Great Lent – March 18 – Over 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, including some six million in North America, will enter the season of Great and Holy Lent on Monday, March 18. This solemn day will mark the beginning of the period of prayer and fasting that precedes the celebration of Easter, the most sacred and holy day of the Orthodox Church. All Orthodox Christians will observe Easter (PASCHA) on May 5.
Orthodox Christian Lent – The Orthodox Christian Lent always begins on the Monday (March 18)before the Sunday of Orthodoxy. It is designated as “Clean Monday”, the “Monday of cleansing or purification”. On that day Orthodox faithful are required to begin a spiritual and moral purification through fasting, prayer, meditation, repentance, attending Lenten religious services and partaking of the Sacraments of Confession and Communion. Religious services during the Lenten period are especially beloved by Orthodox faithful. They include the Compline, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the Salutations to the Virgin Mary and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil compiled in the 4th Century.