Friday, August 16 / August 29, 2014
The Holy Napkin
Watchfulness is like Jacob's Ladder: God is at the top while the angels climb it. It rids us of everything bad, cuts out loose chatter, abuse, backbiting, and all other evil practices of this kind. Yet in doing this, not for an instant does it lose its own sweetness.
—St. Hesychios the Priest, On Watchfulness and Holiness.
One of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is celebrated on August 15/28. From August 1/14 until August 14/27, we observe a fast. This period is known as the “Fifteen days of August”, or Δεκαπενταύγουστο.
During this fast, we abstain from meat, dairy products, fish, wine, and oil on weekdays, and on the weekends, we eat wine and oil. On the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ, August 6/19, we eat fish because it is a feast of the Master, Christ.
We chant the Small and Great Supplicatory Canons alternately at Vespers, save Saturday night and the eves of Transfiguration and Dormition.
This is one of the strictest fasts of the Orthodox Church comparable to the Great Fast. This is due to the greatness of the Feast of the Dormition, which is sometimes called the “Summer Pascha” because of its Resurrectional nature. The severity of this fast is compensated by its brevity on the one hand and the joyous nature of the daily Supplicatory Canons on the other, which is something the faithful anticipate with spiritual longing.
This is the way with which the Church, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, seeks to prepare us for the upcoming Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos: through prayer and fasting.
The Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians (GOC) of America is an Old Calendar Orthodox Church serving the faithful of North and South America. Having its roots in the Diocese of Astoria, founded by Metropolitan Petros (Astyfides) in 1954, it presently consists of two Metropolises (America and Toronto) and two dioceses (Portland and Boston), shepherded by five hierarchs.
The Church of the GOC of America is an autonomous Eparchy whose hierarchs are members of the Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and All Greece. We follow the Patristic (Julian) Calendar and resist the heresy of Ecumenism.
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Tucson, AZ, is a beautiful mission parish near downtown Tucson, a city in southern Arizona. It was started in 1997 by Father John Bockman, who was a missionary priest formerly serving missions in Tennessee and Massachusetts since 1990. Read more...