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Author Topic: Apostles Peter & Paul Fast?  (Read 1877 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tsarina
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« on: April 28, 2006, 08:24:05 PM »

Can anyone tell me what this fast is about?

Please and Thank you.  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 05:57:00 PM »

St. Nicodemos has this to say on the topic:

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We must keep the fast of the Holy Apostles "not on account of the Holy Apostles, as some say, not on account of the descent of the Holy Spirit, but pre-eminently and principally on account of the preceding days' rest...consequently and according to the concomitant reason, because the divine Apostles were wont to fast and were thus sent out to preach; for it was then (say the Acts, in ch. 13 v. 3) "when they had fasted and prayed, and had laid their hands on them, they sent them away"...

So, we fast in order to make up for the laxity of the fast-free week after Pentecost (although St. Nicodemos seems to kind of contradict himself a bit with his appeal to analogical practice). I should note that St. Nicodemos, in his initial general commentary on the canon in question, emphasizes that we do not fast on account of the Feast (which is joyous), but on account of our sins. Anyway, he says a little ways down (speaking of the Advent fast, the Apostle's fast and the Dormition fast):

Quote
But we ought to observe these particular fasts, not with xerophagy*, as in the case of Great Lent, but with wine and olive oil and the eating of fish (i.e., ichthyophagy), except on Wednesdays and Fridays that fall within these fasting periods, and except during the fast of August, on the occasion of which we partake of fish only once, on the feast of the Transfiguration. For notwithstanding the fact that these particular fasts are not ordained by the Apostles**, we are nevertheless in duty bound to observe also the traditions handed down by the Fathers on account of long consuetude, which has the force of a law, according to the sacred and civil laws. And because, according to St. Basil the Great (see his sermon on morals LXX), even in those matters wherein nothing is particularly stated in the Bible, we ought to exhort everyone towards what is best and of the greatest benefit of the soul.

* xerophagy, lit. "dry eating," means (at least for lay people) keeping the full, normal vegan fast, while ichthyophagy, lit. "fish eating," usually means being able to eat fish, wine and oil.

** St. Nicodemos mentions "the Apostles" not because of the "Apostle's Fast," but because of the canon on which he is commenting, namely, Canon LXIX of the Holy Apostles. These canons were attributed to the Apostles, but were actually written some time around A.D. 400 (it was a normal literary practice in Late Antiquity to ascribe one's writing to prominent personages). At any rate, such does not denigrate these canons' authority in the Orthodox Church, since they were officially adopted into the canonical corpus at the Quinisext Ecumenical Council in 692. Quinisext adopted 85 Apostolic Canons (the full number contained in Eastern manuscripts of the Apostolic Constitutions,the work in which the canons first appear), but the West adopted only 50 (b/c of Dionysius Exiguus, of course, whose Latin editions account for most of the early differences between Eastern and Western canon law in Late Antiquity and the Medieval period...until Gratian at any rate).
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2006, 08:50:47 AM »

Thank you so much. That was really interesting!
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 12:11:19 PM »

someone (coptic) I know always says this fast is for the "priest and his wife" since a lot fo the ppl don't do it.

I don't entirely blame them. It's summer, who wants to fast after doing it for 50 days prior?? Then again, fasting is beneficial for the soul....

The fast of the Koimisis (Repose of the Theotokos) is more important to me than this 1.
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2006, 01:08:30 PM »

And on the Fourth of July! Wink Greek potatoes, though, can make it better!
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2006, 01:08:40 PM »

someone (coptic) I know always says this fast is for the "priest and his wife" since a lot fo the ppl don't do it.

I don't entirely blame them. It's summer, who wants to fast after doing it for 50 days prior?? Then again, fasting is beneficial for the soul....

The fast of the Koimisis (Repose of the Theotokos) is more important to me than this 1.

People fast for different reasons. Some fast so they don't left out, others fast because theire mommies and daddy's make them, or they fast because they love Christ and his Apostles. This should be the true reason behind the fasting. And yes, it is very beneficial for the soul, if done properly.

You mention that fast of the Koismisis. When does that take place, according to the Old Calendar?
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2006, 01:20:25 PM »

The Domition is on August 28 and the fast starts on the 14th.  
Actually, I was told something along a similar line as Timos and that is that the Domition fast is one of the most important, right after Great Lent.  I don't have anything to back that though.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2006, 01:25:10 PM »

The Domition is on August 28 and the fast starts on the 14th.  
Actually, I was told something along a similar line as Timos and that is that the Domition fast is one of the most important, right after Great Lent.  I don't have anything to back that though.

I just looked at my calendar and flipped to the months ahead. I see the fasts coming up which i didn't know about. I'm glad they were brought up, now i know.  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 30, 2006, 01:25:48 PM by Tsarina » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2006, 11:11:06 AM »

Wow, the second day of the fast for the old calendar, the new calendar will already be celebrating it on the 15th of August.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2006, 11:31:37 AM »

It seems to me that many of the fasting rules, as we have them today, are unrealistic; first of all, these rules were primarily made by and for people living in the mild climate of the Mediteranean region. So they do not take into account the greatly differing conditions an Orthodox living in Siberia,the Carpathians or even Pannonia has. For these people Lent could be, sometimes, as harsh a season as Advent is; Formerly, people couldn't afford olives and olive oil there; many couldn't afford even the wine or the fish allowed on certain days. They didn't have many vegetables or fruits there to eat during Lent, compared to Mediteranean countries. Living in a cold climate requires more calories than living in Crete. So, wouldn't these fast regulations be contextualised a bit, to suit harsher climate zones, too?
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2006, 07:49:24 PM »

someone (coptic) I know always says this fast is for the "priest and his wife" since a lot fo the ppl don't do it.

I don't entirely blame them. It's summer, who wants to fast after doing it for 50 days prior?? Then again, fasting is beneficial for the soul....

The fast of the Koimisis (Repose of the Theotokos) is more important to me than this 1.

Coptic priests and their wives get offended from these comments, which usually stem from Coptic laymen.  Many times when the Apostles' fast comes around, priests always in their sermons have to reiterate the annoyance behind the argument of this fast as just for him and his wife.

God bless.

Mina
« Last Edit: May 01, 2006, 07:49:43 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2006, 03:27:09 PM »

You mention that fast of the Koismisis. When does that take place, according to the Old Calendar?

Are you in an Old Calendar OCA parish? I thought such dual-calendar setups only existed under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

As I'm sure you know, the "new" calendar fast of Koimisis tis Theotokou (Falling Asleep of the Theotokos) takes places for the first fifteen days of August, until one breaks the fast after the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on the feast itself (August 15). As some others have mentioned, it is a long-standing and wide-spread theologoumenon, or theological opinion, that the Feast of the Dormition is one of the Church's greatest feasts (according to some, it "ranks" only after Pascha and Christmas itself!) and, thus, the fast beforehand is more completely observed than the Apostles' Fast -- and, even, the Advent Fast. This was especially true in the Byzantine Church and is evident in the Byzantine Church's establishment of Lamentations for the Theotokos, not to mention the Fast itself, which doesn't appear in any ancient sources, but which became quite popular as soon as it was introduced.

On a side note: I was once on Mt. Athos in the end of August, which meant that I was fasting on the "new" calendar for 2 weeks, celebrated the Feast of the Dormition, and then showed up on Mt. Athos, where they had just started the Fast!! That was one long Dormition Fast.
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2006, 03:38:14 PM »

So, wouldn't these fast regulations be contextualised a bit, to suit harsher climate zones, too?

Quite possibly, at the direction of the Bishops.

Aside from the obvious (it is not what goes in the mouth, but what comes out; the necessity of fasting from sin), the traditional method of fasting is designed to limit the type of food one eats to only that which is deemed less sumptious or passionate, i.e. no hearty, blood-filled animals, or products from such animals, which the Fathers believed incited passionate thoughts and impulses. I would imagine one would at least want to try to honor and imitate this rationale, since it is part of the spirit behind the law.

Are there foods that are technically from sanguine animals, but still do not incite the body?
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2006, 10:02:52 PM »

There have been some economia in this area, for example in Alaska, the native Alaskan people are allowed during great Lent and nativity Lent to consume  Blubber (animal fat) necessary to survive the caloric count needed to stay warm in that frigid climate.  Note they may not eat the red meat flesh only the blubber to maintain required calories for that climate. They continue to eat nuts berries, seaweeds, etc during the time.

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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2006, 10:47:19 PM »

There have been some economia in this area, for example in Alaska, the native Alaskan people are allowed during great Lent and nativity Lent to consume  Blubber (animal fat) necessary to survive the caloric count needed to stay warm in that frigid climate.  Note they may not eat the red meat flesh only the blubber to maintain required calories for that climate. They continue to eat nuts berries, seaweeds, etc during the time.

In Christ
Thomas

I've heard that His Grace +Nikolai allows fish too...but I could be wrong.
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2006, 06:57:10 AM »

What I find funny about the Dormition Fast is that a feast which could be considered much more important in the Church's liturgical cycle - i.e. the Transfiguration or Μεταμόρφωσις - is actually nowadays overshadowed; from what I can remember from discussions with priests on the matter, when the August fasting was still developing, it was two fasts, one for Transfiguration (5 days + feast) and one for Dormition (8 days + feast).  It's interesting how (what I percieve to be) popular piety and popularity of one particular feast can over time diminish the importance of another.
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2006, 01:58:26 PM »

Opps. Didn't mean to post here. Meant to post here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=9432.msg126674#msg126674

I was finding quotes and mixed up windows. Sorry.
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