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Post by Jocose »

Fasting, or abstaining from food, was a discipline practiced by our Lord himself. It was after forty days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness, that Jesus victoriously faced the temptations of the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). He asked his disciples to use fasting, coupled with prayer, as a means to achieve spiritual victories (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29; Luke 2:37), and the example of the Lord was followed by the disciples in their apostolic ministry and instruction to the early Christians (Acts 14:23; 27:9; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 6:5, 11:27).

In its most basic sense, fasting is abstinence from food. But it is far more than that. It helps us to open our minds and souls to the guidance of the Spirit and to break away from our captivity to bodily appetites and selfish desires. Through fasting we overcome the burdens and pressures of physical gratification that are placed upon us in our world, and through our faith in Christ we are renewed and transformed into the holy people God created us to be.

Fasting is a regular practice for Orthodox Christians. Fast days and periods have been established by the Church throughout the year to help us direct our hearts and minds toward the life of prayer and worship, our spiritual needs, and the condition of our souls and relationship with God. During most weeks, Wednesday and Friday are fast days. On these days, we are guided to abstain from meat, dairy products and oil and wine. On some days, fish, wine, and oil may be permitted if a specific feast falls on a Wednesday or Friday or a portion of a fast is not as strict as other times.

The calendar and practice of the Church has fasting periods, which include the forty days of Great Lent and Holy Week, before Pascha, the Nativity Fast (November 15-December 24), the Apostles Fast (the Monday after the Sunday of All Saints to June 28) and the Dormition Fast (August 1-14). Because there is a great diversity in fasting disciplines people observe you should consult your parish priest about how to incorporate the discipline of fasting into your religious life.

In the practice of fasting it is important to remember that we are not fasting simply for the sake of fasting. Our observance of the fasting days and periods of the Church is for our spiritual growth and greater communion with God. No matter how austere our fast or how much in accordance our fast may be with purely technical "rules," it is void of faith and grace if we are not also committed to prayer and worship, study and growth in our knowledge of our Faith, and philanthropic and charitable acts.

As Orthodox Christians, let us cherish fasting as a vital part of our spiritual lives and practice. Let us experience the great joys that come through fasting as it contributes to a life of repentance and prayer. And in following the wise and spiritual traditions of the Church, let us offer all "to fight the good fight, to walk the way of fasting...to prove ourselves victorious over sin, and without condemnation to reach our goal of worshiping the Holy Resurrection," our goal of eternal life. (Prayer of the Presanctified Liturgy).

From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America's Faith & Life Series Fasting in the Orthodox Church.
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The Prayer Upon Rising From Sleep

This morning prayer should be read immediately upon rising from sleep.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Glory to You, our God, and our Hope, glory to You.

Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Who are everywhere present and Who fills all things, the Treasury of good things and Giver of life; come and abide in us and cleanse us from every stain; and save our souls, O good One. Amen.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us of our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Your name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Then the following Trinitarian Hymns

Having risen from sleep we fall before You, good One, and sing the angelic hymn to You, powerful One: Holy, holy, holy are You, O God; through the Theotokos have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Having aroused me from bed and sleep, Lord, enlighten my mind, and open my heart and my lips, that I may sing to You, Holy Trinity: Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O God; through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Suddenly the Judge will come, and the deeds of each will be exposed; but with fear we cry out in the middle of the night: Holy, Holy, Holy are You, O God; through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy. (12)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Rising from sleep, I thank You, Holy Trinity, for in the multitude of Your goodness and compassion, You were not angry with me the idler and sinner, nor have You destroyed me in my transgressions, but You maintained Your usual love for mankind; and when I was prostrate in despair, You raised me up to offer this morning prayer and to glorify Your power. And now enlighten the eye of my mind; open my mouth to contemplate Your words, and to understand Your commandments, and to do Your will, and to sing to You in heartfelt confession, and to praise Your all-holy name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Another Prayer

Glory to You, King, God almighty, for through Your divine and loving providence You have made me, the sinner and unworthy one, to rise from sleep and obtain entrance into Your holy house. Accept, Lord, also the voice of my prayer as You accept those of Your holy and noetic powers; and graciously receive praise, not from my defiled lips, but from a pure heart and humble spirit so that with the bright lamp of my soul, I may be in the company of the wise virgins and glorify You, God the Word, Who are glorified in the Father and the Spirit. Amen.
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Post by Del »

Fasting together as a community is a valuable discipline. It builds up the Christian community as much as it deepens the practical faith and virtue of individual Christians. (Moslems learned this from the Eastern Christians.)

Christians in the West used to fast together too. The practice fell off during the Puritan purge as being "too Catholic," and eventually Catholics lost the discipline as being "too old-fashioned."
==================================

The ancient prayers are simple and wise. Recite them slowly and meditate upon them.

Thank you for encouraging us with a morning prayer. A morning offering of gratitude does wonders for easing the cares of the day.
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Post by Jocose »

It's Wednesday and today is a good day and a strict fast day.

Refrain from eating meat, fish, oil, wine, dairy, and eggs. You can do it! (but there is absolutely no guilt or shame if for some reason you aren't able to hold to it)

Fasting helps us direct our hearts and minds toward the life of prayer and worship, our spiritual needs, and the condition of our souls and relationship with God.

ONE WORD:
Wake up Pray up.
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Post by Del »

Jocose wrote: 02 Nov 2022, 03:43 It's Wednesday and today is a good day and a strict fast day.

Refrain from eating meat, fish, oil, wine, dairy, and eggs. You can do it! (but there is absolutely no guilt or shame if for some reason you aren't able to hold to it)

Fasting helps us direct our hearts and minds toward the life of prayer and worship, our spiritual needs, and the condition of our souls and relationship with God.

ONE WORD:
Wake up Pray up.
Nov. 2 is All Souls Day. I will join your fast -- offering up in solidarity and support for the Suffering Souls. Thank you for this invitation.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
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Prayers before sleep

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Glory to you, our God, glory to you. Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who are present everywhere filling all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life, come and dwell in us. Cleanse us of every stain, and save our souls, gracious Lord.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3)

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, forgive our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Now that the day has come to a close, I thank you, Lord, and entreat that the evening and the night be sinless. Grant this to me, Savior, and save me.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Now that the day has passed, I glorify you, Master, and I entreat that the evening with the night be without offense. Grant this to me, Savior, and save me.

Now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Now that the day has ended, I praise you, Holy One, and entreat that the evening and the night be undisturbed. Grant this to me, Savior, and save me.

Lord, have mercy (×12)
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Post by Jocose »

The Service of Daily Midnight Prayer

Morning Prayer

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Glory to You, our God, and our Hope, glory to You.

Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Who are everywhere present and Who fills all things, the Treasury of good things and Giver of life: come and abide in us and cleanse us from every stain; and save our souls, O good One. Amen.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us of our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Your name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (12)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Come, let us worship and fall down before our King and God.

Come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God.

Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God

Psalm 50 (51)

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight, that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, these, O God, You will not despise.

Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.

Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
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Post by Jocose »

TODAYS READINGS FOR NOV 3

Epistle
St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 1:24-29, 2:1

Brethren, now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ. For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me. For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you.

Gospel
Luke 11:47-54; 12:1
The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, "Woe to you! for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,' that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering." As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things, lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say. In the meantime, when so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, he began to say to his disciples first, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
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Post by Jocose »

The Nativity fast is coming up!

The Nativity Fast is one of four main fasting periods throughout the ecclesiastical year.

It begins on November 15 and ends on December 24 (where The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus begins!)

By abstaining from foods like meat, fish, dairy products, olive oil, and wine (beer, whisky, or even for some of you; White Claws..) and focusing on prayer we can direct our minds towards God and our spiritual conditions and focus on our relationship with him.

God is good.
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Post by Yohanan »

Thank You for Your posts, I have enjoyed reading them.
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