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kiloelectronVolt
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« on: November 22, 2012, 03:56:39 AM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 04:13:51 AM »

Become Canadian and you won't have to worry about this Wink
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 04:29:45 AM »

Well, you don't eat meat, but you can still celebrate and eat other stuff, even fish, if it's a fish day. But, yes, we keep the fast, always. Things that have to do with God come first. Also, it's an opportunity for us to confess that we are fasting in the name of Christ.
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 04:30:44 AM »

Enjoy good food and good fellowship with your family and friends. That is as honoring to God as fasting, IMHO. But I'm not a Priest, so take what I say with a grain of salt.


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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 09:48:39 AM »

As I understand it, many bishops in America grant their flock the day off.
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 10:01:10 AM »

As I understand it, many bishops in America grant their flock the day off.

I would wonder what the spiritual reasoning for such a thing would be. I mean it's one thing to celebrate, another thing to even eat food that is not meat, but an entirely different thing to break the fast of The Church which has nothing to do with the feasts of the world, but is an internal affair, something that has to do with God alone.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 10:06:17 AM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 10:23:36 AM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

Get on the right calendar and you won't have to worry about it.
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 10:43:52 AM »

As I understand it, many bishops in America grant their flock the day off.

I would wonder what the spiritual reasoning for such a thing would be. I mean it's one thing to celebrate, another thing to even eat food that is not meat, but an entirely different thing to break the fast of The Church which has nothing to do with the feasts of the world, but is an internal affair, something that has to do with God alone.

You would have to call the bishops on that one.  But a few thoughts...  We Orthodox are a minority, many with families that are not Orthodox.  Spending time with family and giving thanks to God are good and right things to do.  I am sure that allowing for the American Thanksgiving holiday is simply an act of economy.  You don't have to eat anything you don't want to.  If we are fasting, almost no one should know about it and if we choose not to eat meat that is entirely our business.  Likewise, if someone chooses to eat meat, it is entirely none of our business.

Punch makes a good point though.
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 10:45:25 AM »

As I understand it, many bishops in America grant their flock the day off.

I know the OCA typically and typically allows for a break in the fast for Thanksgiving and, while not on any calendars that I have seen, some churches "baptize" the Holiday and hold Thanksgiving services.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 10:49:47 AM »

I don't think it's a far stretch for the Church, who is centered in the Eucharist (thanksgiving), to accept a celebration of "Thanksgiving" and to put the idea of giving thanks into a proper God-centered perspective.
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 11:22:07 AM »

I totally understand the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving, but why one would eat meat during the fast I would not understand; it has to have a spiritual meaning that is connected to the life of Christ. It's not something we negotiate; it's something that has to do with the very fiber of why we even fast before the Nativity of The Lord. Otherwise, things become subjective and we can always find reasons to break the fast even though we don't absolutely need to do it.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 11:22:21 AM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 12:09:09 PM »

Thanksgiving has been deemed worth sanctifying by many bishops and iirc St. Tikhon.

So it can become part of our witness.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 12:28:03 PM »

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know ROCOR allowed some kind of moleben to be served on Thanksgiving Day, so it is possible to incorporate secular holidays that have some religious aspect that's compatible with our faith (see Halloween for a holiday that's not compatible). Of course, ROCOR also follows the traditional calendar, so fasting is rarely an issue (it is possible for Thanksgiving to fall on the first day of the fast in the old calendar).
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 12:42:35 PM »

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know ROCOR allowed some kind of moleben to be served on Thanksgiving Day, so it is possible to incorporate secular holidays that have some religious aspect that's compatible with our faith (see Halloween for a holiday that's not compatible). Of course, ROCOR also follows the traditional calendar, so fasting is rarely an issue (it is possible for Thanksgiving to fall on the first day of the fast in the old calendar).
Since when is Halloween a "secular" holiday? You might object to certain of the practices that have become associated with it, but Halloween is as religious a holiday as Christmas Eve.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 01:37:30 PM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

Get on the right calendar and you won't have to worry about it.

Which is the "right" calendar?  I've looked at various fasting calendars online and, although they are essentially the same, I see some variations.  Someone else mentioned an "old" calendar on which Nativity fast begins the day after Thanksgiving?  I'm thinking I should ask the priest what calendar he recommends.  If it sounds like I'm looking for a loophole, I probably am.  I starving for turkey!  I'm just a catechumen (I think; the priest has never called me that in my hearing) and I've been doing my best to keep a prayer rule and observe the fast days, but I'm not sure I've got my head entirely around fasting, yet.  It makes me cranky and resentful, and I doubt that's the purpose of fasting.
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2012, 01:40:44 PM »

Become Canadian and you won't have to worry about this Wink

Haha!  I would LOVE to be Canadian!  You guys are awesome!
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2012, 01:57:36 PM »

As I understand it, many bishops in America grant their flock the day off.

I would wonder what the spiritual reasoning for such a thing would be. I mean it's one thing to celebrate, another thing to even eat food that is not meat, but an entirely different thing to break the fast of The Church which has nothing to do with the feasts of the world, but is an internal affair, something that has to do with God alone.

You would have to call the bishops on that one.  But a few thoughts...  We Orthodox are a minority, many with families that are not Orthodox.  Spending time with family and giving thanks to God are good and right things to do.  I am sure that allowing for the American Thanksgiving holiday is simply an act of economy.  You don't have to eat anything you don't want to.  If we are fasting, almost no one should know about it and if we choose not to eat meat that is entirely our business.  Likewise, if someone chooses to eat meat, it is entirely none of our business.

Punch makes a good point though.

Even so, I agree with all that you wrote.
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2012, 02:06:21 PM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

Get on the right calendar and you won't have to worry about it.

Which is the "right" calendar?  I've looked at various fasting calendars online and, although they are essentially the same, I see some variations.  Someone else mentioned an "old" calendar on which Nativity fast begins the day after Thanksgiving?  I'm thinking I should ask the priest what calendar he recommends.  If it sounds like I'm looking for a loophole, I probably am.  I starving for turkey!  I'm just a catechumen (I think; the priest has never called me that in my hearing) and I've been doing my best to keep a prayer rule and observe the fast days, but I'm not sure I've got my head entirely around fasting, yet.  It makes me cranky and resentful, and I doubt that's the purpose of fasting.

It is not, which is why I don't get all bent out of shape about it.  I am sure that if you live your life according to the words of The Christ, by feeding those that are hungry, giving aid to those in need, visiting the sick, searching the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers, God will find in His heart to forgive you for your diet.  What turned me off the most about fasting is that most of the people that I know who make the biggest deal of it do little else.  But, then again, perhaps we will hear these words on the Day of Judgment:

"I was hungry and you fed me.
I was sick and you gave me comfort.
I was naked and you clothed me.
But for all that is Holy, you ate a piece of Turkey on Thanksgiving, so now you are going to fry like a burger - away from me and into the eternal deep fryer set aside for those of you who don't fast like my friends the Pharisees."

Nah, I don't think so.
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2012, 02:15:55 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!


Usually on American Christmas and Thanksgiving I bring the homemade falafal Wink

However this year Advent doesn't start till Sunday on the Old Calendar, like two years ago, so its a non-issue.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2012, 02:36:30 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!


Usually on American Christmas and Thanksgiving I bring the homemade falafal Wink

However this year Advent doesn't start till Sunday on the Old Calendar, like two years ago, so its a non-issue.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I bet those would be good with gravy.   Wink
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2012, 02:53:20 PM »

And I was told the Orthodox were not as legalistic as Catholics...
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2012, 02:54:07 PM »

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know ROCOR allowed some kind of moleben to be served on Thanksgiving Day, so it is possible to incorporate secular holidays that have some religious aspect that's compatible with our faith (see Halloween for a holiday that's not compatible). Of course, ROCOR also follows the traditional calendar, so fasting is rarely an issue (it is possible for Thanksgiving to fall on the first day of the fast in the old calendar).
Since when is Halloween a "secular" holiday? You might object to certain of the practices that have become associated with it, but Halloween is as religious a holiday as Christmas Eve.

It's interesting that Halloween is always cited as a holiday not compatible with Orthodoxy when it's already on Orthodox liturgical calendars.
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2012, 03:44:50 PM »

Ah, the perennial debate...

Some will trot out quotes from the desert fathers about eating what you have been given with gratitude. Others will emphasize the importance of maintaining our ascetic practices despite pressure from our culture. Some will advocate a middle ground such as eating food that is offered to you but not pointing out that you’re not consuming meat.

And the maddening fact of it is that all of those answers are Orthodox.

Follow your conscience. But also be sure not to judge those who don’t follow your conscience.

The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. The same can be said for the fast.

But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2012, 04:20:09 PM »

I totally understand the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving, but why one would eat meat during the fast I would not understand; it has to have a spiritual meaning that is connected to the life of Christ. It's not something we negotiate; it's something that has to do with the very fiber of why we even fast before the Nativity of The Lord. Otherwise, things become subjective and we can always find reasons to break the fast even though we don't absolutely need to do it.
Because fasting is about more than just not eating meat.
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2012, 04:22:10 PM »

Enjoy good food and good fellowship with your family and friends. That is as honoring to God as fasting, IMHO. But I'm not a Priest, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
You don't have to be a priest to speak truth. In this post I think you're right on.
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2012, 04:32:51 PM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

Get on the right calendar and you won't have to worry about it.

Which is the "right" calendar?  I've looked at various fasting calendars online and, although they are essentially the same, I see some variations.  Someone else mentioned an "old" calendar on which Nativity fast begins the day after Thanksgiving?  I'm thinking I should ask the priest what calendar he recommends.
This isn't just a difference in fasting calendars. Back in the 1920s, some Orthodox churches began to adopt the Revised Julian "New" Calendar, while most continued (to this day) to follow the Julian "Old" Calendar. These two calendars differ by 13 days until 2100. It sounds as if your parish follows the New Calendar, which makes this calendar the one you should follow. (Anyway, this has become a matter of endless debate on this board, which is why we reserve discussion of the calendar for this thread: Old vs. New Calendar?.)

If it sounds like I'm looking for a loophole, I probably am.  I starving for turkey! I'm just a catechumen (I think; the priest has never called me that in my hearing) and I've been doing my best to keep a prayer rule and observe the fast days, but I'm not sure I've got my head entirely around fasting, yet.  It makes me cranky and resentful, and I doubt that's the purpose of fasting.
If you're just a catechumen, then you probably shouldn't be observing the Orthodox fasts all that strictly, anyway. Right now, I would say don't even bother looking for a loophole. Just eat the damn bird.
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2012, 04:34:47 PM »

Just eat the damn bird.

I'd rather eat the bird after it has been blessed.  laugh
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2012, 04:36:20 PM »

Well my Bishop just excuses the Thanksgiving weekend from the Fast. Thanksgiving because it's a special holiday, the rest of the weekend so that the leftovers do not go to waste.
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2012, 04:40:12 PM »

Just eat the damn bird.

I'd rather eat the bird after it has been blessed.  laugh
Touché. Grin

I did see a sign at the checkout stands of a local grocery store that said in big print, "Don't give us the bird." (In smaller print under that, the sign said something like, "Just tell us how much it weighs and we'll take your word for it.")
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2012, 04:52:50 PM »

Just eat the damn bird.

I'd rather eat the bird after it has been blessed.  laugh
Touché. Grin

I did see a sign at the checkout stands of a local grocery store that said in big print, "Don't give us the bird." (In smaller print under that, the sign said something like, "Just tell us how much it weighs and we'll take your word for it.")

 laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2012, 05:46:18 PM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

Get on the right calendar and you won't have to worry about it.

Those on the Old Calendar have to worry about fasting on December 25th, when unless their family is all Orthodox on the Old Calendar, will be having Christmas dinner
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2012, 05:51:12 PM »

Well my Bishop just excuses the Thanksgiving weekend from the Fast. Thanksgiving because it's a special holiday, the rest of the weekend so that the leftovers do not go to waste.

One of my priests blessed us to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.  He just said to buy a small turkey so there wouldn't be leftovers and get back on the fast the next day.  By the way, my priest (who is British) said a week ago last Sunday that he thinks Thanksgiving is the greatest holiday ever in any country because it makes us consider the many things we have to be thankful to God for instead of our problems and the things we are not thankful for.
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2012, 06:53:48 PM »

Just eat the damn bird.

I'd rather eat the bird after it has been blessed.  laugh
Touché. Grin

I did see a sign at the checkout stands of a local grocery store that said in big print, "Don't give us the bird." (In smaller print under that, the sign said something like, "Just tell us how much it weighs and we'll take your word for it.")

 laugh laugh laugh
Yeah, a former housemate once said that Thanksgiving is the only day on which it's polite to give your family the bird and tell them all to get stuffed. laugh
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« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2012, 08:00:19 PM »

Following the Julian Calendar won't solve anything.  It means you start your fast on November 27 (Gregorian) and don't get to celebrate Thanksgiving until December 6 (Gregorian) which is the Fourth Thursday of November on the Julian Calendar.

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« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2012, 09:09:35 PM »

Following the Julian Calendar won't solve anything.  It means you start your fast on November 27 (Gregorian) and don't get to celebrate Thanksgiving until December 6 (Gregorian) which is the Fourth Thursday of November on the Julian Calendar.



Not true.  Thanksgiving is not an Orthodox feast, so it is celebrated whenever the civil authorities say that it is.
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« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2012, 10:08:04 PM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

The one who eats eats with thanksgiving, the one who fasts fasts with thanksgiving. Also, one tries not to offend those who would not understand. Love is greater than fasting. Obedience is greater than fasting.
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« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2012, 10:09:29 PM »

I'm wondering how the Orthodox Americans reconcile their Nativity fast with Thanksgiving day?  Do you skip the turkey, or what?

Get on the right calendar and you won't have to worry about it.

Which is the "right" calendar?  I've looked at various fasting calendars online and, although they are essentially the same, I see some variations.  Someone else mentioned an "old" calendar on which Nativity fast begins the day after Thanksgiving?  I'm thinking I should ask the priest what calendar he recommends.  If it sounds like I'm looking for a loophole, I probably am.  I starving for turkey!  I'm just a catechumen (I think; the priest has never called me that in my hearing) and I've been doing my best to keep a prayer rule and observe the fast days, but I'm not sure I've got my head entirely around fasting, yet.  It makes me cranky and resentful, and I doubt that's the purpose of fasting.

The "right" calendar is whichever calendar is kept in obedience to the local holy synod.
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« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2012, 10:14:01 PM »

And I was told the Orthodox were not as legalistic as Catholics...

Only in their dreams.

Orthodox have more rules about which to be legalistic.
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« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2012, 01:56:34 AM »

Well my Bishop just excuses the Thanksgiving weekend from the Fast. Thanksgiving because it's a special holiday, the rest of the weekend so that the leftovers do not go to waste.

One of my priests blessed us to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.  He just said to buy a small turkey so there wouldn't be leftovers and get back on the fast the next day.  By the way, my priest (who is British) said a week ago last Sunday that he thinks Thanksgiving is the greatest holiday ever in any country because it makes us consider the many things we have to be thankful to God for instead of our problems and the things we are not thankful for.

The Native Americans I work with don't much care for it.  One of them wore a t-shirt that read PLEASE DON'T FEED THE PILGRIMS.
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IoanC
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« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2012, 06:33:31 AM »

I totally understand the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving, but why one would eat meat during the fast I would not understand; it has to have a spiritual meaning that is connected to the life of Christ. It's not something we negotiate; it's something that has to do with the very fiber of why we even fast before the Nativity of The Lord. Otherwise, things become subjective and we can always find reasons to break the fast even though we don't absolutely need to do it.
Because fasting is about more than just not eating meat.

Exactly! Fasting is only a means for purification and uniting ourselves with God. It has to do with our dedication and obedience to God. If Christ hadn't been able to fast totally as God commanded, He would have never been able to defeat satan's temptations. Can you imagine Christ asking to get a break to go and eat turkey as He was being tempted by Satan? Plus, eating turkey on Thanksgiving and then on Nativity would make them equal feasts, as if they are equally important for our Salvation. Church feasts and worldly feasts have nothing in common; they represent two different things. You fast so that you are worthy of receiving God, not turkey on thanksgiving's.  Smiley
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2012, 02:50:31 PM »

I totally understand the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving, but why one would eat meat during the fast I would not understand; it has to have a spiritual meaning that is connected to the life of Christ. It's not something we negotiate; it's something that has to do with the very fiber of why we even fast before the Nativity of The Lord. Otherwise, things become subjective and we can always find reasons to break the fast even though we don't absolutely need to do it.
Because fasting is about more than just not eating meat.

Exactly! Fasting is only a means for purification and uniting ourselves with God. It has to do with our dedication and obedience to God. If Christ hadn't been able to fast totally as God commanded, He would have never been able to defeat satan's temptations. Can you imagine Christ asking to get a break to go and eat turkey as He was being tempted by Satan?
Can you imagine anyone knowing where He was in the wilderness so they could invite Him to Thanksgiving dinner?

Plus, eating turkey on Thanksgiving and then on Nativity would make them equal feasts, as if they are equally important for our Salvation.
No, your logic does not flow. It's not the eating of turkey that makes a feast a feast, it's the feast that makes a feast a feast. Would eating turkey on July 17 make July 17 as important a feast as the Nativity of our Savior?

Church feasts and worldly feasts have nothing in common; they represent two different things.
So devoting a day to the giving of thanks to God (thanksgiving = Eucharist) is a worldly feast? Have you not read the Gospel about the 10 lepers Jesus cleansed. "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" I can't think of anything more not-of-this-world then taking time out of our busy schedules to give thanks to God.

You fast so that you are worthy of receiving God, not turkey on thanksgiving's.  Smiley
We fast so that we are prepared to receive God's great bounty to us unworthy sinners with thanksgiving.
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choy
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« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2012, 02:58:49 PM »

And I was told the Orthodox were not as legalistic as Catholics...

Only in their dreams.

Orthodox have more rules about which to be legalistic.

I mean the Orthodox are not too worked up about following or not following "rules" given the right reasons.  The Orthodox should know the rules are flexible.
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« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2012, 03:40:15 PM »

1 Corinthians 10:30-31   "30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?  31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
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IoanC
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« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2012, 01:07:51 AM »

No, your logic does not flow. It's not the eating of turkey that makes a feast a feast, it's the feast that makes a feast a feast. Would eating turkey on July 17 make July 17 as important a feast as the Nativity of our Savior?
Quote
So devoting a day to the giving of thanks to God (thanksgiving = Eucharist) is a worldly feast? Have you not read the Gospel about the 10 lepers Jesus cleansed. "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" I can't think of anything more not-of-this-world then taking time out of our busy schedules to give thanks to God.

The fast was made for the Feast of Nativity. You fast spiritually until Nativity and that's when you are supposed to receive The Lord into your soul. If you eat meat until then, much less will you be able to fast spiritually until then and be able to receive The Lord.

I already said that celebrating thanksgiving does not mean breaking the fast. Eating meat does because you change the purpose of the fast. The fast was only made for God, for Nativity; it has nothing to do with anything else.
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« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2012, 02:00:05 AM »

Since the first Thanksgiving meal of the pilgrims featured eel, rather than turkey, we have an excellent example to follow by observing the original Thanksgiving menue and keeping the Nativity Fast.
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