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« on: November 16, 2009, 11:50:13 AM »

http://goarch.org/chapel/calendar?month=11&year=2009

Not sure if this is best in the Convert or Faith section, so....

Above is a link to Goarch's online chapel calendar, which has Saints/Feastdays as well as a fasting guide. I've been using this calendar for a long time, but I have a couple of lingering question regarding days that are neither "open" nor strict (i.e., days that are either fish, dairy/eggs or wine/oil permitted). See the bottom of the linked page for the key.

1. If fish is permitted, are dairy/eggs and wine/oil not permitted? I wasn't sure if there were gradations, with certain permitted items being deemed to include certain "lesser" permitted items as well. Or, if fish is permitted, should you assume that dairy/eggs and wine/oil are not permitted?  It seems odd that fish would be permitted, but oil not (since fish "seems" like a greater concession/allowance it could mean that oil/wine or eggs are permitted as well). It also seems odd that on a "X permitted" day it would always just be 1 of the 3 noted, never a combination.

2. Does wine include beer and liquor? This obviously cuts both ways, if wine really means "no alcohol" then wine permitted would mean "alcohol permitted".

Thanks in advance.
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 12:03:00 PM »

Ask your priest for guidance, but generally speaking, while fish may be occasionally permitted, dairy and eggs are not, unless it is a special personal circumstance that you and your priest have discussed.

To avoid the trap of legalism, but still fast to the best of one's ability, it is always a good idea to discuss it with your priest.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 12:14:44 PM »

I wasn't sure if there were gradations, with certain permitted items being deemed to include certain "lesser" permitted items as well.

Yes, that online calendar works with the assumption of gradations. Any day that displays the cheese icon means dairy, eggs, fish, wine and oil are on the menu. Any day that displays the fish icon means fish, wine and oil. Any day with the grapes means only wine and oil.

Does wine include beer and liquor?

Different people say different things. For what it's worth, I have yet to stay at an Orthodox monastery of any kind that serves liquor or beer on a fast day.
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 01:53:31 PM »

Different jursidictions of the Orthodox Church will interprete the canons differently or establish a regional Typica (for example in Alaska the OCA allows the use of Blubber (whale fat) in winter to preserve the health of the native alaskans for whom it is a major part of the diet needed to stay healthy in the bitter and deadly cold of Alaska. Greeks and other Byzantines generally interprete Oil to mean Olive Oil and will allow sesame oil, other light vegetable oils like peanut oil, canola, sunflower etc; whereas the Slavic people generall interprete Oil to mean all oils. Many jurisidctions  exclude  beer  when they use the term wine as beer is seen as "liquid bread" rather than the fruit of the grape, many converts will include it as their previous experiences look at the  fasting from wine to mean the fasting from all alcohol.

This is one of the reasons it is importnat to  meet with your pastor or spiritual father when entering a fast to determine what is the Typica or rule for your jurisidiction or tradition.

One must remember above all that fasting is more than just from Food, St John Chrysotom tells us:

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works.If you see a poor man, take pity on him.If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and thefeet and the hands and all the members of our bodies.Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers and sisters?May He who came to the world to save sinners strengthen us to complete the fast with humility, have mercy on us and save us.
                                                                                                 • St. John Chrysostom


Thomas

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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2009, 02:51:20 PM »

There doesn't seem to be an easily remembered rule on the Greek calendar between "Wednesday/Friday wine/oil allowed" versus "Wednesday/Friday wine/oil not allowed." Perhaps the key is which saint or feast is being celebrated - so far as I can tell, St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Damascus, Presentation of Theotokos to Temple, Conception of Theotokos (a day later than the Latins). And then, about two weeks before Christmas, the fish symbol is gone and it's an assortment of oil or no oil, with no easily discernable rule other than a slight relaxation on weekends and some weekdays.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2009, 02:57:45 PM »

And then, about two weeks before Christmas, the fish symbol is gone and it's an assortment of oil or no oil, with no easily discernable rule other than a slight relaxation on weekends and some weekdays.


According to some Greek Orthodox I know, no more fish after the Feast Day of St. Spyridon, (the two weeks you mention) sort of, "all right, now it's time to get serious about this."
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 10:40:36 AM »

This is  a summary of fasting  at this point that my pastor, Fr. Aidan of St John the Forerunner in Cedar Park TX provided in his weekly  newsletter:
"We're mid-way through the first week of the Nativity Fast. This fasting season is divided into two periods:  The 1st period runs through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, wine and oil) is observed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but with katalysis for wine and oil on Tuesday and Thursday (some jurisdictions also permit fish on Tuesday and Thursday during this 1st period) and for fish, wine and oil on Saturday and Sunday.  The 2nd period is December 20th through the 24th (the period of the Forefeast) when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, wine and oil) is observed Monday through Friday, but with katalysis for wine and oil on Saturday and Sunday. If you need to make any special arrangements for the fast involving exceptions for diet or for the Thanksgiving Holiday, please speak with your spiritual father as soon as possible, so you and those that you love don't miss out on any of the blessings of this special discipline."

Thomas
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 06:32:26 PM »

For what it's worth, I have yet to stay at an Orthodox monastery of any kind that serves liquor or beer on a fast day.

I've yet to stay at an Orthodox monastery where they served liquor or beer...period.  But then again, I don't consider wine to be liquor. Grin
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