Text below is copied from: What is Clean Monday?
Isaiah 01:17-20: Wash yourselves, and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17. learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. 18. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: and though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they red like crimson, I will make them white as wool. 19. If then ye be willing, and obedient unto Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; 20. but if ye desire not, nor will obey me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
What is Clean Monday?
Clean Monday is the Monday that begins the season of Great Lent in Eastern Orthodox Churches. This corresponds to the season of Lent found in Western Christendom, but the periods of these two seasons are calculated differently. Both have 40 days between the beginning and end of Lent because of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting the desert. Western Christendom doesn’t count Sundays because Jesus is recorded as having resurrected on a Sunday while Eastern Orthodox churches do count Sundays.
Why is it Called Clean Monday?
This first day of Great Lent is called “Clean Monday” because Christians are called upon to begin the holy season with “clean hearts and good intentions.” It is also because the season of Lent is regarded as a time for when Christians should clean up their spiritual house, coming to terms with their lives and rededicating themselves to a more holy and righteous way of living.Everyone needs to frequently wash. The accumulated grime of the day is unsightly and unpleasant and unhealthy. If we wash carefully, and ignore no dirty place, then we will be invigorated, and healthy, but if we ignore some place for a long time, that place will fester and cause us to be ill.Great Lent is especially a time for careful washing. We must be careful to ignore no place in us that is dirty, so we can be truly clean. In us there may be wicked ways: thoughts, feelings, priorities and habits that are not immediately apparent, and are all displeasing to God.This time is a time to consciously attempt to put away wicked ways from ourselves just as we put away from ourselves certain foods. How to do this? By listening and seeking, and diligence and proper priorities, and actions accomplished with a merciful heart, that is, to “learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow”.Why should we make all this effort? Because some stains are so dark and embedded that we cannot of our own effort wash them out, and their ugliness and stench will always be with us, but if the Lord sees our resolve and or effort, He will wash us so that the scarlet and crimson of our sins, and even of our sinful nature and predilections will be annihilated and forgotten, and will not return to infect us again.And those who struggle, with an honest and good heart, will inherit the good of the land, and know the Lord.
How Do Orthodox Christians Celebrate Clean Monday?
Clean Monday is a day of strict fasting – Christians are permitted to take no food from midnight to noon and no meat all day. Christians are expected to spend extra time during the day in prayer and Bible reading, just as they should throughout Lent.
Clean Monday, A Child’s Lent Remembered
Lenten Resources from PhyllisOnest.com
Lenten Coloring Pages (scroll down to find the appropriate pages)
Hymns from the first day of the Great Fast (copywork coming):
This is the first day of the Fast.For you, soul, let it be the setting aside of sin,the return to God; to life with Him.Flee from the abyss of evil.Love only those ways which lead to peace,resting before and within God.Having been tempted by foul thoughts,I have sinned in the flesh,but yet I cry out: Save me, Lord;save me, only gracious One.Do not condemn me to the fires of Gehenna,though I am fully worthy of such condemnation.Clothed with the radiant garments of the Fast,let us shed the dark and grevious garments of debauchery,so that, illumined by divine good works,we may behold in faith the radiant Passion of the Savior.