Lent is time of ‘joy’ for Eastern Catholics

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March 6, 2015

Crown of thorns displayed at New Jersey church

A crown of thorns. (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — “Joy” is not a word people usually associate with strict fasting and penance — unless they are Eastern-rite Catholics.

In the Eastern church, the penitential period that prepares believers to celebrate Easter, is called “Great Lent,” and its prayers invite the faithful to recognize their “need for forgiveness” and to “delight in the joy” of the fast.

Mother Theodora, the “hegumena” or abbess of the Byzantine Catholic Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton, Ohio, describes the Lenten disposition as “bright sadness.”

Read more in The Visitor….