Jump to content


Photo
* - - - - 177 votes

Lenten fast questions


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 David Naess

David Naess

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 93 posts

Posted 11 March 2008 - 06:55 PM

Since this is my first Orthodox Lent, I will probably stick several questions
into this thread.

Question #1 re: WINE...

Is the wine restriction only applicable to wine or does it
hold for all beers and spirits?

#2 Kris

Kris

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 383 posts

Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:36 PM

Is the wine restriction only applicable to wine or does it
hold for all beers and spirits?


In Met. Kallistos' introduction to the Lenten Triodion, he specifically states that it refers to all alcoholic beverages. However, I don't think this view is universal.

#3 Nina

Nina

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,149 posts

Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:42 PM

In Met. Kallistos' introduction to the Lenten Triodion, he specifically states that it refers to all alcoholic beverages.


In what I follow, it is the same. However for me it is not a sacrifice. :D

David, ask your Orthodox spiritual father/priest.

#4 David Naess

David Naess

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 93 posts

Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:47 PM

In what I follow, it is the same. However for me it is not a sacrifice. :D

David, ask your Orthodox spiritual father/priest.


Howdy Nina!

It's not a sacrifice for me either...
Just my knit-picky mindset wanting to get all of the facts right.

#5 Nina

Nina

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,149 posts

Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:52 PM

Howdy Nina!

It's not a sacrifice for me either...
Just my knit-picky mindset wanting to get all of the facts right.



:D :D :D
Mea culpa NOT!

I am misled by you to think it is a sacrifice because of the other thread on drinks and because you started with this particular field. See, I am placing all the guilt on you. :)

#6 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 12 March 2008 - 02:41 AM

Since this is my first Orthodox Lent, I will probably stick several questions
into this thread.

Question #1 re: WINE...

Is the wine restriction only applicable to wine or does it
hold for all beers and spirits?


Yes, it should. It normally is applied in this way.

After all there seems little point during Lent in refraining from wine but not from beer & or spirits.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#7 Robert Hegwood

Robert Hegwood

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 297 posts

Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:03 AM

It is interesting though that the consensus doesn't seem quite as firm with regard to oil. As I've seen it Greeks tend to only count olive oil but permit other kinds where as Russians do not allow any kind of cooking oil. The distinction seems to be in how "foods of luxury" are being defined. For the Greeks only olive oil is truly luxurious, but the Russians appear to take the attitude oil is oil we fast from oil.

Granted I could be mistaken or grossly overgeneralizing.

#8 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:50 AM

Russians do indeed regard any oil as oil. Some do not regard beer in the same way as wine and spirits, but then, Russians think beer is a harmless soft drink!

#9 Nina

Nina

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,149 posts

Posted 12 March 2008 - 12:19 PM

Russians do indeed regard any oil as oil.


Many Greeks that I know do too.

#10 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,827 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:57 PM

Many Greeks that I know do too.


I have yet to come across any Greeks, where I live, or in Greece, who make a distinction between olive oil and other oils when it comes to fasting.

#11 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 12 March 2008 - 09:33 PM

In Canada it is very common - actually it is so 'common' that I was going to write it is universal- to make a distinction between olive/or heavy oils and other lighter oils such as vegetable or canola oil.

From so many writing of this rule the other way around I wonder if this is something that happened in Canada where it is still winter until sometimes Pascha. (one year we had a mini-blizzard on Pascha night).

Perhaps as happened in Russia in the old times, a lighter interpretation was made, due to cold, availability of food- and even of one's psychological state. I recall at seminary in Pennsylvania such a wonderful feeling it was to see and hear green & warm sunshine early in Great Lent. I had never experienced such a thing before. Here in some parts of Canada you are still home-bound until well into April/May.

This alerts us that many complex factors are at work in the local fasting rule.

By the way in just confirming this 'oil rule' with the senior Russian reader of our parish he informed me that there is a story that Old Believers would interpret that we can eat bivalves during Great Lent as also referring to walnuts.

If at this time of year you see some of your brothers & sisters in Christ buried in mountains of walnut shells you know why they do this.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#12 Cristina Novakovic

Cristina Novakovic

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:46 AM

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, I have to ask this. Is oil a strict fasting rule for everyone?

In Romania I used to know that it's really for monasteries not for lay people. It would be indeed very strict. But maybe I just didn't know enough? In that case I have never fasted apropriately!

Only recently I have found out about shell fish being allowed during fasting. Isn't that strange? How come shellfish is ok, but oil is not? Oil is from vegetables, be they olives or other. And shell fish really fills you up much more.

#13 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,827 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:54 AM

One reason, Cristina, why oil is not allowed on certain days is because oil (of any kind) is so useful in making food more palatable. Food can have oil added to it during or after cooking (think of boiled or steamed greens with a dressing of oil, and lemon juice or vinegar), food can be fried in it, and the starting point for so many vegetable dishes and sauces is to gently fry chopped onions in oil until tender, then add the other ingredients as called for. Omitting the oil results in a much plainer dish.

#14 Robert Hegwood

Robert Hegwood

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 297 posts

Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:23 AM

The reason for shellfish goes back to St. John the Forerunner. He lived on locusts (a kind of insect) and wild honey. Shellfish are just bugs that live in the sea. If bugs were good enough for St. John to fast with they are good enough for us. That said...some of those sea bugs are considered expensive and luxurious fare in many locales. It might be best to limit oneself to those common to where one lives like shrimp or crayfish near the sea or low lying areas, oysters too, and maybe mussels if abundant in fresh water nearby. Lobster might be fine and common in main but its pretty pricey in kansas...so maybe it shouldn't be on the menus. With shellfish in this day and age it is easy to abide by the letter of the fast and violate its spirit. Just use discenment, consult with your pastor or spiritual father about what is appropriate for you. That would probably be best.

#15 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:34 AM

Oil also makes food more heavy which is not good for a prayerful disposition at any time. Talk of oil amuses me. Being brought up in a small industrial town in the north of England in the 1950's and 60's, I had no idea about oil, olive or otherwise, which we did not have for cooking or at all. Vegetables were boiled and that was that. I never tasted oilve oil until I was about 21 and had met sophisticated people at university. Years ago, I read about an Athonite monk who said he'd not had oil for 11 years. My reaction was, so what?! It's off topic but (as was normal then) we didn't have central heating in our house until I was 14 - just coal fires downstairs. My bedroom was north-facing and in winter, when I woke up there was ice on the inside of the window. So - early practice in ascesis! Gone soft, now!

#16 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:46 AM

With shellfish in this day and age it is easy to abide by the letter of the fast and violate its spirit.


Robert is quite right, of course. We must take care to avoid pharisaicism. The point about shellfish is that they are bloodless invertebrates, but lobster must be a no-no! We recently found a delicatessen in town which sells a lot of produce from Russia (including Russian vodka!) and eastern Europe, so we've stocked up on things such as salted cabbage and gherkins (but not vodka). At least the labels give me some practice in reading Russian!

#17 Kris

Kris

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 383 posts

Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:56 AM

The reason for shellfish goes back to St. John the Forerunner. He lived on locusts (a kind of insect) and wild honey. Shellfish are just bugs that live in the sea. If bugs were good enough for St. John to fast with they are good enough for us.


According to Blessed Theophylact, locusts were a type of herb, or the fruit of wild pod-bearing trees. The footnotes state that this is most probably the carub tree, native to Palestine.

The reason is, as Andreas says, that they are bloodless.

#18 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:21 AM

I suppose caviar, though 'legal', must be in the same category as lobster. However, my wife's mother has a friend who works for a company that supplies red caviar to the military, and we've got half a kilo in the fridge!

#19 Effie Ganatsios

Effie Ganatsios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,725 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:33 AM

Just a few points :

All oil is the same, whether it is olive oil, sesame oil, or whatever.

Wine means all alchoholic drinks.

In order to ensure that we get enough protein during Lent, we can substitute pulses, dried nuts (not salted) i.e. almonds, walnuts, and wholemeal grains i.e. pearl barley or cracked wheat (bulgar). Lots of veggies and fruit should also be added to our everyday diets.

Lots of people put on weight during the lenten period because they tend to eat a lot of bread. You have to be a little careful of this.

Lent means moderation in all things. Robert is quite right. Discernment is required.

As I wrote in a post on another thread about fasting (what is a strict fast?) if you have a chronic health problem you need to consult with your priest. He will tell you what is appropriate for you and what isn't.

Effie

Effie

#20 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:40 AM

'Smoothie' type fruit drinks are filling and good.

Putting on weight can indeed happen. St Silouan said, grace loves a lean body. That leaves me out!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users