The Lenten worship is thus a school of repentance. It teaches us what is repentance and how to acquire the spirit of repentance. It prepares us for and leads us to the spiritual regeneration, without which "absolution" remains meaningless. It is, in short, both teaching about repentance and the way of repentance. And, since there can be no real Christian life without repentance, without this constant "reevaluation" of life, the Lenten worship is an essential part of the liturgical tradition of the Church. The neglect of it, its reduction to a few purely formal obligations and customs, the deformation of its basic rules constitute one of the major deficiencies of our Church life today.
Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann