DID YOU KNOW? Clean Monday March 18


Department of Religious Education (DRE)


March 18

Did you know that Clean Monday is our first day in the wilderness of Great Lent?

Clean Monday (in Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα) is the first day of Great Lent and an official holiday in Greece. On this day, we ceremoniously leave behind all sinful thoughts and practices, “clean” out all non-fasting food and drink from our diet, and enter into the wilderness of repentance.

On this day’s third scripture reading, we hear: “Wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the markets she raises her voice” (Proverbs 1:20). One cannot help but think of Saint John the Baptist, who was described as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (Matthew 3:3). The Forerunner of the Messiah was called to prepare the way for the coming of Christ by preaching: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).

This is what we are all called to do during Great Lent: repent and prepare the way — within our hearts and lives — for the coming of Christ at Pascha (Easter). We do this through prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and forgiving everyone.

Even Christ Himself was led to be tested in the wilderness (also described as “desert”) for 40 days. It was necessary for Christ (the “New Moses”) to succeed where the first Moses had failed, so that the Church (the “New Israel”) would not die in the wilderness (desert), but receive the promises of God.

In the liturgical season of Great Lent, we spiritually accompany Christ in the wilderness (desert) to battle with the enemies of our flesh, the world, and the evil one, in order that we may emerge victorious with Christ at Pascha (Easter).

→ Click Clean Monday for downloadable, shareable, and printable 1-pager: www.goarch.org/departments/religioused/didyouknow

→ Have a burning question you want answered by Did You Know? Email the Department of Religious Education (DRE) at: [email protected] or DM them on Instagram, X or Facebook: @goarchDRE

Read DYK? in real-time by following the DRE on Instagram, X or Facebook: @goarchDRE

DID YOU KNOW? is your go-to source for concise answers to a wide range of questions about the Greek Orthodox faith. DYK? equips Gen Z and millennials with facts they can trust and easily absorb while scrolling. Clergy, religious educators, and parents can share these nuggets of knowledge with the faithful, students, those inquiring about Orthodoxy, and loved ones.

What's New on GOARCH?