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Author Topic: Not allowed to fast this week?  (Read 458 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sauron
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« on: June 13, 2011, 10:02:27 AM »

I just noticed on my calendar that today is Trinity Week and is marked "fast free". Does this meaning that fasting is not allowed? The reason I ask is that I water fast at least one day a week for health purposes and would like to continue the practice this week if possible. It seems to me that if fasts can be relaxed for health reasons, the opposite should also be the case.

To preempt the usual exhortation, due to our respective schedules, by the time I would be able to ask my priest, this week will be over. I am not Orthodox, but I have been keeping the fasting discipline as I continue my inquiry.
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 10:08:58 AM »

The canons and typikon deal with fasting as a spiritual exercise, and appoints a level of fasting (or absence of fasting) appropriate to the significance of a particular day or period in the Church calendar.

Fasting for health reasons is a different matter entirely.
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bogdan
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 10:10:48 AM »

The Church calendar's directions about fasting only relate to religious fasting for penitential reasons. Certainly obedience to doctors overrides fasting/feasting, and that obedience and condescension to human weakness is considered equivalent.

If the fasting is completely voluntary, I would personally suggest celebrating the feast instead of fasting, but I don't think it would be problematic at all.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 10:11:04 AM by bogdan » Logged
vamrat
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 11:01:49 AM »

Like others have said, fasting is a religious and spiritual exercise.  If it coincides with your day to day life, more power to you.  The main thing is that your prayers and thoughts about God should increase during times of fasting.  The dietary restrictions are secondary, they are there to help you.  Otherwise, fasting would be pretty pointless for Vegans and such (no oil or wine, woopdedoo).
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 11:27:34 AM »

Fasting is not required this week. This does not mean that the Church requires people to not fast.
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 02:16:31 PM »

As far as I know, during the fast-free weeks we don't have to fast but we could if we wanted to.  I was at an Athonite monastery for Pentecost and the week following and we didn't fast on Monday but did fast on Wednesday and Friday.  I asked why and was told that it was so that the monks (and properly prepared pilgrims) could commune on Thursday and Saturday (On Mt Athos and in parts of Greece they follow the rule of eating only fasting foods the day before you receive communion).  However, I was also told that at other monasteries they didn't fast that week and simply wouldn't be communing.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 02:18:40 PM by thefizzle656 » Logged
Sauron
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 03:04:00 PM »

I appreciate all of the comments.

This is not doctor's orders, but a practice I undertake in light of current research on intermittent fasting. I have since incorporated it into the weekly church fasts, which works well.
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orthonorm
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 03:09:07 PM »

Fasting is not required this week. This does not mean that the Church requires people to not fast.

I've heard the pastoral opinion that at least for lay persons, you are obliged to a degree not to fast. That doesn't mean to go "hog wild", but still to observe the "festive" nature.

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