Below, please find the third issue of The Spiritual Watch, the new publication of the Metropolis of America, published with the blessings of His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius of America. In The Spiritual Watch, you will find news and information regarding our Holy Metropolis, as well as spiritual writings.
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 Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is celebrated on August 15/28. From August 1/14 until August 14/27, we observe a fast. This period is known as the “Fifteen days of August”, or Δεκαπενταύγουστο.
During this fast, we abstain from meat, dairy products, fish, wine, and oil on weekdays, and on the weekends, we eat wine and oil. On the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ, August 6/19, we eat fish because it is a feast of the Master, Christ.
We chant the Small and Great Supplicatory Canons alternately at Vespers, save Saturday night and the eves of Transfiguration and Dormition.
This is one of the strictest fasts of the Orthodox Church comparable to the Great Fast. This is due to the greatness of the Feast of the Dormition, which is sometimes called the “Summer Pascha” because of its Resurrectional nature. The severity of this fast is compensated by its brevity on the one hand and the joyous nature of the daily Supplicatory Canons on the other, which is something the faithful anticipate with spiritual longing.
This is the way with which the Church, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, seeks to prepare us for the upcoming Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos: through prayer and fasting.
The Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians (GOC) of America is The Traditionalist Orthodox Church serving the faithful of North and South America following the old (Julian) calendar. 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, under the Presidency of His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius of America.
The Church of the GOC of America is an autonomous Eparchy whose Mother Church is The Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and All Greece. The bishops belonging to the Eparchial Synod are also members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. We resist the heresy of Ecumenism.
A Rejoinder to Fr. Basil Gregoriates and an Apology for Breaking Communion with Ecumenist Bishops
In every age the devil tempts the faithful by various means: persecutions, foreign invasions, the lure of worldly seduction. Among his most effective snares are heresy and schism which, by separating Christians from the Church, lead them away from Christ and into spiritual deception and apostasy. Read more...
St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Church began as a mission parish in the year 2000, in a home chapel in Palm Coast, FL – a small town on Florida’s northeast coast located between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. After two years, it became necessary to have services in area community centers, rented for Sundays and other Holy Days. Read more...
Registration is now open for the 2017 St Xenia Camp. Please visit the St Xenia Camp website for more information and registration.
The Family Youth Conference will be held Friday, October 20 - Sunday, October 22 at The Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Concord, NH.
Q. There seems to be a lot of variation in how people observe fasting, but my confessor told me to fast from oil on Wednesday and Friday. Oil is a pretty vague category, though, and I was wondering if I could get a more explicit description of what kinds of food and drink are excluded on strict fast days. Read more...