Review of the Great Lent and Christ's Paskha, rules of the fast, customs, meanings and so on.
(I) Great Lent: (101) General Information, (102) Parts of Great Lent; (102.1) "Chetyredesiatnica"; (102.2) "Passion Week"; (102.3) Determination of Paskha's Date; (102.4) How do Orthodox and Western Christians look at the Lent; (102.5) The Prayer of St.Efrem Sirin; (102.6) 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste; (103) How to fast; (104) Beginning of Lent "Trioda"; (104.1) First Preparatory Week; (104.2) Second Preparatory Week; (104.3) Third Preparatory Week; (104.4) Forgiveness Sunday; (105) Chetyredesjatnica; (105.1) The First week of the Great Lent; (105.2) The Celebration of Orthodoxy; (106) Lazarus Saturday; (107) The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem; (108) Passion Week; (108.1) Great Thursday; (108.2) Great Friday.
(II) Paskha of our Lord: (201) Paskha - Orthodox Celebration; (202) Christ's Resurrection; (203) Beginning of the Holy Day; (204) Procession with the Cross; (205) The Word by St. Epistle "Zlatoust"; (206) Bright Easter Liturgy; (207) Breaking the Fast; (208) Paskha's Bright Week; (209) Paskha's period; (210) Paskha's Traditions; (211) Significance of Paskha.
(III) The Epistle of St. John Zlatoust (Chrysostom, Goldenmouth).
(IV) The Rules for Great Lent for Orthodox Christians.
101. General Information. The period of the Great Lent and Paskha (Easter) is the most bright, beautiful, instructive and touching period in the Orthodox calendar. These days begin with the Forgiveness Sunday, when we ask forgiveness from all and are forgiving everybody. This period is full of prayers, services, spiritual and bodily "podvigs" (feats) and it ends with the celebration of "Christ's Resurection" - Paskha (Easter). And the Great Lent is the time of correction, spiritual  and bodily "podvigs" (feats), and Paskha (Easter) is the Orthodox celebration, the celebration of the right faith.
Therefore, the Great Lent is the period of preparation for the biggest holy day, the holy day of Sacred Paskha. For this great event we are preparing ourselves spiritually and bodily. Spiritual preparation consists of allowing more time for home prayer and confession, attendance of Divine Services, spiritual reading, good deeds, distancing ourselves from everything that is sinful, intensifying the following of God's Commandments and correcting of our sinful habits. Bodily preparation consists of eating only lent food and not eating non-lent food. During the Great Lent, all Orthodox fast, have a confession and a communion at least once.
[See also the leaflet (IV) at the end of this page].
102. Parts of Great Lent. The Great Lent is divided into "Chetyredesiatnitsa" (first forty days) and "Strastnaya" (Passion) Week (week before Paskha). Between them there is Lazarus Saturday ("Verbnaya" Saturday) and the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem ("Verbnoe voskresen'e). Thus the Great Lent lasts seven weeks (more exact 48 days) and is divided into four parts:
Chetyredesiatnica" reminds us of 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the desert, preparing Himself for the teaching. Therefore, we are also preparing ourselves, during the lent, for Paskha and for Christian life in general, by prayer and struggle with our sinfulness[*]. This period is not a mourning and robes in the church are not black, but dark red.
[*] Western Christians consider sins, in general, only the violation of commandments. Orthodox view of a sin is much broader. All people are considered sinners, except Lord Jesus Christ. Since sin is a destructive behavior, therefore its elimination from our life brings peace, silence, love and tranquility.
102.2 "Passion Week". Passion Week is the last week of the Great Lent. This week (6 days to be more exact) is devoted to memories of sufferings, death on a cross and Jesus Christ's burial. This is a mourning period and consequently the robes in the church are black. All days in Passion Week are called "Great": Great Monday, Great Tuesday etc.
102.3 Determination of Paskha's Date. Paskha (Orthodox "Paskhalia") is determined by the rule which was established on the First Ecumenical Council (325), in the city of Nicea. By this rule, Paskha is always on the first Sunday after a spring full moon and after Jewish Paskha. Decisions (canons) of Ecumenical Councils cannot be changed.
The Roman (Catholic) Church separated from the Orthodox Church in 1054. From that time they have made many changes. One of them was the introduction of so-called "new calendar". The Roman Church changes were also followed by Protestants. Because of this, Jewish Paskha can happen after their Easter, which breaks the rules established by the First Ecumenical Council in 325.
102.4 How do Orthodox and Western Christians look at the Lent. Orthodox and Western Christians look at the Lent differently. Western Christians have lost the ancient concept of Lent as a spiritual and moral correction of oneself, that is as a struggle with our sinfulness. They see this period, as the period of the increased prayer and a sacrifice to God; as giving up of some favorite habit. The Orthodox lent is much deeper and wider. This is the time of increased spiritual and moral "podvig" (feat), cleansing and correcting oneself, which is combined with a bodily fast.
102.5 The Prayer of St. "Efrem Sirin". During the Great Lent, in the church and at home, repentance prayer of St. "Efrem Sirin" is being read (below is a special study translation):
[A] 102.6 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. There is people's old custom, on the day of 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste (Севастийских) (March, 9/22) to bake buns shaped like birds - larks, and in the middle of the lent on Wednesday (13 Mar./26 Mar. in 2014) as crosses, called "crosses".
103. How to fast. It is very difficult to make rules for lent, for monks and clergy, and another for laymen, with various exceptions for elderly, sick, children etc. Therefore, in the Orthodox Church - very wisely - the rules of lent are given as a maximum, the same one for everybody. There is no division in rules for monks, clergy and laymen. But, it is necessary to remember that we are all weak and that is why it is necessary to approach lent wisely. One is not to undertake something that is beyond one's capability. Therefore laymen, in most cases, are somehow lightening the lent for themselves. It is necessary to aspire to achieve lent requirements, but the actual fulfillment depends on our strength and circumstances. Inexperienced in the lent should start reasonably and gradually. Adult laymen may partly lighten the lent, and persons who are sick and children can fast with even a lighter lent. For example, in Russian schools children used to fast only during the first week of the lent and during the Passion Week. (Let us remember how runners train, they do not start right away a marathon race, but are preparing themselves gradually and during the long period).
And so, during the lent one cannot eat meat, fish, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, wine and eat more than once a day. On Saturdays and Sundays one can have vegetable oil, wine and eat twice a day.
On holidays which coincide with the lent, the lent becomes less strict. For example, on Saturdays and Sundays vegetable oil and wine are allowed, on Lazarus Saturday one can have caviar, and on the Annunciation and the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem the fish is allowed.
The first four days of the Great Lent, and also the whole Passion Week, are very strict. The most strict lent is on Great Friday; nothing can be eaten.
In the prayers it often says to "lent with a pleasant fast". This means that it is necessary to arrange for ourselves such a program for lent which will be pleasant, spiritually pleasant. In the same way as morning exercise or jogging is pleasant, in the same way the bodily fast should be pleasant. It is like we are taking a spiritual shower and shaping up spiritually. But we have to know our strength and not to fast too little or too much. In the first case we can be disappointed and become disillusioned, and in the second we will not achieve the necessary spiritual and body tension (exercise), that is the "podvig" (spiritual feat). If we will try to follow the rules which are above our capability, this can bring harm to our body and soul. The same thing is happening with the runner who will start a race which is above his strength. But, how to simplify the lent, in its severity or in its length? Archimandrite Spiridon (Efimov, Palo Alto, California, +1984) thought that it is better to reduce its length. It is better to fast less time but to observe all rules, than to fast longer and not follow all rules.
104. Beginning of Lent "Trioda". The Great Lent is preceded by three preparatory weeks. During these three weeks, the Church starts gradually preparation for the Great Lent.
104.1 First Preparatory Week. During the first preparatory week there is no fast, this is why it is called the "Complete Week". Ordinarily there is a fast each Wednesday and Friday. On Sunday of the first "trioda" the reading is from the Gospel is "Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican" (Luke 18:10-14). This parable sets the tone for the whole lent. It teaches us how should we approach the lent: humbly, with a repentance and without pride (arrogance). Only then, we can see our mistakes and change ourselves for the better.
104.2 Second Preparatory Week. During the second preparatory week, Wednesday and Friday are ordinary lent days. On Sunday before this week, on the Liturgy, the reading is from the Gospel "Prodigal son" (Luke 15:11-32). In this parable Jesus Christ was saying about prodigal (wandering) son returning to his father. This is how we sometimes leave our Lord God, and with this reading the Church is calling us to return to Him.
104.3 Third Preparatory Week. The third preparatory week is called "Mjasopustnaja" or "Syrnaja" or people call it simply "Masljanica". During this week Wednesday and Friday are fast days, but the meat already cannot be eaten; but milk, eggs, fish and the rest, one can. An old Russian custom, at this time is to prepare "bliny" (special pancakes) and also to have some amusements. On Sunday before this week, on the Liturgy it is read from the Gospels about the Judgement Day (Matthew 25:31-46). By this reading the Church reminds us that we should do good deeds and calls sinners to repent, reminding us that we will answer for all our sins.
104.4 Forgiveness Sunday. Sunday before the beginning of the Great Lent is called "Forgiveness Sunday". During the liturgy the Gospel with a part from the Sermon on the Mount is read (Matthew 6:14-21) where it says about the necessity to forgive, about fasting, and about collecting heavenly treasures. On this day we ask each other for forgiveness. This is the first step into the Great Lent. In the evening, after the evening service, the priest sets an example by being the first to ask forgiveness from everybody. After that, all parishioners approach and ask him for forgiveness, and also from each other. During that day, everybody makes the best effort to reconcile with each other. In some churches the lent evening service is served right after the morning liturgy.
105.1 The First week of the Great Lent. The first week of the lent, together with last, are characterized by fast being strict and by lengthy Divine services.
105.2 The Celebration of Orthodoxy. "The Celebration (Victory) of Orthodoxy" is celebrated on the first Sunday of the Great Lent. This holiday is devoted to the memory of victory of Orthodox during the 7-th Ecumenical Council.
The Seventh Ecumenical Council was held in Nicea (787) and it was called to deal with "iconoborcev" (iconoclastic heresy). This was the last Ecumenical Council. Iconoclastic heresy appeared 60 years before the Council, during Lion "Isavre" emperor. He wanted to attract muslims - who had no icons - to Christianity, and started gradually persecution of icons and Christians who venerated icons. At this Council iconoclastic heresy was rejected.
After Seventh Ecumenical Council iconoclastic heresy has arisen one more time and for about 25 years was disturbing the Church. Reverence of icons was finally established and approved on "Pomestnyi" (Local) Council in 842-nd year. On this Council, the holiday of Orthodoxy was established and it is always celebrated on the first Sunday of the Great Lent.
On this Holy Day church icons are placed, in the middle of a church in a semicircle, on "analoys" (high narrow little tables for icons).
106. Lazarus Saturday (John 11:1-57; 12:9-11).
Close to Jerusalem there was a settlement called "Vifaniya". In it lived Lazarus with two sisters: Martha and Maria. Lord liked Lazarus and frequently visited this pious family. Once Lazarus was sick. Martha and Maria sent a message to Jesus Christ: "My Lord, the one whom you love, is sick". Jesus answered: "this illness is not to the death, but to the God's glory". Two days passed. Jesus said to his followers: "Lazarus, our friend, died", and went with them to "Vifaniya".
Martha met Jesus Christ and said to him: "My Lord if you were here, the brother of mine would not have died. But also now I know, that whatever you will ask God, He will give it to you". The Lord answered her: "your brother will be resurrected". Maria came with relatives and friends and fell down to Jesus Christ's legs and spoke: "My Lord, if you were here, my brother would not have died". Seeing their grief, Jesus Christ cried. When they came to the cave where Lazarus was buried, Jesus Christ said to move the stone from the entrance of the cave. Martha saw him and said: "My God! The body already smells, because it is four days in the grave". Jesus Christ lifted His eyes to the heaven and, after praying, loudly exclaimed: "Lazarus, get out"! The dead one came out of the grave, hands and legs in bandages, and face covered with scarf. Many Jews, seeing this miracle, believed in Jesus Christ.
Lazarus Saturday occurs during the Great Lent; between "Chetyredesjatnica" and the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. On Lazarus Saturday following foods are allowed: "ikra" (caviar), vegetable oil and wine.
107. The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-17).
Six days prior to Easter, Jesus Christ went from "Vifanija" to Jerusalem. In the middle of the trip, upon His wish his followers brought to him the donkey, so that He could travel on it. They covered him with their clothing and Jesus Christ sat and him and went to Jerusalem.
As He was travelling, many people from Jerusalem came to meet Him. Some removed their clothing and laid them on the road; others cut palm branches and carried them in their hands or threw them in front of Him exclaiming "Osanna" (hosanna - praise the God) to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God! "Osanna" in the greatest"! Especially the children joyfully welcomed the Savior and even in the temple shouted: "Osanna" to the Son of David"!
The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (also known as "Verbnoe Voskresen'e") is celebrated on Sunday, one week prior to Easter, between Lazarus Saturday and Passion Week. On this holiday the fish, oil and a wine is allowed.
108. Passion Week. [15мар13]
108.1 Great Thursday. On Great Thursday, at night, the Great Friday "utrenja" is being served. On this service "Dvenadcat' Evangelij" (12 Gospels) are read, that is 12 parts from four Gospels, which are describing Jesus Christ's suffering before the crucifixion. During reading of the Gospels, everyone stands with the lit candles, and the bell calls out the number, which corresponds to the number of the Gospel being read. Following "Gospels" are read:
After the 8-th Gospel the Canon is read, and then a very touching "Eksapostilarij" is sung. In it, it is remembered how Jesus Christ, has forgiven the thief who was crucified together with him, because in the last minute before his death he repented. This prayer is sung only once a year. Usually the solo starts singing, then the trio sings, and then the chorus - everything is sung three times. For this touching moment, the chorus has to seriously practice, and the members of the church are wait with great interest to see, what did their favorite chorus master prepare for them. During this singing, very often one can see tears in the eyes of the people (worshippers):
Divine service consists from "ektenijas", singing and most importantly of the readings of "12 Gospels". During the reading, worshipers stand with the lit candles and follow the reading from their own Gospels (in a small format). This divine service can be understood also by those who do not speak Russian, since they can follow from Gospels in their own language.
After the divine service everyone approaches the Cross and after bowing three times to the ground, kisses it and leaves the church. There is a custom to bring home the lit candle (with which one stood during the whole service) from the church and above the front door of the home (apartment or house), to trace a cross with its flame. To do all this, it is obviously necessary to prepare some kind of lamp, to be able to carry flame all the way home.
108.2 Great Friday. The Service on Great Friday is devoted to the memory of death of Jesus Christ's on the cross, the removal from the cross of His body and His burial. The "vechernja" is served at one o'clock in the afternoon, the hour of His death on the Cross. The shroud which represents Jesus Christ's body, is brought out from the altar, to the middle of the church. There is a second service with religious procession in the evening. This is the day of a very strict lent when nothing can be eaten. For whom is this difficult, they should eat and drink nothing until the shroud is brought out of the altar and after that one can eat only bread and water.
201. Paskha - Orthodox Celebration. The Great Lent, the time filled with prayers, repentance, forgivness, self-correction, spiritual and bodily "podvigs" (feats - heroic deeds) ends with Paskha, as it was said in the very beginning, the period of Orthodox celebration, the celebration of the true faith.
202. Christ's Resurrection.
On the first day after Saturday, early in the morning, Jesus Christ has resurrected from the dead. At the same time there was a strong earthquake. From the heaven descended Lord's angel; his appearance was like a lightning, and his attire was white, as a snow. He removed the stone from the cave, that served as a grave, and set on it.
The Soldiers on guard, from fear fell down on ground and kept still like dead, and then, having come to themselves, run away. Some of them came to elders and told them what happened. The elders gave them money and told them to say that, as if at night, when they slept, Jesus Christ's followers came and stole His body.
Christ's Resurrection is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first spring full moon (between 22 March/4 of April and April 25/8 May).
203. Beginning of the Holy Day. The Holiday starts with Christ's Resurrection, at midnight between Great Saturday and Sunday. The special solemn service Bright Easter "Zautrenja" is being served. The service begins at midnight, when the clergy and the altar boys in the altar, start to sing "stihira" in a very soft voice, then slowly louder and louder, and then finally the chorus joins in:
204. Procession with the Cross. With this singing starts the procession around the church (three times), while the bell rings solemnly. During the service the priest again and again with great joy greets worshippers with the words "Hristos Voskrese" (Christ has risen) (three times) and each time the worshipers answer "Voistinu Voskrese" (Truly He has risen). Sometimes this greeting is done in other languages. During the service the chorus frequently sings:
205. The Epistle by St. John "Zlatoust". At the end of "Zautrenja" the priest reads well-known "The Epistle by St. John "Zlatoust" (Goldenmouth) (347-407) (see the end of this paper) which beautifully describes the celebration and the meaning of the Paskha. After the service all the worshippers approach the priest who holds in his hands the cross, kiss the cross and "hristosojutsja" with him, and after with the friends. Ordinarily here, near the cross, everybody receives from the priest one red egg. "Zautrenja" continues for about an hour and a half. After "Zautrenja", some worshippers leave home, to "razgovljatsja" at home with their relatives and friends. Certainly, the common sense tells us, that in order to feel comfortably late at night, one should try to sleep for few hours, in the evening, before attending the "Zautrenja". This is especially important for the children.
206. Bright Easter Liturgy. The Bright Easter Liturgy, which lasts about two hours, is served in some churces right after "Zautrenja". Thus Paskha's Divine Service comes to an end, after three o'clock in the morning. During this Liturgy, worshippers who fasted, had confession and communion during the Holy Week, can again have a communion without a confession, if during the expired time, there were no great sins committed.
207. Breaking the Fast. After the divine service, since the lent already ended, the worshippers usually o have a non-fasting meal at the church or in their homes. But, as it was said before, some go home earlier and have a non-fasting meal right after "Zautrenja". The worshipers also bring "kuliches", "cheese pasha" and Paskha's colored eggs, to be blessed by the priest, after the service.
208. Paskha's Bright Week. Paskha is celebrated seven days, that is all week and this is why this week is called "Paskha's Bright Week". Each day of the week is called bright; Bright Monday, Bright Tuesday etc., and the last day, Bright Saturday. Divine services are being served every day. "Carskie Vrata" (Royal Doors) are open all week. Obviously, there is no fast on Bright Wednesday and Friday.
209. Paskha's Period. The whole period until the Ascension (40 days after Paskha) is considered to be Paskha's period and all orthodox people greet each other with the greeting "Hristos Voskrese!" (Christ has risen!) and the answer is "Voistinu Voskrese!" (Truly He has risen). Even when they lift the telephone receiver they do not say "hello", but "Hristos Voskrese!" All this period has many customs and traditions about which one could say or write a lot.
210. Paskha's Traditions. As it was already said above, Paskha is celebrated seven days. During the first day of Paskha, the wives stay at home, and the men, family friends, go from house to house and visit their relatives and friends. (Everybody has an "Open House"). The tables are set-up (buffet style). On the tables is the non-lent food. Usually there is following food: for "zakuska" herring, then soup, chicken, meat, ham, potatoes, salads, vodka, wine etc. For dessert cheese pasha, kuliches, tortas, kompot, tea and coffee. Usually the visitor sits at the table for about half an hour and they say good bye and leave and the guest goes to visit other friends. It is absolutely necessary to visit all relatives, then good friends and especially older, elderly and sick. Usually the presents are not brought on this day. On the second day of Paskha it is customary for wives to visit friend and husbands to stay home, but these days this is not practiced. In our times, during these holy days, many people make arrangements and simply visit to each other.
211. Significance of Paskha. Christ's Resurrection is the greatest Holy Day for Orthodox Christians. For Western Christians the biggest holiday is Christ's Christmas. Every person has a birthday and that Lord Jesus Christ had birthday, says nothing of who He was. To resurrect could only God, this is why Christ's Resurrection is telling us that He was Lord Jesus Christ, Son of Lord God, the Second Person of Holy Trinity. Western Christians drifted away from Orthodox teaching and like to diminish Jesus Christ's Godliness and this why they celebrate His Resurrection much less, and sometimes even try not to mention it.
As it was already said above, Orthodox Christians are preparing themselves for this greatest holiday with the Great Lent which lasts 48 days. Then there is a whole series of holidays which are connected with Christ's Resurrection and all of them are counted from it. For example: Lazarus Saturday and the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem (Saturday and Sunday before Paskha), the Ascension (on Thursday, 40 days after Paskha), the Holy Trinity (the Coming of Holy Spirit onto Apostles, on Sunday, 50 days after Paskha), the All Saints (on Sunday, week after the Holy Trinity), and All Russian Saints that shined in the Russian Land (on Sunday, week after All Saints).
Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry.
Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!
Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?
Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!
Let us now finish our labor with famous St. John "Zlatoust" (Goldenmouth) words:
16 February/1 March 1995 г.
The Week of Last Judgement. Masljanica.
General rules for lent: No meat, fish, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, wine and to eat more than once a day.
During Saturday and Sundays: Allowed vegetable oil, wine (little bit) and eat twice a day.
1. Some margarine contain milk. Such margarine is non-lent.
2. Bread sometimes contains "vegetable shortening", that is fat from plants or vegetable oil. Such bread is non-lent.
3. Simply "shortening" can be "animal shortening" or "vegetable shortening", that is fat from animals or fat from plants. This implies that just "shortening" oil is non-lent.
The lent is one of the most powerful means for changing ourselves for the better. This is the time of intensified abstention from everything bad and striving towards everything good. This spiritual lent is the most important, but it is impossible without a bodily lent. During the lent we cleanse our soul and it is necessary to approach it with joy.
During the lent it is necessary to create for ourselves the style of life, which will as an invisible iron shield protect us from the sinful world. We will continue to live in the world, and in the spirit will make a pilgrimage to a monastery. This will promote a prayer, solitude, reflection, introspection, self-correction, spiritual reading, abstention from sinful acts, words and ideas, struggle with our weaknesses and sinful habits and a general spiritual growth.
It is necessary to aspire to achieve lent requirements, but the actual fulfillment depends on our strength and circumstances. Inexperienced in the lent should start reasonably and gradually. For example it is possible to partly lighten the lent. Persons who are sick and children can fast with an easier lent.
What a great source of spiritual gifts is our lent and it is so typical of our times, for this greatness to be overlooked and not known.
Questions for students of the "Russian Church Gimnasia at the Church of all Saints that shined in Russian land" in Burlingame, California:
 Russian Alphabet (SE-03)
 Russian Transliteration. Some Russian words, in the above text, are transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin alphabet in a standard way as follows:
A(А), B(Б), V(В), G(Г), D(Д), E(Е), Zh(Ж), Z(З), I(И), J(Й),
K(К), L(Л), M(М), N(Н), O(О), P(П), R(Р), S(С), T(Т), U(У),
F(Ф), H(Х), C(Ц), Ch(Ч), Sh(Ш), Shch(Щ), "(Ъ), Y(Ы), '(Ь), E(Э),