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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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 On all the days of the holy Lent devoted to fasting, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday and the days of the holy Annunciation, let the sacred liturgy of the presanetified be celebrated.

(Ap. c. LXIX; cc. XLIX:LI of Laodicea).



The days of holy Lent are days of mourning and of contrition and of penitence. But for a perfect sacrifice to be offered to God, and indeed in the commemorations of saints, is deemed by the majority of people to be a matter of heydey, and of joy, and of festivity. That is why they are wont to indulge in merry-making during this period. For this reason the present Canon commands that on the other days of Lent there shall be a celebration of the liturgy of the presanetified,[177] which is the same as saying the second offering of the finished and offered sacrifice, whereas on Saturdays and Sundays, as more hilarious days and not devoted to fasting, likewise also on Annunciation Day, as being the commencement of our salvation and the exordium, and consequently as a feast day and festival, it allows a perfect sacrifice and liturgy to be celebrated.




Canon XLIX of Laodicea is in agreement with the present Canon in decreeing that bread is not to be offered during Lent, or, in other words, a perfect liturgy, but only on Saturday and Sunday. Furthermore, c. LI of the same prohibits the celebration of commemorations and birthdays of martyrs on fasting days in Lent, but allows it only on the Saturdays and Sundays therein. Balsamon, in his Interpretation of c. LI of this C. of Laodicea, and, above all, Blastaris, in ch. 5, stich. 300, say that not even memorials for the sleeping are to be held on the other days in Lent, the sole exception being Saturday,[178] just as the rituals conformably prescribe. See also Ap. c. LXIX.



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