Why Christians observe the Lent?
There now, winter behind. Cheerful Maslenitsa ceased, there took place Forgiveness Sunday. And together with spring also the Lent came. Orthodox Christians this year begin it on Monday, March 2.
The periods of the compelled starvation are characteristic of many living beings, people not an exception. With the advent of religion the special sense began to be given to a post.
There is an opinion that Christians began to fast not to frighten off potential flock and to differ not too markedly from Jews who had a custom to observe a post on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To avoid charges of a chrevougodnichestvo, Christians decided to fast too, but, of course, on other days - on Wednesday and Friday.
And at the Lent too deep, pre-Christian roots. Christians to it came if to apply modern concepts to advance own belief, showing to pagans that baptized people assumed a cross not from aspiration to the wordly benefits and are capable to overcome any difficulties for the sake of belief.
At early stages of formation of Christianity were christened, generally consciously. The church was adjoined by the mature people burdened by the existing conventions and with the settled principles. The office of Baptism could occur all several times in a year, the baptism on the Holy Saturday on the eve of Easter was the most mass.
Of course, such serious step as acceptance of new belief, from a bay - a barakhta nobody did. Pagans prepared, prayed, listened to sermons and, testing firmness of of and beliefs, by traditions of the environment observed a post.
Here from solidarity with the suffering potential candidates for brothers in faith Christians also began to fast before Easter.
Now it is the longest and strict Christian post symbolizing not only readiness of the believing person for self-sacrifice, but also ability to empathize and support the neighbor.
The modern spiritual maintenance of the Lent - preparation for Resurrection. “ Who neglects the Forty day fast … that does not celebrate Easter holiday “ - it was said in the easter message of Athanasius the Great in 346. During a post orthodox Christians pray, read spiritual texts, and restraint from food clears a body and strengthens spirit.
Today rules of a post are not so strict as once. In them there are a lot of eases and exceptions for patients, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. The church does not welcome “ eagerness not on reason “ which can lead to serious consequences.
Rules of abstention differ during the different periods and days of a post a little. The general requirement - to eat fast food and to exclude meat, eggs, milk, fish, oil and alcohol. It is necessary to adhere to the most strict restrictions the first and last weeks of a post.
But there are also exceptions. On Saturdays and Sundays vegetable oil and a little grape wine is admissible. In holidays, such as the Lady Day and the Palm Sunday fish is resolved, and on the Lazarus Saturday - on the eve of Pussy-willow revival - it is possible to eat fish caviar.
Good luck and progress in charitable undertakings.