Today, Cheesefare (Forgiveness) Sunday, March 9, 2003, the new Acting Rector of my OCA parish church, a newly-ordained priest, had the following printed on the front page of our weekly parish bulletin:
"FAST DAYS----Great Lent until April 27th. According to the Church rules, during this period, we should abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products and *SEXUAL RELATIONS."* (emphasis mine)
Have any of your parish priests included sexual fasting in the regulations posted for Great Lent?
On page 6 of today's bulletin, our priest had the following printed:
"FASTING RULES FOR GREAT LENT----Fish is permitted on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, and April 20, the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. Wine and oil are permitted on all Saturdays and Sundays of Great Lent (except on Great Saturday, when wine, but not oil, is permitted), on March 24, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, on April 9 and 10, the eve and Feast of the St. Andrew Standing, and on April 24, Great Thursday. Wine but not oil is permitted on April 11, on the eve of the Saturday of the Akathist Hymn, and on April 26, Great Saturday. On all other days of Great Lent, we abstain from eating fish, wine and oil."
On the Saturdays when we have church school, a light supper is provided to the children. Father expects that the supper provided be in accord with the Church's Lenten fasting discipline, i.e., no meat, eggs, or dairy products.
What do you think about introducing our Orthodox children to the Church's canons on fasting at a young age? (You'd be surprised at how many *adults* in the parish did not know that fish was on the "prohibited list!")