5 differences between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Lent
There are many differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic observance of Lent.
As the Christian faith spread around the world, local groups of Christians celebrated the liturgical year in a slightly different way. Such is the case with Orthodox Christians (as well as many Byzantine Catholics) and Roman Catholics in their observance of Lent.
here is five fundamental differences between orthodox and catholic lent. Note that these are “general” rules, as there are many different Orthodox and Byzantine churches and each has its own local traditions.
No Ash Wednesday
Roman Catholics begin Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday and the imposition of ashes on the forehead.
Eastern Christians generally begin their observance from “Great Lent” with “sorry sunday.”
The Catholic Telegraph gives a brief summary of what happens during the liturgical ceremony, “During Vespers of Forgiveness, clergy and congregation ask each other for forgiveness, one person at a time, for the offenses they have committed, knowingly or unknowingly, and exchange a kiss of peace.
It is also called “cheesefare sundaybecause it is the last day before the Lenten fast, which includes the dairy fast.
No daily mass
While Roman Catholics continue to celebrate the Holy Eucharist every day of the week, most Eastern Christians do not celebrate the Divine Liturgy during the week.
Instead of the Divine Liturgy, Wednesdays and Fridays Liturgy of the pre-sanctified gifts is famous. It is essentially the Liturgy of the Hours with a communion service.
Roman Catholics have a similar communion service on Good Friday.
Eastern Christians have much stricter rules for fasting during Lent, fast from meat, eggs and dairy products and do not drink alcohol.
That’s far more than Roman Catholics, who are only required to fast (limit the size of meatless meals) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent.
Alleluia is used more often during Lent
Roman Catholics have the habit of “burying” the Alleluia during Lent and not reciting it before the Easter Vigil.
For many Orthodox and Byzantine Christians, the Alleluia is used more frequently during Lent, as it is considered a rarely omitted word of praise.
Purple used only on weekdays
The color violet (or purple), is most often used in Orthodox churches on weekdays of Lent, while bright colors (usually gold) are used on Sundays during Lent.
Bright and joyful colors always mark the celebrations of the Divine Liturgy, which is why Sundays retain this color even during Lent.
For Roman Catholics, the violet is used every day of Lent, except on major feasts and on the 4th Sunday of Lent, when the rose is used.