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.

Mother Magdalena to Visit

We will have the privilege of hosting Mother Magdalena from the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Elwood City, PA on Wednesday, February 18 at 6:30pm. Mother Magdalena will speak to us during a coffee hour following the Daily Vespers service. There will also be a time for questions and answers. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with this very articulate and wise monastic mother who is from the same monastery as our own Sister Mary. Please plan now to attend.


Baklawa Baking Project

Just like in previous years, this year the St. Thekla Ladies of All Saints Orthodox Church are baking their delicious baklawa pastry.  Layers of fillo dough are filled with sweetened walnuts, baked and covered with a mouth watering orange blossom water syrup.
They are packed in containers of 1 dozen and sell for $12.00, or half a dozen for $6.00. This pastry will be just in time for the holidays, for a delicate touch to your menu, or as gifts, and may be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks and in the freezer for several months.

The proceeds from this project go to help children with special needs, The Wake County Guardian Ad Litem Christmas Project, assistance to local families and parishioners in need, as well as many other charitable organizations.

You can order online by sending your contact information to: baklawaorders2008 <at> yahoo.com.


Fasting Guidelines: Nativity Fast 2008

The Nativity Fast begins this year on Saturday, 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 2008

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 2008

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 feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos, (November 21), one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Church year, is always kept as a Fish, Wine, and Oil day, without regard to the day of the week.

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

  • DEC 05 – St. Sabbas the Sanctified
  • DEC 12 – St. Spyridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Trimythous
  • DEC 15 – St. Eleftherios, Bishop of Illyria
  • DEC 17 – Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths

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?