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The Great Lent FAQ

The Great Lent is the time of sharing of our time, talents and resources for the benefit of others. During this lenten season, we encourage people to share their knowlege about Great Lent for others to learn and embrace the importance of Great Lent. Here, we will collect frequently asked questions on Great Lent.


Qn 1. What is the siginificance of Great Lent ?

Answer: Lent is a time the church prepares us for the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection is more than a historical event. It prepares us to come closer to  God and thus for our own salvation. The Church, in its wisdom, provides us a time to refocus on our relationship to God and to live a Christ centered life.


Qn 2. Why do Orthodox Christians fast on Wednesdays and Fridays?

Answer: Orthodox Christians fast on Wednesday in remembrance of the betrayal of Christ and on Fridays in remembrance of His crucifixion and death.


Qn 3. Does the bible talk about Jesus's fasting for forty days?

Yes. St. Matthew chapter 4, talks about Jesus fasting forty days and forty nights.


Qn 4. What is Shubakona service?
Shubakona service is the first service that is performed at the begining of the Lent. It is a reconciliation service where we forgive others.


Qn 5. What day of the week does the Great Lent always start?
The Great Lent starts on a Monday

Qn 6. What is the Sunday prior to the start of the Great Lent called?
Kothine or Pethratho Sunday. The Gospel remembers the first miracle of Jesus - Turning water into wine

Qn 7. What is common in the Gospel readings in the first five Sundays of the Lent?
Each weeks Gospel remembers a healing that Jesus performed. They are healing the Leper, Paralytic, Cananite Woman, Crippled Women, Blind Man

Qn 8. What is the significance of the 25th day of the Lent?
25th day of the Lent is called the Mid Lent.

Qn 9. What change do we see in the Church on Mid Lent day?
A decorated cross is erected in the middle of the Church.

Qn 10. What does the cross in the middle of the Church that is erected on Mid Lent represent?
The decorated cross and the structure represents Gogultha. This reminds us the serpant errected by Moses in the desert so that people can look at it and escape from the snake bites.

Qn 11. When does the color of the cloth change from red to black?
The color of the the cloth decoration of the cross changes on Passion week

Qn 12. What is done with the palm leaves that are not distributed to the faithful during Hosanna?
The palm leaves are saved in the church and burnt during Christmas service.

Qn 13. What is the difference in the body of Christ that is given to the faithful on Pesaha day?
On Pesaha day, the bread used is the unleavened bread, whereas on every other sunday we use leavened bread.

Qn 14. What common prayer is not used during the passion week?
Hail Mary is not used during the passion week.

Qn 15. What function is performed when we keep repeating 'Kurialison' at the end of the Good friday service?
The burial of Jesus (The cross wrapped in the white cloth, which represents the body of Jesus Christ ) is performed during this time. The tomb is located at the backside of the madbaha.

Qn 16. Which other day does the Church remember all the faithful departed in addition to the 'Sunday for the Faithful departed'?
On Holy Saturday, the church remembers all the faithful departed.


Qn 17. Which feast is known as the 'feast of feasts' and is the most important feast of the church?
Easter if known as the 'feast of feasts' and is the most important feast of the church.

Qn 18. What are two other words used to describe Easter?
Kymtha (Syriac for Ressurection) and Pascal

Qn 19. How is the date of Easter calculated and why does the date change every year?
Orthodox church follows the Gregorian calender and the date of Easter is based on the first sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. For 2015, the full moon after vernal equinox is on April 4, and hence the sunday after that is easter, which is on April 5th.

Qn 20. What is the range of dates that Easter can fall on each year.
Easter, every year can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

Qn 21. How does the liturgy used in the morning prayer change from Easter ?
The kymtha liturgy is used from Kymtha (Easter) to Sleeba period of the Orthodox Liturgical calender.

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