The '''Lenten Triodion''' is the service book of the Orthodox Church that provides the texts for the divine services for the pre-Lenten weeks of preparation, Great Lent, and Holy Week. It is called the ''triodion'' because the canons appointed for
Orthros during this period are composed of three odes each.
The weeks of preparation, and especially the Sunday [[gospel]] readings, serve to exercise the mind, whereas the fasting of Great Lent focuses on the body, and Holy Week's services exercise the spirit.
== Weeks of
The three weeks that commence on the fourth [[Sunday]] prior to [[Great Lent]] constitute the weeks of preparation. Each has its own distinct theme which is expressed in the [[Gospels]] readings appointed for the Divine Liturgies on these days:
:1. Sunday of the
[[Publican and Pharisee]] ([[Gospel of Luke|Luke]] 18:9-14),:2. Sunday of the [[Prodigal Son]] ([[Gospel of Luke|Luke]] 15:11-32), and:3. Sunday of the [[Last Judgment]] (also called [[Meatfare Sunday]]; [[Gospel of Matthew|Matt]] 25:31-46).
:4. Sunday of [[Forgiveness Sunday|Forgiveness]] (also called [[Cheesefare Sunday]]; the expulsion of [[Adam]] from Eden is also a theme of this day); [[Gospel of Matthew|Matt]] 6:14-21.
The Church eases us into the Lenten [[fasting]] discipline during this period. The week following the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee is fast-free. The week following the Prodigal Son is a normal week -- we fast as usual on Wednesday and Friday. In the week following Meatfare Sunday, no meat is eaten; eggs, fish, and dairy are permitted on any day.
Forgiveness Sunday brings the period of preparation to an end. The next day, [[
Pure Monday]], begins Great Lent. The [[Vespers]] service served on the evening of Forgiveness Sunday includes the Rite of Mutual Forgiveness and is the first service of Great Lent.
== Great Lent ==