In the ancient Church, Great Lent marked the final weeks of preparation for those who were going to be baptized – called catechumens – at the Resurrection Service. The catechumens would fast, pray, do charitable works, and study the Scriptures. Today, all Orthodox Christians participate in Great Lent through the same disciplines.
During Great Lent, our Church carries each of us through practices of prayer, fasting, charitable works (almsgiving), and worship so we can celebrate the greatest feast and gift that God has ever given: the promise of eternal life through Christ’s resurrection.
Each week in the Sunday Gospel readings, the Church gives us examples from the parables of Christ to guide our inner preparation.