How the Orthodox Church advises to carry out Maslenitsa?
Maslenitsa - in public favourite holiday originating in far pagan traditions. However after acceptance of a baptism it accepted other sense. Unfortunately, the majority of modern mass media unilaterally treat sense of Pancake Week, calling it time of wide festivities, impetuous fun and a feast. Other party of this question - a view of Maslenitsa of Orthodox Church it is mentioned very little.
According to representations of Russian Orthodox Church, Pancake week (or Cheese ) week is the period of the last, special preparation for the Great forty-day post and to the light holiday of Resurrection coming behind it. These days should be spent in deep thoughts about global spiritual questions: the end of terrestrial history and the inevitable Last Judgement, about continuous fight of the good and evil, about forgiveness and offenses, about abstention and sins. Thanks to reflections about a victory of the light beginning over dark and approach of the God`s Kingdom on the earth, souls of Christians are covered with pleasure. Owing to features of these days, on Cheese week the obligatory post on Wednesday and on Friday is cancelled. At the same time, is forbidden to eat meat products . This ancient church situation was approved in the seventh century. Then the Byzantine tsar Irakli for many years waged the hardest war against the Persian tsar Hozroya. Injured huge losses in tiresome war, the governor of Byzantium then vowed to God to stop the use in food of meat in the last week before the Lent at the safe termination of military operations. Bloodshed came to the end, and Church, in honor and gratitudes, kept the promise of the tsar Irakli.
Not incidentally this week call still meat-fare . The cheese food (dairy products) is urged to prepare believers for a post. The main attribute of Maslenitsa - pancake - not only a pagan symbol of the sun, but also an embodiment of festive food in Cheese week. Priests remind that these days various sensual pleasures constitute special danger to human souls. Festive amusements mean. Of course, formal dinner parties with relatives and friends are not forbidden, but it have to be heart-felt, quiet meetings , but not noisy feasts with a mass of alcoholic drinks.
Already this, Pancake week week, calls believers for special of spiritual concentration . It is necessary to refuse tasty dishes without regret and to enter the Lent without grief and despondency. Besides, it is important that the person learned to limit the corporal requirements gradually, paying bigger attention to the spiritual development. Really, to begin to fast after a week of the use of all dainties and delicacy, extraordinary difficult. Here too it is necessary to specify in what, according to Orthodox Church, the Lent essence consists. Refusal of products of an animal origin (and especially modern diets) - not the main thing. It is necessary not to forget about God`s precepts , to have in soul feeling of humility , patience, forgiveness, and in heart - pure thoughts .
It is necessary to exult in days of Cheese week not from - for the fact that the winter comes to an end and the spring, and from - for thoughts of future celebration of love on the earth comes nearer. Especially, the real, beautiful spring with the first warm days and the blossoming trees comes not in days of Maslenitsa, and on a light holiday of Easter. By the way, the Orthodox Church as an echo of paganism and burning of an effigy of winter does not approve.
This week the sacrament of wedding is not made. In Sunday evening in the temple the so-called rank of forgiveness is made when priests and parishioners mutually ask each other for forgiveness. It is very good to say in Cheese week Saint Ephrem the Syrian`s prayer . And memories of Jesus Christ`s sufferings, of feats of great Saints, of Adam and Eve`s falling have to become a source of spiritual enlightenments. Also, in the last days of a week it is necessary to pray for the dead. Special church church services confirm that this week - approach of repentance and abstention , time of corporal and spiritual clarification , and, of course, of mutual reconciliation . For receiving forgiveness of own sins, we, first of all, have to release all offenses and ask forgiveness for neighbors .
the most important - the fact that the soul of the person has to be sincerely pure before the Lord, but did not seem that only at people around. To confess, forgive and ask forgiveness never late.