MOSCOW, 15 March – RIA Novosti. Lent will take place from March 15 to May 1, 2021: Orthodox believers are trying at this time to limit themselves in food, entertainment and bad habits, as well as to pay close attention to spiritual life.
On the first day of Great Lent, in the evening, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will perform a service in the capital's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where he will begin to read the canon of St. Andrew of Crete, the press service of the Patriarch reports. This canon is read in churches in parts during the first four days of fasting and again in full on Wednesday in the fifth week of fasting.
The canon of St. Andrew of Crete is also called penitential. Each passage of the text – the troparion – is crowned with the words “Have mercy on me, God, have mercy on me.” Fasting not only prepares believers for the main Christian holiday – the Resurrection of Christ, fasting is a time of repentance, change, when people try to take a closer look at their spiritual life, confess their sins and correct themselves.
As the well-known church publicist and theologian, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, wrote, repentance consists in “measuring the distance between … what was given to us and what we used or not, did or did not fulfill.” “When, as a result of deep meditation on ourselves and on the Gospel and on the ways of God, we find ourselves in the face of our sin, our unfaithfulness to our highest calling, of course, a sharp pain, shame is pierced into our hearts: a deep shame that we are so far from of what could have been, so unlike what God intended when He created us. But this should only be an incentive to start living in a new way, “said Anthony Surozhsky.
The restrictions on the menu during fasting, as the priests write, are designed to help believers tune in to the desired spiritual mood. Fasting lasts six weeks, followed by Passion Week, which is not formally included in Great Lent, but food restrictions during this period are the strictest. During Holy Week, during the service, they recall the events before the execution and the very execution of Jesus Christ, his burial, the descent into hell. The week is crowned with the Easter holiday – that is, with the Resurrection of Christ. This year it will be celebrated on May 2.