Great Lenten Regulations 2003
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Sobornopravna

The Crucifixion of Our Lord


-The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, permitting the use of eggs and dairy products.
-All faithful of the Metropolia who are regular communicants are obliged to abstain.
-Abstinence is to be observed on Wednesdays and Fridays during the Great Fast.

Strict Abstinence:
-The law of strict abstinence (fast) forbids the used of meat, eggs and dairy products.
-All adult faithful of the Metropolia who are regular communicants are obliged to observe Strict Abstinence.
-Strict Abstinence is to be observed on the First day of Great Lent, Monday, March 10 and on Great and Holy Friday and Saturday, April 25 & 26.

Holy Communion:
A fast of one hour from food (prior to the service beginning time) should be kept by those receiving the Eucharist at the evening celebration of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Those taking medication should follow their doctor's instructions and take the medicine at the perscirbed times.

Those of a sterner discipline are greatly encouraged to keep the traditional fast of the church, that is the law of Strict Abstinence is applied throughout the season, with the usual mitigations for fish, wine and oil on the permitted days.

Laws of fasting and abstinence should never take the place of active, charitable deeds and generosity, which are to be practiced by all of the faithful.


-Pastors and Administrators may, with just cause, grant dispensations from the above fasting regulations to individuals or families for reasons of health or other serious matters. In these cases, other pious practices should be put into effect.

The Sacrament of Confession:
Confession and Communion have always been an integral part of the Lent/Easter experience. According to the universal practice of the Church, all Orthodox faithful are obliged to receive the Sacrament of Reconcilliation (Confession) during Great Lent, in preparation for Pascha. Likewise, all baptized persons are to receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season.


In keeping with our Typikon, the color of vestments worn on Sundays of Great Lent is to be white or bright. Red, or other penitential colored vestments are worn on Lenten weekdays and on the Third Sunday of Great Lent (Veneration of the Holy Cross), only. The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated on the five Sundays of Great Lent.

The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is to be celebrated at least once a week in our parish churches. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, a liturgical service at which Holy Communion is distributed (ie: Sixth Hour with Typika) may be celebrated.

On Saturday mornings, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is to be celebrated.

The second, third and fourth Saturdays of Lent are "All Souls' Saturdays." The Requiem Divine Liturgy is offered which commemorates all the faithful departed from the beginning of time. The petitions for the departed during the Great Ektenia and the "Ektenia for the Departed" after the "Ektenia of Fervent Supplication" (after the Gospel) are taken. A Panakhyda is celebrated at the conclusion of the Liturgy, at which the names of the faithful departed of the parishioners' families (Hramoty) are read aloud during the Ektenia. The family surname is read first and then, under these categories, each of the departed's first names.

On the Third Sunday of Great Lent, the decorated Holy Cross is carried from the Altar to the Tetrapod before the Divine Liturgy begins. The priest incenses the Holy Cross and then sings the hymn, "We bow to Your Cross . . . " once. It is repeated by the faithful two times. At the time of the trisagion, the priest, deacon and servers descend to the tetrapod for the singing of "We bow to Your Cross . . . " During the "Glory to the Father . . . ", the clergy venerate the Holy Cross and then retire to behind the altar for the Prokiemenon and Epistle reading. It is our custom to sing "We bow to Your Cross . . . " at the conclusion of all liturgical services during this week. Likewise, the Holy Cross is venerated by the priest and faithful throughout the week, until Friday.

March 22 (Julian date), is the remembrance of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste a feast of Polyeleos rank. Since this feast falls on a Saturday, it is observed at the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom on that day. The Prokimenon, Epistle and Gospel readings for the 40 Martyrs are combined with those of the "All Souls' Saturday" on this day. The Epistles and Gospels are taken together, one following upon the other. No introduction is made for the second Epistle or Gospel, but rather, the reader or priest simply ends the first reading and begins the second immediately. When introducing the first reading, the title of that reading is the only one given.

On the fifth Thursday of Great Lent (April 10), the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete with prostrations is perscribed. This may be anticipated on Wednesday evening. Because of the strenous nature of this penetential service, the Presanctified Liturgy is offered on this Thursday evening.

The fifth Saturday of Lent (April 11) is Akathist Saturday, which commemorates the Annunciation of the Mother of God. The Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God is to be celebrated on Friday evening or Saturday morning. If celebrated on Friday, it takes place after the Presanctified Liturgy or, if on Saturday, before the Divine Liturgy.

This year, according to the Julian Calendar, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God (April 7) falls on the Sixth Monday of Great Lent. The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with Vespers is celebrated on the evening of the feast itself, as indicated in the Typikon.

Other liturgical services in our tradition which have become part of the expericence of Great Lent for the faithful may also be celebrated. These include the Lenten Hours, Molebens, Akathists and other devotions. It is strongly encouraged to keep a full cycle of liturgical services during Great Lent in each parish.

It is our venerable tradition to sing the hymn "Preterpivyj" or "Having suffered the Passion . . . " at the conclusion of all Lenten services. The priest stands on the amvon and sings the hymn once. The faithful then repeat it two times. Three small bows are made at the words, "have mercy" and a full prostration is made at the conclusion of each repetition of the hymn. During the week following the Veneration of the Holy Cross, the hymn, "We bow to Your Cross . . . " replaces this practice, sung before the decorated cross on the tetrapod.

Great Lent officially concludes on Friday, April 18. Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday are festal days which introduce the solemn period of Passion Week.

Willow Branches along with Palm are to be blessed on Palm (Flowery) Sunday, April 20. The Rite of the Blessing of Branches takes place either during Matins or immediately before the Divine Liturgy. The faithful approach the tetrapod or other prepared place, and receive the branches from the priest. A procession of clergy and faithful with the newly-blessed branches may take place after the blessing and before the beginning of the Liturgy. The clergy and faithful are to hold their blessed branches during the Divine Liturgy, particularly at the reading of the Gospel, in which the narrative of Our Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem is mentioned and during the Great Entrance of the liturgy.

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