Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving leading up to Easter.
Lent is one of the most important periods in the Orthodox calendar.
Lent is often described as a time of preparation and an opportunity to go deeper with God.
First Saturday of Lent:
The Commemoration of the Miracle of Kollyva wrought by Saint Theodore the Tyro; Righteous Fathers slain at the Monastery of St. Savas; Cuthbert the Wonderworker, Bishop of Lindisfarne; Myron the New Martyr of Crete; Photini the Samaritan Woman
In this way, Lent becomes an integral part of the calendar.
Fast Day (Wine and Oil Allowed)
Epistle Reading: II Timothy 2:1-10
Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal.
But the word of God is not fettered.
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.
Gospel Reading: Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5
At that time, Jesus was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.
And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”
And he said to them: “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him.”
“How he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”
And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”
But they were silent.
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch it out,” and his hand was restored.
READ MORE: Four metre, 60kg lagana bread made in Crete.