Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fasting

“It should be noted that in the Fast of the Holy Apostles and of the Nativity of Christ, on Tuesday and Thursday we do not eat fish, but only oil or wine. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we eat neither oil nor wine…. On Saturday and Sunday we eat fish. If there occur on Tuesday or Thursday a Saint who has a [Great] Doxology, we eat fish; if on Monday, the same; but if on Wednesday or Friday, we allow only oil and wine…. If it be a Saint who has a Vigil on Wednesday or Friday, or the Saint whose temple it is, we allow oil and wine and fish…. But from the 20th of December until the 25th, even if it be Saturday or Sunday, we do not allow fish.” (from Chapter 33 of the Typikon)

It is this sort of paragraph which caused me to ask our Reader about fasting. How should I begin? Do I buy a calendar, and try it on? Is there a construct that determines fasting rules, which can help me mark my own calendar and have a deeper understanding of the spirit of the fast?

Today I learned quite a bit, within the month of August, and I feel prepared to approach fasting in our home. I look forward to a lot of reading on the subject. I do mean that.

Today at Liturgy: The kids did well, better than they have since Karl's illness. Today I feel like I understand our long catechism. I would even prolong it if it were not for the desire to commune with the Church. Look at us grow and learn! Maybe it is just today that I can feel this way, but there is a sense of promise to all of this that is very sweet.

Please pray for us, my husband Karl Tikhon, and for our Archpriest Stephan who we need here with us more than we have needed a single person ever before.


4 comments:

  1. prayers for you and Karl.

    Easy does it :); my spiritual father says better to fast and fail and gain humility than to fast perfectly and not arrive at humility... the dormition fast, being a smaller fast, will be a good introduction as it were...

    Hang in there...

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  2. Thank you and yes, I agree. As I am beginning from a place of complete ignorance, however, it is best that the information I receive from the beginning is sound. I would like a foundation which can grow with us over time.

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  3. Always check with your spiritual father about fasting guidelines. We are given the ideal - the full fast - rules, but when you're just starting out it's rare that a priest will advise that you jump in all the way. Usually they have you restrict meat to start with, etc. They find out where you are already and have you stretch a little. Then later a little more, and so on. Especially when you're still catechumens, it's not necessarily so that you'll be advised to do the whole fast.

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  4. Hi Matushka!

    Thank you. Yes, Father is and will be involved in our process. He often defers to our Reader on matters of canonical detail, and the Reader is a good friend who is very knowledgeable. We will surely take it 'easy' as we begin, and have many fluctuations. Fasting is not something I can do in mimicry of everyone else. I am glad to begin to understand the detail of it before I participate.

    With a recovering husband and 4 children, this will be interesting!

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