On 27 February – 15 April 2017 Orthodox Christians are fasting. “Healing time” – so has defined this his Holiness, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill in his word-farewell.
Before the beginning of Great lent Orthodox Christians have always celebrated Shrove Sunday. From the point of view of Holy Bible, this is a remembrance of the expulsion of Adam from Paradise for his violation of the commandments of God, distrust of God. On this day it is customary to ask forgiveness and to forgive all wrongs, in order to enter the post purified from it.
Great lent is the longest and the most rigorous of the four Orthodox fastings. It is provided before the main feast of the Easter to refer to themselves, to reform themselves and to become closer to God. The Patriarch also compared it to “spiritual sanatorium”. “The purpose of fasting is to achieve change inside,” he said.
In the churches at this time beautiful and impressive “the Great penitential Canon of St. Andrew Of Crete” is read. St. Andrew of Crete (C. 660-740 gg) was born in Palestine. He was Bishop of Crete, and saved the island from the invasion of the Arabs. The Canon is a cry to God for individual and common sins and asking for forgiveness.
It is important to remember that fasting is required on the spiritual and physical levels both. It requires constant pray and abstention from carnal pleasures. By the way, eating helps the position of the spiritual – animal food leads to carnal thoughts. Often even those people who don’t fast are recommended by doctors to eat vegetable food, which helps them to cleanse the body and to get rid of diseases.