[Abba Moses said:] 'Fasts and vigils, the study of Scripture, renouncing possessions and everything wordly are not in themselves perfection, as we have said; they are its tools. For perfection is not to be found in them; it is acquired through them. It is useless, therefore, to boast of our fasting, vigils, poverty, and reading of Scripture when we have not achieved the love of God and our fellow man. Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.'
—St. John Cassian, On the Holy Fathers of Sketis.
One of the four fasts of the Church, the Apostles' fast begins on the Monday after the Sunday of All-Saints and is broken on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul on July 12. During the Apostles' fast, oil and wine are permitted on weekdays (save Wednesdays and Fridays) and fish is permitted on the weekends. In monasteries the mid-hours are chanted two or three times a week when "Alleluia" replaces "God is the Lord" in matins. The Apostles' fast is anywhere between eight and forty-two days, depending on the date of Pascha. Of the four fasts of the Church, the Apostles' fast is the most disregarded. It is heard that this is because it changes every year many do not know when it starts or finishes and therefore they neglect to observe it. It is also considered difficult (or more correctly, bothersome) to observe owing to the fact that it is in the summer.
The incarnation of the Pre-eternal Word of God and His three-year ministry upon the earth is the central event of all human history and it is through celebrating the various feasts that the life of Christ is relived in our own lives. From Christ's conception to His nativity and baptism up until His death and resurrection, His ascension into Heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles and Disciples, we relive these events year after year so that through these observances Christ's life may begin to be be manifested in our own lives.
The Church, the Ark of Salvation, realizes that without preparation the feast days will not be distinguished from every other day and we will not truly experience the feast. With this in mind the Church has appointed fast periods of various lengths and intensities which correspond to the greatness of the coming feast.
The Apostles' fast serves to keep us from forgetting Christ during the summertime when daily schedules are relaxed and we are on vacation. The fact that it is an easy fast only removes any excuse we may have for not observing it. And then on the day of the feast itself we will be appropriately prepared to celebrate in an Orthodox manner. Through the prayers of Thy Holy Apostles, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
We are pleased to post a video chronicling the construction of the unique St Maximos the Confessor Orthodox Parish in Owego, New York, under the pastorship of Fr Thomas Marretta. This unique Church was constructed according to an ancient Byzantino-Spanish style using traditional construction techniques.
The Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians (GOC) of America is an Old Calendar Orthodox Church serving the faithful of North and South America. 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.
The Church of the GOC of America is an autonomous Eparchy whose hierarchs are members of the Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and All Greece. We follow the Patristic (Julian) Calendar and resist the heresy of Ecumenism.
In the August 6, 2009 edition of the newspaper «Ελεύθερη Ώρα» (Free Time), the following article was published with the title “Grapsas, Paisios and the Prophecy!”:
“There was another prophecy for General Grapsas and they feared it.
For some time now the prophecy of Elder Paisios is circulating. Certainly, while the prophecy is one thing, reality is something else, but somewhere there is an extreme. Read more...
Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...
Q. Are the prayers in the blue prayer book [A Prayerbook for Orthodox Christians by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery —ed.] compulsory for everyone? I mean their morning prayers and the service of Small Compline. My confessor gave me a special rule but wasn’t clear about whether this replaced the book prayers or was in addition to them. Read more...