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#343742 02/17/10 08:25 AM
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Hi all,

An an RC attempting to try to live in a more EC manner, I am confused about the guidance for the Great Fast. In the Ruthenian Church (the one with which I am most familiar), it appears that all that is required by the Bishops is no meat on Weds and Fridays, with the exception of Clean Monday and Great Friday. Being the Type A personality that I am (why yes Virgina, obsessive-compulsive does have a hyphen wink ), I want to be more "orthodox" than that (I want to do more than just the bare minimum), and have been asking questions and reading various materials. I have seen things ranging from being vegan to the above mentioned no meat 2 days a week. Right now I am aiming for somewhere in between, but would appreciate any advice.

On a related note, why are shell-fish OK, and back-boned fish not? I was talking with my parents tonight and could not tell them why that would be.

Thanks all for your insight.

Lech

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Sorry for the winky face in the title - my lack of understanding of the site

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The Ruthenians are, pretty much, the low end of the fasting scale. Only Rome has it easier, but Rome requires smaller meals on fridays in addition to abstinance from meats.

The local Russian Orthodox have pretty much the same range: minimum of no meat on Mon-Wed-Fri as the bare minimum. Many observe no meat all of lent.

A rare few observe the totality of the far end of the monastic lenten praxis: No meat, milk, eggs, wine, nor oil, at all, for the whole of the fast, and no fish on M-W-F, plus no meals between Midnight and noon.

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Slava Isusu Khrestu

Why shellfish and not backbone?

In the days of old, shellfish were considered the lowest of food to eat and those whith back-bone were considered higher on the scale.

So during the Great Fast, only the lowest forms of food were consumed as a penance. ( But to-day, shellfish, lobster etc are the delicasy sp? and very expensive.

In the history of Canadaian fishing of the east coast, again in days gone by, lobster were not eaten by the settlers ( that was too revolting) but they were ground into the soil as fertilizer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Boy have times have changed!!!!!!

The same was true of our early fur industry......beaver was highly sought after but " mink" was discared or used as a liner. Society believed that mink was an inferior fur!!!My have things changed smile

Unworthy sinner
Kolya


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Dear Kolya,

Thank you for your post!

I never knew the reason for shellfish over backboned fish.

Thanks for sharing that! I can't wait to inform my husband and mother about this interesting fasting tidbit! smile

In Christ,
Alice

Alice #343755 02/17/10 02:17 PM
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Here's one I can't figure out. What's the difference between a Strict Fast day and a No Oil day? I'm assuming you can't have oil on a strict fast day, and you can't have meat or dairy on a no oil day.

It was this calendar that confused me: http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/calendar/

Excellent calendar otherwise. I didn't know there were "caviar" days...

This calendar, unlike the St. Herman's (Platina) calendar, does not mention wine. I assume wine is allowed with oil is allowed.

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Compare that calendar with this one: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/calendar.
Interesting differences between the Greeks and Russians.

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LOL! Seems like every year we go through this. People, there is no magic formula to fasting. If you are eating lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, etc, as you normally would during non fast days, you are not fasting. The Church has handed down optimum fasting guidelines. No meat eggs, dairy. Wine, oil and fish on rare exceptions. This is the high path, and one that can take newbies a while to attain. Speak to your spiritual Father. If you have no outstanding medical issues, one simple meal a day, of Lenten fare will get you through Great Lent. Eat only what you need to survive. But even more important than the physical cleansing of our bodies is the spiritual cleansing of our hearts. Hold first and foremost in your minds WHY we are fasting. Try to hold the spirit of the Fast to the best of your ability. An effort made with a pure heart, God will not despise, even if you don't maintain the Fast a la Athonite style. Today, my nurse, bless her heart, ordered me a salad because she knows that I am fasting. It came dripping with oil and vinegar, with cheese even. I ate it, as it had been put in front of me, knowing God knows the circumstances in which it came about. Remember, we are not following Judaic Law, we are following Christ, in Whose sight, a widow's mite is more than a rich man's treasures.

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These observations make a lot of sense to me.
Oh how easy it would be to lapse into hypocritical self-congratulation at having kept all the Lenten dietary customs in a perfect way.


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