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?


Fasting Guidelines: Dormition Fast 2010

Dormition Icon On Sunday, 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-

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 2010

Ss. Peter and PaulOn Monday, May 31, 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.

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 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 4, the feastday of St. Metrophanes, first patriarch of Constantinople. This commemoration is observed as a Wine and Oil Day even thought 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.

Paschal Hours

Paschal Icon

PASCHAL HOURS

(The following is sung during the entire Bright Week in place of the Hours, Compline, Midnight Office and Morning and Evening Prayers.)

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us adore the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise and glorify; for Thou art our God, and we know no other than Thee; we call on Thy Name. O come all you faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy has come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us praise His Resurrection. By enduring the Cross for us He destroyed death by death. (Thrice)

Hypakoe: Forestalling the dawn, the women with Mary came and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and heard from the Angel: Why seek among the dead, as if He were a man, Him Who lives in everlasting light? Behold the grave-clothes. Run and tell the world that the Lord is risen, and has slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saves mankind.

Kontakion: Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of hell, and didst rise again as Conqueror, O Christ our God, saying to the myrrhbearing women, Rejoice! And giving peace to Thine Apostles, and offering to the fallen resurrection.

Troparion: In the grave bodily, in hell with the soul as God, in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Infinite.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

How life-giving, how much more beautiful than Paradise, and truly more resplendent than any royal palace, proved Thy Tomb, O Christ, the Source of our resurrection.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Rejoice! Sacred and divine abode of the Most High. For through thee, O Mother of God, joy is given to those who cry: Blessed art thou among women, O spotless Lady.

Lord, have mercy. (40 times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

More honourable than the Cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim; thou who in virginity didst bear God the Word; thee, true Mother of God, we magnify.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.  Amen.


Nativity Fast 2009

The Nativity Fast begins this year on Sunday, 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 27 this year.

GENERAL RULES 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 2009

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
  • DEC 04 – Greatmartyr Barbara of Heliopolis
  • DEC 09 – Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna
  • DEC 16 – Hieromartyr Modestos of Jerusalem

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 2009

Dormition Icon On Saturday, 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 distribution by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.

PLEASE REMEMBER that 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.

GENERAL RULES

The general rules for the Dormition Fast are as follows:

WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days (i.e., we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil).

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

Additional 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.

Passing of Jimmy Vanarthos

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 115:6 (LXX)

On Monday, March 30, 2009, Jimmy Vanarthos, a very dear member of our All Saints family, fell asleep in the Lord. Although Jimmy had not been able to regularly attend services in some time due to his and his wife Stella’s failing health, Jimmy was never far from the hearts of anyone who knew him. 

+May God make Jimmy’s memory to be eternal and help us to benefit from that memory.

Following is the schedule for the visitation and funeral service:

  • There will be a period of visitation at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary (200 SE Maynard Road) from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2009. Fr. Nicholas will offer the Trisagion prayers of mercy for the departed at the funeral home at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon.
  • There will be a second period of visitation from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the funeral home on Friday evening, during which time the family will invite friends and loved ones to help celebrate Jimmy’s life by recalling their experiences with him.
  • The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at All Saints, with interment immediately following at Raleigh Memorial Park in Raleigh (7501 Glenwood Ave.).

Please remember to pray for the peaceful repose of the servant of God Jimmy (Demetrios), and for the comfort and succor of his beloved wife Stella, their children, and grandchildren.


St. Gregory Palamas

“Because the Deity is goodness itself, true mercy and an abyss of loving bounty-or, rather, He is that which embraces and contains this abyss, since He transcends every name that is named and everything we can conceive-we can receive mercy only by union with Him. We unite ourselves to Him, in so far as this is possible, by participating in the godlike virtues and by entering into communion with Him through prayer and praise. Because the virtues are similitudes of God, the participation
in them puts us in a fit state to receive the Deity, yet it does not actually
unite us to Him.”


OBF Meeting and Reading Schedule

Following is the schedule of meetings and readings for the remainder of the 2008-09 season of the All Saints Orthodox Book Fellowship. The links will take you to a version of the reading assignment available on the World Wide Web from the Revised Standard Version text of the Bible. The page numbers refer to the Orthodox Study Bible.