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Author Topic: When do fasts starts  (Read 1488 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonny
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« on: January 21, 2009, 09:39:30 AM »

Do the Wednesday and Friday fasts start at sunset on Tuesday and Thursday and roll through until the next sunset or do they start at waking until sleeping?
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Anastasios
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 10:35:59 AM »

They run from midnight to midnight.

While it would be "logical" to fast from sundown to sundown since that is when the day starts in "Byzantine" time, that would mean that

a) one would never go a full waking day without breaking the fast
b) people would start to get real liberal with when Vespers is served so the fast could be broken

Wake to sleep is also subjective since people work and sleep different schedules, so if we stick to midnight to midnight we will always be consistent.
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 12:06:22 PM »

In the Middle East at least, the real way is to fast the whole day, but eating the [i.e. one] Lenten meal after sunset.
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 12:24:57 PM »

It's not just a Middle Eastern thing. The typikon specifies at what time the meal can be eaten on various levels of fasting days, but hardly anyone seems able to follow that rule these days.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 12:57:12 PM »

I used to work with a gentleman who was a very pious Coptic Orthodox Christian. He was so good and so observant about observing the fasts (which are much stricter than the EOC) I always felt lame about my fasting practices. He wouldn't eat all day, then just have a small humble meal at night.
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009, 01:52:31 PM »

I used to work with a gentleman who was a very pious Coptic Orthodox Christian. He was so good and so observant about observing the fasts (which are much stricter than the EOC) I always felt lame about my fasting practices. He wouldn't eat all day, then just have a small humble meal at night.

Those ARE the EOC fasting practices.

No food or water should be consumed between midnight at the 9th Hour (3pm), but since 9th Hour prayers are usually said immediately before Vespers, it is more common to wait until after sundown. After this time, believers should limit themselves to one modest meal, abstaining from all animal products, oil and wine (afaik, the abstaining from oil is the only difference between EO and Coptic practice).
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 02:15:40 PM »

Jonny,

I don't wish to be contradictory towards what Fr. Anastasios said as far as going from midnight to midnight without food or drink, but, as others have pointed out, work schedules, family schedules, dietary needs etc. will either make such a rule easier or more difficult to follow.  Fr. Anastasios' point about going from Vespers to Vespers is subject to cheating because people can always celebrate Vespers earlier or later to make their fasts shorter.  I'd establish a rule, whatever rule, in consultation with a priest, of course and then follow it.  But remember, and this is important, that the Publican was justified not because of his fasting but because of his humility.  It is always a means to an end.  At the same time, it is a vital discipline in the practice of Orthodoxy.  there are so many threads about that on this board.  Just remember that if you are new to Orthodoxy, you can overdo fasting to the point of seriously causing harm to yourself.  the best way is to ease into it.  Just mho.
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 02:41:30 PM »

Those ARE the EOC fasting practices.

No food or water should be consumed between midnight at the 9th Hour (3pm), but since 9th Hour prayers are usually said immediately before Vespers, it is more common to wait until after sundown. After this time, believers should limit themselves to one modest meal, abstaining from all animal products, oil and wine (afaik, the abstaining from oil is the only difference between EO and Coptic practice).

While I am not disputing what you say, that is not what I have been taught over the years.
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009, 05:45:11 PM »

From the Exomologetarion of St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite:
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Canon 69 of the Holy Apostles designates that any hierarch or priest or deacon or subdeacon or reader or chanter who does not fast during Great Lent and Wednesday and Friday is to be deposed. If a layperson does not fast during these times (unless he cannot fast on account of bodily illness), he is to be excommunicated. Do you see how the Apostles numbered the Wednesday and Friday fast together with the fast of Great Lent? Therefore, just as the fast of Great Lent consists in the eating of dry foods, namely, to eat but once a day, at the ninth hour, without consuming oil or wine, likewise, the fast of Wednesday and Friday is to be conducted in the exact same manner. St. Epiphanios also says: "We fast on Wednesday and Friday until the ninth hour."[16] Likewise, Philostorgios says that the fast of Wednesday and Friday does not consist in the abstention from meat, but it designates that one is not to eat any food until the evening.[17] St. Benedict (Canon 41) also designates that the fast of Wednesday and Friday is until the ninth hour. And Balsamon forbids the consumption of shellfish on Wednesday and Friday just as during Great Lent. Let us therefore stop insensibly thinking that the fast of Wednesday and Friday is not an Apostolic directive, for behold, the Apostles in their Canons number this fast together with that of Great Lent... (emphasis mine)

The whole chapter can be found here

St. Nikodemos states quite clearly that days of strict fasting (Wednesdays, Fridays, Lent, etc.) involve total abstinence from food and drink until the 9th Hour (3pm), after which one may eat a single meal consisting of "dry foods" - i.e. vegan - "without consuming oil or wine."

Of course, Scamandrius is quite right when he says you should fast as your Spiritual Father advices you. The above is the rule, not the law.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 05:46:05 PM by Orthodox11 » Logged
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