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Author Topic: How do I follow the calendar fast????  (Read 2518 times) Average Rating: 0
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ChuckNoland
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« on: September 09, 2004, 04:47:58 PM »

I would like to begin observing the abstinences on certain foods on certain days, but dont know which days call for what. Can someone help with this??
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2004, 05:20:36 PM »


This can be really complex.  I would advise buying a good Orthodox Day Calender (they make a great Christmas gift) for 2005.  These are handy, and generally tell you what each day calls for.  The reason it gets complex is that certain times feasts and fasts fall on the same day, and conflict.  But, to keep it simple to start with:

Weekly:

We fast on Wednesday and Friday from meat, fish, dairy products, and alcohol.

(If receiving Communion) We fast from Midnight Saturday night from all food until after the Liturgy.

During the Year:

We fast during Lent from meat, fish, dairy products, oil, and alcohol.  Your Church will cue you in when this begins each year, and it actually builds (you start with no meat for a week, etc.).

We fast before the Nativity for 40 days (i.e. from November 15th to December 25th).  

We fast from August 1 to August 14th for the Dormition of the Theotokos.

We fast from the Sunday of All Saints (the Sunday after Pentecost) until the Sunday of Ss. Peter and Paul for the Holy Apostles.

Also, a few days, such as August 29th, the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, and September 14th, the Elevation of the Cross, Great and Holy Friday, etc. we observe a Strict Fast, meaning we eat nothing (or as little as possible).

There are all kinds of exceptions and nuances to this, but these are the general rules, if you don't have a calender to help you.  Also, for more specific guidelines for yourself, talk to your Priest.  He (hopefully) knows you and can help you get into the mode of fasting without overtaxing yourself, and give you specific guidelines.

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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2004, 05:39:25 PM »

Oh, and AFAIK Fish, Wine and Oil allowed on all weekends during the Nativity Fast.
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2004, 07:14:39 PM »

Chuck,

Ideally you should work with a priest.  You are not going to be able to keep all the fasts immediately.  Try to keep the Wednesday and Friday fasts first.

Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2004, 09:40:12 PM »

Not being familiar with all the subtleties, I normally just look at an Orthodox calendar for that year. Saint John of Kronstadt Press has some for next year, if you're interested.
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2004, 07:35:09 AM »

We don't fast at all during the week after Pascha Smiley and if a strict fast day happens to fall on a Sunday then the fast is relaxed somewhat (fish/oil/wine) as was the case for Aug 29 this year (I could have a beer on my birthday!). Similiarly if a feast day happens to fall during a fasting period (such as Lent) then the fast is again relaxed.

Don't worry, you'll have it all figured out in a few years Grin
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ChuckNoland
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2004, 04:09:16 PM »

OK, appareently I dont have to worry about it now....I was thinking that the Wed & Fri fasts were also fasts from oil until I just re-read the post, but for the future....I was about to make a sandwich and realized peanut butter has peanut oil in it and in fact the darned bread had some osrt of oil listend at the end (I think most bread or all has oil in it doesnt it??)....so as far as the oil goes, is it a certain type of oil or all oil in general??? Obviously certain vegetables contain oils, should we abstain from these vegetables as well?? LOL Im getting confused
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2004, 04:11:50 PM »

Chuck,

It's just olive oil, not peanut oil, and if you don't actually see oil oozing all over the place you shouldn't really worry about it. Just start off gradually or else you will go crazy!

Anastasios
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2004, 04:36:37 PM »

Peanut butter is your friend on fasting days!  I just bought a 6-lb can of Peter Pan at Sam's not long ago for under $7.  

Chuck, please talk to your priest before beginning to do the fasting periods.  They usually start you fasting pretty slowly.  Also, he is the one who will give you your fasting rule,

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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2004, 05:36:40 PM »

Yes, yes, Yes,

Work with your priest. And don't get too hung up on the fasting...It's not the most important thing.
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2004, 06:48:49 PM »

Oh, and AFAIK Fish, Wine and Oil allowed on all weekends during the Nativity Fast.

I don't have it in front of me, but I seem to recall from the discussion of fasting in the Lenten Triodion that "wine and oil" are similarly permitted on all Saturdays and Sundays during Great Lent, except Great and Holy Saturday.  

What about the "day" in "fast day"?  Is it considered more proper to keep the fast during the evening-to-evening liturgical day, rather than the calendar day?

I completely agree with those posters who have advocated speaking to a priest first.  I first attended an Orthodox church just after Pentecost a few years ago.  By the time of the Nativity Fast I was serious about converting, but not yet in the catechumenate.  I spoke to our priest about the fast and he advised me to try it a few days a week the first time (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, if I remember correctly).   I found that advice very helpful.  This gradualism, so to speak, really helped me get over my "fear of fasting" so that now, other than the usual logistical problems of living an Orthodox life in an non-Orthodox world, I don't find fasting all that difficult.  Of course, being a vegetarian probably makes it easier -- for me, Cheesefare Week is like having a extra fast-free week on the calendar.  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2004, 06:55:07 PM »

Calendar day is preferrable because evening to evening can mean 1) we become subjective and toy with the times to start and stop and 2) we never go an entire day without eating meat.

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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2004, 07:04:51 PM »

Calendar day is preferrable because evening to evening can mean 1) we become subjective and toy with the times to start and stop and 2) we never go an entire day without eating meat.

Or...you could check on www.timeanddate.com -- go to the search function and put in your city, then click on the sunrise/sunset result -- and go literally from sunset to sunset...that way you're still keeping the fast in the "Church way."
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2004, 07:20:30 PM »

Or...you could do it the way that many fathers of the Church did.  Fast from when you see the sun up till when you see the sun go down.  "Was Timexes in 19th century Russia?  NO! Is Outrage!!!"  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2004, 07:45:50 PM »

My personal opinion on this is that the fast should correspond to the liturgical day.  So Tuesday evening-Wednesday evening and Thursday evening-Friday evening.  However, in order to do this, you have to set a time for it, whether it is sunset to sunset or even something like 6pm-6pm, and stick to it.  These days, I tend to go from midnight to midnight just because it's more convenient in my current living situation.  If I had it my way, it'd be from evening to evening.
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2004, 11:35:25 AM »

I have just begun the fasting process, so I'm pretty new to these rules as well.  This thread has been very helpful.

I do have one question though.  If you're on a dairy/meat product fast, do you also include items with dairy in them?  I'm specifically asking about bread.  I noticed the peanut butter conversation, so I was curious to know if you were making sandwiches?  I thought most bread included milk.  

If bread is ok, then this fast thing will be a peace of cake for me! :-)  I have such a hard time working around that though.
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2004, 12:45:46 PM »

Smalltowngl,

Well, I just checked the ingredients on my potato bread and it listed "soybean oil" which I would assume is OK.  What I've been told before that some people do, is if you can see/taste/notice or are certain of the presence of the dairy product in question, then avoid it.  But if its something you can only notice at the bottom of a list of ingredients, I wouldn't go nuts over it.  But then again, I'm still Catholic, we don't really do fasting.  Roll Eyes (And the joke runs all the way over here from OV.com Tongue)

Kim
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2004, 01:39:05 PM »

That's my rule as well: if it's not somehow really obvious, I don't worry about it.
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