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within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

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08-12-2007, 10:14 AM,
Could someone remind me exactly when all the important Orthodox fasts are? I get confused as there are so many!

Many thanks,

Name: Louis

Occupation: Student studying History and Politics at Newcastle University.

Church: A member of Saint Felix's British Orthodox community in Norfolk.
08-12-2007, 12:25 PM,
Dear Louis,

The second set of posts in this thread have a good one from Fr. Simon on this, Here's an extract:
Quote:Dates of fasts & feasts

General introduction: Lunar or moveable feasts (the entire Lent, Holy Week, Pascha through to Pentecost cycle) are kept in the British Orthodox Church on exactly the same dates as the Coptic Orthodox Church. Solar or fixed feasts (such as Christmas) that always fall on the same calendar date each year are kept by the British Orthodox Church 13 days before the Coptic date. (The British Orthodox Church celebrates the solar or fixed feasts, such as Christmas as per the Gregorian calendar, 13 days earlier than according to the Julian calendar). This is how it was agreed with the blessing of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III when we joined the Coptic Orthodox Church. Because we both keep Pentecost on the same date but we celebrate the Apostles? Feast 13 days before the Copts this means that the Apostles? Fast is for us always 13 days shorter than for our Coptic brethren.

British Orthodox dates (Coptic Orthodox dates in italics)

St Simon Fast 12th ? 14th November 25th ? 27th November
Advent Fast 15th November ? 24th December 28th Nov ? 6th Jan
Christmas 25th December 7th January
Pre-Theophany Fast 3rd ? 5th January 16th ? 18th January
Theophany/Epiphany 6th January 19th January
Jonah/Ninevah Fast Monday ? Wednesday 2 weeks before Lent
Jonah Feast Thursday immediately following the 3 day fast.
Lent 47 days
Holy Week 8 days (Lazarus Saturday ? Joyous Saturday)
50 days (Pascha to Pentecost: no fasting, not even Wednesdays & Fridays)
Apostles Fast Monday after Pentecost until 28th Jun until 11th Jul
Feast of St Peter & St Paul 29th June 12th July
Fast of the Holy Virgin 25th July ? 8th August 7th Aug ? 21st Aug
Feast of the Assumption 9th August 22nd August


As for fasting till 3 pm and as for dedicated vegan abstinence, however? I would refer you to our patriarch His Holiness Pope Shenouda. He writes how fasting varies between one person and another: for example people ?differ as to the degree of their spirituality. Thus, there is the beginner who cannot abstain for a long time, to be followed by the well trained who can do more, and to be superceded by the spiritually mature who can abstain for a long time. An anchorite supercedes all of these for he can fast for days in the manner of our fathers the monks, the hermits?? I, for instance, have been Orthodox many years now and certainly did not fast at first so much as I do now ? it has been a gradual, natural growth, not forced. Pope Shenouda goes on to point out that our abilities to fast also varies according to age (what may be appropriate for a grown male adult is not the same as for a child!), according to health, according to our work demands also. ?There is also the system of gradation. One who fasts may begin his first week of fasting with a certain degree of abstinence to be increased over the following weeks? This gradation is useful and is recommended by the spiritual fathers.? During Lent to abstain only a little at first and to gradually build up so as to be fasting more strictly by the time one reaches Holy Week and Good Friday is FAR better than I have done more than once: started off real strict for the first week, begun to tail off in the second week, practically given up by half way through and then tried to start again! Another very important point Pope Shenouda makes is that our fasting should follow the guidance, the directions of our spiritual father, ?the reason being that some people may overdo it to the detriment of their bodies and, possibly, their souls as it falsely instils in them notions of false glory.? Pope Shenouda also wisely warns against the danger of being so lax as to lose all benefit. He concludes that it is better to let the spiritual father or guide ?supervise the matter.?

Hope that helps, but do check out the original which has much helpful advice.

In Christ,

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
10-12-2007, 11:04 AM,
Dear Louis,
The Syriac Orthodox Fasts are slightly different to the Coptic Orthodox fasts, so I suggest you look up the information on the main website of the Church, Syriac Orthodox Resources.

Kirk Yacoub

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