All church life of a Christian is painted inorthodox calendar. Every day is described there: what kind of food you can eat, whether there is a holiday or a day of remembrance of a certain saint. They are established by the church so that a person can rise above the worldly vanity, think about his future in eternity, join the services in the church. On great holidays and on the day of the angel, believers always try to take communion. It is also believed that all prayers and prayers will be accepted by the Lord with greater favor precisely on the eve of the holidays. And it is not accidental that these great days are often preceded by Christian fasts. The meaning of the believer's life is finding love, union with God, victory over passions and temptations. Fasting is given to us as an opportunity for purification, this is a period of special vigil, and the feast after it is a day of jubilation and thankful prayers for the mercy of God.
What are the Christian fasts and holidays? The year of church services consists of a fixed circle of events and the Easter Circle. All dates of the first are firmly established, whereas the events of the second depend on the date of Easter. It is this - the greatest holiday of all believers, bearing the meaning of the Christian faith, embodying the hope of a universal resurrection. This date is fickle, it is calculated every year according to Orthodox Easter. After this bright day, the twelve-day celebrations are important. There are twelve of them, three of them are transitory, they depend on the day of Easter. This is Palm Sunday, the Ascension and the Trinity. And the perpetual twelve holidays are Christmas, Epiphany, Fulfillment, Annunciation, Transfiguration, Assumption, Nativity of the Virgin, Exaltation, Introduction to the Temple of the Blessed Virgin. They are all connected with the earthly life of Christ and the Virgin Mary and are revered as a remembrance of the holy events that happened once. In addition to the twelve, great feasts are: Circumcision of the Lord, the day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Nativity of John the Baptist, the Beheading of John the Baptist, the Protection of the Blessed Virgin.
The periods of abstinence for believers are an inalienablepart of life. The very word "fast" comes from the Greek apastia, which in literal translation means "one who does not eat anything". But the restriction in food for Christians has little in common with a medical starvation or diet, because taking care of excess weight is absolutely nothing to do with it. The first mention of fasting in the Bible we find in the Old Testament, when Moses fasted 40 days before receiving commandments from the Lord. And Jesus spent the same amount of time in the desert, in hunger and loneliness, before going out to people with the words of his sermons. Fasting, they did not think about their physical health, but first of all about cleansing the mind and renouncing everything on earth.
It is not in our power to fast so strictly - without waterand food, but we have no right to forget the meaning of the fast. To us, sinful people, it is given for deliverance from passions, for understanding that a man is at first a spirit, and then a flesh. We must prove to ourselves that we can give up our favorite foods and products for the sake of achieving something higher. Restriction in food during fasting is only a help in the fight against sins. Learn to fight with your passions, bad habits, closely monitor yourself and not allow condemnation, evil, despondency, strife - that's what it means to fast.
The Church has established one-day posts andmany days. Wednesday and Friday of each week are the days when Orthodox people do not eat dairy and meat food, try to keep their thoughts clean and remember God. On Wednesday, we fast in memory of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, and on Friday - in remembrance of the crucifixion and sufferings of Christ. These one-day Christian fasts are fixed for good, they need to be observed all year round, with the exception of continuous weeks - weeks, during which abstinence is canceled for the glory of the great holidays. One-day fasting days are also set on the eve of certain holidays. A multi-day fasts four: Christmas (lasts in winter), Great (spring) and summer - Petrov and Uspensky.
The most strict and lasting is the GreatChristian fast before Easter. There is a version that it was established by the holy apostles after the death and miraculous resurrection of Jesus. Initially, Christians abstained from all food every Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday celebrated the resurrection of Christ for the liturgy.
Now the fast begins usually 48 days before Easter. Each week is endowed with a special spiritual meaning. Weeks, during which the strictest abstinence is prescribed - the first and last, the Passionate. It is named so because during these days, all the events of the life of Christ, preceding his death to the cross, death and resurrection are recalled. This is a period of special sorrow and intensified prayers, repentance. Therefore, as in the time of the apostles, Friday and Saturday of Holy Week imply the rejection of any food.
What are the rules of the Christian fast? Some believe that in order to fast, the priest's blessing is necessary. This is undoubtedly a good thing, but keeping fast is the duty of every Orthodox person, and if there is no possibility of taking a blessing, one must fast without it.
The main rule: abstain from evil physical and spiritual. The language is restrained from angry and unjust words, thoughts are from condemnation. This is the time when a person concentrates on himself, on understanding his sins, internally renouncing the world. In addition to food, the fasting person deliberately limits himself in entertainment: visits to cinemas, concerts, discos and other events are postponed for a while. Also it is undesirable to watch TV and read entertaining literature, abuse the Internet. Smoking, various alcoholic drinks and intimacy are excluded.
What can you eat in a Christian fast? It implies that food should be easier and cheaper than the one to which you are accustomed. In the old days, the money saved during the fasting on food, was sacrificed to the poor. Therefore, the fasting diet is based on cereals and vegetables, which are usually cheaper than meat and fish.
The Great and Uspensky posts are considered strict, andChristmas and Petrov - not strict. The difference is that during the last two on certain days it is allowed to eat fish, consume vegetable oil and even drink some wine.
Before you start the post, you should think aboutyour diet, so that the body does not feel a lack of vitamins and trace elements. In winter, there are a lot of them in sauerkraut, especially cabbage, and in summer - in fresh vegetables, fruits and greens. Cooking potatoes, zucchini, eggplants, carrots is better for a couple, in a multivark or grill - so they will keep all the useful substances. It is very good to combine stewed vegetables with porridges - it's tasty and useful. Do not forget about the greenery and seasonal fruits, and in winter - about dried fruits. The source of protein for this period can be legumes, nuts, mushrooms and soy.
Here comes the Great Lent of Christianity. What can not be eaten? Meat, poultry, any offal, sausage, milk and any dairy products, and eggs are banned. Vegetable oil and fish, too, except for some days. We'll have to give up on mayonnaise, sweet baking, chocolate, alcohol. There is a special meaning in refraining from the delicacy, adhering to the principle "the simpler the food, the better". Suppose you prepare a delicious salmon, which is more expensive than meat and very appetizing. Even if it is allowed to eat fish on this day, such a dish will be a violation of fasting, because lean food should be cheap and not stir up the passion of gluttony. And of course, you do not need to overeat. The church is instructed to take food once a day and not to its fill.
All these rules correspond to the monastic rule. There are many reservations for the fasting in the world.
So limit yourself to eating, as suggested bymonastic charter, it is very difficult for someone who is not ready for this morally. Therefore, you need to start with something small. To begin with, give up only meat. Or from some favorite dish or product. Refuse to overeating, from delicacies. This is very difficult, and the meaning is precisely the victory over oneself, in observance of some kind of restriction. It is important not to overestimate your strength and maintain a balance that will allow you to remain in a good mood and good health. It is better to eat a meal than to get irritated or angry with loved ones.
At first glance, Christian posts have much in commonhave with vegetarianism. But between them there is a big difference, which is primarily in the worldview, in the causes of the restriction in nutrition.
Vegetarianism is a way of life offeringrefusal to harm all living things. Vegetarians do not just not eat animal products, they also often refuse fur coats, leather bags and boots, advocate for animal rights. Such people do not eat meat not because they limit themselves, but because this is the principle of their life.
In Christian positions, on the other hand, the basic ideaabstinence from a certain food - a temporary restriction, bringing a feasible sacrifice to God. In addition, fasting days are accompanied by intense spiritual work, prayers, repentance. Therefore, talk about the similarity of these two concepts can only be in terms of nutrition. And the fundamentals and essence of vegetarianism and Christian fasting have nothing in common.</ p>>