The Great Lent

February 17, 2023

The Great Lent is the holiest fast of our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of human beings. Therefore, we fast for forty days, on the fast following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. This year’s fast starts on Yekatit 13 (February 19, 2023), and ends at Miyazia 8 (April 16).

During Great Lent, we learn the holy gospel and about great means of repentance along with prayer and fasting at Church. Some might not understand the meaning of fasting; “fasting does not mean to just abstain from certain foods and drinks. Fasting without prayer is essentially nothing less than a bodily act.”

Fasting helps us to pray and purifies our soul. When we are occupied with good endeavors internally in unity work with God, we are likely to be cleaned from any form of harm. Whilst the body is humbled by hunger, so does also the soul also. Thus, we shall habit to abstain not just from food and but from any kind of iniquity letting the fast to bring forth chastity and spirituality. We must struggle to confiscate faults and weaknesses throughout our spiritual life that we hinder good relationships not only within ourselves, but with our relationship with God, and our brothers and sisters through Christ.

It shall also be noted that our fast must not be for a show or recognition of others. Because then it would not be virtue but a pretense in worldly life. It must also be known by our Heavenly Father in who sees everything in secret. Through the fast of great lent, we are in passage to “this most sacred time of the year” and so have to observe the flaws and failures we have encountered for the redemption of our sins, through our repentance and spiritual life. We shall seek to realize the damages, asking no only ourselves but our spiritual father in search for salvation and better ending, with the guidance of God.

Zewerde (First coming of Lord Jesus Christ)

The first week of the great lent is called “Zewerede.” The reason for this is because the first week of the fast is the resemblance of the Holy Son, Lord Jesus coming to this world from the heavens for the work of salvation. This was done through His coming to earth, being born from Holy Mother Saint Mary, His baptism, His Fast- the great lent for forty days and night and His teaching of Gospel and miraculous works.

May God have guides us through this great fast and for we could be forgiven, Amen!

Source: – The Coptic Orthodox Church