The Dormition Fast – August 1st to 14th
Source: Facebook Page – Eparchy of Parma – July 31, 2020
August 1st is the start of one of the four yearly fasting periods for our Church. August 1st begins the Dormition Fast in the Byzantine Catholic Church. This particular fasting season is only 2 weeks long, ending on the Feast of Dormition, August 15th. It is a wonderful time for us to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Fest of the Dormition through prayer, fasting, and the reception of the Holy Mystery of Repentance. This feast is very important to Catholic because it shows us that we, like the Theotokos, are given the opportunity after death to be resurrected, body and soul, and live forever in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity. The Church encourages us to participate in the Dormition Fast to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Five Tips for a Successful Dormition Fast – August 1 – 14
Pray. Fast. Read. Confess.
Source: Facebook Post – St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, New Haven, CT – July 31-2020
“Father,” someone once asked their priest, “I have a difficult time observing the Dormition Fast. What should I do?”
“Well,” the priest responded, “just keep the first week, and then keep the second week, that should be enough.”
Is this acting a bit smart?
But there is much truth here. As we know, the Dormition Fast is just a total of two weeks. It’s an intense and necessary two weeks as the Church gathers together at the death bed of Mary, the ever-Virgin Mother of God.
Our Holy Church teaches us, that the gesture of those whom we love is near death: we ought to stop in our tracks and gather at their bedside. Today, we find ourselves at a nursing home, hospice or even the hospital.
The Apostles (except Thomas) and those with them had been scattered across the world spreading the Gospel were miraculously gathered together at the bedside of the Church’s Mother to bid her farewell from this life.
This is good spiritual advice: “We ought to keep this fast as carefully and attentively as possible because we love God’s Mother. She helps us, she loves us, and with the boldness of a mother she intercedes on our behalf to her Son and our God. It is not that Christ does not know our needs, but, because that is what a loving mother does!”
Are you convinced to keep the Dormition Fast? Here are a few tips:
Go to Church. Run to Church. We will be open for business. The feast of our Lord’s Transfiguration always falls in the midst of the fast.
Pray. Yes, pray. That you come to Church you will surely be praying, but, consider intensifying your daily devotions. Look in your prayer books for special prayers that you can add to God’s Mother during this season. Maybe even keep it up after the 14 days!
Fast. We got the whole way to #3 without even mentioning food. Do your best to abstain from meat and dairy as you are able. The Church provides strict directives as they always do, but, work together as a family to come up with a plan. At the least, do more than you have done in the past.
Read. Pick up for meditation the Bible; read a few paragraphs of the Catechism, “Christ Our Pascha”, read a biography of a saint: Metropolitan Sheptytsky, St. Nectarios, St. Mary of Paris; read a spiritual book like, “How to Be a Sinner” by Peter Bouteneff; read an account of the Virgin Mary’s passing and bodily assumption to heaven: “The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God” by Saint John Maximovitch. It is short only 70 pages.
Confess. If you have not been to the Mystery (Sacrament of) Confession in more than a month, then it is time to be confessed of your sins. This is the perfect opportunity to renew your relationship with Jesus Christ through sacramental confession.
This is a short but prayerfully intense season and our participation in it has the potential to greatly enhance our spiritual life. Do not allow this special time with God’s Mother to pass by without a thought, it is time to be with her, and to pray with her to her Son, and our God.
– from St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, New Haven, CT