I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal: to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies... A clear rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are satisfied.
—St. John Cassian, On the Eight Vices.
One of the four fasts of the Church, the Apostles' fast begins on the Monday after the Sunday of All-Saints and is broken on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul on July 12. During the Apostles' fast, oil and wine are permitted on weekdays (save Wednesdays and Fridays) and fish is permitted on the weekends. In monasteries the mid-hours are chanted two or three times a week when "Alleluia" replaces "God is the Lord" in matins. The Apostles' fast is anywhere between eight and forty-two days, depending on the date of Pascha. Of the four fasts of the Church, the Apostles' fast is the most disregarded. It is heard that this is because it changes every year many do not know when it starts or finishes and therefore they neglect to observe it. It is also considered difficult (or more correctly, bothersome) to observe owing to the fact that it is in the summer.
The incarnation of the Pre-eternal Word of God and His three-year ministry upon the earth is the central event of all human history and it is through celebrating the various feasts that the life of Christ is relived in our own lives. From Christ's conception to His nativity and baptism up until His death and resurrection, His ascension into Heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles and Disciples, we relive these events year after year so that through these observances Christ's life may begin to be be manifested in our own lives.
The Church, the Ark of Salvation, realizes that without preparation the feast days will not be distinguished from every other day and we will not truly experience the feast. With this in mind the Church has appointed fast periods of various lengths and intensities which correspond to the greatness of the coming feast.
The Apostles' fast serves to keep us from forgetting Christ during the summertime when daily schedules are relaxed and we are on vacation. The fact that it is an easy fast only removes any excuse we may have for not observing it. And then on the day of the feast itself we will be appropriately prepared to celebrate in an Orthodox manner. Through the prayers of Thy Holy Apostles, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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 (Etna and 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.
In the early 20th century, the idea of promoting the union of Churches (Orthodox and heterodox) began to gain ground among circles in the Eastern Orthodox Church by establishing a "Communion of Churches" modeled on the League of Nations.
The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920 foresaw a series of steps toward the “union of the Churches,” of which the first was the change of the calendar for the simultaneous celebration of feast days by all the “Churches.” The content of the encyclical was kept secret from the faithful and only after a few years became known. Read more...
Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...