May 29, 2024

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

+ BP

How strange it seems in our world today that some Orthodox are still fasting and some “Orthodox” (I use the terms loosely, in the first reference I find a minority and in the second reference I find none) are feasting.

Some have totally lost their perspective. I remember a certain Athonite hieromonk from many many years ago. He was one of the commemorators of the “patriarch” (not a zealot father of Mount Athos). He was the spiritual son of one of the known Athonite “Elders”. It was about this time of the year and he was gleefully telling me how he had been to a state church convent and served their “Christmas” for them and returned to Mount Athos to wait for another celebration of the Nativity.

Interested, I started to ask him questions. “You celebrated Nativity for the nuns? And you ate at their joyful trapeza?” “Of course”, he answered. “So you started fasting 13 days later than the nuns, but you ate with them at their but not really your feast?”, I asked. “Yes, yes”, he responded. I continued, “And now you have returned to Mount Athos and in another 10 days or so you will celebrate again the feast of the Nativity?” “Yes,” he replied. I continued, “ May I ask one more question?” “Go ahead” was his response. “I’m simply curious which feast will you really feel? The one at the nuns or the one on Mount Athos? You completed the fast in neither place and you will have served the glorious feast of the Nativity twice in thirteen days.” He didn’t have an answer for me!

“…in case we celebrate Pascha before the equinox, will make us observe Easter twice in the same year; and, in that event, we should consequently be marking the death of the Son of God twice. But if we celebrate it after the equinox, we observe but one Pascha, and consequently denounce but one death of Christ. That is why the Apostles themselves, in their Injunctions (Bk. V, ch. 17), say the follow-ing: “Brethren, you must fix the days of Pascha accurately, with all diligence, after the turn of the equinox, and not commemorate one suffering twice a year, but once a year Him who died but once.”” – From the Interpretation of Apostolic Canon VII

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