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Author Topic: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  (Read 11454 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Leon
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« on: November 24, 2008, 07:25:41 AM »

As a convert, with many non-Orthodox family members, I would like to know how other people celebrate this secular feast.  Do you continue the Nativity Fast or break it for the day?  I think I recall some people saying that in their jurisdiction they had been given a blessing through "oeconomia" to break the fast.  I guess those who follow the Old Calendar wouldn't have this issue because the fast hasn't started yet, right? Anyway, I would like to hear others thoughts.
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 08:23:16 AM »

- Yes, our Metropolitan has given a blessing to break the fast for this one day (a day dedicated in this country to giving thanks to God; it's only semi-secular).

- We celebrate the feast in a pretty "American traditional" way - family gathers together; traditional food: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.; watch football in the afternoon; etc.

- Day after Thanksgiving was always "movie day" growing up - one or two of the parents would take my siblings, cousins, and I to see a "kids" movie.  So at least once per year all us youngin's were going out together.
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 09:58:36 AM »

Even in the New calendar jurisdictiosn which generally allow the observation of Thanksgiving as a "national" feast with oeconomea allowed to eat meat, there is no spreading the feast to the day after thanksgiving or sliding into the weekend to use those final tidbits of turkey.  rather the hierarchs have counseled people to freeze their left overs and use them during the 12 day feast of the Nativity. There are those in the jurisdictions who choose to continue to fast these days but will allow themselves wine, oil and fish on Thanksgiving much as they would be allowed on  Annunciation or OXI day in Greece.

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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 11:40:58 AM »

Some years the Nativity Fast starts before Thanksgiving even on the Old Calendar, and that is a good time to have a fish feast or go with Tofurky!
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 12:56:40 PM »

or go with Tofurky!

Yuck.
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 01:09:51 PM »

Some years the Nativity Fast starts before Thanksgiving even on the Old Calendar, and that is a good time to have a fish feast or go with Tofurky!
Or how 'bout a Maine lobster? They're pretty cheap these days.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97383196
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 01:20:46 PM »

Some years the Nativity Fast starts before Thanksgiving even on the Old Calendar, and that is a good time to have a fish feast or go with Tofurky!

The fish feast will probably have zero chance of happening as long as my majority non-Orthodox relatives are alive.
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 01:36:03 PM »

My priest says we are allowed to eat not only the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but the leftovers as well.  Smiley  He didn't say we have to freeze it--which is good, because I don't know how well that stuff would freeze.  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 01:39:50 PM »

Or how 'bout a Maine lobster? They're pretty cheap these days.

Oh, yum.  Of course, I don't know how well that would fare against the prospect of a L-tryptophan-induced nap... (Yes, I know that L-tryptophan actually doesn't induce the nap... let me live with my urban legends!)
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 01:51:42 PM »

My wife and I are going to Boston for Thanksgiving, to visit our daughter. We will have dinner with her and her husband and her husband's younger brother. She will cook and serve. Being a guest, I'll eat whatever will be there on the table. I don't want to burden other people, particularly my own kid, with my fast rules.
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 01:53:07 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.  But I am under the impression that most do, in fact, break it.  Seems like a needlessly silly situation.  I say either grant the blessing or stop looking the other way, but do not leave us without pastoral guidance.
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 02:11:19 PM »

Worshiping in my wife's Julian calendar ACROD parish renders this question moot as far as fasting goes for us, this year.  Grin

However, Met Nicholas has allowed breaking the fast for Thanksgiving as his diocese is 50/50 - Old/New Calendar.
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 04:02:21 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.  But I am under the impression that most do, in fact, break it.  Seems like a needlessly silly situation.  I say either grant the blessing or stop looking the other way, but do not leave us without pastoral guidance.

My priest advises to keep the fast - but can't stop his mom from making the Turkey (I think she cooks salmon too though).  I know his dad, the former rector will probably be eating the turkey too. 
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 04:27:47 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.
I think that's because the Holy Synod of the OCA has decided not to mandate any universal OCA praxis on this, leaving this decision instead to each diocesan bishop to make independently.
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 04:44:17 PM »

Quote
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

With a big, juicy duck!  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2008, 05:45:12 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.
I think that's because the Holy Synod of the OCA has decided not to mandate any universal OCA praxis on this, leaving this decision instead to each diocesan bishop to make independently.

That's reasonable, but I cannot find a clear statement to this effect on the OCA website.  Not on the diocesan website, either.

My priest advises to keep the fast - but can't stop his mom from making the Turkey (I think she cooks salmon too though).  I know his dad, the former rector will probably be eating the turkey too. 

And my priest says, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..."  That's a direct quote.  So, whether at the synodal, diocesan, or parish level, not one member of the clergy who could act to relieve the dilemma will.  Seems to me that Christ had something to say about this in Matthew 23.  And maybe therein lies the answer: Do as they say, but not as they do.
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 05:48:40 PM »

Quote
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

With a big, juicy duck!  Grin

But it's wabbit season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRg158Fzxw0
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 05:50:13 PM »

And my priest says, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..."  That's a direct quote.  So, whether at the synodal, diocesan, or parish level, not one member of the clergy who could act to relieve the dilemma will.  Seems to me that Christ had something to say about this in Matthew 23.  And maybe therein lies the answer: Do as they say, but not as they do.

It's not a sin to break the fast.
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 05:51:02 PM »

^ It's not a sin to break the fast.

Please elaborate.
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 05:58:50 PM »

The fast is not a commandment, like "You shall not steal." Breaking it does not damage our soul. Keeping the fast is important because it helps the soul overcome the body. The body needs to be kept in check so that it does not lead to sin, and the fast helps this. But we don't fast for ourselves, and we don't eat for ourselves. We feed the body what it needs and no more, so as to control it, to prevent the body from controlling us. However, if by our eating or fasting we offend someone else, we have sinned. As St. Paul put it, "Whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus."

So breaking the fast because we are giving in to the body's wants can make it more difficult to control the body, but it's not a sin. Indeed, breaking the fast because we want to maintain a relationship with the people God has placed in our lives can be beneficial and may even bring them toward Christ. Now, if the people cooking Thanksgiving are aware of the fast and want to cook a lobster for you, please let them. If they are unaware and cook a turkey, please eat the turkey. Breaking a fast is preferable by far to breaking a relationship.
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2008, 05:59:36 PM »

I work on Thanksgiving, and everyone brings a dish to share. I'm bringing in homemade pecan pies.

Storycorps, a syndicated radio documentary show dedicated to preserving oral history is suggesting that people celerbate the day after Thanksgiving with a "Day of Listening", by setting aside a time to share older family members memories of significant times in thier lives:
http://www.nationaldayoflistening.org/

I think this would be fun
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2008, 06:33:42 PM »

The fast is not a commandment, like "You shall not steal." Breaking it does not damage our soul.

I think those are two different issues.

Now, if the people cooking Thanksgiving are aware of the fast and want to cook a lobster for you, please let them. If they are unaware and cook a turkey, please eat the turkey. Breaking a fast is preferable by far to breaking a relationship.

I understand what you're saying, and I appreciate it.  My concern, however, has nothing at all to do with social events and eating what is provided.  My concern is, instead, with lack of clear pastoral guidance.

The Church has established the fasting standard.  It is only with respect to illness or otherwise weak constitution that we may relax that standard, and even then, only under spiritual guidance.  Why, then, in this one case are we left on our own, to rationalize either keeping the fast or breaking it?
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2008, 07:50:36 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.
I think that's because the Holy Synod of the OCA has decided not to mandate any universal OCA praxis on this, leaving this decision instead to each diocesan bishop to make independently.

That's reasonable, but I cannot find a clear statement to this effect on the OCA website.  Not on the diocesan website, either.

My priest advises to keep the fast - but can't stop his mom from making the Turkey (I think she cooks salmon too though).  I know his dad, the former rector will probably be eating the turkey too. 

And my priest says, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..."  That's a direct quote.  So, whether at the synodal, diocesan, or parish level, not one member of the clergy who could act to relieve the dilemma will.  Seems to me that Christ had something to say about this in Matthew 23.  And maybe therein lies the answer: Do as they say, but not as they do.
The model for pastoral guidance, however, is not a top-down model, which appears to be the model you follow in expecting pastoral guidance from the central authority of the OCA (and being disappointed that you don't see such guidance offered at the OCA's web site).  Except for those issues on which the Holy Synod has deemed a unified response necessary, which apparently doesn't include the specifics of Thanksgiving and the Nativity Fast, each individual bishop is responsible for pastoring his own flock.  The practical concerns of overseeing such a big diocese as each bishop is responsible to shepherd, though, keep a bishop from playing an active role in the spiritual lives of each individual under his care.  Therefore, he must delegate most of the day-to-day pastoral authority at the parish level to his priests.  So what does this mean to you?  If you want pastoral guidance on how to celebrate Thanksgiving during Advent, talk to your priest.
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2008, 08:07:58 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.
I think that's because the Holy Synod of the OCA has decided not to mandate any universal OCA praxis on this, leaving this decision instead to each diocesan bishop to make independently.

That's reasonable, but I cannot find a clear statement to this effect on the OCA website.  Not on the diocesan website, either.

My priest advises to keep the fast - but can't stop his mom from making the Turkey (I think she cooks salmon too though).  I know his dad, the former rector will probably be eating the turkey too. 

And my priest says, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..."  That's a direct quote.  So, whether at the synodal, diocesan, or parish level, not one member of the clergy who could act to relieve the dilemma will.  Seems to me that Christ had something to say about this in Matthew 23.  And maybe therein lies the answer: Do as they say, but not as they do.
The model for pastoral guidance, however, is not a top-down model, which appears to be the model you follow in expecting pastoral guidance from the central authority of the OCA (and being disappointed that you don't see such guidance offered at the OCA's web site).  Except for those issues on which the Holy Synod has deemed a unified response necessary, which apparently doesn't include the specifics of Thanksgiving and the Nativity Fast, each individual bishop is responsible for offering pastoral guidance to his own flock.  The practical concerns of overseeing such a big diocese as each bishop is responsible to shepherd, though, keep a bishop from playing an active role in the spiritual lives of each individual under his care.  Therefore, he must delegate most of the day-to-day pastoral authority at the parish level to his priests.  So what does this mean to you?  If you want pastoral guidance on how to celebrate Thanksgiving during Advent, talk to your priest.

Please refer to the boldfaced text in the quote.  Forgive me if I have offended you.
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2008, 08:13:44 PM »

In Canada, we don't have any conflicts because our Thanksgiving is in October.  But regarding fasting, with any major fast one should consult their priest to discuss how he or she should fast.  A catacumen or a new convert is usually not advised to fast the entirety of a major fast lest he or she fail and make the fast of no effect.  It is better then to have a limited fast and be successful, than to fast a complete fast and fail.  It should never be left to the individual to arbitrarily decide which days to fast and which days not to fast, so if there are possible known dates during a fast, such as Thanksgiving, then it should be mentioned to your priest when you consult him regarding your fast.  

Also, it is true, our fast should never offend anyone, and we should not appear as though we are fasting, as Christ warned us as the hypocrites do.  But if we are inviting to someone's house and they place before us a feast, then we as Christians are most certainly obligated to eat it, and for those who are passionate about their fasts, this would certainly be a greater suffering.
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2008, 08:19:51 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.
I think that's because the Holy Synod of the OCA has decided not to mandate any universal OCA praxis on this, leaving this decision instead to each diocesan bishop to make independently.

That's reasonable, but I cannot find a clear statement to this effect on the OCA website.  Not on the diocesan website, either.

My priest advises to keep the fast - but can't stop his mom from making the Turkey (I think she cooks salmon too though).  I know his dad, the former rector will probably be eating the turkey too. 

And my priest says, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..."  That's a direct quote.  So, whether at the synodal, diocesan, or parish level, not one member of the clergy who could act to relieve the dilemma will.  Seems to me that Christ had something to say about this in Matthew 23.  And maybe therein lies the answer: Do as they say, but not as they do.
The model for pastoral guidance, however, is not a top-down model, which appears to be the model you follow in expecting pastoral guidance from the central authority of the OCA (and being disappointed that you don't see such guidance offered at the OCA's web site).  Except for those issues on which the Holy Synod has deemed a unified response necessary, which apparently doesn't include the specifics of Thanksgiving and the Nativity Fast, each individual bishop is responsible for offering pastoral guidance to his own flock.  The practical concerns of overseeing such a big diocese as each bishop is responsible to shepherd, though, keep a bishop from playing an active role in the spiritual lives of each individual under his care.  Therefore, he must delegate most of the day-to-day pastoral authority at the parish level to his priests.  So what does this mean to you?  If you want pastoral guidance on how to celebrate Thanksgiving during Advent, talk to your priest.

Please refer to the boldfaced text in the quote.  Forgive me if I have offended you.
I really can't comment on what your priest said unless I was there to hear it for myself.  All I can comment on here is what you say your priest said.  Did he say anything more that would provide some context for what you quoted of him?
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2008, 08:48:59 PM »

AFAIK, there is no blessing to break the fast in the OCA.
I think that's because the Holy Synod of the OCA has decided not to mandate any universal OCA praxis on this, leaving this decision instead to each diocesan bishop to make independently.

That's reasonable, but I cannot find a clear statement to this effect on the OCA website.  Not on the diocesan website, either.

My priest advises to keep the fast - but can't stop his mom from making the Turkey (I think she cooks salmon too though).  I know his dad, the former rector will probably be eating the turkey too. 

And my priest says, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..."  That's a direct quote.  So, whether at the synodal, diocesan, or parish level, not one member of the clergy who could act to relieve the dilemma will.  Seems to me that Christ had something to say about this in Matthew 23.  And maybe therein lies the answer: Do as they say, but not as they do.
The model for pastoral guidance, however, is not a top-down model, which appears to be the model you follow in expecting pastoral guidance from the central authority of the OCA (and being disappointed that you don't see such guidance offered at the OCA's web site).  Except for those issues on which the Holy Synod has deemed a unified response necessary, which apparently doesn't include the specifics of Thanksgiving and the Nativity Fast, each individual bishop is responsible for offering pastoral guidance to his own flock.  The practical concerns of overseeing such a big diocese as each bishop is responsible to shepherd, though, keep a bishop from playing an active role in the spiritual lives of each individual under his care.  Therefore, he must delegate most of the day-to-day pastoral authority at the parish level to his priests.  So what does this mean to you?  If you want pastoral guidance on how to celebrate Thanksgiving during Advent, talk to your priest.

Please refer to the boldfaced text in the quote.  Forgive me if I have offended you.
I really can't comment on what your priest said unless I was there to hear it for myself.  All I can comment on here is what you say your priest said.  Did he say anything more that would provide some context for what you quoted of him?

I quoted from an e-mail.  Are you actually suggesting I would make this up?  I don't know how else to take, "All I can comment on here is what you say your priest said."  Perhaps you'd like his address so you can confirm it.

Additionally, the GOA website has managed to post an encyclical regarding Thanksgiving Day annually since at least 1999. (See links below.)  So the "model for pastoral guidance" in this case is top-down.  All I am asking is that the OCA do what other jurisdictions have seen fit to do.  I don't think this is unreasonable.

http://www.goarch.org/news/2007-11-21-thanksgiving
http://www.goarch.org/news/1999-11-15thanksgivingencyclical

In any case, your point about asking my priest for guidance is well made.  Unfortunately for me, the double-message, "Officially, keep the fast.  Unofficially..." (the ellipsis was part of the reply and the end of the sentence) is not terribly helpful.
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2008, 10:05:47 PM »

An article that does a better job at saying what it is I have been trying to say:

"So almost all of us Orthodox Christians ignore the calendar and cook up a major helping of turkey and ham with all the trimmings. In fact, at least in the jurisdictions I've been associated with, we're given official sanction to ignore the calendar on that day. Ironically, the hierarchs telling us to ignore the calendar are, in fact, the same people in charge of its printing and distribution in the first place.

"But, what message are we sending when we do this? Is the fourth Thursday of November a fasting day, or not? [snip] In the business world, this is called mixed messaging."


http://www.myocn.net/index.php/Is-My-Turkey-Orthodox.html
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2008, 10:48:47 PM »

If you have a problem with breaking the fast during Thanksgiving, don't break the fast.  If your Hierarchs say that it's OK to break the fast, I would question their true belief.  The GOA Archbishop does not tell His Flock whether to break the fast or not.

I don't fast and I don't see the big deal.   Huh  I've eaten meat on every Thanksgiving with no regret.  I'll probably eat meat on Thanksgiving this year.
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2008, 10:58:22 PM »

The GOA Archbishop does not tell His Flock whether to break the fast or not.

If I have misinterpreted Abp. Demetrios when he says, "One of the finest American customs is the annual observance of Thanksgiving Day" and "It is my heartfelt prayer that as we come together on this Day of Thanksgiving, feasting in thanks and in gratitude with our loved ones, friends, and family..." and GOA members are NOT permitted to set aside the Nativity Fast and enjoy the American custom of celebrating Thanksgiving by eating turkey, I hope one of the GOA members here will correct me.  The language seems clear to me.
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2008, 11:01:51 PM »

Quote from: tuesdayschild
and GOA members are NOT permitted to set aside the Nativity Fast and enjoy the American custom of celebrating Thanksgiving by eating turkey, I hope one of the GOA members here will correct me.  The language seems clear to me.

You're adding words to the Archbishop's mouth?  I've been guilty of imposing my own views on Orthodox Hierarchs.   Wink

There's NO reference to fasting in the 2 GOA Thanksgiving encyclicals with links; The word "fast" is not found in these encyclicals.

I have no idea what you're talking about.  Huh
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« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2008, 11:22:07 PM »

If I'm at my parent's place for a holiday which falls within a fast, I always eat whatever my mother has prepared-it just seems like common sense and I've never even consulted with a priest about it. She's aware of Orthodox fasting traditions and always greets me at the door, nearly wringing her hands in despair over the fact that she's yet again cooked meat during a fast. How could I offend her in such a way by not eating what she's prepared, when she's laboured so diligently to make a nice meal and has already had such a hard life?

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« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2008, 12:03:38 AM »

Ultimately, we need to remember that the greatest commandment is that we love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.  Jesus didn't say that the greatest commandment was to keep the fasts.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 12:03:49 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2008, 12:24:40 AM »

You're adding words to the Archbishop's mouth? <snip> The word "fast" is not found in these encyclicals.

I have no idea what you're talking about.  Huh

I don't think he needs to use the word "fast" to get his point across clearly.  But he does use the word "feast," which is more than clear enough for me.

I'm talking about mixed messages.  Perhaps this post will help you: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18536.msg272179.html#msg272179

Ultimately, we need to remember that the greatest commandment is that we love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.  Jesus didn't say that the greatest commandment was to keep the fasts.

Agreed.   Smiley

My sincere apologies to anyone I may have offended, especially to the original poster.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 12:33:06 AM by tuesdayschild » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2008, 12:42:49 AM »

I don't think he needs to use the word "fast" to get his point across clearly.  But he does use the word "feast," which is more than clear enough for me.

Let's see what His Emimence said in the 2007 Thanksgiving Encyclical:

Quote from: Archbishop Demetrios
It is my heartfelt prayer that as we come together on this Day of Thanksgiving, feasting in thanks and in gratitude with our loved ones, friends, and family, we may be cognizant of the very special blessings that we enjoy in this land and that we may strive in our daily actions to reflect that gratitude in the love we show to others. May our hearts be filled with gratitude to God for all His blessings of life, liberty, and the freedom to worship Him. May God bless each and every one of you on this Day of Thanksgiving, and may God bless America.

Coming from an ethnic Church, the last 3 words are "God Bless America."

I'm talking about mixed messages.  Perhaps this post will help you: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18536.msg272179.html#msg272179

I read the article.  Frankly, I don't care.   Huh

Ultimately, we need to remember that the greatest commandment is that we love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.  Jesus didn't say that the greatest commandment was to keep the fasts.

Agreed.   Smiley

Tuesdayschild, why engage in this discussion unless the discussion is another strawman (as evident by the MyOCN.net article) for promoting united American Orthodoxy?  Does it matter why does Bishop <Insert Name Here> of <Insert Orthodox Jurisdiction Here> gives dispensations to break the Nativity Fast?  Christ said that those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who are humbled will be exalted (Luke 18:14).
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 12:49:07 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2008, 02:05:21 AM »

I think I posted this a few years ago, but here it is again (true story):

About three or four years ago, I was invited to a "Christmas Party" (or whatever the heck it was called - it was sometime early-mid December) at the GOA SF Metropolis house (where Met. Anthony of blessed memory resided - I think he reposed just a month or so later).  When I got there, on the large dining room table was your standard Greek fare including Pastitsio, Mousakka, a plate of drumsticks (chicken) and other contraband.  I was a little taken aback, but went with the flow.  Well, a retired Bp. Anthimos was in town and came out of wherever he was hiding when it was time to eat (Met. Anthony was away).  This young woman who worked in the office, right when we started to eat said (I was surprised she dared), "Wait, aren't we supposed to fast right now?"  Well, +ANTHIMOS then said (you could tell with at least a touch of sarcasm), "Well, when a bishop is present, and blesses it, then it turns to fish!"  (maybe there were a few chuckles - I don't remember.).  I was just polite and ate it.  At least when they made us take leftovers home, I only got to take the bowl of Sun Chips while my friend I came with (who was also surprised) got stuck with all the chicken.

As a previous poster said, I just eat my Thanksgiving feast sans guilt.
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« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2008, 02:11:31 AM »

Every person ought to give thanks every day, fast or no fast, for at least the Hierarchs mentioned by the previous poster were honest enough to say that they didn't really care about the Nativity Fast.   Wink  In speaking the truth, they were humble.   Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2008, 03:37:19 AM »

Every person ought to give thanks every day, fast or no fast, for at least the Hierarchs mentioned by the previous poster were honest enough to say that they didn't really care about the Nativity Fast.   Wink  In speaking the truth, they were humble.   Smiley
Well, I think they cared about the fast; they just recognized that some other pastoral considerations were even more important. Wink
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« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2008, 01:14:03 PM »

Quote
But it's wabbit season

I've never had wabbit before! The great thing about duck, though, as opposed to Turkey, is there are no left overs to worry about freezing. I guess wrasckally wabbits are pretty small as well.  Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2008, 01:20:19 PM »

I think I posted this a few years ago, but here it is again (true story):

About three or four years ago, I was invited to a "Christmas Party" (or whatever the heck it was called - it was sometime early-mid December) at the GOA SF Metropolis house (where Met. Anthony of blessed memory resided - I think he reposed just a month or so later).  When I got there, on the large dining room table was your standard Greek fare including Pastitsio, Mousakka, a plate of drumsticks (chicken) and other contraband.  I was a little taken aback, but went with the flow.  Well, a retired Bp. Anthimos was in town and came out of wherever he was hiding when it was time to eat (Met. Anthony was away).  This young woman who worked in the office, right when we started to eat said (I was surprised she dared), "Wait, aren't we supposed to fast right now?"  Well, +ANTHIMOS then said (you could tell with at least a touch of sarcasm), "Well, when a bishop is present, and blesses it, then it turns to fish!"  (maybe there were a few chuckles - I don't remember.).  I was just polite and ate it.  At least when they made us take leftovers home, I only got to take the bowl of Sun Chips while my friend I came with (who was also surprised) got stuck with all the chicken.

As a previous poster said, I just eat my Thanksgiving feast sans guilt.

I don't know if I've mentioned this story elsewhere on the site...

Metropolitan MAXIMOS, when he was still a Presbyter and a professor at Holy Cross (1970's), was asked by the cook if they should stop cooking eggs at breakfast during Great Lent.  He told them to continue making eggs for those who cannot (i.e. not supposed to) or are not strong enough to fast; those who are fasting will still have options.
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« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2008, 01:37:08 PM »

I've noticed that sometimes Orthodox can get extremely legalistic about the fasting rules. A guy from my former church has no respect for the Orthodox Church, because of an experience he had working with some OO guys. He said how they constantly made a big deal to him about the fast and yet they cursed and swore and lived rather immoral lives, which, he felt totally negated all their efforts to impress him with their stringent fasting rules. Let's remember that people are looking to us and our lives more than we may think.
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« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2008, 02:01:35 PM »

Well, I think they cared about the fast; they just recognized that some other pastoral considerations were even more important. Wink

Bolded text = Same thing I said.  Wink

Saying "not cared" wasn't quite the right choice of words and I was going by context of what Elisha had described.
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« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2008, 02:18:08 PM »

I've noticed that sometimes Orthodox can get extremely legalistic about the fasting rules. A guy from my former church has no respect for the Orthodox Church, because of an experience he had working with some OO guys. He said how they constantly made a big deal to him about the fast and yet they cursed and swore and lived rather immoral lives, which, he felt totally negated all their efforts to impress him with their stringent fasting rules. Let's remember that people are looking to us and our lives more than we may think.
Maybe that's why my priest, quoting the Sermon on the Mount, keeps instructing us to not tell others about our individual fasting practices.  If someone asks, I'll tell them what the rules of the Church are on fasting, since then I'm talking only about general corporate practices, but I try to remain silent on how closely I follow the rules.
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« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2008, 02:48:10 PM »

Well, I think they cared about the fast; they just recognized that some other pastoral considerations were even more important. Wink

Bolded text = Same thing I said.  Wink

Saying "not cared" wasn't quite the right choice of words and I was going by context of what Elisha had described.

Well in my example above, what cleveland just quoted, I think this is a sad case of just extreme ignorance  - a scandalous situation that I just had to shrug off and laugh at.  I set next to someone on the couch at this event, I think the present Fr. Michael Tervo (wasn't clergy at the time) and mentioned my surprise.  I think he was the director of the retreat center at the Dunlap monastery.  He responded that "Greeks are rather ignorant about the fast."  I didn't reply, but my answer is:  "Well educate yourself!"

Anyways, this was just an anecdote that I laugh at now.  Yes, there is a legalism problem, but at the same time, we need to be extremely careful not to go the other direction and use it as an excuse to be lax in the fast.  I see this happen as well.
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« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2008, 03:02:55 PM »

Some years the Nativity Fast starts before Thanksgiving even on the Old Calendar, and that is a good time to have a fish feast or go with Tofurky!

I'm vegetarian year round so it's always tofurkey for me. Love the stuff!
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"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
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