Author Topic: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking  (Read 1846 times)

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Offline Desiring_unity

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Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« on: October 08, 2011, 02:55:15 AM »
I've read the other topics related to smoking but two things that I didn't see come up were these:

1) People converting who smoke.

2) Catechumens who smoke and the fasts.

My family and I are becoming Catechumens next weekend.  I was looking into the fast for the Nativity; when I found the guidelines on the Antiochian website, near the bottom it said that in addition to those foods mentioned, smoking was prohibited.

I do plan on speaking to my priest about this but wondered if anyone here has dealt with this personally?  Either yourself or a convert you knew?

Every post in the other related threads seemed to deal with those who were not yet addicted.  I am already addicted.  I've been a smoker for nearly 20 years, with a 2 1/2 year period where I'd quit.  How do I proceed?  Is there grace by the Church for those coming in that have a 'past' (present) such as this?
"Beloved in Christ, if you ever despair, wondering if what you do for God matters, remember: each single act of holiness is like a stone thrown into an ocean—the ripples go forth, and we do not know whom they touch or where they end."

From: http://www.antiochian.org/node/18911

Offline peteprint

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 03:02:38 AM »
I keep the fasts to the best of my ability as far as diet goes, but I continue to smoke.  My priest has never mentioned smoking, and though I understand the arguments against it, when the fasting rules were written no one smoked; tobacco was not known in ancient Europe and the Near East.

And even with the dietary changes, i.e. no meat or dairy, we are not required to abstain completely from food. 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 03:04:09 AM by peteprint »

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 03:03:12 AM »
Not smoking is not included in the fasting tradition and practices of the Church, except probably the fast before receiving Holy Communion on Sunday morning or a feast day morning, in that nothing (not even water) should be ingested after midnight prior to receiving Communion.
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Offline peteprint

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 03:05:06 AM »
Not smoking is not included in the fasting tradition and practices of the Church, except probably the fast before receiving Holy Communion on Sunday morning or a feast day morning, in that nothing (not even water) should be ingested after midnight prior to receiving Communion.

That is my understanding as well.

Offline Thomas

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 10:28:28 PM »
I've read the other topics related to smoking but two things that I didn't see come up were these:

1) People converting who smoke.

2) Catechumens who smoke and the fasts.

My family and I are becoming Catechumens next weekend.  I was looking into the fast for the Nativity; when I found the guidelines on the Antiochian website, near the bottom it said that in addition to those foods mentioned, smoking was prohibited.

I do plan on speaking to my priest about this but wondered if anyone here has dealt with this personally?  Either yourself or a convert you knew?

Every post in the other related threads seemed to deal with those who were not yet addicted.  I am already addicted.  I've been a smoker for nearly 20 years, with a 2 1/2 year period where I'd quit.  How do I proceed?  Is there grace by the Church for those coming in that have a 'past' (present) such as this?

I am in the Antiochian Church, but have never seen that as a guideline---perhaps it is a local tradition.

Thomas
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Offline NMHS

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 12:06:03 AM »
Please stop smoking for your family. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday and were not sure there is much time left.

Offline peteprint

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 12:09:55 AM »
Please stop smoking for your family. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday and were not sure there is much time left.

I have never struggled with anything as much as smoking.  I have been a smoker since 1976.  I have tried to quit many times and it has never worked.  I thank God that none of my children smoke. I will pray for your father.  Lord have mercy!

Offline jmk1988

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 01:37:49 PM »
I smoke and I hate.  I am currently and inquirer and I hope converting to Orthodoxy will be just the kick in the pants I need to stop.  I hate it for myself and my family.  I am very secretive about it and do not enjoy being a sneaky person. 

Offline peteprint

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 01:41:11 PM »
I smoke and I hate.  I am currently and inquirer and I hope converting to Orthodoxy will be just the kick in the pants I need to stop.  I hate it for myself and my family.  I am very secretive about it and do not enjoy being a sneaky person.  

I will remember you in my prayers.  
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 01:41:25 PM by peteprint »

Offline Alpo

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 02:09:19 PM »
I am in the Antiochian Church, but have never seen that as a guideline---perhaps it is a local tradition.

I've heard some people considering smoking as sinful. I don't know whether Finnish clergy has addressed the smoking but Tito Colliander suggested in his Way of the Ascetics that people could consume less coffee. Since coffee is as much enjoyment as smoking it's not far fetched to think that this suggestion applies also to smoking.

Offline NMHS

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 11:41:15 AM »
Thanks for the prayers.  I pray that everyone has the strength to quit this habit. 

Offline gzt

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 10:02:27 AM »
Quitting smoking for the duration of the fast the very first time you ever try to fast might be a bit much. Very stressful. Perhaps a bad idea.

On the other hand, and I hate to be one of those guys, you really should quit smoking. Really.

Offline Ionnis

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 10:47:19 PM »
FWIW, I have never heard or read anywhere of people being instructed to fast from smoking.  On the other hand, I have heard that smoking is a sin and something to be confessed.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 03:17:46 AM »
Ionnis, As I had noted earlier above, I think the smoking prohibition referred to is as to the morning fast prior to the reception of Holy Communion, required by canon, which calls for nothing to be injected into the system.
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Catechumens, Fast days, and Smoking
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 01:14:17 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I've read the other topics related to smoking but two things that I didn't see come up were these:

1) People converting who smoke.

2) Catechumens who smoke and the fasts.

My family and I are becoming Catechumens next weekend.  I was looking into the fast for the Nativity; when I found the guidelines on the Antiochian website, near the bottom it said that in addition to those foods mentioned, smoking was prohibited.

I do plan on speaking to my priest about this but wondered if anyone here has dealt with this personally?  Either yourself or a convert you knew?

Every post in the other related threads seemed to deal with those who were not yet addicted.  I am already addicted.  I've been a smoker for nearly 20 years, with a 2 1/2 year period where I'd quit.  How do I proceed?  Is there grace by the Church for those coming in that have a 'past' (present) such as this?

I used to smoke just before coming into Divine Liturgy, and right afterwards.  If I recall, I even took a cigarette break during my first Divine Liturgy, however this was because I was so overcome by the Spirit I needed to step out and reflect.  Gradually I readjusted to the rhythms of Orthodox life and culture to put these kinds of American habits aside. 


I didn't start Fasting until I finally quit smoking tobacco.  The advice my priest gave me regarding fasting was simple, start small.  Begin with the Wednesday and Friday fasting and gradually work your way into it spiritually.  So after about a year of this, I was both ready to begin Fasting, to receive Baptism, and to quit smoking.  I had also quit smoking gradually by the way, over a period of months I weened myself off of my addiction until I felt comfortable finishing that leap.  I had quit for over a year previously, but it was a terrifying experience and I of course started again.  Its been years since I smoked a cigarette now in the Grace of God.  That is precisely what Fasting in the Church facilitates, a transition from live to eat towards eat to live, and smoking tobacco is definitely not part of eating to live.

I'm praying for you, from my experience, parting ways with tobacco is wild.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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