Despite the large number of fasts in Christianity, the fast that precedes the feast of the Resurrection of Christ, peace be upon him, is the most important of all, liturgically and ecclesiastical. In which the fasting person abstains from eating foods of animal origin, such as meat, eggs, dairy and cheese, in order to eat vegetables and fruits, or what is known as foods cooked with oil at specific times known as qta“ah.

This fasting includes three combined fasts, which are:

1 week of preparation. It is also called the Sabbath change.

2- The fast of Christ. And whose duration is forty days, imitating the fast of Jesus Christ.

3- Pain week. It is also called Good Friday or Good Friday.

The Church divided the days of Lent into seven weeks, and assigned each week a special name or title in which it was known and indicated its specificity, with harmony and connection with some of them. It specified that each week begins on Monday and ends with the end of Sunday.

And since the days and weeks of fasting are an integrated unity, its goal is to bring the fasting person closer to repentance that is accepted by the Savior, and to share the poor and needy in his austere food, the Church has affirmed that:

  • The first week: Its title is Treasures, or what is known as guiding the believer to the kingdom of God. Where the church seeks to direct its children to worship God instead of worshiping money, through the saying of Jesus Christ ((Do not worship two gods…God and money)), so that Christ’s saying that their treasures are in heaven and not on earth will be fulfilled.
  • The second week: Its title is Experience. In it the Church teaches the believer how to transcend the temptations of Satan, fight him, and not submit to his temptations, dictates and desires, so he triumphs over him by taking the Lord Christ as an example when he was tempted three times by the evil one, when he tempted him in food while he was fasting, and seduced him by possessing the world All in the event that he accepts prostration to him, as he asked him to throw himself from the top of the mountain as long as God saves him.
  • The third week: Its title is The Prodigal Son. The Church teaches the believers that the example of the prodigal son with which the Lord Christ addressed them is the best evidence of God’s forgiveness of repentant sinners and His acceptance of them again.
  • Fourth week: Its title is The Samaritan. The Church teaches her children that the best weapon for the sinner is the life-giving Word of God.
  • Fifth week: titled Al-Makhla’. Proceeding from the miracle of Christ’s healing of the destitute, who was crippled by sin, as it is the main cause of spiritual and physical illnesses.
  • Sixth week: Its title is Renovations. And this week is an affirmation that baptism is inevitable because it is true enlightenment, and the second birth in the Spirit for the believer, based on the miracle that Jesus performed by healing a blind man in Jericho, where he restored his sight.
  • The seventh week: Its title is Palm Sunday. It is a reminder to the believers of the day the Lord Christ entered Jerusalem – with a popular celebration – on the back of a donkey, before he witnessed suffering, crucifixion and death, to rise glorified at the dawn of the new Sunday, which is known as the glorious Easter Sunday.

And because the fasting period is a sacred period, its goal is the spiritual growth of the individual away from the physical feeling, so whoever does not benefit from this period in strengthening his faith and his spirit will not be able to benefit from his life in days that may be far from spirituality, or a few, as it is one of the first degrees of fasting.

And the Church believed that fasting is an obligation and duty of the Christian believer, through a miracle of healing that the disciples of Christ could not perform for a man who was touched by the jinn, so that Christ said to them, “This kind does not come out except by fasting and prayer.”

And because fasting means abstaining from food and abstaining from it, the periods of interruption in the Great Fast differ according to the fasting person in terms of age, type of work and also the type of illness. It established a unified time system where the period of abstinence from food and drink begins at four in the morning and ends at four in the evening. And because fasting means abstinence and asceticism, imitating the fasting of Christ, the fasting person is not allowed to eat meat and all animal products, and although eating fish is allowed in the small fast called the Christmas fast, it is forbidden during the Great Lent, except on the day of Eid. The Annunciation, which falls on March 25 of each year, is permitted.

The start day of Lent usually varies according to the Gregorian year, since the Church adopts the Gregorian calendar in which the number of days of the year varies, and the feast of the Resurrection of Christ usually falls on the first Sunday immediately after Easter in the Jewish religion, so Friday is the anniversary of the death of the Lord Christ after his crucifixion, and Sunday is the day of his resurrection.

Sources :

  • The Bible – The New Testament.
  • The liturgical year in the Catholic Church.
  • Wikipedia the free encyclopedia .
  • The Church of Anba Takla Haymanot al-Abyssinian priest – Alexandria – Egypt.

What is Lent?