Wednesday, November 13, 2019 UTC

AUG 1 – AUG 14: DORMITION FAST & PARAKLESIS (AUG 3 & AUG 10)

dormition_icon  AUG 3: PARAKLESIS – 2:00 PM, AUG 10: PARAKLESIS – 2 PM. We celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God after this fasting period. By tradition, a Paraklesis (Small Service of Supplication to the Theotokos), sometimes called the Office of Consolation to the Most Holy Theotokos is sung daily during the Dormition Fast, August 1-14. It is a service of supplication for the welfare of the living. It is addressed to the Most Holy Theotokos whose intercessions are sought through the chanting of the supplicatory canon together with psalms, hymns, and litanies.

PARAKLESIS from the Metropolitan Canter Institute: Paraklesis

The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:

As Fr. Mark has instructed  in the past, there are different levels of fasting, from following the minimal guidelines to the ascetic fast.  In addition, if you have never fasted before, please do the minimum fast and take each fasting period to grow in your spiritual life. This means to eventually grow in fasting to the ascetic fast where no animal products are consumed—but fish, wine and oil are allowed on the weekends. This takes time, effort and especially prayer to develop. Remember, fasting without prayer is diabolical-you just hurt the body. If you never get the the Ascetic Fast, do not feel guilty, at least do the Minimum Fast. Minimum fast is no meat on Wednesdays and Fridays.If you are experienced with fasting and praying – the law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, permitting dairy and egg products.  Abstinence is to be observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays. If you have struggled through the minimum fast and abstinence, and desire a spiritual challenge, strict abstinence is that challenge.  Strict abstinence is abstention from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine and oil.  See the guidelines below.  The ascetic guidelines are:

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 relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

  1. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  2. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

From the Melkite Eparchy of Newton 28 July 2015 Office of Educational Services: The Fast of the Theotokos in the Home (PDF, 736KB, 18 pages) https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Fast-of-the-Theotokos-in-the-Home.pdf OR

Fast-of-the-Theotokos-in-the-Home

Dormition Fast in the Eastern Churches:  ne

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?