First Sunday of Lent: The Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodox Christianity

This is the Faith of the Apostles, this is the Faith of the Fathers, this is the Faith of the Orthodox, this is the Faith which has supported the whole world.'

On this Sunday of Great Lent, our Church celebrates the Triumph of Orthodoxy, of the True faith, which has overcome all heresies and has been established once and for all. This is why it's called the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

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Clean Thursday: Holy and Great Lent

Canticle Eight

Let us abstain from every pleasure; through fasting let us enrich our powers of perception, and gladly let us drink the cup of compunction, as we sing: O ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord.

Cleansed by the Fast, let us go up into the chariot of the divine virtues, and let us make our mind ascend on wings to the height of heaven, as we sing: O ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord.

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Liturgy of the PreSanctified Gifts and the Reception of Holy Communion on Wednesdays and Fridays

Holy and Great Lent is a season of repentance, fasting, and intensified prayer, and therefore the Orthodox Christian Church encourages its believers to receive Holy Communion more frequently. However, the Divine Liturgy has a joyful character not keeping with the season. Therefore, the Presanctified Liturgy is celebrated instead; the Divine Liturgy is only performed on Saturdays and Sundays. Although it is possible to celebrate this divine service on any weekday of Great Lent, the service is prescribed to be celebrated only on Wednesdays and Fridays of Holy Lent.

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40 Holy Martyrs of Sevaste-March 9

In the year 313 A.D. Saint Constantine the Great issued an edict granting Christians religious freedom, and officially recognizing Christianity as equal with paganism under the law. But his co-ruler Licinius was a pagan, and he decided to stamp out Christianity in his part of the Empire. As Licinius prepared his army to fight Constantine, he decided to remove Christians from his army, fearing mutiny.

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The 40 Days of Holy and Great Lent

The two preceding Sundays, of the Last Judgment and of Forgiveness, together constitute -- albeit in reverse order -- a recapitulation of the whole range of Sacred History, from its beginning-point, Adam in Paradise, to its end-point, the Second Coming of Christ, when all time and history are taken up into eternity. During the Forty Days that now follow, although this wider perspective is never forgotten, there is an increasing concentration upon the central moment in Sacred History, upon the saving event of Christ's Passion and Resurrection, which makes possible man's return to Paradise and inaugurates the End. Holy Lent is, from this point of view, a journey with a precise direction; it is the journey to Pascha.

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