therefore, an Orthodox person certainly should strive to purify their souls in Lent. You must frequently partake, read spiritual literature and Scripture, to deal with his main passions. In this case, you must not forget about the Lenten church services taking place in all Orthodox churches.