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Marital Fast

FatherHLL

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No polls...but hopefully we can put this one to rest.  When we talk about "rules," the only universal rules are canons... 

St. Dionysius of Alexandria Canon 3 (approved by 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils):  Persons who are self-sufficient and married ought to be judges of themselves. For we are told in writing by St. Paul that it is fitting that they should abstain from each other by agreement for a time, in order that they may indulge in prayer, and again come together (1 Cor. 7:5).


Interpretation (by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain):

And when asked about husbands and wives whether they ought to be continent respecting each other, the Saint answers that on this point the parties themselves ought to be sufficient judges, since it is fitting and proper according to blessed Paul for them to engage in no bodily association and intercourse when they are indulging in prayer; and this course ought to be adopted by agreement between both parties — that is to say, by both the husband and the wife agreeing thereto — lest it should come to pass that one of the parties is tempted by the enemy, and the continence of the other become an injury to the one so tempted. For if one party is overcome by desire and is not permitted by the other party to enjoy the satisfaction of it, he is liable to fall with another woman and sin, according to Zonaras.

I hope this helps whoever needs to see it
 

podkarpatska

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Thank you for posting from a pastoral perspective.

It speaks volumes that your comments received no comment, while the arm chair "theologians" continue to go on and on with their own take. 

As I said earlier, if a couple is so concerned, "ask your priest."
 

Punch

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Father H said:
No polls...but hopefully we can put this one to rest.  When we talk about "rules," the only universal rules are canons... 

St. Dionysius of Alexandria Canon 3 (approved by 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils):  Persons who are self-sufficient and married ought to be judges of themselves. For we are told in writing by St. Paul that it is fitting that they should abstain from each other by agreement for a time, in order that they may indulge in prayer, and again come together (1 Cor. 7:5).

I hope this helps whoever needs to see it
Thank you.  Very much so.
 

Anna.T

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Thank you.

This is the best advice I think I've seen so far. Thank you especially for providing canon with it.
 

ialmisry

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IIRC someone with an ordination (Fr. Chris?) posted this canon long ago.  I was waiting for someone else to remember it.
 

Asteriktos

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podkarpatska said:
Thank you for posting from a pastoral perspective.

It speaks volumes that your comments received no comment, while the arm chair "theologians" continue to go on and on with their own take.  

As I said earlier, if a couple is so concerned, "ask your priest."
I agree with the last statement.

As for no one commenting, maybe it was because there were already two discussions on the same topic going on, or maybe it was because most of the time between him and you posting were the same hours that 95% of the members of this board are asleep, or maybe it had to do with a moderator making a thread in response to this one asking people to please stop making new threads on this topic (leading some like myself to not post in this thread since it was implied that things were getting a bit out of hand).

Anyway, wow, one quote. That settles it. Obviously an infallible declaration. Even though it says what many of us were already saying. But thanks.

Also, I still agree with your last statement.

:police:
 

Luke

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Thank you, Father.
 

jah777

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Father H said:
No polls...but hopefully we can put this one to rest.  When we talk about "rules," the only universal rules are canons...  

St. Dionysius of Alexandria Canon 3 (approved by 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils):  
The canons of St. Peter of Alexandria have the same authority, having also been approved by the 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils.  Canon 5 of St. Peter of Alexandria states:

[size=10pt]Question: If a woman has coition with her husband during the night, or, as likely as not, a man with his wife, and a church meeting ensues, ought they to partake of communion, or not?

Answer: They ought not to do so, because the Apostle says emphatically: "Deprive yourselves not of each other, unless it be for a time by agreement, that ye may give yourselves leisure to pray, and then come ye again together, to avoid having Satan tempt you on account of your failure to mingle" (I Cor. 7:5).

Interpretation of St. Nikodemos.

To one who had asked whether a married couple ought to partake of the divine Mysteries, when a liturgy is held in the morning, and they have had sexual intercourse with each other during the night immediately preceding, the Saint replied in the present Canon that they ought not to commune; and in witness thereof he cites the words of the Apostle, who orders married couples not to deprive one party the other of sexual intercourse, save by agreement of both the parties; and only then not to have sexual intercourse when a sacred liturgy is being celebrated, on Saturday and Sunday, and in general on all feast days, so that they may partake of communion (for it is thus that the passage saying "that ye may give yourselves leisure to pray" is interpreted in c. XIII of this same Saint as well as in the third Canon of St. Dionysius, both of which Canons you may read for yourself), and again to mingle carnally, and to do this on account of their irrestrainable desire, to prevent Satan from tempting them by inciting them to commit fornication or to commit adultery with wives of other men or husbands of other women, as the case may be.
 

ialmisry

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jah777 said:
Father H said:
No polls...but hopefully we can put this one to rest.  When we talk about "rules," the only universal rules are canons...  

St. Dionysius of Alexandria Canon 3 (approved by 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils):  
The canons of St. Peter of Alexandria have the same authority, having also been approved by the 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils.  Canon 5 of St. Peter of Alexandria states:

Question: If a woman has coition with her husband during the night, or, as likely as not, a man with his wife, and a church meeting ensues, ought they to partake of communion, or not?

Answer: They ought not to do so, because the Apostle says emphatically: "Deprive yourselves not of each other, unless it be for a time by agreement, that ye may give yourselves leisure to pray, and then come ye again together, to avoid having Satan tempt you on account of your failure to mingle" (I Cor. 7:5).

Interpretation of St. Nikodemos.

To one who had asked whether a married couple ought to partake of the divine Mysteries, when a liturgy is held in the morning, and they have had sexual intercourse with each other during the night immediately preceding, the Saint replied in the present Canon that they ought not to commune; and in witness thereof he cites the words of the Apostle, who orders married couples not to deprive one party the other of sexual intercourse, save by agreement of both the parties; and only then not to have sexual intercourse when a sacred liturgy is being celebrated, on Saturday and Sunday, and in general on all feast days, so that they may partake of communion (for it is thus that the passage saying "that ye may give yourselves leisure to pray" is interpreted in c. XIII of this same Saint as well as in the third Canon of St. Dionysius, both of which Canons you may read for yourself), and again to mingle carnally, and to do this on account of their irrestrainable desire, to prevent Satan from tempting them by inciting them to commit fornication or to commit adultery with wives of other men or husbands of other women, as the case may be.

Uh, canon 5 of Pope St. Peter of Alexandria states-at least in the Pedalion:
[size=10pt]5. As touching those men, on the other hand, who, in the same way as David feigned himself an epileptic to escape being put to death, though he was not a real epileptic (1 Sam. 21:13-15), and who did not state their denial in black and white, but contrived to elude the enemies’ plots, in spite of appearing to be sorely distressed, by acting like sane and resolute children amid foolish children; or, in other words, by pretending to have visited the altars of the heathen gods, or to have written something with their own hand, or by putting heathen in their stead (even though, as I have been told, some confessors actually pardoned some of them for doing so, as indeed by appearing to be very reverent they escaped becoming suicides as victims of the fire and exhalation of the unclean demons). Inasmuch, therefore, as they did escape detection by doing so in a silly manner, yet they shall be let off with a six months’ sentence out of consideration for their reverting in repentance. For thus shall they too be rather benefited by diligently meditating that prophetic utterance and repeating the words: "Unto us a child hath been begotten, a son, even, hath been given unto us, whose government is borne upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Messenger of the great design" (Isa. 9:6), and precisely who, as ye are aware, in the sixth month (Luke 1:36) of the conception of the other child, who preached in advance before the face of His entrance repentance for the remission of sins (Luke 3:3), was Himself conceived too, to preach repentance. And this is not strange, for we are told that both of them first of all commenced preaching not only about repentance, but also about the kingdom of heaven, which, as we have learned, is within us; the saying that it is "at hand," or nigh unto us, is what is referred to in the passage saying: "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart," which we believe in our own mouth, and in our own heart, and when reminded thereof they too shall learn to confess with their mouth that Jesus is the Lord, while believing in their own heart that God raised Him from the dead, the more so indeed because of their being told that He is believed with the heart unto righteousness, but with the mouth is confessed unto salvation (Rom. 10:8-10).

Interpretation.

The present Canon decrees that those who did like David when he was fleeing from Saul and feigned himself before King Achish to be a lunatic in order to escape being put to death by that king, insomuch that they too pretended to go to the altars of the idols, or to state in writing that they denied, or had heathen do the sacrificing, though they did not actually write that they denied the faith, but, when coerced severely they employed trickery and contrived to fool the persecutors, in much the same way as smarter children fool the ignorant ones: these persons, I say, notwithstanding that they have been pardoned by some saintly confessors for the tricks they resorted to in order to avoid sacrificing to the demons with their own hands. Nevertheless, since they did this foolishly, and were thought by the infidels to have sacrificed as they appeared to have done, even though in reality they did not sacrifice, they ought to be canonized six months and repent. In view of the fact that he fixed their sentence to repentance at six months, it was for this reason alone that he most fitly and aptly cites the following passages from Scripture and says that those who repent and remain penitent for six months ought to bear in mind that Christ was conceived, according to the Gospel, in the sixth month of the conception of John (the Baptist), who began preaching repentance, and that He too likewise preached repentance. For in agreement with each other both the Forerunner and Christ preached and said: "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17; and alibi). The Saint interprets this to mean that for this reason the kingdom of heaven is within us, as the Lord said, in that the words which we believe, as Moses and St. Paul declare, are near our mouth and our heart. Hence it follows in accordance with this passage they too who believed Christ with their heart, but did not confess Him with their mouth ought to learn that they ought both to believe with their heart and to confess with their mouth that Jesus is the Lord and God, when they are told by St. Paul: "He is believed with the heart unto righteousness, but with the mouth is confessed unto salvation" (l.c.).
Where did you get your canon 5 from?
 

Jonathan Gress

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In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
 

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ialmisry said:
jah777 said:
Father H said:
No polls...but hopefully we can put this one to rest.  When we talk about "rules," the only universal rules are canons...  

St. Dionysius of Alexandria Canon 3 (approved by 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils):  
The canons of St. Peter of Alexandria have the same authority, having also been approved by the 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils.  Canon 5 of St. Peter of Alexandria states:

Question: If a woman has coition with her husband during the night, or, as likely as not, a man with his wife, and a church meeting ensues, ought they to partake of communion, or not?

Answer: They ought not to do so, because the Apostle says emphatically: "Deprive yourselves not of each other, unless it be for a time by agreement, that ye may give yourselves leisure to pray, and then come ye again together, to avoid having Satan tempt you on account of your failure to mingle" (I Cor. 7:5).

Interpretation of St. Nikodemos.

To one who had asked whether a married couple ought to partake of the divine Mysteries, when a liturgy is held in the morning, and they have had sexual intercourse with each other during the night immediately preceding, the Saint replied in the present Canon that they ought not to commune; and in witness thereof he cites the words of the Apostle, who orders married couples not to deprive one party the other of sexual intercourse, save by agreement of both the parties; and only then not to have sexual intercourse when a sacred liturgy is being celebrated, on Saturday and Sunday, and in general on all feast days, so that they may partake of communion (for it is thus that the passage saying "that ye may give yourselves leisure to pray" is interpreted in c. XIII of this same Saint as well as in the third Canon of St. Dionysius, both of which Canons you may read for yourself), and again to mingle carnally, and to do this on account of their irrestrainable desire, to prevent Satan from tempting them by inciting them to commit fornication or to commit adultery with wives of other men or husbands of other women, as the case may be.

Uh, canon 5 of Pope St. Peter of Alexandria states-at least in the Pedalion:
[size=10pt]5. As touching those men, on the other hand, who, in the same way as David feigned himself an epileptic to escape being put to death, though he was not a real epileptic (1 Sam. 21:13-15), and who did not state their denial in black and white, but contrived to elude the enemies’ plots, in spite of appearing to be sorely distressed, by acting like sane and resolute children amid foolish children; or, in other words, by pretending to have visited the altars of the heathen gods, or to have written something with their own hand, or by putting heathen in their stead (even though, as I have been told, some confessors actually pardoned some of them for doing so, as indeed by appearing to be very reverent they escaped becoming suicides as victims of the fire and exhalation of the unclean demons). Inasmuch, therefore, as they did escape detection by doing so in a silly manner, yet they shall be let off with a six months’ sentence out of consideration for their reverting in repentance. For thus shall they too be rather benefited by diligently meditating that prophetic utterance and repeating the words: "Unto us a child hath been begotten, a son, even, hath been given unto us, whose government is borne upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Messenger of the great design" (Isa. 9:6), and precisely who, as ye are aware, in the sixth month (Luke 1:36) of the conception of the other child, who preached in advance before the face of His entrance repentance for the remission of sins (Luke 3:3), was Himself conceived too, to preach repentance. And this is not strange, for we are told that both of them first of all commenced preaching not only about repentance, but also about the kingdom of heaven, which, as we have learned, is within us; the saying that it is "at hand," or nigh unto us, is what is referred to in the passage saying: "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart," which we believe in our own mouth, and in our own heart, and when reminded thereof they too shall learn to confess with their mouth that Jesus is the Lord, while believing in their own heart that God raised Him from the dead, the more so indeed because of their being told that He is believed with the heart unto righteousness, but with the mouth is confessed unto salvation (Rom. 10:8-10).

Interpretation.

The present Canon decrees that those who did like David when he was fleeing from Saul and feigned himself before King Achish to be a lunatic in order to escape being put to death by that king, insomuch that they too pretended to go to the altars of the idols, or to state in writing that they denied, or had heathen do the sacrificing, though they did not actually write that they denied the faith, but, when coerced severely they employed trickery and contrived to fool the persecutors, in much the same way as smarter children fool the ignorant ones: these persons, I say, notwithstanding that they have been pardoned by some saintly confessors for the tricks they resorted to in order to avoid sacrificing to the demons with their own hands. Nevertheless, since they did this foolishly, and were thought by the infidels to have sacrificed as they appeared to have done, even though in reality they did not sacrifice, they ought to be canonized six months and repent. In view of the fact that he fixed their sentence to repentance at six months, it was for this reason alone that he most fitly and aptly cites the following passages from Scripture and says that those who repent and remain penitent for six months ought to bear in mind that Christ was conceived, according to the Gospel, in the sixth month of the conception of John (the Baptist), who began preaching repentance, and that He too likewise preached repentance. For in agreement with each other both the Forerunner and Christ preached and said: "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17; and alibi). The Saint interprets this to mean that for this reason the kingdom of heaven is within us, as the Lord said, in that the words which we believe, as Moses and St. Paul declare, are near our mouth and our heart. Hence it follows in accordance with this passage they too who believed Christ with their heart, but did not confess Him with their mouth ought to learn that they ought both to believe with their heart and to confess with their mouth that Jesus is the Lord and God, when they are told by St. Paul: "He is believed with the heart unto righteousness, but with the mouth is confessed unto salvation" (l.c.).
Where did you get your canon 5 from?
Forgive me, it is the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria, not Peter of Alexandria. These canons were ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council.
 

Punch

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Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
 

Jonathan Gress

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Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
You may be right, but I wanted to make it clear is that what's not under discussion is whether couples should only abstain from each other by mutual consent. I don't know for sure, but I expect jah777 would say that it would be a greater sin for a husband to deny sex to his wife without her consent than for him to force her to keep the marital fast unwillingly, but that does not entail that both have the right to receive communion if they fail to keep the fast. I think this can be understood as part of Orthodoxy's more nuanced understanding of sin, compared with, say, Catholicism. According to Catholic teaching, the only reason a Catholic should not receive communion is if he is in a state of mortal sin: all the old rules about not receiving during menstruation, for example, were gradually eliminated in the later Middle Ages. In Orthodoxy, on the other hand, we allow that someone may not have an unrepented deadly sin on his conscience, and still he may not be eligible to receive communion, possibly even for reasons not under his control.
 

ialmisry

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Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
They can go to another Father if they want.  No priest is obligated to give anyone the Eucharist-or any of the other Holy Mysteries for that matter-if his conscience wont' allow it, unless his bishop tells him to (which raises up other issues).

Btw, there are instances of priests/spiritual fathers telling someone to commune, when the person thinks he shouldn't.  Not sure how everyone would handle that.
 

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Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
According to the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria quoted above, which has universal authority having been ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council, a couple who comes together the evening before a liturgy should not receive Communion the next day.  Priests and spiritual fathers have every responsibility to instruct their people regarding how to properly prepare for Communion and when to abstain from Communion.  When such instructions are given, it should be on the couple to act accordingly.  A priest or spiritual father should obviously not be asking people about these things in confession and certainly not as people are approaching to receive Communion. 
 

ialmisry

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jah777 said:
Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
According to the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria quoted above, which has universal authority having been ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council, a couple who comes together the evening before a liturgy should not receive Communion the next day.  Priests and spiritual fathers have every responsibility to instruct their people regarding how to properly prepare for Communion and when to abstain from Communion.  When such instructions are given, it should be on the couple to act accordingly.  A priest or spiritual father should obviously not be asking people about these things in confession and certainly not as people are approaching to receive Communion. 
the canons also depose a bishop who goes from his see to another-and don't get me started what they say about more than one bishop to a see.
And then there is that canon of St. Athanasius and Dionysios "which has universal authority having been ratified by the...Ecumenical Council."
 

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Punch said:
This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
There are many for whom the straight and narrow will always be too wide.

 

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ialmisry said:
jah777 said:
Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
According to the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria quoted above, which has universal authority having been ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council, a couple who comes together the evening before a liturgy should not receive Communion the next day.  Priests and spiritual fathers have every responsibility to instruct their people regarding how to properly prepare for Communion and when to abstain from Communion.  When such instructions are given, it should be on the couple to act accordingly.  A priest or spiritual father should obviously not be asking people about these things in confession and certainly not as people are approaching to receive Communion. 
the canons also depose a bishop who goes from his see to another-and don't get me started what they say about more than one bishop to a see.
And then there is that canon of St. Athanasius and Dionysios "which has universal authority having been ratified by the...Ecumenical Council."



Disobedience to one canon does not justify disobedience to another, nor are the canons of St. Dionysios and Timothy contradictory except for those who want to make them so in order to use one to justify their own ideas while rejecting the other.
 

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It is interesting to note how this subject is addressed by St. Nikodemos in his work “Concerning Frequent Communion of the Immaculate Mysteries of Christ”, since a few people have said or suggested that the marital fast requirement may be the (or a) reason why infrequent communion became commonplace in certain places and times.  St. Nikodemos and the other Kollyvades Fathers wrote and labored a great deal to champion the importance of frequent communion, quoting the Scriptures and many saints and fathers to this end, at a time when such a view was not widely accepted.  The Kollyvades Fathers were actually attacked as heretics for promoting frequent communion and it was no small struggle for them to call the Church back to an understanding of the importance of frequent reception of the mysteries.  At the end of St. Nikodemos’ work, he answers many objections to the teaching of frequent communion, including the following:

[size=10pt]Some apply to divine Communion this saying from Proverbs:  “If thou hast found honey, east so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it”(Pr. 25:16).
Some were claiming that it would be harmful to have communion “too frequently”, or more than is “sufficient”, interpreting “honey” from Proverbs to mean Holy Communion.  St. Nikodemos says in response:

[size=10pt] In any case, they must explain to us what they understand by “sufficient,” for we have no other way to measure the frequency of Communion except by the sacred Canons of the Apostles, and the whole Church of Christ.  That is, to commune either four times a week (and if possible even every day), as Basil and the divine Chrysostom discuss, or at least every Saturday and Sunday and the other Feast Days, as when the Apostle commands married couples to abstain from one another on these days so that they may commune in the divine Mysteries, saying: “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer” (1 Cor 7:5).

As Timothy of Alexandria states:  “They are to abstain from coming together on Saturday and Sunday, on account of the spiritual sacrifice which is offered to God on those days.”  That is, on these days the Divine Liturgy is celebrated so that they may receive Communion.
In his commentary on 1 Corinthians, St. Nikodemos, that great advocate of frequent communion, said:

[size=10pt]The married couple is to expecially abstain from marital relations when they intend to receive the divine Mysteries.
The practice of frequent communion has largely returned to the Church thanks to the labors and writings of St. Nikodemos and the Kollyvades Fathers, yet they also taught that one must prepare properly before receiving Communion and should abstain from Communion if one does not keep the marital fast.  So, St. Nikodemos and the Holy Fathers certainly cannot be accused of being advocates of or instigators for infrequent communion.  Sadly, some among the clergy and the people only want to follow the teachings of the Church selectively, practicing frequent communion while rejecting proper preparation as well as the role and significance of epitemias/penances.
 

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jah777 said:
ialmisry said:
jah777 said:
Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
According to the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria quoted above, which has universal authority having been ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council, a couple who comes together the evening before a liturgy should not receive Communion the next day.  Priests and spiritual fathers have every responsibility to instruct their people regarding how to properly prepare for Communion and when to abstain from Communion.  When such instructions are given, it should be on the couple to act accordingly.  A priest or spiritual father should obviously not be asking people about these things in confession and certainly not as people are approaching to receive Communion. 
the canons also depose a bishop who goes from his see to another-and don't get me started what they say about more than one bishop to a see.
And then there is that canon of St. Athanasius and Dionysios "which has universal authority having been ratified by the...Ecumenical Council."



Disobedience to one canon does not justify disobedience to another, nor are the canons of St. Dionysios and Timothy contradictory except for those who want to make them so in order to use one to justify their own ideas while rejecting the other.

Is that a confession?
 

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It still looks very much like an excessively rigid attitude to keeping the marital fast is what prevented people from communing frequently. St Nicodemus certainly advocated frequent communion, but it also looks like he was not prepared to relax the strictures on married couples wishing to commune, so he didn't really offer any solution to the problem except demanding that married couples practice more abstinence. If couples are really supposed to commune every Sunday, say, but cannot have sex on Saturday or Sunday, or Wednesday or Friday, that leaves just three days out of the week at the most, not counting feast days that fall on those days, or fasting periods. On the rare occasions that they are allowed to have sex, it is likely that many other things can get in the way. As some have noted, actual sex drive is not something you can just switch on and off at will, so often the best time to do it will be during one of the many forbidden periods. It's no wonder that, according to Fr Alexander Lebedeff, it became customary in the Russian Church already by the 13th century to require marital fasting only during the most solemn and strictest fasting periods, such as Clean Week and Holy Week, since anything stricter was clearly having a detrimental spiritual effect.
 

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jah777 said:
Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
According to the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria quoted above, which has universal authority having been ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council, a couple who comes together the evening before a liturgy should not receive Communion the next day.  Priests and spiritual fathers have every responsibility to instruct their people regarding how to properly prepare for Communion and when to abstain from Communion.  When such instructions are given, it should be on the couple to act accordingly.  A priest or spiritual father should obviously not be asking people about these things in confession and certainly not as people are approaching to receive Communion. 
Well the World can end now and Jesus can return.  We agree on something on this thread.
 

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Punch said:
jah777 said:
Punch said:
Jonathan Gress said:
In the other thread we managed to identify the real bone of contention. No one is arguing that couples should abstain from each other without mutual consent. The argument is over whether couples who do not abstain at the appointed times have a right to receive communion anyway, or whether their spiritual father has a right to forbid them to receive communion.
And the rest of us are arguing that since at least one canon says the matter is between the married persons, the "spiritual father" really has no right to ask.  Of if he does, there is no obligation to answer.  Since we are commanded by our Lord to commune, a person who forbids communion for reasons that are not forbidden by the Lord is no "spiritual father", but rather a tool of Satan.  The sciptures put the burden of properly communing on the person taking communion.  This whole "guarding the chalice" is only a means of control.  One could see the benefit of it if the sin was known, but when one has to pry and then make up sins to deny the Sacrament, there is no benefit.
According to the 5th canon of Timothy of Alexandria quoted above, which has universal authority having been ratified by the 6th Ecumenical Council, a couple who comes together the evening before a liturgy should not receive Communion the next day.  Priests and spiritual fathers have every responsibility to instruct their people regarding how to properly prepare for Communion and when to abstain from Communion.  When such instructions are given, it should be on the couple to act accordingly.  A priest or spiritual father should obviously not be asking people about these things in confession and certainly not as people are approaching to receive Communion. 
Well the World can end now and Jesus can return.  We agree on something on this thread.
I'm glad that we can agree on this much.  :) 

Yes, if a priest asks as you approach for Communion whether you and your wife had sexual relations the night before, something is very wrong there indeed and you should probably notify the bishop and find another parish.  Providing general instructions to the faithful on such subjects as preparation for Communion, however, is another matter.
 

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Now that I have made the distinction between the appropriateness of a priest explaining to the faithful about proper preparation for Communion and when one should abstain from Communion, I’d like to turn back to the question of whether it is appropriate for a priest to instruct people not to receive Communion if they are unable to prepare properly. 

Canon 69 of the Holy Apostles says:  "If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or Subdeacon, or Anagnost, or Psalt fails to fast throughout the forty days of Holy Lent, or on Wednesday, or on Friday, let him be deposed from office. Unless he has been prevented from doing so by reason of bodily illness. If, on the other hand, a layman fail to do so, let him be excommunicated."

So, if the Apostles received this teaching from the Lord that the laity should be excommunicated if they do not keep the fasts, what is so appalling about a spiritual father saying that a couple should abstain from Communion if they are unable to keep the fast?

In his Exomologetarion (A Manual of Confession), St. Nikodemos has an entire section entitled "Concerning Fasting on Wednesday and Friday."  He says, among other things…

[size=10pt]Let us therefore stop insensibly thinking that the fast of Wednesday and Friday is not an Apostolic directive, for behold, the Apostles in their Canons number this fast together with that of Great Lent, and in the Apostolic Constitutions they number it together with the fast of Holy Week, saying:

“One must fast during Holy Week and Wednesday and Friday.”  But why should I say that this regulation is only of the Apostles?  It is a regulation of Christ Himself, for this is what the Apostles say in Book V, ch.14 of the Constitutions:

“He (that is, Christ) commanded us to fast on Wednesday and Friday.” 
After many other quotes and references from the Fathers regarding fasting on Wed and Fri, St. Nikodemos continues:

[size=10pt]We must also note the following, that just as there must be a fast from food on Wednesday, Friday, and Great Lent, there must also be a fast from pleasures of the flesh.  For this reason weddings cannot take place on these days, because the divine Paul commands that married couples are not to come together during a time of prayer and fasting:  “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer” (1 Cor 7:5).  And the divine Chrysostom, bringing the saying of Joel as a witness:  “Sanctify a fast… let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet” (Joel 2:15-16), says that even newlyweds, who have strong desire, vigorous youthfulness, and unfettered urges, are not to come together during a period of fasting and prayer (De Virginitate 30, PG 48, 554).  How much, then, are other married couples, who do not have such impulsiveness of the flesh, not to come together?  Therefore, Balsamon says that married couples who do not exercise self-control during the Great Fast are not to commune on Pascha and are also to be penance.  Likewise, married copules who come together on Wednesday and Friday must be corrected through penances.
St. Nikodemos then goes on to talk about the fast on Monday that is designated for monastics, that many people in the world also keep this fast, and what the Fathers have said concerning this fast.

So, if the Apostles received from Christ that the laity should be excommunicated if they do not keep the Wed, Fri, and Lenten fasts; and if keeping the fasts has from the beginning been understood to not only require abstinence from certain foods but also from sexual relations within marriage as indicated by 1 Cor 7:5, why is it so shocking to suggest that a spiritual father may instruct his people to abstain from Communion if they are unable to keep the marital fast?
 

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Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, possibly Monday - plus feast days and all of Great Lent, and I'm sure all the fasting periods too.

Might as well all be monks. I'm sorry, but if especially there are other extenuating circumstances (children, deployments or out of town work, illness or physical issues) these are heavy burdens for a marriage and potentially very unhealthy.

It can certainly look like this can be a cause of infrequent communion.
 

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A lot of whine here about carrying such light crosses. Remember that when you tell a homosexual that they pick up their cross with righteous certainty.
 

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orthonorm said:
A lot of whine here about carrying such light crosses. Remember that when you tell a homosexual that they pick up their cross with righteous certainty.
No offense intended ... But I will say you can't know anything about my husband and myself and our marriage. (Or by extension, other people's marriages.)  And it isn't the kinds of things that need to dragged out in public.

But I can say there are things to be considered, and the "one size fits all" kinds of demands and deprecating remarks can do a great deal of damage someone outside the situation may know nothing about.

I see the very great wisdom of discussing such matters with one's priest (who has shown great wisdom and pastoral care in my situation) rather than to strangers outside the situation on the internet.

And it's not my place to go telling anyone (homosexual or otherwise) what they ought to do, especially if they haven't asked. That's a conversation that belongs between them and their priest.
 

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Anna.T said:
orthonorm said:
A lot of whine here about carrying such light crosses. Remember that when you tell a homosexual that they pick up their cross with righteous certainty.
No offense intended ... But I will say you can't know anything about my husband and myself and our marriage. (Or by extension, other people's marriages.)  And it isn't the kinds of things that need to dragged out in public.

But I can say there are things to be considered, and the "one size fits all" kinds of demands and deprecating remarks can do a great deal of damage someone outside the situation may know nothing about.

I see the very great wisdom of discussing such matters with one's priest (who has shown great wisdom and pastoral care in my situation) rather than to strangers outside the situation on the internet.

And it's not my place to go telling anyone (homosexual or otherwise) what they ought to do, especially if they haven't asked. That's a conversation that belongs between them and their priest.
Yes, you are right that these are matters to discuss with one's spiritual father rather than here.  What I have attempted to do is simply show that there are some rules regarding the subject that have been universally accepted by the Church in response to those who have made the claim that no such rules or requirements exist.  It is good to know the standard to which we are called as Orthodox Christians, but we are in the Church because we are sinners and because we are weak, not because we are saints and already strong.  We shouldn't despair if the rules and requirements of the Church seem to be beyond our grasp, especially in this case if we are not even Orthodox yet and not sure if our spouse would convert with us.  When such rules seem out of reach, we should not reject them in a resentful or disdaining manner, nor should we fall into despair, but rather we should humble ourselves, put our faith in God, and hope that one day we may have the strength and ability to participate ever more fully in the life of the Church with frequent Communion and proper preparation.  We all come to the Church as sinners, and the role of the spiritual father is to meet us where we are, in our current circumstances, and help us personally to make progress towards living a life that is more and more pleasing to God. 

These rules are taught quite seriously in the Church, as can be seen from the language of the Canons, but they are nonetheless parameters of our life in Christ rather than the essence of our life in Christ.  That does not mean that we disregard them, but that our focus must be on drawing near to Christ through obedience to Christ's commandments and growth in love and all the virtues.  The rules of the Church help us to move in this direction, but as we make progress spiritually and overcome our passions, the rules seem less of a burden and more of an opportunity to show our love for Christ are remain in constant communion with Him.
 

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jah777 said:
What I have attempted to do is simply show that there are some rules regarding the subject that have been universally accepted by the Church in response to those who have made the claim that no such rules or requirements exist.
Here we go again.  What you have shown is simply that unmarried men have made up some rules about something they know nothing about, and the majority of the Church has ignored them.  As such, the term "universally accepted" is simply untrue.  Would you please stop spreading this lie to the people on this forum.  The Church is more than a bunch of sexless guys in long robes holed up together on a mountain.  It is 250,000,000 members world wide just at this time alone.  And regardless if you could find 100 passages supporting your point of view (you can't), it would still mean nothing when millions have said "we are not buying that".  The simple fact is that there is no rule or requirement that can contradict what God has instituted Himself, Blessed and made good.  There is no man, or group of men, that have any divine authority to contradict God.  They can speak for Him when He has been silent on a matter, perhaps.  But not when He has made something clear in the Scriptures. You have had more than ten pages of another thread to spread your BS, so now you have to pollute a thread created by a priest to put the matter to rest.  Shame on you, and the Pharisees like you.  I would say more, but Christ has pretty much said what He thinks of Pharisees better than I can.
 

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Anna.T said:
orthonorm said:
A lot of whine here about carrying such light crosses. Remember that when you tell a homosexual that they pick up their cross with righteous certainty.
No offense intended ... But I will say you can't know anything about my husband and myself and our marriage. (Or by extension, other people's marriages.)  And it isn't the kinds of things that need to dragged out in public.

But I can say there are things to be considered, and the "one size fits all" kinds of demands and deprecating remarks can do a great deal of damage someone outside the situation may know nothing about.

I see the very great wisdom of discussing such matters with one's priest (who has shown great wisdom and pastoral care in my situation) rather than to strangers outside the situation on the internet.

And it's not my place to go telling anyone (homosexual or otherwise) what they ought to do, especially if they haven't asked. That's a conversation that belongs between them and their priest.
I think his point was that some of us calling for relaxation of the requirements concerning the marital fast have elsewhere been very strict about the Church's prohibition against homosexuality. He means that if we're going to say anything about how evil homosexuality is and how homosexuals should commit to celibacy, then we'd better be sure we're keeping all the other rules. Is that more or less right?

I really like Mor's shamelessly promoted post and recommend it.
 

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Punch said:
jah777 said:
What I have attempted to do is simply show that there are some rules regarding the subject that have been universally accepted by the Church in response to those who have made the claim that no such rules or requirements exist.
Here we go again.  What you have shown is simply that unmarried men have made up some rules about something they know nothing about, and the majority of the Church has ignored them.  As such, the term "universally accepted" is simply untrue.  Would you please stop spreading this lie to the people on this forum.  The Church is more than a bunch of sexless guys in long robes holed up together on a mountain.  It is 250,000,000 members world wide just at this time alone.  And regardless if you could find 100 passages supporting your point of view (you can't), it would still mean nothing when millions have said "we are not buying that".  The simple fact is that there is no rule or requirement that can contradict what God has instituted Himself, Blessed and made good.  There is no man, or group of men, that have any divine authority to contradict God.  They can speak for Him when He has been silent on a matter, perhaps.  But not when He has made something clear in the Scriptures. You have had more than ten pages of another thread to spread your BS, so now you have to pollute a thread created by a priest to put the matter to rest.  Shame on you, and the Pharisees like you.  I would say more, but Christ has pretty much said what He thinks of Pharisees better than I can.
As I have demonstrated, the fasts were instituted by Christ and not by man.  That fasting means abstention from sexual relations on fast days and in preparation for Communion has been affirmed by Ecumenical Councils which are Ecumenical because they were received as such by the entirety of the Church an not because some supposedly power-hungry group of masochistic celibates want to punish the married laity for their decision not to embrace a life of total celibacy.  You can certainly reject these teachings, but that doesn't make you justified in doing so, regardless of how much you want to twist and misinterpret the Scriptures to justify your rejection of the canons and patristic writings in favor of your own opinions.

These are the teachings of the entire Church as has been confirmed by canons, Councils, and the writings of saints and Fathers.  Saints and fathers are not commemorated as such by the Church merely because they were celibate, but rather because they were vessels of the Holy Spirit and were guided by the Holy Spirit in their lives and teachings.  Ecumenical Councils are considered as such because the entire Church saw that they were guided by the Holy Spirit and rightly expressed and confessed the Apostolic faith.  Your attack upon the teachings of the canons, Ecumenical Councils, saints, and Fathers is an attack upon the Church and an attack upon Christ, and this is completely inexcusable for an Orthodox Christian. 

In Exodus 19 we have the following:
[size=10pt] And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever." So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. 10 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people....14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives."
We see here how even in the Old Testament, fasting included abstention from sexual relations, and as many of the Fathers have said, if the Lord commanded the people to abstain from sexual relations before approaching the mountain where He would speak to Moses, how much more must we prepare in such a way to receive within us the very body and blood of our Lord? 

If millions in the Church have said "we aren't buying that", as you claim but could never prove, what difference would that make?  What difference does it make that millions "didn't buy" what the Lord revealed to Noah regarding the coming flood?  Were they justified in disregarding Noah just because they numbered in the millions?  What difference does it make that so many Jews "didn't buy" that Jesus is the Christ?  Is the truth a product of the consensus of the masses or the consensus of the Apostles and the righteous God-pleasers who have saved their souls and dwell in the presence of God?  What matters is what God has revealed, what Christ taught, what has been handed down by the Apostles, what has been preserved and taught by the Fathers, and what has been expressed by the canons and Councils of the Church.
 

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Just a point of information: the canons you cite only specifically mention Great Lent, Wednesday and Friday. How do we conclude that this also covers any other fasting days instituted by the Church, or should they be treated differently?

As I mentioned before, there's evidence of rather laxer marital fasting rules in the Russian tradition. This alleged rule about abstaining from sex during every fast day doesn't seem to have universal support.
 

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jah777 said:
Anna.T said:
orthonorm said:
A lot of whine here about carrying such light crosses. Remember that when you tell a homosexual that they pick up their cross with righteous certainty.
No offense intended ... But I will say you can't know anything about my husband and myself and our marriage. (Or by extension, other people's marriages.)  And it isn't the kinds of things that need to dragged out in public.

But I can say there are things to be considered, and the "one size fits all" kinds of demands and deprecating remarks can do a great deal of damage someone outside the situation may know nothing about.

I see the very great wisdom of discussing such matters with one's priest (who has shown great wisdom and pastoral care in my situation) rather than to strangers outside the situation on the internet.

And it's not my place to go telling anyone (homosexual or otherwise) what they ought to do, especially if they haven't asked. That's a conversation that belongs between them and their priest.
Yes, you are right that these are matters to discuss with one's spiritual father rather than here.  What I have attempted to do is simply show that there are some rules regarding the subject that have been universally accepted by the Church in response to those who have made the claim that no such rules or requirements exist.  It is good to know the standard to which we are called as Orthodox Christians, but we are in the Church because we are sinners and because we are weak, not because we are saints and already strong.  We shouldn't despair if the rules and requirements of the Church seem to be beyond our grasp, especially in this case if we are not even Orthodox yet and not sure if our spouse would convert with us.  When such rules seem out of reach, we should not reject them in a resentful or disdaining manner, nor should we fall into despair, but rather we should humble ourselves, put our faith in God, and hope that one day we may have the strength and ability to participate ever more fully in the life of the Church with frequent Communion and proper preparation.  We all come to the Church as sinners, and the role of the spiritual father is to meet us where we are, in our current circumstances, and help us personally to make progress towards living a life that is more and more pleasing to God. 

These rules are taught quite seriously in the Church, as can be seen from the language of the Canons, but they are nonetheless parameters of our life in Christ rather than the essence of our life in Christ.  That does not mean that we disregard them, but that our focus must be on drawing near to Christ through obedience to Christ's commandments and growth in love and all the virtues.  The rules of the Church help us to move in this direction, but as we make progress spiritually and overcome our passions, the rules seem less of a burden and more of an opportunity to show our love for Christ are remain in constant communion with Him.
Your post still makes it sound as though there are "higher ideals" that I ought to aspire to, and not despair that I still fall short of them.

That may or may not be true, but I believe I will address the issue with my priest, as you also mention.

For the record, he is rather more intimately acquainted with various day to day aspects of my life and situation and has deemed that certain things not discussed here are fulfilling my spiritual growth in place of certain normally prescribed methods.

However, I would not list those factors, and state that others ought to aspire to the same conditions, and not despair that the Lord has not seen fit to lay certain situations on their lives.

I do realize that you are speaking of traditions, that are acknowledged somewhere at least. However I am quickly coming to see that anonymous statements by those not acquainted with nor responsible for the spiritual growth of others can be of limited applicability.

As with my other reply, no offense is intended.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Just a point of information: the canons you cite only specifically mention Great Lent, Wednesday and Friday. How do we conclude that this also covers any other fasting days instituted by the Church, or should they be treated differently?

As I mentioned before, there's evidence of rather laxer marital fasting rules in the Russian tradition. This alleged rule about abstaining from sex during every fast day doesn't seem to have universal support.
From everything I have read, referenced, and quoted here, it seems very clear that the Church has understood 1 Cor 7:5 to mean that on fast days we are to give ourselves more to prayer and practice greater self-restraint, both with regard to food and also with regard to abstaining from sexual relations in marriage. Aside from this one reference in Russian tradition, I have not seen any evidence to question the universality of this teaching.
 

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jah777 said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Just a point of information: the canons you cite only specifically mention Great Lent, Wednesday and Friday. How do we conclude that this also covers any other fasting days instituted by the Church, or should they be treated differently?

As I mentioned before, there's evidence of rather laxer marital fasting rules in the Russian tradition. This alleged rule about abstaining from sex during every fast day doesn't seem to have universal support.
From everything I have read, referenced, and quoted here, it seems very clear that the Church has understood 1 Cor 7:5 to mean that on fast days we are to give ourselves more to prayer and practice greater self-restraint, both with regard to food and also with regard to abstaining from sexual relations in marriage. Aside from this one reference in Russian tradition, I have not seen any evidence to question the universality of this teaching.
I think everyone here can agree with your understanding of this post.  On this there is no disagreement.  

I would say that perhaps people think you treat the marital fast more rigidly than is helpful.  This could be due to the fact that you see marital sex as not being "good".
 

DeniseDenise

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Anna,

A word of advice if I may?

Try to stop reading each post with the applicability to your personal situation.  

First of all.  Your husband is not Orthodox, and until God works in his heart, isn't moving there just yet.  So quite frankly NOTHING in this thread applies to you in the first place, even if you wanted to try and fast.  Your Priest (or any good one worth much) would NEVER recommend that you even force the Food fasting principles on a non-Orthodox spouse, let alone the marital ones. If yours did, I would suggest finding someone who desires to bring your husband to the Church, rather than chasing him away.  


Secondly, people here, while knowledgeable, are anonymous people on the internet. They knowledge does not make them a qualified Priest, Spiritual Father or Catechist.  You have one, and should discuss with him.  So if a topic here brings up an issue for your life, I would read the stuff here with a Rock of Gibraltar sized grain of salt, and then take the fundamental issue to your Priest.  Your situation is far more complex than an anonymous 'advice' post on most of these topics can handle.

Thirdly,  people here love to argue and debate and throw out crazy amounts of often completely irrelevant info. This just confuses what can be the simplest of issues (see point one, in this case, the details of the martial fast don't matter for you, since it would not apply no matter what right now) and makes it into a huge brouhaha over a nothing, and evokes emotional responses to things.  

Just let some posts go by like trash blowing by on a breeze....you don't always have to pick them up.

In Christ,
Denise


 

Punch

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DeniseDenise said:
Anna,

A word of advice if I may?

Try to stop reading each post with the applicability to your personal situation.  

First of all.  Your husband is not Orthodox, and until God works in his heart, isn't moving there just yet.  So quite frankly NOTHING in this thread applies to you in the first place, even if you wanted to try and fast.  Your Priest (or any good one worth much) would NEVER recommend that you even force the Food fasting principles on a non-Orthodox spouse, let alone the marital ones. If yours did, I would suggest finding someone who desires to bring your husband to the Church, rather than chasing him away.  


Secondly, people here, while knowledgeable, are anonymous people on the internet. They knowledge does not make them a qualified Priest, Spiritual Father or Catechist.  You have one, and should discuss with him.  So if a topic here brings up an issue for your life, I would read the stuff here with a Rock of Gibraltar sized grain of salt, and then take the fundamental issue to your Priest.  Your situation is far more complex than an anonymous 'advice' post on most of these topics can handle.

Thirdly,  people here love to argue and debate and throw out crazy amounts of often completely irrelevant info. This just confuses what can be the simplest of issues (see point one, in this case, the details of the martial fast don't matter for you, since it would not apply no matter what right now) and makes it into a huge brouhaha over a nothing, and evokes emotional responses to things.  

Just let some posts go by like trash blowing by on a breeze....you don't always have to pick them up.

In Christ,
Denise
POM
 
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