The Triodion is an ecclesiastical period which lasts for ten weeks. This period is not a fixed one because it depends on the date of the celebration of Easter. It is called Triodion of fasting because the larger part of it falls during the period of Great Lent, mainly a period of fasting. On the contrary, the Triodion of Flowers is a happy period found in the Pentecostarion, which starts on Easter Sunday and ends on the Sunday of All Saints.
The Triodion of Fasting starts with the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Tax-collector and ends on the Great and Holy Saturday. It is mainly a period of spiritual struggle. During this period, the Church calls the faithful to increase and strengthen their prayer even more. With the collection of their thoughts, self-examination, a contrite heart, humbleness and realisation of their sinfulness. Christians are called to repent, confess their sins and to struggle in order that they may correct themselves. To be able to do all of this successfully, our Loving Mother, the Church, through its various divine services, tries to improve
the spiritual world of the faithful. Some of these services are: the Small and Large Compline, the four parts of the Akathist Hymn, the liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, the contrite vespers and other services.
The name Triodion was given because the hymnographer used three odes in honour of the Holy and Consubstantial Trinity. At the beginning, these three ode hymns were composed by Cosmas, the bishop of Maiouma in order to praise and glorify the Holy Passion of Christ, which we commemorate on Holy Week. Later on though, the hymnographers Theodore and Joseph, both Studite monks, enriched the services of the Church for the rest of the nine weeks of the Triodion with three-ode and four-ode hymns.
The hymns of the Triodion briefly refer to all the benefactions of God towards man from the creation of the world until now. It refers to how humans were created and lost Paradise through their disobedience. Through the hymns of the Triodion emerge humbleness, prayer, love, forgiveness, charity and other virtues. Humans are also strongly advised to avoid every evil work. The period of Triodion is very pedagogic and instructive.
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector teaches us to avoid Pharisaic egotism and accept the humility of the Tax-collector, emphasising in this way that God "opposes the proud and bestows Grace on the humble". The Sunday of Orthodoxy shows us God's infinite mercy towards the sinful person. Meat-fare Sunday shows us that God is not only infinite mercy, but also infinite justice. Whoever is not moved by the mercy of God, is called to come to his/her senses with God's impartial and integral justice.