Wednesday, March 02, 2011

It's the Cheese

The week of Cheesefare is always a lot of fun.  Probably, the Church fathers didn't design it to be fun but it is, regardless of their intention.  It's a week that is like Great Lent but isn't.  Bishop Savas of Troas explains it below:

How is the week “kind of like” being in Great Lent?
· We fast all week, but in the most unique way of the entire year, fasting from meat only, with all other foods being allowed, even on Wednesday and Friday. 
· We are using hymns from the Triodion in Vespers and Matins services throughout the week, and they are decidedly Lenten in tone. 
· On Wednesday and Friday, we do not celebrate the Divine Liturgy, just as in Great Lent we do not celebrate it on most weekdays. The readings on Wednesday and Friday are of a Lenten character; we do not read the usual Epistle and Gospel, but instead read from the Old Testament (on Wednesday, all the selections are from Joel, and on Friday, from Zechariah). We follow the Lenten format of having a reading during the Sixth Hour and Vespers.: The Gospel readings on days when the Divine Liturgy is celebrated are all taken from the Passion account of St Luke. We will return to these readings during Holy Week. 
· Daily Vespers on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday begin in a “non-Lenten” way just as during the rest of the year, but the end of Vespers is ”Lenten” with the usual prayers with bows after the Aposticha, and the prayer of St Ephrem.· Wednesday and Friday Vespers are Lenten in tone, with an Old Testament Reading, and the prayer of St Ephrem, but the ending is non-Lenten in tone.  
· The quintessential prayer of Great Lent, the “Prayer of St Ephrem”, is said at every weekday Vespers beginning on Tuesday evening.  

How is the week “kind of like” being outside of Great Lent?
· Sunday and Monday evening Vespers are just like in “regular time”, but there are selections from the Triodion for Vespers and Matins, which definitely point us toward Great Lent. 
· All days except Wednesday and Friday we can serve Divine Liturgy, with its usual Epistle and Gospel readings.· As noted above, we are “kind of” fasting, and “kind of” not fasting.


GretchenJoanna said...

When I learned to call it Butter Week that definitely upped the fun factor. :-)

Matt said...

I'm going to call it Butter Week from now on, too.