Author Topic: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner  (Read 3573 times)

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Offline Carole

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Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« on: June 21, 2007, 08:54:29 AM »
On Friday, June 29, 2007, the priest (and his wife) from the Greek Orthodox parish we've been attending are coming to our home to discuss our conversion.  We will be serving dinner.

The confusion comes in here ... I understand that there is a period of fasting in June.  I found this on the GOA website:

Quote
Fasting of the Holy Apostles starts on Monday after the Sunday of All Saints Day and ends on June 29th, the celebration of Apostles Peter and Paul.

Does this mean that June 29th is not a day of fasting?

The calendar on the GOA website has a fish symbol which according to the legend at the bottom of the calendar means that fish is allowed.

Does this mean that June 29th only fish is allowed but still no meat, dairy, wine or oil?

I mean as non-Orthodox we are not yet bound by the fast (especially since we don't even yet know the Orthodox rules for fasting) but I really don't want to place the priest and presbytera in a position where they are presented with a table full of food that they should not eat, yet feel that they must to avoid insulting the hospitality of our home.  KWIM?

I was a vegetarian for many years so coming up with a meal that is free from animal, dairy, oil and wine is not impossible or even particularly difficult.  But I just want to make sure that I'm doing the 'right' thing.

Thanks for any advice you can offer - I admit that the GOA calendar explaining the feasting rules is a bit confusing to me.
Carole

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 09:04:05 AM »
Does this mean that June 29th only fish is allowed but still no meat, dairy, wine or oil?
Yes. Fridays are normally fasting days (including fish) but if certain Feast Days fall on a Fasting day, Fish (but not other meat) is allowed as a concession. Had the Feast of the Apostles fallen on a non-fasting day, meat would have been permitted, but this year, it falls on a Friday.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 09:21:44 AM »
I believe that wine and oil are always allowed on days on which fish is allowed, so you should be fine offering anything so long as you avoid meat and dairy (unless other traditions differ from us in this?)

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Offline aserb

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 09:26:41 AM »
Fasting, as you may already know, is determined in conjunction with the directives of your spiritual father (for most it's their priest). Being new to the faith I do not think that he would take offense at a non fasting meal; however, if it were me I would be serving Salmon grilled on the barby, corn on the cob with non-dairy butter substitute, fresh green Cobb Salad and a fruit dessert sans the whipped cream. MMM a menu anyone including a priest could love!  ;)
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Offline GiC

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 12:54:53 PM »
Fasting, as you may already know, is determined in conjunction with the directives of your spiritual father (for most it's their priest). Being new to the faith I do not think that he would take offense at a non fasting meal; however, if it were me I would be serving Salmon grilled on the barby, corn on the cob with non-dairy butter substitute, fresh green Cobb Salad and a fruit dessert sans the whipped cream. MMM a menu anyone including a priest could love!  ;)

Nah, fasting season is a time to enjoy various exotic seafoods...does anyone know how to classify uni?

But seriously, go for crab and/or lobster with perhaps oysters or shrimp as an appetizer...perfectly acceptable on even the strictest fast days and unless you have an allergy to seafood who in their right mind wouldn't like it?
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 01:40:01 PM »
Nah, fasting season is a time to enjoy various exotic seafoods...does anyone know how to classify uni?

But seriously, go for crab and/or lobster with perhaps oysters or shrimp as an appetizer...perfectly acceptable on even the strictest fast days and unless you have an allergy to seafood who in their right mind wouldn't like it?

Nah - too expensive.  You can get some good frozen wild sockeye at Trader Joe's for 6or 7.99/lb.  aserb has some nice ideas.

Offline Schultz

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 01:54:55 PM »
But seriously, go for crab and/or lobster with perhaps oysters or shrimp as an appetizer...perfectly acceptable on even the strictest fast days and unless you have an allergy to seafood who in their right mind wouldn't like it?

*WAVES*

I live in Baltimore, MD, Crab Capitol of the Chesapeake Bay, and I bloody well hate shellfish of all kinds.

But I love me some fish.

Go figure.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2007, 02:12:22 PM »
Also, correct me, guys, if I am wrong, I believe there should be no serving of alcohol on Fridays. During the Apostle's Feast, wine, as well as fish and olive oil, is allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, but not on Fridays. During the Great Lent, of course, wine is excluded altogether, on any day. --G.
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2007, 02:15:51 PM »
Also, correct me, guys, if I am wrong, I believe there should be no serving of alcohol on Fridays. During the Apostle's Feast, wine, as well as fish and olive oil, is allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, but not on Fridays. During the Great Lent, of course, wine is excluded altogether, on any day. --G.

Yes but for New Calendarists, July 29 is Peter and Paul, which ends that fast, and it is a Friday, so fish, wine, and oil are allowed.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2007, 02:18:02 PM »
Oh, yes, sure, if it is the feast day, then of course. Thanks, Anastasios. Carole, sorry, I wasn't very attentive reading your original post. Yup, you can open a bottle for your priest. :)
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2007, 02:21:28 PM »
Yes but for New Calendarists, July 29 is Peter and Paul, which ends that fast, and it is a Friday, so fish, wine, and oil are allowed.

I should clarify, July 29 is Peter and Paul for everyone, but the point of debate is which day is July 29. Sorry ;)
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2007, 03:09:01 PM »
The Costs of seafood is really relevant to your own area.  I can get shrimp ranging from $4.99 - 10.99 a  lb depending on the size and source of shrimp. It is not much more than the cost of a lean lb of ground beef. On the Gulf coast it is even less. Fish on the otherhand ranges from local lake /farmed catfish at $2.99 a lb to  halibut @ $10.99 a lb. I can feed my large family including myself, my wife, and 5 of the 8 grandchildren on a pound of shimp cooked in a mariana sauce and served over spagetti---delicious the costs? $4.99 for shrimp,  99 cents for mariana canned sauce and 69 cents for for 1 lb of  angel hair pasta = $6.67.  that is not bad and not extravagant, yet uses that "expensive " ingredient, shrimp that everyone seems to equate as expensive food.

Thomas
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 10:54:48 AM by Thomas »
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 05:17:45 PM »
I got haddock at the market here in Boston for (!!!!!) $3 a pound last week.

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 05:31:46 PM »
The Costs of seafood is really relevant to your own area.  I can get shrimp ranging from $4.99 - 10.99 a  lb depending on the size and source of shrimp. It is not much more than the cost of a lean lb of ground beef. On the Gulf coast it is even less. Fish on the otherhand ranges from local lake /farmed catfish at 42.99 a lb to  halibut @ $10.99 a lb. I can feed my large family including myself, my wife, and 5 of the 8 grandchildren on a pound of shimp cooked in a mariana sauce and served over spagetti---delicious the costs? $4.99 for shrimp,  99 cents for mariana canned sauce and 69 cents for for 1 lb of  angel hair pasta = $6.67.  that is not bad and not extravagant, yet uses that "expensive " ingredient, shrimp that everyone seems to equate as expensive food.

Thomas

The only sin in that is using canned Marinara sauce.   :P
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Offline Carole

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2007, 09:59:31 AM »
Thanks everyone.

A couple more quick questions.  What about dairy on June 29th?  Allowed or not?

Father has asked that we not serve seafood (I think someone is allergic).  So I'm trying to plan three possible meatless non-seafood options but knowing if dairy is allowed would be helpful.

So far my ideas are:

* Corn and potato chowder served with a salad of fresh mixed greens with sourdough bread
* Three bean chili
* Pasta (possibly lasagne or baked ziti with a marinara sauce)

All of which are simple, do not require me to be in the kitchen doing intense preparation while they are here and all of which can be made with or without dairy.
Carole

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2007, 11:04:03 AM »
Carole,

I find it helpful to think of the order of foods in the following list. If a food is permitted on the list, then so is everything beneath it:

Meat (Fast Free)
Dairy
Fish
Wine and oil
Legumes, Vegetables, fruit etc
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2007, 11:06:23 AM »
Dairy is not allowed.

Thomas
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2007, 11:10:33 AM »
This is too painful to watch.

Ask the priest. You'll feel better and we won't be put 'on the spot', so to speak. It is a nice gesture you are trying to do, but this experience shouldn't be torturous for you.  :)
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Offline Carole

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2007, 11:23:07 AM »
This is too painful to watch.

Ask the priest. You'll feel better and we won't be put 'on the spot', so to speak. It is a nice gesture you are trying to do, but this experience shouldn't be torturous for you.  :)

I'm just planning out some options and then I'm going to ask what they would prefer.  The good thing is that I have been, in the past, a strict vegetarian and I have a ton of excellent vegetarian and vegan recipes that are tried and tested.  I will just default to one of those and then I have no worries. :D
Carole

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2007, 12:42:46 PM »
Carole:

I love your zeal, but remember Orhtodox are not about legalism!
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2007, 01:38:15 PM »
Carol,

As an aside , please feel free to share those Vegan Recipes with us on the Family Forum fasting Recipes area, we all could use the help wiith great recipes to help us to fast.

Thomas
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Offline GiC

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2007, 01:55:48 PM »
This is too painful to watch.

Ask the priest. You'll feel better and we won't be put 'on the spot', so to speak. It is a nice gesture you are trying to do, but this experience shouldn't be torturous for you.  :)

Especially since there's a good chance (depending on jurisdiction) that the priest doesn't even observe this fast. :D
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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2007, 02:15:42 PM »
Especially since there's a good chance (depending on jurisdiction) that the priest doesn't even observe this fast. :D

Just because GiC eats a different kind of fast food on fast days doesn't mean all the clergy do.  ;)
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Offline Carole

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2007, 02:20:52 PM »
Carole:

I love your zeal, but remember Orhtodox are not about legalism!

I am aware of that.  However, if I can just as easily serve a meal that would not require our priest to break the fast in order to accept our hospitality as I can serve a meal that is not comprised of fast "friendly" foods why not be a good hostess?  Believe me ... I'm not killing myself here.  But since I know very little about the Orthodox fasting rules and guidelines I figured it couldn't hurt to do some research.

I mean I can learn about it now or I can weight until I'm Orthodox and then learn it.  Either way I have to learn it.  Why not start now?

It shouldn't be painful to watch.  I just asked a few questions.  No big.

And for the record ... I ask all guests who come to my home what they can/cannot or will/will not eat before I make them a meal.  I consider it a mark of Southern hospitality.
Carole

Offline Carole

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2007, 02:21:32 PM »
Especially since there's a good chance (depending on jurisdiction) that the priest doesn't even observe this fast. :D

How very charitable for you to assume the best of someone.   Oh wait ... that isn't what you did is it?  Thanks for the input.
Carole

Offline GiC

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2007, 03:52:19 PM »
How very charitable for you to assume the best of someone.   Oh wait ... that isn't what you did is it?  Thanks for the input.

I was assuming the best...as I hold this legalism in contempt. If I were assuming the worst, I'd be giving you advice about what foods to avoid inorder to not offend him. ::)
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Offline Labosseuse

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Re: Confused - Fasting and having the priest over for dinner
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2007, 07:18:26 PM »
Carole,

I recently had a gathering at my house on a Wednesday, and I questioned my Orthodox friend about whether or not I should cook special food for her children.  Her response was very wise.  Here it is:

Quote
You're not supposed to know about fasting! If
you were Orthodox and all the kids were O, you would only have
fast-appropriate food.

Let's say you were O. but having both Protestants and O. over for
a party. You wouldn't want to have just fasting food, because why would
you have the Protestants avoid the fun food? So you would have both, and
the kids would eat what was offered. If an occasion was buffet style, they
could choose to keep within the fast or celebrate the occasion by breaking
the fast, but if a meal is served to you, you eat it happily.

Hospitality is a bigger issue than keeping the fast. It's not like the "law" in the
Jewish sense. God cares more about us accepting and giving love than how well
we keep the fast. (As they say frequently in Orthodoxy, the demons fast
better than any of us.). It's more of a tool, or a discipline, than a law.

You would never use [fasting] to give offense. And being noticed eating
differently could lead to pride, that you're better because you have this spiritual
discipline. Have whatever you would have anyway, and they will not be
scandalized in the least, but will quite enjoy the food. These sorts of
things happen all the time, as you might imagine.
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