Fasting Guidelines: Nativity Fast 2012

The Nativity Fast begins this year on Thursday, November 15. This fast helps us prepare to properly celebrate our Lord’s nativity in the flesh and it is to our benefit to observe it as fully as possible.

Following are the guidelines for this fast, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas. These guidelines are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. You should consult your spiritual father if you have any specific questions about the fasting discipline as it applies to you. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

Also, remember that almsgiving is a special part of this particular fast. Further, limiting one’s entertainments and increasing other aspects of one’s spiritual life – prayer, reading of the Bible and Church Fathers, attendance at Divine Services – is a part of every fast.

THANKSGIVING DAYHis Eminence, Met. PHILIP, has decreed that the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese in the USA may relax the fast entirely to observe the Thanksgiving Day national celebration, which falls on November 22 this year.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THE NATIVITY FAST 2012

MONDAYs, WEDNESDAYs, and FRIDAYs of this fast are Strict Fast days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, alcoholic beverages, and olive oil.

TUESDAYs and THURSDAYs of the fast are Wine and Oil days. On these days the fasting discipline is relaxed a bit to permit wine and olive oil.

SATURDAYs and SUNDAYs of the fast are Fish, Wine, and Oil days. On these days the fast is relaxed even more to permit fish with backbones in addition to wine and oil.

During the forefeast of the Nativity, from December 20-24, our fasting is more strict. Each weekday that falls during this period is generally kept as a Strict Fast day, while any Saturday or Sunday is observed as a Wine and Oil day. The Eve of the Feast, December 24, however, is always kept as a Strict Fast day.

Foods that are permitted on all days are vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and shellfish.

EXCEPTIONS FOR THE NATIVITY FAST 2012

The fasting discipline varies from the general guidelines noted above according to the commemoration of the day.

The feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, November 21, is always kept as a Fish, Wine, and Oil day, no matter what day of the week it falls on.

In addition, the following days fall on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, or during the forefeast. Nevertheless, they are kept as Wine and Oil days due to the commemorations observed on such days:

  • NOV 30 – Apostle Andrew the First-Called
  • DEC 05 – St. Sabbas the Sanctified
  • DEC 12 – St. Spyridon of Trimythous

Please remember that abstaining from food during this period of preparation does us no good if we do not also, as St. John Chrysostom teaches us, fast with

… the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.

Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.

For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?


Fasting Guidelines: Dormition Fast 2012

Dormition Icon On Wednesday, August 15, we will celebrate the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. In preparation for this great feast of the Mother of God, we observe a two-week period of fasting from August 1-14.

This post will provide you with the fasting guidelines for the Dormition Fast for this year, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.

These fasting guidelines are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:

WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.

The one exception to these general rules is that the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (August 6), which always falls during the Dormition Fast, is celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. On this great feastday, the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

Note that this year Dormition falls on a Wednesday. Wednesdays are normally Strict Fast Days throughout the year; however, due to the coincidence of the Feast, in this case the Wednesday fast is relaxed and the feast is observed as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day.

Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  3. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Fasting Guidelines: Apostles’ Fast 2012

Ss. Peter and PaulOn Monday, June 11, we begin the Apostles’ Fast, one of the four canonical fasting periods of the Church year. The Apostles’ Fast always begins the Monday following All Saints Sunday and ends on June 29, the feastday of Ss. Peter and Paul, Chiefs of the Apostles. The duration of this fast varies each year depending on the date of Pascha (which determines the date of All Saints).

This post will provide you with the fasting guidelines for the Apostles’ Fast for this year, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.

These guidelines are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

The general guidelines for the Apostles’ Fast are as follows:

MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and FRIDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.

TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Fish, Wine, and Oil Days. On these days the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

Note that the feastday of Ss. Peter and Paul, June 29, is observed as a Wine and Oil Day this year because it falls on a Friday.

Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  3. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Fasting Guidelines: Nativity Fast 2011

The Nativity Fast begins this year on Tuesday, November 15. This fast helps us prepare to properly celebrate our Lord’s nativity in the flesh and it is to our benefit to observe it as fully as possible. Following are the guidelines for this fast, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas.

The guidelines given in this post are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. You should consult your spiritual father if you have any specific questions about the fasting discipline as it applies to you. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

Also, remember that almsgiving is a special part of this particular fast. Further, limiting one’s entertainments and increasing other aspects of one’s spiritual life – prayer, reading of the Bible and Church Fathers, attendance at Divine Services – is a part of every fast.

THANKSGIVING DAYHis Eminence, Met. PHILIP, has decreed that the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese in the USA may relax the fast entirely to observe the Thanksgiving Day national celebration, which falls on November 24 this year.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THE NATIVITY FAST 2011

MONDAYs, WEDNESDAYs, and FRIDAYs of this fast are Strict Fast days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, alcoholic beverages, and olive oil.

TUESDAYs and THURSDAYs of the fast are Wine and Oil days. On these days the fasting discipline is relaxed a bit to permit wine and olive oil.

SATURDAYs and SUNDAYs of the fast are Fish, Wine, and Oil days. On these days the fast is relaxed even more to permit fish with backbones in addition to wine and oil.

During the forefeast of the Nativity, from December 20-24, our fasting is more strict. Each weekday that falls during this period is generally kept as a Strict Fast day, while any Saturday or Sunday is observed as a Wine and Oil day. The Eve of the Feast, December 24, however, is always kept as a Strict Fast day.

Foods that are permitted on all days are vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and shellfish.

EXCEPTIONS FOR THE NATIVITY FAST 2011

The fasting discipline varies from the general guidelines noted above according to the commemoration of the day.

The feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, November 21, is always kept as a Fish, Wine, and Oil day, no matter what day of the week it falls on.

In addition, the following days fall on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, or during the forefeast. Nevertheless, they are kept as Wine and Oil days due to the commemorations observed on such days:

  • NOV 25 – Leavetaking of the Entrance of the Theotokos/Greatmartyr Katherine of Alexandria
  • NOV 30 – Apostle Andrew the First-Called
  • DEC 05 – St. Sabbas the Sanctified
  • DEC 09 – Conception of the Theotokos by the Righteous Anna
  • DEC 12 – St. Spyridon of Trimythous

Please remember that abstaining from food during this period of preparation does us no good if we do not also, as St. John Chrysostom teaches us, fast with

… the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.

Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.

For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?


Fasting Guidelines: Dormition Fast 2011

Dormition Icon On Monday, August 15, we will celebrate the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. In preparation for this great feast of the Mother of God, we observe a two-week period of fasting from August 1-14.

This post will provide you with the fasting guidelines for the Dormition Fast for this year, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.

The guidelines in this post are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:

WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.

The one exception to these general rules is that the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (August 6), which always falls during the Dormition Fast, is celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. On this great feastday, the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  3. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Fasting Guidelines: Apostles’ Fast 2011

Ss. Peter and PaulOn Monday, June 20, we begin the Apostles’ Fast, one of the four canonical fasting periods of the Church year. The Apostles’ Fast always begins the Monday following All Saints Sunday and ends on June 29, the feastday of Ss. Peter and Paul, Chiefs of the Apostles. The duration of this fast varies each year depending on the date of Pascha (which determines the date of All Saints).

This post will provide you with the fasting guidelines for the Apostles’ Fast for this year, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.

These guidelines are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

The general guidelines for the Apostles’ Fast are as follows:

MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and FRIDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.

TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Fish, Wine, and Oil Days. On these days the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

This year there is one exception to these general rules: Friday, June 24, the Nativity of the Forerunner. This commemoration is observed as a Wine and Oil Day even thought it falls on a Friday.

Note also that the feastday of Ss. Peter and Paul, June 29, is observed as a Wine and Oil Day this year because it falls on a Wednesday.

Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  3. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Schedule for Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week

As we complete our journey through the Great Fast, the Church’s liturgical schedule becomes very full – literally night and day for the 10-day period from the Friday before Lazarus Saturday through Pascha. These services are part of the great richness of Orthodoxy and prepare us to celebrate Pascha properly. If you have never participated in the entire cycle of these services, consider making it a priority. Through these services we become participants in the events that afford us salvation, rather than mere spectators at a Passion Play.

Following is the schedule of services and activities for the Lazarus Saturday/Palm Sunday weekend, Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week for this year. You can also always access up-to-date schedule information at our schedule page. Note that the times for most of the weekday morning services for this period begin at 8:00 a.m. – the exception is Holy Friday’s service of the Royal Hours, which begins at 10:00 a.m.

LAZARUS SATURDAY SERVICES
Friday, April 15
6:30 p.m. – Small Compline with the Canon for St. Lazarus

Saturday, April 16
10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy (commemorating the raising of St. Lazarus)
12:00 noon Church School luncheon, crafts, and Confession

PALM SUNDAY SERVICES
Saturday, April 16
5:30 p.m. Festal Great Vespers

Sunday, April 17
8:00 a.m. Festal Orthros
9:00 a.m. Church School
10:00 a.m. Festal Divine Liturgy

HOLY WEEK SERVICES
Sunday, April 17
5:30 p.m. Bridegroom Orthros for Holy Monday

Monday, April 18
8:00 a.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
6:30 p.m. Bridegroom Orthros for Holy Tuesday

Tuesday, April 19
8:00 a.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
6:30 p.m. Bridegroom Orthros for Holy Wednesday

Wednesday, April 20
8:00 a.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
6:30 p.m. Rite of Holy Unction

Thursday, April 21
8:00 a.m. Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great (commemorating the institution of the Holy Eucharist) with Rite of Footwashing
6:30 p.m. Orthros for Holy Friday (12 Passion Gospel Readings)

Friday, April 22
10:00 a.m. Royal Hours
3:00 p.m. Vespers (Descent from the Cross)
      SOYO Vigil follows Vespers (Psalter reading until Othros service begins)
6:30 p.m. Orthros for Holy Saturday (Lamentations of the Theotokos)
      Vigil continues following Orthros (until Liturgy the next morning)

SERVICES OF HOLY PASCHA
Saturday, April 23
10:00 a.m. Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
11:45 p.m. Midnight Office, Paschal Orthros, and Paschal Divine Liturgy
Following the Services of Holy Pascha, we will meet in the fellowship hall to continue our celebration of the Feast of Feasts. Remember to bring your Pascha Baskets!

SERVICES OF BRIGHT WEEK
Sunday, April 24
3:00 p.m. Agape Vespers (at the park), the feasting continues!

Monday, April 25
8:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Tuesday, April 26
8:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom


Fasting Guidelines: Great Lent 2012

Pascha Icon

This year, our journey through the Lenten fast to Pascha begins at Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday, February 26. The Church, in her wisdom, begins preparing us for this most-holy time in the weeks that precede the fast.  This post will provide you with the fasting guidelines for the pre-Lenten period of preparation, Great Lent, and Holy Week, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for distribution by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.

The guidelines in this post are general.  Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

WEEKS OF PREPARATION 2012 (February 5 – 26)

Four Sundays of preparation precede Great Lent. The Church eases us into the fasting discipline during these weeks of preparation as follows:

  • February 5 is the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and the week that follows (February 6-12) is fast-free. There is no Wednesday or Friday fast this week.
  • February 12 is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and the week that follows (February 13-19) is a normal week. Wednesday and Friday of this week are fasting days.
  • February 19 is Meatfare Sunday (the Sunday of the Last Judgment) and on this day we say “farewell” to meat. During the week that follows (February 20 – 26) we fast from meat only. All dairy, cheese, eggs, wine, and oil are permitted during this week, even on Wednesday and Friday.
  • February 26 is Cheesefare Sunday (the Sunday of Forgiveness) and on this day we say “farewell” to cheese, dairy, eggs, wine, oil, etc. This begins the fast proper.

GREAT LENT AND HOLY WEEK 2012 (February 27 – April 14)

The Lenten fasting discipline commences after Forgiveness Vespers on February 26 and concludes with the breaking of the fast at Pascha on April 15.  In general, the fasting rules during Great Lent and Holy Week are as follows:

WEEKDAYS (Monday – Friday) are observed as Strict Fast Days.  On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, alcoholic beverages, and olive oil.

WEEKENDS (Saturday and Sunday) are observed as Wine and Oil Days.  On these days the fast is relaxed to permit alcoholic beverages and olive oil.

In addition, two special feastdays that fall during this period – Annunciation (March 25) and Palm Sunday (April 8, this year) – are kept as Fish, Wine, and Oil Days.  On these days the fast is relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to alcoholic beverages and olive oil.

There are certain days of the Lenten-Holy Week cycle that have special fasting rules.

  • Great and Holy Thursday (April 12, this year) is observed as a Wine and Oil Day due to the commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist.
  • Great and Holy Saturday (April 14, this year) is observed as a Strict Fast Day-the only Saturday of the year kept as a strict fast; however, wine (but not oil) is permitted.

Additional Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. Fasting on the weekdays of the first week of Great Lent is especially severe. The strictest observance would be to take only two meals during this week – one on Wednesday evening and one on Friday evening after the services scheduled for those nights – keeping Pure Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday as absolute fasts (i.e., no food whatsoever). For many this is impracticable. A good starting place to work towards the strict observance is to keep the first day of Great Lent, Pure Monday, as an absolute fast and to limit meals on the other days.
  3. It is a pious practice to observe Great and Holy Friday as an absolute fast. If one does not have the strength to do this, it is good to abstain from food until after venerating the epitaphios (winding sheet) during Vespers on this day.
  4. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  5. Before you attempt to strictly follow the fasting guidelines, consult with Fr. Nicholas. It is very easy to lose sight of the fact that fasting is merely a means to an end (that is, our salvation) and not an end in itself.
  6. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Nativity Fast 2010

The Nativity Fast begins this year on Monday, November 15. This fast helps us prepare to properly celebrate our Lord’s nativity in the flesh and it is to our benefit to observe it as fully as possible. At the end of this post are the guidelines for this fast, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas.

The guidelines given in this post are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. You should consult your spiritual father if you have any specific questions about the fasting discipline as it applies to you. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.

Also, remember that almsgiving is a special part of this particular fast. Further, limiting one’s entertainments and increasing other aspects of one’s spiritual life – prayer, reading of the Bible and Church Fathers, attendance at Divine Services – is a part of every fast.

THANKSGIVING DAYHis Eminence, Met. PHILIP, has decreed that the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese in the USA may relax the fast entirely to observe the Thanksgiving Day national celebration, which falls on November 25 this year.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THE NATIVITY FAST 2009

MONDAYs, WEDNESDAYs, and FRIDAYs of this fast are Strict Fast days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, alcoholic beverages, and olive oil.

TUESDAYs and THURSDAYs of the fast are Wine and Oil days. On these days the fasting discipline is relaxed a bit to permit wine and olive oil.

SATURDAYs and SUNDAYs of the fast are Fish, Wine, and Oil days. On these days the fast is relaxed even more to permit fish with backbones in addition to wine and oil.

Note that during the forefeast of the Nativity, from December 20-24, our fasting is more strict. Each weekday that falls during this period is generally kept as a Strict Fast day, while any Saturday or Sunday is observed as a Wine and Oil day.

Foods that are permitted on all days are vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and shellfish.

EXCEPTIONS FOR THE NATIVITY FAST 2010

Of course, every rule has its exception(s). The fasting discipline varies from the general rules noted above according to the commemoration of the day. The following days fall on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Nevertheless, they are kept as Wine and Oil days due to the commemorations observed on such days:

  • NOV 25 – Leavetaking of the Entrance of the Theotokos/Greatmartyr Katherine of Alexandria (note that this day is Thanksgiving Day in 2010, so the fast is further relaxed)
  • DEC 06 – St. Nicholas of Myra
  • DEC 17 – Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Children

Please remember that abstaining from food during this period of preparation does us no good if we do not also, as St. John Chrysostom teaches us, fast with

… the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.

Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.

For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?