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Lent begins for Orthodox Christians in Western Pennsylvania |

Lent begins for Orthodox Christians in Western Pennsylvania

Stephen Huba
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Belle Vernon is illuminated by the afternoon sun in March 2017.

There will be no Lenten fish fry guides for the Orthodox Christians of Western Pennsylvania.

Monday marked the beginning of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians — an especially austere time when it comes to fasting. The prescribed Lenten fast for Orthodox Christians of all stripes includes no animal products — essentially a vegan diet for 40 days.

The penitential season also is marked by increased church attendance, especially during the first week of Lent and Holy Week, increased acts of charity and more time devoted to prayer.

Pittsburgh has one of the greatest concentrations of Orthodox Christians in the United States. With an estimated 71 parishes, the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is among the Top 10 in the United States for number of Orthodox parishes per capita, according to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA.

Orthodox Christians begin Lent with the rite of mutual forgiveness held on the Sunday before Lent, known as Forgiveness Sunday.

Orthodox Easter (Pascha) falls this year on April 28 — one week after Western Easter.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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