Many faithful prayed on Clean Monday during the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete, officiated by Patriarch Daniel at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church addressed the faithful present at the Great Compline officiated Feb. 27 and spoke about the meaning and benefits of fasting.
His Beatitude stressed that Lent is a sign of repentance and a sign of regret for a life lived against God’s will in a disordered manner. He went on to say that through fasting and prayer, man sanctifies his life.
Fasting and performing good deeds, the patriarch said, transforms man into a light among fellow people and a chosen vessel of God’s glory.
The Patriarch also referred to the Old Testament triptych: pray – fast – give alms. In the New Testament, fasting has a deeper meaning: it contributes to the renewal of our life and our spiritual enrichment.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ recommended us to fast in order to strengthen our relation with God and to fight against temptations and demonic power.
When fasting, we manifest our love of God and intensify our prayer, because Christ’s merciful love is our spiritual nourishment during Lent, the Patriarch said.
That is why by fasting we support our prayer while fasting without praying does not represent a spiritual work, but rather a biological exercise, the Patriarch said ending his homily.
During the first week of Lent, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel wears black inner and outer cassock and a white kamilavka.