Tuesday, 7 March 2006

The Spiritual Atmosphere of Lent

It is hard to convey the spiritual atmosphere of Lent. This is the atmosphere during the five fasting days per week, when there is no Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. First, what the atmosphere is not: it is not gloomy or depressed and so on. Yet it is not joyful. There is a sort of serenity and sobriety that befits repentance. This is especially evident in the Liturgies of the Presanctified, where there is a sobriety and one might almost say caution in one's spiritual demeanour. There is an emphasis on guarding the truth. Of course, Saturday and Sunday have a more joyous air, as befits days that have celebrations of a liturgy with the sanctification of the Gifts.

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