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"strict fast"

Donna Rose

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may seem like a silly question but...

what exactly does it mean if a day on the calendar is delineated as a "strict fast" day, versus a regular fasting day?

D
 

Arystarcus

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I believe it means a day where no meats or other animal products are consumed - meats, cheeses, etc., as well as wine and oil.

Of course, I could be totally off, but that is how I've understood it.  :)
 

Fr. George

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Strict Fast: No meats, dairy, poultry, fish w/ backbone, wine, oil...
Fast: I would suppose this is no meat, dairy, or poultry...
 

Donna Rose

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so then, does this mean that on days that are *not* delineated as "Strict Fast" but are shaded in as fast days (i.e. normal wednesdays and fridays), that fish, wine and oil *are* allowed?
 

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hmmm.... it just depends on who you ask... normally, Wednesdays and Fridays are strict fast, but most don't strict fast on those days (that I have met)... fasting discipline has universal guidelines, but individual application - that's why we dialogue with our priests/spiritual father/mother...
 

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Yeah, seriously, fasting is set a certain way by The Church, but it's really an issue between yourself and your Spiritual Father/Priest.  My wife is pregnant, therefore, no Nativity Fast for her this year, nor for our daughter, who's not even two yet, and therefore, unless I'm out of the house, not for me, since it wouldn't be right to spend extra money just to prepare extra food for myself, nor would it be good to compel my wife to cook two separate dishes.  Still another element is the fact that I'm a soldier, and I've been doing a lot of working out and training lately, and therefore have been under increased physical strain.  As soldiers are not supposed to fast in the field, I decided to just give up meat for the forty days leading up to The Nativity, and also failed magnificently at watching out for the more important aspects like the fast of the mouth (talking too much, or saying bad things), the fast of the eyes, etc.  Someday!  But not this time  :-\
 

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The term "strict fast" long puzzled me, too, I suppose because the first such day I encountered was Great and Holy Friday, when one should eat and drink nothing at all, if possible, at least until after the Burial Service.  Since then I've come to realize the general term means what Arystarcus and Cleveland have already noted. 

My parish purchased wall calendars from St. Tikhon's this year.  When I looked at mine I noticed it labeled the Eve of Epiphany, Elevation of the Holy Cross, etc., as "Strict Fast," but G&HF as "Strict Fast."
 

Fr. George

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I would even argue that Great and Holy Saturday would be considered the strictest fasting day of the entire year (which is ironic, since it is the only Saturday that is technically "Strict Fast"); on Great and Holy Friday the partaking of food is permitted at least, since there is no celebration of Liturgy in the Evening (although one can have Liturgy on the Liturgical day of Holy Friday)... But Holy Saturday, one is to not eat the entire day in anticipation of the Divine Liturgy in the evening - and since all are expected to be prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ on the Feast of Feasts, it should be a pretty universal thing.
 

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But Holy Saturday, one is to not eat the entire day in anticipation of the Divine Liturgy in the evening - and since all are expected to be prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ on the Feast of Feasts, it should be a pretty universal thing.
?? In the Russian tradition, at least, bread and wine are blessed after the morning liturgy and distributed to the faithful, and it's intended to be a (small) meal.
 

Fr. George

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Well - what you're encountering is what has happened to much of the Orthodox world in the past few centuries - the Anticipation...
The Morning Liturgy is supposed to be in the Evening, since the Vespers that precedes it is Paschal; but since we do things a half-day in anticipation during Holy Week, you have Liturgy on the physical morning of a day which is a day of Liturgical Prohibition (the Liturgical Day of Holy Saturday is the only day of the year when no Liturgies are allowed to be performed...). 

So the blessing of wine and bread after the Vesperal Liturgy for the people to eat is actually a holdover from the All-Night Vigil for Pascha!  The Vespers would happen with Liti and Artoclasia (procession of the Icon and the blessing of the Loaves) which would be distributed to strengthen the faithful for the long vigil.  I'm glad the Russians keep this part of the Tradition, because it has fallen out of practice for most of the Greek CHurches I have seen.
 

admiralnick

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In ACROD, fasting is deemed as - Abstenence from Meat and products containing meat

Strict fast is Abstenence from Meat AND Dairy products. On Holy Saturday, we simply observe a strict fast, but we can still have salad, non-dairy pasta, etc. We don't have liturgy Saturday, we have matins at 8pm. We then come back Sunday at 9:30AM for the Liturgy and afterwards we bless Pascha baskets. Diffent strokes for different jurisdictions.
 
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