St. John the Confessor
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
The Apostles' Fast
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, wine and shellfish (seafood) 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
The Apostles' Fast
What a wonderful feast day we had! 85 attendees, services to the glory of St. John who looks over us constantly, beautifully decorated church and grounds, and amazing food! Thank you to all who participated in making this so special!
This week Yelena has coffee hour and Ana has cleaning this week and next week.
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