Author Topic: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?  (Read 387 times)

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Offline Dominika

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Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« on: June 23, 2018, 01:29:25 PM »
I always thought that there are differences between each of every 4 big fasts, I mean some are stricter, some are more lenient. Plus liturgical differences.
My priest (unfortunately, I think he's getting worse) has just said to me that he doesn't understand why some people claim that the Apostles Fast is more lenient, as every fast is the same strict. And that only in liturgics there are differences.

Since it was a confession, I can't get into details. But I left the confession room quite surprised and disappointed.

On the websites of various jurisdictions there are prescribed rules (as we know, that represent an ideal state, we're not so legalistis) for this fast, and ine very jurisdiction - sure, there are some differences - they seem to be more lenient than e.g Great Lent.

Studying theology, being so into liturgics, I'm confused, as he's not a village priest, not a convert. I think that he says so in consequence of his process beocming more radicalised.

But maybe I'm wrong?...
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Offline Orthodox_Slav

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 02:14:55 PM »
this does seem to be a confusing situation to be in!
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 03:58:08 PM »
From my direct observations in Romania whatever the canonical rules if they existed at all, almost no laity or parish clergy took this fast very seriously. Weddings happened at regular summer pace with dispensation from the “chiriarh”.
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Offline Sampson

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 04:11:29 PM »
The "problem" with the Apostles Fast is that for a long time, there was no codification of how long the fast lasted or what was fasted from at what times, and then the calendar change further complicated things. It seemed to be a largely local custom rather than a fast by "law."

There are some records from the 12th century that say to fast for a week, there are some from the 7th century that say to fast from after Pentecost all the way through Dormition (whoa!). And even now if you follow the Old Calendar you could have a fast that's a week to 40+ days, or if you're on the New Calendar, if might be almost completely removed.

And that's just the length side, not the exact permissions about what you're allowed to eat (Fish on S/S only? Fish on all days but W/F? etc.)

All that considered, I don't think it's correct to say that every fast is the same. Every fast is the same in its ultimate ascetical purpose, but the outline of the fast can be different. It would seem like the pious faithful would be talking about upcoming fasts with their spiritual Fathers anyways and having various modifications made for their own unique situations and weaknesses.

Offline Orthodox_Slav

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 04:46:19 PM »
The "problem" with the Apostles Fast is that for a long time, there was no codification of how long the fast lasted or what was fasted from at what times, and then the calendar change further complicated things. It seemed to be a largely local custom rather than a fast by "law."

There are some records from the 12th century that say to fast for a week, there are some from the 7th century that say to fast from after Pentecost all the way through Dormition (whoa!). And even now if you follow the Old Calendar you could have a fast that's a week to 40+ days, or if you're on the New Calendar, if might be almost completely removed.

And that's just the length side, not the exact permissions about what you're allowed to eat (Fish on S/S only? Fish on all days but W/F? etc.)

All that considered, I don't think it's correct to say that every fast is the same. Every fast is the same in its ultimate ascetical purpose, but the outline of the fast can be different. It would seem like the pious faithful would be talking about upcoming fasts with their spiritual Fathers anyways and having various modifications made for their own unique situations and weaknesses.

Wise words! currently, I eat fish all days but Wednesday and Friday and am praying to the apostle's peter and paul more Than usual!
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 10:25:51 PM »
The "problem" with the Apostles Fast is that for a long time, there was no codification of how long the fast lasted or what was fasted from at what times, and then the calendar change further complicated things. It seemed to be a largely local custom rather than a fast by "law."

There are some records from the 12th century that say to fast for a week, there are some from the 7th century that say to fast from after Pentecost all the way through Dormition (whoa!). And even now if you follow the Old Calendar you could have a fast that's a week to 40+ days, or if you're on the New Calendar, if might be almost completely removed.

And that's just the length side, not the exact permissions about what you're allowed to eat (Fish on S/S only? Fish on all days but W/F? etc.)

All that considered, I don't think it's correct to say that every fast is the same. Every fast is the same in its ultimate ascetical purpose, but the outline of the fast can be different. It would seem like the pious faithful would be talking about upcoming fasts with their spiritual Fathers anyways and having various modifications made for their own unique situations and weaknesses.

Wise words! currently, I eat fish all days but Wednesday and Friday and am praying to the apostle's peter and paul more Than usual!

That is my rule, as well. 

No eggs, milk, or dairy (always, for me, the hardest part of fasting) on any day; fish (only) on all days except Wednesday and Friday.

Sampson, the variable length of the Apostles' Fast is part of the reason why it can seem very unbalanced.

By that I mean that in the Great Fast we consider Fasting, Almsgiving, and Prayer to be an interconnected triad of disiciplines.   The Church provides plenty of opportunities for corporate prayer with Great Compline, PreSanctified Divine Liturgy, and Aktathists...and there never any shortage of opportunities for almsgiving.    Likewise during the strict Dormition Fast we have nightly Paraklesis services.   

But what about the Apostles' Fast? 

For the almsgiving component there are any number of missionaries in need of support, whether through OCMC or parish youth on short term mission trips.  But what about the corporate prayer?

The Antiochian web site has a link to an akathist to Sts. Peter and Paul:

http://www.peterandpaul.net/akathist-saints-peter-paul

but I can't find a parish within 100 miles that is actually serving that, with or without Little Compline.

So, without the corporate prayer component, this Fast is unbalanced. 

And I feel more tipsy than ever this time around because its length is nearly half of the Great Fast.   

Offline Sampson

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 12:07:19 AM »
The "problem" with the Apostles Fast is that for a long time, there was no codification of how long the fast lasted or what was fasted from at what times, and then the calendar change further complicated things. It seemed to be a largely local custom rather than a fast by "law."

There are some records from the 12th century that say to fast for a week, there are some from the 7th century that say to fast from after Pentecost all the way through Dormition (whoa!). And even now if you follow the Old Calendar you could have a fast that's a week to 40+ days, or if you're on the New Calendar, if might be almost completely removed.

And that's just the length side, not the exact permissions about what you're allowed to eat (Fish on S/S only? Fish on all days but W/F? etc.)

All that considered, I don't think it's correct to say that every fast is the same. Every fast is the same in its ultimate ascetical purpose, but the outline of the fast can be different. It would seem like the pious faithful would be talking about upcoming fasts with their spiritual Fathers anyways and having various modifications made for their own unique situations and weaknesses.

Wise words! currently, I eat fish all days but Wednesday and Friday and am praying to the apostle's peter and paul more Than usual!

That is my rule, as well. 

No eggs, milk, or dairy (always, for me, the hardest part of fasting) on any day; fish (only) on all days except Wednesday and Friday.

Sampson, the variable length of the Apostles' Fast is part of the reason why it can seem very unbalanced.

By that I mean that in the Great Fast we consider Fasting, Almsgiving, and Prayer to be an interconnected triad of disiciplines.   The Church provides plenty of opportunities for corporate prayer with Great Compline, PreSanctified Divine Liturgy, and Aktathists...and there never any shortage of opportunities for almsgiving.    Likewise during the strict Dormition Fast we have nightly Paraklesis services.   

But what about the Apostles' Fast? 

For the almsgiving component there are any number of missionaries in need of support, whether through OCMC or parish youth on short term mission trips.  But what about the corporate prayer?

The Antiochian web site has a link to an akathist to Sts. Peter and Paul:

http://www.peterandpaul.net/akathist-saints-peter-paul

but I can't find a parish within 100 miles that is actually serving that, with or without Little Compline.

So, without the corporate prayer component, this Fast is unbalanced. 

And I feel more tipsy than ever this time around because its length is nearly half of the Great Fast.
Yes, that's true that the lack of a particular regularized schedule of services can make this fasting period seem more unbalanced, and less connected in many ways. The general lack of major feasts during this part of the calendar seems to compound the issue of very few services to connect your fasting with.

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 12:35:06 AM »
And, in all charity, the variability of length of the Apostles' Fast (particularly with the New Calendar) makes planning services for the period problematic for the Hierarchs and clergy.

Most years this fast is brief.   In the years when it is long there may be a moment or two of thing that "we really should do something...." but that may quickly become displaced with conerens about camps,  Assemblies, and Parish Life Conferences.

Alas.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 12:36:25 AM by JTLoganville »

Offline Orthodox_Slav

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2018, 05:50:29 AM »
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 08:05:19 AM »
The question was not about the length of this fast, observations, practices etc. as I'm quite aware of them.

The main question is: are all the fasts the same (above all - strictness)? And I don't mean only approach (we should treat all fasts seriosuly, not only Great Lent because it prepares for the Holy Week and the feast of feasts). Is there any proof fot this statement of my priest in any (serious) Church writing?

It seems only Sampson answered the question.
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Offline Orthodox_Slav

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 10:25:41 AM »
The question was not about the length of this fast, observations, practices etc. as I'm quite aware of them.

The main question is: are all the fasts the same (above all - strictness)? And I don't mean only approach (we should treat all fasts seriosuly, not only Great Lent because it prepares for the Holy Week and the feast of feasts). Is there any proof fot this statement of my priest in any (serious) Church writing?

It seems only Sampson answered the question.

Sampson answered it! did he! did he really!   
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 10:30:54 AM »
The question was not about the length of this fast, observations, practices etc. as I'm quite aware of them.

The main question is: are all the fasts the same (above all - strictness)? And I don't mean only approach (we should treat all fasts seriosuly, not only Great Lent because it prepares for the Holy Week and the feast of feasts). Is there any proof fot this statement of my priest in any (serious) Church writing?

It seems only Sampson answered the question.

Sampson answered it! did he! did he really!   

Really:
All that considered, I don't think it's correct to say that every fast is the same. Every fast is the same in its ultimate ascetical purpose, but the outline of the fast can be different. It would seem like the pious faithful would be talking about upcoming fasts with their spiritual Fathers anyways and having various modifications made for their own unique situations and weaknesses.
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline Orthodox_Slav

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2018, 10:51:01 AM »
The question was not about the length of this fast, observations, practices etc. as I'm quite aware of them.

The main question is: are all the fasts the same (above all - strictness)? And I don't mean only approach (we should treat all fasts seriosuly, not only Great Lent because it prepares for the Holy Week and the feast of feasts). Is there any proof fot this statement of my priest in any (serious) Church writing?

It seems only Sampson answered the question.

Sampson answered it! did he! did he really!   

Really:
All that considered, I don't think it's correct to say that every fast is the same. Every fast is the same in its ultimate ascetical purpose, but the outline of the fast can be different. It would seem like the pious faithful would be talking about upcoming fasts with their spiritual Fathers anyways and having various modifications made for their own unique situations and weaknesses.


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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2018, 08:44:20 PM »
I always thought that there are differences between each of every 4 big fasts, I mean some are stricter, some are more lenient. Plus liturgical differences.
My priest (unfortunately, I think he's getting worse) has just said to me that he doesn't understand why some people claim that the Apostles Fast is more lenient, as every fast is the same strict. And that only in liturgics there are differences.

I won't speak for your tradition, but in ours, there are definitely differences in strictness.  The Apostles' Fast is more lenient than, say, Great Lent, in terms of when in the day to break the fast, what food/drink is allowed, etc. 

The idea that all fasts are the same is rather untenable.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2018, 10:06:39 PM »
Simply look at the calendar, there are clearly more fish days.

Offline Sampson

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Re: Apostles Fast - more lenient or every fast is the same?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2018, 12:14:14 AM »
Just as an addendum: I guess it seems possible that there is a local tradition in a given place of an Apostles' Fast that is similar in strictness to every other fast. But if that's the case, that just points out the uniqueness of the Apostles' Fast and the strong local tradition around it (and most other fasts).