Thursday, June 20, 2019 UTC

JUNE 17 – JUNE 29: THE APOSTLES’ FAST (FASTING REGULATIONS FROM FATHER MARK)

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The Apostles Fast is a fast which begins on the second Monday after Pentecost or the Monday after the Sunday of All Saints (June 17th) and ends on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The duration of this fast varies, depending on the date of Pascha.  This fast commemorates the preparation of the Apostles for preaching God’s word to the whole world. According to Sacred Tradition, as part of their preparation, they began a fast with prayer to ask God to strengthen their resolve and to be with them during their missionary efforts as they spread the Gospel.

Fasting Regulations (from Father Mark)

Exemption from the fast: under 14 years of age, over 60 years of age, pregnant, breast feeding, any health risk due to disease, dispensation given by the Pastor.

Fasting without prayer is demonic, all one does is hurt the body. Fast and Pray!

The Typikon prescribes strict abstinence on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, with mitigated abstinence (wine and oil) on Tuesdays and Thursday.  The Ruthenian Metropolia has identified this period as a penitential season.  This fast may be observed voluntarily.

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.

The ascetic guidelines are: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays are strict fast days: abstain from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine, oil. Tuesday and Thursdays: wine and oil are permitted. Saturdays and Sundays: fish, wine and oil are permitted

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?

Minimum fast is no meat on Friday.

If you are experienced with fasting and praying: The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, permitting the use of eggs and dairy 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 forbids the use of meat, eggs and dairy products. Strict Abstinence is to be observed during the week for those who are able but wine and oil are allowed on Tuesday and Thursday; fish wine and oil is allowed on the weekend.

Eucharistic Fast is to be done anytime when the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. The minimum fast is one hour before reception of the Holy Eucharist. Although, our tradition is to fast from midnight to the reception of the Holy Eucharist. For those who are able, strict abstinence should be observed.