Author Topic: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving  (Read 14902 times)

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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2007, 04:19:48 PM »
To get back to the OP, my priest always allows us to break the fast for one day for Thanksgiving. He and his family, however, have their own tradition of eating lobster on that day. They started this when they were Lutherans, long before they knew about the Nativity Fast.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline Quinault

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2007, 04:26:42 PM »
Normally our family tradition is Mongolian beef and homemade potstickers.

We won't be observing the Nativity fast on Thanksgiving.

Although it is going to be quite strange in the future when my husband is the only one able to observe teh fast. He is absolutely fine with it. But it makes me feel strange. As I mentioned before; out of the last 7 years there would have only been about 2mths when I would have been able to fast according to the guidelines (pregnant and/or breastfeeding). And with the arrival of more children in the future (Lord willing, we certainly HOPE SO), I imagine it will be some time before I can observe the fast in the future.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 04:27:51 PM by Quinault »

Offline Fr. David

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2007, 04:36:20 PM »
Regarding the OT -- the OCA Diocese of the South (and I think the whole church) has observed a dispensation to eat w/the family for years, now, afaik.  So that meal will be normal, but it'll be hard to pass up on the leftovers.

Now, about that song...

Oh... and the songs they sing...

Yes, we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

(Chorus)
The Union forever,
Hurrah! boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitors,
Up with the stars,

Ahem....   :angel:

We much prefer this 'un:

Quote
Our flag is proudly floating on the land and on the main,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Beneath it oft we've conquered, and we'll conquer oft again!
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

(Chorus)
Our Dixie forever! She's never at a loss!
Down with the eagle and up with the cross!
We'll rally 'round the bonny flag, we'll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

Our gallant boys have marched to the rolling of the drums.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
And the leaders in charge cry out, "Come, boys, come!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--

Chorus

They have laid down their lives on the bloody battle field.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Their motto is resistance -- "To the tyrants never yield!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--

Capitulation, my...!   ;)
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2007, 05:37:40 PM »
Normally our family tradition is Mongolian beef and homemade potstickers.

We won't be observing the Nativity fast on Thanksgiving.

Although it is going to be quite strange in the future when my husband is the only one able to observe teh fast. He is absolutely fine with it. But it makes me feel strange. As I mentioned before; out of the last 7 years there would have only been about 2mths when I would have been able to fast according to the guidelines (pregnant and/or breastfeeding). And with the arrival of more children in the future (Lord willing, we certainly HOPE SO), I imagine it will be some time before I can observe the fast in the future.
Oh, you've been fasting all right. I saw what my wife was able to eat over the last nine months, and I can say with all certainty that pregnancy is in itself a fast. Enjoy Thanksgiving; it really is still a wonderful holiday.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline Quinault

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2007, 05:42:48 PM »
Oh, you've been fasting all right. I saw what my wife was able to eat over the last nine months, and I can say with all certainty that pregnancy is in itself a fast. Enjoy Thanksgiving; it really is still a wonderful holiday.

When you factor in the foods I have to avoid while being my childs cafeteria I have to avoid quite a few foods; dairy, soy, nuts, broccoli, garlic, onions, chocolate >:( and anything spicy (read-flavor) ect. So the concept of fasting from foods isn't foreign to me. EVERYDAY is a dairy free day in this house! ;D
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 05:43:45 PM by Quinault »

Offline username!

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2007, 08:02:34 PM »
I'm interested in why no one mentioned this.

You are going to a non-Orthodox household for a dinner.  Much material exists to explain that sentence.
Remember we are supposed to hide our fasting, and not tell the public, for the reward from God is greater than the reward from man.  It would be more imposing to try to assert or make a spectacle at a mixed gathering.  If it were a total Orthodox gathering with the minority being non-Orthodox, then you could go full out.  But since you are visiting a non-Orthodox household for the dinner we were taught that it is better to accept their food and not mention your fasting at all.  What is worse, breaking the fast by pride of telling everyone you are fasting or keeping the fast in your heart that day while you keep the fact that you are fasting quiet?  I hope I am making sense.  And remember fasting doesn't mean anything if it is done just to meet the "legal requirements (think how the pharisees held the law).  The best thing to do would just go to the dinner and have everyone eat what is given by the host. 

  Fasting by inquirers can sometimes dishearten them greatly.  Fasting is a challenge.  To get the balance of pray and fasting just right takes time.  Many rookies keep legal and get sick, they over-fast, they don't know recipes to keep a balanced diet during fast times (mostly great-fast).  Ease into things.  Talk to your priest.
Don't be afraid to call him about this either!  Orthodox priests are close to their congregations and inquirers and welcome calls like this fasting question.  I wouldn't email him this question as you can't get the same amount of instruction via email as you could over the phone or if you can set up a 30 minute meeting at his office.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 08:04:18 PM by username! »

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2007, 09:16:51 PM »
Great post username; alot of excellent advice.

I would echo his advice: regardless of Thanksgiving or not, don't rush headlong into a strict fast; work your way into over a few years

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2007, 01:28:08 AM »
One thing from which you CAN and should fast, even during the Thanksgiving dinner, and that's from gluttony.  Don't make yourself as stuffed as the bird you just ate.
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Offline Desiring_unity

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American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2011, 02:53:13 AM »
I can't remember where I heard this but it is true, Orthodox Americans typically break from the fast for Thanksgiving?
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2011, 04:13:07 AM »
One priest told me that he tells his parishioners to, in honor of the old calendar.
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2011, 09:59:16 AM »
I'm reasonably certain that GOA Archbishop Demetrios has done so, and I know that Archbishop Dmitri, of blessed memory, did so for the Diocese of the South (OCA). I don't know about other jurisdictions. Our own priest has directed us to observe Thanksgiving in the traditional American manner with family and friends and to resume the fast on Friday, bringing any leftover non-fasting food to the church for use in our food program for the homeless.
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #56 on: October 13, 2011, 10:25:44 AM »
For us on the old calendar, it is not an issue, because it is not a fast day

Offline Melodist

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #57 on: October 13, 2011, 11:58:25 AM »
I'm in the OCA Diocese of the Midwest and we are given a blessing to celebrate Thanksgiving and we are new calendar.
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Offline Knee V

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2011, 06:15:20 PM »
As long as I've been Orthodox I've been in the OCA diocese of the South, and we've always broken the fast for Thanksgiving. The reason that I was given is because it is the only secular holiday specifically set aside for the giving of thanks, and is thus Eucharistic at its core.

Offline Maria

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #59 on: October 15, 2011, 06:35:10 PM »
As long as I've been Orthodox I've been in the OCA diocese of the South, and we've always broken the fast for Thanksgiving. The reason that I was given is because it is the only secular holiday specifically set aside for the giving of thanks, and is thus Eucharistic at its core.

Good reason: Breaking bread together in thanksgiving.
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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #60 on: October 15, 2011, 10:28:36 PM »
Some other countries have a similar holiday, at different times of the year. I wonder if they get to go non-fast too. I think it would be all right, as long as they resume any necessary fast once the holiday is over.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2011, 12:17:10 AM »
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has given a blessing for all the faithful to keep the fullness of the Thanksgiving feast. It is a tradition in many parishes to remember the day liturgically.

I know that my parish has always, on Wednesday evening, served Vespers and has Orthodoxy 101 (the usual Wednesday activities) and then Small Compline (which we always do during the Nativity fast) but insert the Akathist of Thanksgiving (Glory to God for All Things). On Thursday morning (Thanksgiving Day), we celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
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Offline Thankful

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2011, 01:17:05 AM »
In our parish (and some others I'm aware of), we do not have a blessing to break the fast completely, but we do have a blessing to have fish that day (like with other feast days held during a fast).  We also have a liturgy that day.  We're celebrating Thanksgiving together as a parish the Sunday before the fast -- complete with turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, pecan pie, etc.

Offline William

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #63 on: October 18, 2011, 08:25:52 PM »
My parish's calendar doesn't have Thanksgiving marked a a fast day.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2011, 09:04:25 PM »
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has given a blessing for all the faithful to keep the fullness of the Thanksgiving feast. It is a tradition in many parishes to remember the day liturgically.

I know that my parish has always, on Wednesday evening, served Vespers and has Orthodoxy 101 (the usual Wednesday activities) and then Small Compline (which we always do during the Nativity fast) but insert the Akathist of Thanksgiving (Glory to God for All Things). On Thursday morning (Thanksgiving Day), we celebrate the Divine Liturgy.

We have always done the same as well in ACROD.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #65 on: October 20, 2011, 06:17:33 PM »
When President Lincoln first instituted Thanksgiving, it was as a day of fasting.
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Offline samkim

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2011, 05:33:54 PM »
It's safe to break the fast until your turkey's all gone. Hah. Get a small turkey.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2011, 05:45:58 PM »
When President Lincoln first instituted Thanksgiving, it was as a day of fasting.

This is sorta vague.

It is more in Lincoln's shadow that Thanksgiving became a regular holiday of celebration.

Thanksgiving Days were puritanically penitential for the most part prior the tradition that grew out of a Country coming to grips with a Civil War.
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »
It's safe to break the fast until your turkey's all gone. Hah. Get a small turkey.
My priest did make it a point to tell us not to try getting away with buying three turkeys and having to finish all the leftovers because there's no room in the freezer!  ;D
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Offline TITL

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2011, 07:46:56 PM »
One priest told me that he tells his parishioners to, in honor of the old calendar.

Wow!  :o

I never thought I'd hear such answers from the Orthodox. I guess being a Copt is really different from... what are you guys again? Greek Orthodox?

Offline Agabus

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2011, 09:29:00 PM »
My parish's calendar doesn't have Thanksgiving marked a a fast day.
This is my experience as an Antiochian as well.

EDIT: But, truth be told, I will be spending Thanksgiving with my non-Orthodox parents and brothers (two of whom I haven't seen in a couple of years), and I would eat whatever was served even if the the fast wasn't relaxed. Seconds, too, probably.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 09:31:24 PM by Agabus »
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2011, 09:43:00 PM »
One priest told me that he tells his parishioners to, in honor of the old calendar.

Wow!  :o

I never thought I'd hear such answers from the Orthodox. I guess being a Copt is really different from... what are you guys again? Greek Orthodox?

What is being implied here?
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2011, 09:44:42 PM »
.

EDIT: But, truth be told, I will be spending Thanksgiving with my non-Orthodox parents and brothers (two of whom I haven't seen in a couple of years), and I would eat whatever was served even if the the fast wasn't relaxed. Seconds, too, probably.
In the spirit of "not going to lie," I'm going to join this bandwagon.

I need a lot of work, clearly.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2011, 09:47:13 PM »
.

EDIT: But, truth be told, I will be spending Thanksgiving with my non-Orthodox parents and brothers (two of whom I haven't seen in a couple of years), and I would eat whatever was served even if the the fast wasn't relaxed. Seconds, too, probably.
In the spirit of "not going to lie," I'm going to join this bandwagon.

I need a lot of work, clearly.

I think many of the desert fathers are with you, actually.

The fast begins again the moment you leave your host's table.
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2011, 09:51:46 PM »
I would think that helping myself to a heaping plate of seconds would get a raised eyebrow from a Desert Father or two!
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2011, 09:57:21 PM »
I would think that helping myself to a heaping plate of seconds would get a raised eyebrow from a Desert Father or two!

It is all about not bringing offence to your host and disharmony to the interaction.

You can fast doubly strictly later when the feelings of others are not at risk of harm.

Obviously this principle should not be used as an excuse for gluttony, but denying family members the opportunity to show their love for you (with food) in order to maintain an unbroken fast is also spiritually dangerous.
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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #76 on: November 01, 2011, 09:58:23 PM »
Not to answer for TITL, but I know from past discussions with Copts that there is some disagreement on how to handle "American Thanksgiving", since it is during a fast and likewise not a native holiday for the majority of the people in the Coptic church (ethnic Egyptians). I don't think anything bad is implied in being surprised...it's not really something they've had to deal with for the majority of their nearly 2000 years of being a church. (And I'm working on trying to make the point among them that for some of us in the church it is a native holiday, and we can celebrate it in accordance with the principles we are told to follow in such circumstances, not to make the Orthodox church something that it isn't but because as converts we generally don't come from Orthodox families.)

One priest told me that he tells his parishioners to, in honor of the old calendar.

Wow!  :o

I never thought I'd hear such answers from the Orthodox. I guess being a Copt is really different from... what are you guys again? Greek Orthodox?

What is being implied here?

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #77 on: November 01, 2011, 10:00:57 PM »
I would think that helping myself to a heaping plate of seconds would get a raised eyebrow from a Desert Father or two!

It is all about not bringing offence to your host and disharmony to the interaction.

You can fast doubly strictly later when the feelings of others are not at risk of harm.

Obviously this principle should not be used as an excuse for gluttony, but denying family members the opportunity to show their love for you (with food) in order to maintain an unbroken fast is also spiritually dangerous.
I do agree with you, Akimori. I am being more cheeky than anything else. Sorry about that. :)

My husband and I first learned our lesson when we repeatedly (politely) refused a chicken dish at the house of a family in our church. They were beyond confused and probably offended, and I wish we hadn't done that.
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Offline TITL

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #78 on: November 01, 2011, 10:10:42 PM »
I just thought God comes first, then native holidays.

Which is to say fasting is more important than eating turkey.

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #79 on: November 01, 2011, 10:29:39 PM »
I would contend (and I am not trying to be inflammatory or upsetting) that offending your brother by putting your fast before his feelings is, perversely, putting God second.

I also think the desert fathers have my back on this one, if what I'm saying is properly applied.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #80 on: November 01, 2011, 10:31:04 PM »
I would think that helping myself to a heaping plate of seconds would get a raised eyebrow from a Desert Father or two!

It is all about not bringing offence to your host and disharmony to the interaction.

You can fast doubly strictly later when the feelings of others are not at risk of harm.

Obviously this principle should not be used as an excuse for gluttony, but denying family members the opportunity to show their love for you (with food) in order to maintain an unbroken fast is also spiritually dangerous.
I do agree with you, Akimori. I am being more cheeky than anything else. Sorry about that. :)

My husband and I first learned our lesson when we repeatedly (politely) refused a chicken dish at the house of a family in our church. They were beyond confused and probably offended, and I wish we hadn't done that.

Yeah, it's this sort of thing that I am talking about.
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Offline TITL

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #81 on: November 01, 2011, 10:48:18 PM »
What if it would offend my brother if I didn't put wine on the table with every meal?

Should I destroy myself and be a stumbling block for him, or teach him what's right and abide by my own rules (fasting vs. not fasting)?

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #82 on: November 01, 2011, 10:53:48 PM »
What if it would offend my brother if I didn't put wine on the table with every meal?

Should I destroy myself and be a stumbling block for him, or teach him what's right and abide by my own rules (fasting vs. not fasting)?

Good questions, I think.

It seems to me that in your own house, your guests should keep whatever fast it is you keep. In the house of another, the duty to accept hospitality comes before your own fast, which you may enforce doubly strictly once you leave your host's table.

If your host knows about your fast and makes an effort to accommodate it, all the better.

The fast is for our own benefit, after all. Both the fast and accepting the charity of one's neighbour are ways of glorifying God.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 10:54:41 PM by akimori makoto »
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Offline TITL

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #83 on: November 01, 2011, 10:58:10 PM »
I don't see how cooking beans instead of chicken for my neighbor will offend him?

A vegetarian, non religious, person will do no different than a person fasting.

I don't think it's right for me to break the fast when inviting guests, unless they're allergic to all vegan products...

If I were the guest, I wouldn't mind eating meat on fasting days. But that's something else.

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #84 on: November 01, 2011, 10:59:26 PM »
I don't see how cooking beans instead of chicken for my neighbor will offend him?

A vegetarian, non religious, person will do no different than a person fasting.

I don't think it's right for me to break the fast when inviting guests, unless they're allergic to all vegan products...

If I were the guest, I wouldn't mind eating meat on fasting days. But that's something else.

Actually, I'm in complete agreement with you. I'm sorry if I have given the wrong impression. I think we are both conflating multiple posts.

I am only talking about the situation of being someone else's guest (I think this is what Liora and Agabus were saying?).
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 11:03:40 PM by akimori makoto »
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Offline Thankful

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #85 on: November 03, 2011, 12:27:58 AM »
It seems maybe we're a little too concerned with "don't want to offend the host" if that's the only reason for breaking the fast.  I know a wide variety of people and can't think of a one that would be offended if I took mashed potatoes, roasted vegies, jello, cranberries, bread and apple pie, but no turkey.  We don't have to take some of everything, you know?  We don't have to call attention to what we're doing or that we're not going to eat animal products.  We can just go and love on people and enjoy and talk and laugh and hug and encourage and listen -- and not take turkey.  

(I'm not addressing the issue of people having a blessing to feast on this day.)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 12:29:14 AM by Thankful »

Offline dcommini

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #86 on: November 03, 2011, 01:37:48 AM »
I've only been Orthodox for a little over a year so I am not that familiar with everything yet, but it seems to me that the parishes I have been apart of gave a blessing to break the fast for Thanksgiving. I try not to eat a whole lot so I can still keep the spirit of the fast and not gorge myself on food, but that is a lost cause when I am with my in-laws who always try to make me eat more food; I literally have to tell them countless times that I am full and don't want any more food before they offer three more times... Such is life.
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Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #87 on: November 03, 2011, 11:30:51 PM »
I think I remember seeing in this thread http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13332.0.html that the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America has a dispensation to break the fast for that day. If I'm reading it wrong, of course, correct me.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: A little help and advice in regargs to thanksgiving
« Reply #88 on: November 04, 2011, 04:41:24 AM »
One thing from which you CAN and should fast, even during the Thanksgiving dinner, and that's from gluttony.  Don't make yourself as stuffed as the bird you just ate.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: American Thanksgiving?
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2011, 09:28:17 AM »
I think I remember seeing in this thread http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13332.0.html that the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America has a dispensation to break the fast for that day. If I'm reading it wrong, of course, correct me.

Likewise over the years for the New Calendar parishes of ACROD, and all of us when Thanksgiving is at its latest dates in November. Peter the Aleut's advice about fasting from GLUTTONY at the table is well taken and one that I have likewise heard over the years from our priests!