Author Topic: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.  (Read 696 times)

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Offline Timon

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Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« on: November 25, 2015, 09:47:53 AM »
I guess this really only appeals to folks in the U.S., particularly in the OCA, but is there an official statement from the OCA allowing for a dispensation on Thanksgiving? I found this document here:

http://dce.oca.org/resource/258/

If you read the 3rd bullet point under "The Family," it seems the Synod has approved turkey on "thanksgiving day and weekend." I knew Thanksgiving day was permitted, but did not know about the weekend.

And I am not trying to be legalistic, or looking for an excuse to pig out all weekend. Just curious if there is anything official. If we do partake in the traditional Thanksgiving feast with our families, let us do so in the spirit of the fast by being sincerely grateful for what we have as well as being thankful for the Nativity fast and season itself as a beautiful means to prepare for the mystery of the Incarnation of God!

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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 10:20:46 AM »
I've never seen anything for the weekend, but I'm sure that the OCA hierarchy included it because of the fact that many Americans spend time with their families for more than just THanksgiving day and go through the weekend. And so to mitigate any issues that may arise with Orthodox spending time with non-Orthodox when it comes to abstaining from certain foods, I'm sure that's why they included it.  That said, my rule of thumb is whenever you are a guest of anyone, eat what they give you.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 10:45:52 AM »

....besides, it would be sinful to waste the leftover turkey.

I don't have to worry.  My fast doesn't start until Saturday.   ;D  There will be no turkey left over by then.
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Offline Timon

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 11:02:11 AM »
I've never seen anything for the weekend, but I'm sure that the OCA hierarchy included it because of the fact that many Americans spend time with their families for more than just THanksgiving day and go through the weekend. And so to mitigate any issues that may arise with Orthodox spending time with non-Orthodox when it comes to abstaining from certain foods, I'm sure that's why they included it.  That said, my rule of thumb is whenever you are a guest of anyone, eat what they give you.

Thats typically my rule as well. I just wanted to read their official statement, if there was one, out of curiosity. Im not asking whether its ok to eat tomorrow.

And you're theory about why they included the weekend certainly makes sense! Thanks!
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Offline Timon

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 11:03:33 AM »

....besides, it would be sinful to waste the leftover turkey.

I don't have to worry.  My fast doesn't start until Saturday.   ;D  There will be no turkey left over by then.

I sometimes wish I was on the old calendar! It would be nice to celebrate the holidays, especially Christmas, without all the added American secular stuff! (Not that Santa is bad or anything... but you know what I mean!)
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 11:08:51 AM »

....besides, it would be sinful to waste the leftover turkey.

I don't have to worry.  My fast doesn't start until Saturday.   ;D  There will be no turkey left over by then.

I sometimes wish I was on the old calendar! It would be nice to celebrate the holidays, especially Christmas, without all the added American secular stuff! (Not that Santa is bad or anything... but you know what I mean!)

I know exactly what you mean....and that is the main reason I thoroughly enjoy being on the old calendar. 

I would be fine either way...but,....I like it better this way.  The Feast day is more peaceful and spiritual.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 11:57:24 PM »
Easy solution.  Do Old Calendar Thanksgiving, New Calendar Christmas.  Shorter fasting and you get both holidays to eat everything.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2015, 12:40:43 AM »
Easy solution.  Do Old Calendar Thanksgiving, New Calendar Christmas.  Shorter fasting and you get both holidays to eat everything.

That's not a solution. That's a cop-out.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2015, 04:48:26 AM »
Easy solution.  Do Old Calendar Thanksgiving, New Calendar Christmas.  Shorter fasting and you get both holidays to eat everything.

That's not a solution. That's a cop-out.

Oh?
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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2015, 07:22:51 AM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam
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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2015, 08:45:53 AM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam

I'm not willing to say that anyone is cursed for not keeping the fasts or that it's an outright sin but it has always struck me as "missing the mark" as far as faithfulness to the Church goes, especially when people refuse to keep them for no reason other than a lack of desire.

I come from a background where we tend to, save for health reason, follow our generally agreed upon fasting rules to the letter -- though they don't necessarily align with what's in the books -- to the point where I think sometimes spiritually it does more harm than good. That said, I'm often surprised by the permissiveness or disregard towards the fasts that I see in my glances at Orthodoxy. As much as I should be looking at my own plate, it bothers me all the same.
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Offline Timon

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2015, 09:17:39 AM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam

I was told this by the guy who runs a bookstore at a well known Orthodox church in Atlanta. He isn't a priest, but he told me the same thing. And the times I have confessed not keeping the fast, my priest has never really said anything about it.

I was mainly curious to read an official statement. My OP likely wasn't clear. I really wasn't asking whether or not its OK to break the fast on thanksgiving. (Although I was surprised to read that the entire weekend is apparently permitted.) Our parish has always eaten on Thanksgiving, but I thought it was up to the Priest. I recently learned it is the Bishop who has that authority, so I was curious to read their statement if one existed. At this point I don't think there is such a thing.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2015, 01:06:28 PM »
Easy solution.  Do Old Calendar Thanksgiving, New Calendar Christmas.  Shorter fasting and you get both holidays to eat everything.

That's not a solution. That's a cop-out.

Oh?

It's a little weird to celebrate Theophany one day and then the Nativity the very next day, but I know people who have done it. I've been known to visit a New calendar church on Annunciation to sneak another fish day into Great Lent.

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2015, 12:38:04 AM »
Easy solution.  Do Old Calendar Thanksgiving, New Calendar Christmas.  Shorter fasting and you get both holidays to eat everything.

That's not a solution. That's a cop-out.

Oh?

It's a little weird to celebrate Theophany one day and then the Nativity the very next day, but I know people who have done it.

I do it.  Christpiphany is my favourite liturgical cycle.

Quote
I've been known to visit a New calendar church on Annunciation to sneak another fish day into Great Lent.

SMH.  :P

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 03:11:50 PM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam

I was told this by the guy who runs a bookstore at a well known Orthodox church in Atlanta. He isn't a priest, but he told me the same thing. And the times I have confessed not keeping the fast, my priest has never really said anything about it.

I was mainly curious to read an official statement. My OP likely wasn't clear. I really wasn't asking whether or not its OK to break the fast on thanksgiving. (Although I was surprised to read that the entire weekend is apparently permitted.) Our parish has always eaten on Thanksgiving, but I thought it was up to the Priest. I recently learned it is the Bishop who has that authority, so I was curious to read their statement if one existed. At this point I don't think there is such a thing.

This statement intrigued me as I never viewed the issue of the exercise of an 'ekonomia' within a parish as being the prerogative of the parish priest, but rather something exercised within the authority of the eparchial/diocesan bishop. I come from an old parish mostly consisting of second and third generation descendants of its founders with few converts. I know that our parishioners would not accept the view that their priest can make his own 'rules' in such matters. (How well they follow ANY 'rules' is another matter but....that transcends jurisdictions....)    I am curious how others have been taught in various jurisdictions or what is the understanding of other individuals if the matter ever came up. Sorry if i derailed this a bit, but with all of the talk of 'Orthodox' unity - such questions will become more important in the years to come if such administrative unity every comes to be. Thanks. (The flip side of the question is: IF a bishop grants a diocesan 'ekonomia', are parish priests following the lead of their own bishop? That I think I know the answer ...it's most ,but not all....from my experience. )
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 03:13:38 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline Timon

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 03:51:03 PM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam

I was told this by the guy who runs a bookstore at a well known Orthodox church in Atlanta. He isn't a priest, but he told me the same thing. And the times I have confessed not keeping the fast, my priest has never really said anything about it.

I was mainly curious to read an official statement. My OP likely wasn't clear. I really wasn't asking whether or not its OK to break the fast on thanksgiving. (Although I was surprised to read that the entire weekend is apparently permitted.) Our parish has always eaten on Thanksgiving, but I thought it was up to the Priest. I recently learned it is the Bishop who has that authority, so I was curious to read their statement if one existed. At this point I don't think there is such a thing.

This statement intrigued me as I never viewed the issue of the exercise of an 'ekonomia' within a parish as being the prerogative of the parish priest, but rather something exercised within the authority of the eparchial/diocesan bishop. I come from an old parish mostly consisting of second and third generation descendants of its founders with few converts. I know that our parishioners would not accept the view that their priest can make his own 'rules' in such matters. (How well they follow ANY 'rules' is another matter but....that transcends jurisdictions....)    I am curious how others have been taught in various jurisdictions or what is the understanding of other individuals if the matter ever came up. Sorry if i derailed this a bit, but with all of the talk of 'Orthodox' unity - such questions will become more important in the years to come if such administrative unity every comes to be. Thanks. (The flip side of the question is: IF a bishop grants a diocesan 'ekonomia', are parish priests following the lead of their own bishop? That I think I know the answer ...it's most ,but not all....from my experience. )

It was simply my misunderstanding that the priest made the call. Im fairly new to Orthodoxy. It is my understanding that the bishops in many U.S. diocese and jurisdictions grant a dispensation for the holiday. I dont know that Americans will ever abandon their Thanksgiving traditions considering how many converts there are, and the fact that all the converts likely have Protestant/Catholic family.

But I also understand how you could make a case against it. After all, the Traditions of the Church should override everything else. Being someone who struggles with the fasts to begin with, I cant imagine ever not eating with my family on Thanksgiving.



Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 06:19:54 PM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam

I was told this by the guy who runs a bookstore at a well known Orthodox church in Atlanta. He isn't a priest, but he told me the same thing. And the times I have confessed not keeping the fast, my priest has never really said anything about it.

I was mainly curious to read an official statement. My OP likely wasn't clear. I really wasn't asking whether or not its OK to break the fast on thanksgiving. (Although I was surprised to read that the entire weekend is apparently permitted.) Our parish has always eaten on Thanksgiving, but I thought it was up to the Priest. I recently learned it is the Bishop who has that authority, so I was curious to read their statement if one existed. At this point I don't think there is such a thing.

This statement intrigued me as I never viewed the issue of the exercise of an 'ekonomia' within a parish as being the prerogative of the parish priest, but rather something exercised within the authority of the eparchial/diocesan bishop. I come from an old parish mostly consisting of second and third generation descendants of its founders with few converts. I know that our parishioners would not accept the view that their priest can make his own 'rules' in such matters. (How well they follow ANY 'rules' is another matter but....that transcends jurisdictions....)    I am curious how others have been taught in various jurisdictions or what is the understanding of other individuals if the matter ever came up. Sorry if i derailed this a bit, but with all of the talk of 'Orthodox' unity - such questions will become more important in the years to come if such administrative unity every comes to be. Thanks. (The flip side of the question is: IF a bishop grants a diocesan 'ekonomia', are parish priests following the lead of their own bishop? That I think I know the answer ...it's most ,but not all....from my experience. )

It was simply my misunderstanding that the priest made the call. Im fairly new to Orthodoxy. It is my understanding that the bishops in many U.S. diocese and jurisdictions grant a dispensation for the holiday. I dont know that Americans will ever abandon their Thanksgiving traditions considering how many converts there are, and the fact that all the converts likely have Protestant/Catholic family.

But I also understand how you could make a case against it. After all, the Traditions of the Church should override everything else. Being someone who struggles with the fasts to begin with, I cant imagine ever not eating with my family on Thanksgiving.

Its really not a cradle convert thing...most 'cradles' also have Protestant, Catholic or nothing relatives as well....


Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Another question about the fast and Thanksgiving.
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2015, 06:55:03 PM »
I don't know if this is an Orthodox concept, but my Catholic friend one told me that it's not a sin to not keep the fast, but it's a blessing if you do. I think that makes sense. Of course, I am probably missing out on many blessings with my lack of discipline. But I think the point is that God does not curse us if we don't keep the fast. (I am not a priest, so don't take my word for it.)


Selam

The odd thing for me. What your catholic friend said seems to be correct from an Orthodox viewpoint, but from what I remember as a RCC is incorrect.