Traditional fasting days this week

Started by Jayne, June 22, 2020, 05:57:24 PM

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This week Wednesday is the feast of St. John the Baptist, so it is not suitable for fasting. The previous day (Tues June 23), however, is the vigil.  In the past, the Vigil of St. John was a fast day.

Another traditional fast day coming up is the Vigil of Sts Peter and Paul.  Their feast day is June 29 and the vigil is usually the June 28.  However, this year the 28th falls on a Sunday when one should not fast.  Apparently, in this situation the vigil is transferred to the preceding Saturday.

These fast days have not been obligatory for quite some time, so nobody is required to do it.  I am just providing information for anyone interested in learning about older fasting traditions.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.


Anybody hear of fast before a feast?  Would anybody be interested in doing a fast day Aug 14th for The Feast of the Assumption Aug 15th, is there a particular novena we could start 9 days before...say Aug 6th?

Sorry I meant this for FAsting support group....can mods move or is it okay here?



The Dormition fast was established as preceding the great feasts of the Transfiguration of the Lord and of the Dormition of the Mother of God. It lasts two weeks—from August 1/14–August 14/27 (old style/new style).

The Dormition fast comes down to us from the early days of Christianity.

We find a clear reference to the Dormition fast in a conversation of Leo the Great from around the year 450 A.D. "The Church fasts are situated in the year in such a way that a special abstinence is prescribed for each time. Thus, for spring there is the spring fast ]—the Forty Days[Great Lent; for summer there is the summer fast... [the Apostles' fast]; for autumn there is the autumn fast, in the seventh month [Dormition fast]; for winter there is the winter fast [Nativity fast]."

St. Symeon of Thessalonica writes that, "The fast in August [Dormition fast] was established in honor of the Mother of God the Word; Who, foreknowing Her repose, ascetically labored and fasted for us as always, although She was holy and immaculate, and had no need for fasting. Thus, She especially prayed for us in preparation for being transported from this life to the future life, when Her blessed soul would be united through the Divine spirit with Her Son. Therefore, we also should fast and praise Her, emulating Her life, urging Her thereby to pray for us. Some, by the way, say that this fast was instituted on the occasion of two feasts—the Transfiguration and the Dormition. I also consider it necessary to remember these two feasts—one which gives us light, and the other which is merciful to us and intercedes for us."

The Dormition fast is not as strict as the Great Fast, but it is stricter than the Apostle's and Nativity fasts.

On Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays of the Dormition fast, the Church rubrics prescribe xerophagy, that is, the strictest fast of uncooked food (without oil); on Tuesdays and Thursdays, "with cooked food, but with no oil"; on Saturdays and Sundays wine and oil are allowed.

Until the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, when grapes and apples are blessed in the churches, the Church requires that we abstain from these fruits. According to the tradition of the holy fathers, "If one of the brethren should eat the grapes before the feast, then let him be forbidden for obedience's sake to taste of the grapes during the entire month of August."

On the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Church rubrics allow fish. After that day, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the fruits of the new harvest would always be included in the meals.

The spiritual fast is closely united with the bodily, just as our soul is united with the body, penetrates it, enlivens it, and makes one united whole with it, as the soul and body make one living human being. Therefore, in fasting bodily we must at the same time fast spiritually: "Brothers, in fasting bodily let us also fast spiritually, severing all union with unrighteousness," the Holy Church enjoins us.

The main thing In fasting bodily is restraint from abundant, tasty and sweet foods; the main thing in fasting spiritually is restraint from passionate, sinful movements that indulge our sensual inclinations and vices. The former is renunciation of the more nourishing foods for fasting food, which is less nourishing; the latter is the renunciation of our favorite sins for exercise in the virtues which oppose them.

The essence of the fast is expressed in the following Church hymn: "If you fast from food, my soul, but are not purified of the passions, in vain do we comfort ourselves by not eating. For if the fast does not bring correction, then it will be hateful to God as false, and you will be like unto the evil demons, who never eat."

The Great fast and the Dormition fast are particularly strict with regard to entertainment—in Imperial Russia even civil law forbade public masquerades and shows during these fasts.

The Dormition fast begins on the feast of the "Procession of the Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord."


Fascinating and of course I never heard of this before.  So food without oil could be salad with boiled eggs and cheese on tuesdays and thursdays and uncooked no oil could be just cheese.  Very tough.

Any suggestions for a novena?


I found this one online.  It looks pretty good:

Eternal Father, Thou hast graciously looked upon the humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and made her to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant we beseech Thee that we who honor her Assumption into the Kingdom of Heaven, may by her Motherly intercession also come to share in the inheritance of those whom Thou hast redeemed by the precious Blood of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother *Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord,* the Queen of the world,* the advocate,* the hope, and the refuge of sinners, *I have recourse today,* I who am the most miserable of all.* I render thee my most humble homage, 0 great Queen,* and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now,* particularly for having delivered me from hell,* which I have so often deserved.* I love thee, 0 most amiable Lady;* and for the love which I bear thee,* I promise to serve thee always,* and to do all in my power to make others love thee also.* Dearest Mother* bring before the throne of your beloved Son* the prayers and intentions I ask during this novena*

(Here we mention our intentions.)

I place in thee all my hopes; *I confide my salvation to thy care.* Accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle,*0 Mother of Mercy.* And since thou art so powerful with God,* deliver me from all temptations,* or rather obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death.* Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ.* Through thee I hope to die a good death.* 0 my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God,* I beseech thee to help me at all times,* especially at the last moment of my life.* Leave me not, I beseech thee,* until I am safe in heaven,* blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity.* Amen. So I hope. So may it be. (9 Hail Mary's)
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.


Oh that is lovely.  I will start this on Aug 7th!  anybody else care to join?

suggestions for an intention?


Quote from: diaduit on July 23, 2020, 09:39:13 AM
Fascinating and of course I never heard of this before.  So food without oil could be salad with boiled eggs and cheese on tuesdays and thursdays and uncooked no oil could be just cheese.  Very tough.

Any suggestions for a novena?

Strictly speaking, all Eastern-style fasting, which the Dormition Fast is, traditionally excludes meat, fish, dairy (including cheese), eggs, wine, AND oil. Different fasts have a few relaxed days: Saturday and Sunday during all four fasts, and Tuesday and Thursday on the lesser fasts (Nativity, Apostles, and Dormition). The degree of relaxation varies by fast. Xerophagy in strict monasteries is basically uncooked vegetables, fruits, and nuts. On Mount Athos in the summer months, a meal might simply be a large wedge of watermelon.
What shall we call you, O full of grace? * Heaven? for you have shone forth the Sun of Righteousness. * Paradise? for you have brought forth the Flower of immortality. * Virgin? for you have remained incorrupt. * Pure Mother? for you have held in your holy embrace your Son, the God of all. * Entreat Him to save our souls.


In the Western tradition, the vigil (Aug 14) was a fast day.  Here is an excerpt from a Remnant article:

QuoteAccording to the traditional discipline, prior to Vatican II, this entire day, August 14th, the Vigil of the Assumption, was a day of fast and complete abstinence. On Traditional Latin Mass fast days, such as today was, only one full meal was allowed. Two other meals were permitted to maintain one's health, but together should not equal a full meal. The complete abstinence, that was required on the Vigil of the Assumption, forbade the eating of meat, or of soups and gravies made of meat. Eating between meals was prohibited, but liquids, including fruit juices and milk, were allowed. Where health or the ability to perform one's work would be negatively impacted, the laws did not apply.

Pretty much all the major feast days had a vigil before them which involved fasting.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.