In the Armenian Church, each Sunday during Lent commemorates something.
The Sunday before Lent is called The Sunday of Joyous Living, because we recall the time before Adam and Eve sinned.
The first Sunday after Lent begins is The Sunday of the Expulsion, where we recall the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden.
The second Sunday is The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, where we recall that famous parable.
The third Sunday is The Sunday of the Steward. (Luke 16:1-9)
The fourth Sunday is The Sunday of the Judge. (Luke 18:1-8)
The fifth Sunday is The Sunday of the Second Coming. Sometimes it is called The Sunday of Advent.
Our fasting rules are no animal products during the fast and also Holy Week.
A unique thing about the Armenian Church is that during Lent the curtain in front of the altar is kept closed and no one from the congregation takes Communion. I have no idea if the clergy behind the curtain take Communion because I can't see them.
It is one of those things I keep wanting to ask my priest, but I forget. Maybe Ghazar knows, if someone wants to ask him.
That is not to say that the laity is absolutely forbidden from taking Communion during Lent. If someone wants to, they can make arrangements with the priest. Also, if you visit another OO church during that time, there is nothing wrong with partaking there. It is just that during Lent, the curtain is completely closed and nobody from the congregation partakes during the Liturgy.
No one is quite sure how this custom developed among the Armenians. One theory is that it had to do with preparing the catecumens before Easter. In the old days, catecumens got baptized on Easter and prior to that they had to stand in the narthex. The theory is that it became the custom to allow the catecumens to stand in the main church for the Liturgy during Lent, so that they would learn the Liturgy and know it when they were baptized. However, because they weren't baptized yet, the curtain was closed so they couldn't see the altar. Eventually it just became the custom to keep the curtain closed during that time of year, regardless of whether there were catecumens or not.
On Palm Sunday, there is a beautiful service where the curtain is opened. It is a sort of role playing. The priest kneels before the curtain and he represents someone who wants entry into God's Kingdom. A deacon inside the curtain plays the part of an angel inside of heaven. There is a sort of dialogue chanted between the two. The gist of it is the priest wants to come in, but the angel won't let him, because heaven is so pure and mankind is so sinful. However, when the priest argues that Christ has died for us and that sinners who are justified through repentance should be able to enter, the curtain finally opens. I can't describe what a beautiful and joyous moment that is when the curtain opens. You really grow lonesome for the altar when you can't see it for 40 days.
During the service, to show that he is knocking at the door, the priest makes a knocking sound (I think three times) using a wooden stick, knocking it against another piece of wood. I guess this was high tech special effects back in the old days.
There is a funny story about that. A few years back a woman brought her son to the church and wanted the priest to touch her son's lips with the wooden stick he uses for the service. Evidently, her son had a problem with foul language and she was convinced that would cure him of it. The priest complied with her unusual request, since the woman stated that such was the custom in her village back in the old country.