Saturday, Feb. 25
4:00 PM ✞Theresa Phillips – Janet Golasewski
Sunday, Feb. 26 CHEESEFARE SUNDAY
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
Wednesday, Mar. 1
6:30 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, Nanticoke, PA
Friday, Mar. 3
4;00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
Saturday, Mar. 4
4:00 PM ✞Ihor Pacicznyk – Olympia Pasicznyk
Sunday, Mar. 5 FIRST SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
According to Byzantine tradition, the Lenten discipline consists of three separate parts:
1.) Corporal or External Fast, including the abstinence from certain foods, drink and amusements 2.) Spiritual or Internal Fast, which consists of abstinence from “all evil” -sin 3.) Spiritual Renewal achieved by the practice of virtues and good works.
Corporal fast, also called ascetical fast developed mostly under the influence of monastic discipline and became very rigid, as ascribed by St. Theodore Studite (d. 826): “During the Great Fast, we eat only once at about the ninth hour (3:00 P.M) taking only dry food and vegetables without oil; we do not drink wine, either; except on Saturday and Sunday, when we are also permitted to eat fish. St. Theodore, who followed a moderate monastic discipline, gives the following advice: “Concerning the quantity and quality of food, you should fast as much as your body can endure”. The same principal should be replied today since our Lenten Regulations prescribe only a token fasting.
In order to create a prayerful atmosphere during Lent, the Fathers insisted on a complete abstinence from all kinds of amusements, i.e. music, dances, parties during Lent and St. John Chrysostom chastised those who during the Great Fast “dared to attend horse-races”. This point of fast should be stressed today with the mania of entertainment besetting our generation.
Spiritual or Internal Fast, which is the abstinence from all sin and evil (especially from serious sin) in the most essential part of the fast. St. John Chrysostom taught the “value of fasting consists not so much in abstinence from food but rather in withdrawal from sinful practices. St. Basil the Great explains: “Turning away from all wickedness means keeping our tongue in check, restraining our anger, suppressing evil desires, and avoiding all gossip, lying and swearing. To abstain from these things herein lies the true value of fast!”
Spiritual Renewal, with the practice of the virtues and doing good works, must be the main objective of our fasting as suggested by St. Basil in his homily of fasting: “Accept fast as an experienced educator by whom the Church teaches piety”.
The Great Fast
Fast is one of the oldest and most venerable practices in the Church, which came to us through an interrupted tradition (St Basil, Horn on Fast I, S). The Great Fast can be described as a forty-day period of prayer, penance, and spiritual exercises in preparation for the proper celebration of Easter.
The Great Fast, as we know it today, is the result of a most complicated historical development, not all stages of which have been sufficiently explained. It seems that in the second century, the Church knew only a very short fast (a day or two) before the Pasch. During the third century the pre-paschal fast was extended to the entire week known to us as the Passion or Holy Week. The first mention of the Forty Days Fast is made in the fifth canon of the Council of Nicaea (325). From that time, the Forty Days Fast is discussed by many Church Fathers and St. Athanasius (d. 373) does not hesitate to say: “Anyone who neglects to observe the Forty Days Fast is not worthy to celebrate the Easter Festival’ (cf. Festal Letters XIX, 9)
The Synod of Laodicaea (about 360) imposed the strict obligation of fasting for forty days before Easter for the first time. By the end of the fourth century, the Great Fast, known to the Greeks as the “Tessaracoste” (forty Days) and the Romans as ‘Quadragesima”, was generally observed by the entire Church.
Originally, the forty-day period was computed from Good Friday, the day the Pasch of Crucifixion was celebrated, and then extended to six weeks. In Constantinople, when they transferred the solemn Baptism from Easter to the Saturday of Lazarus, the Lenten season of preparation also had to be anticipated by one week. Thus, according to the Byzantine practice, the Great Fast began seven weeks before Easter and ended on the Friday before the Saturday of Lazarus. At the Vespers of Lazarus we sing: “We have concluded the beneficial Forty Days (Lent) and we implore You, 0 Lover of Mankind, make us see the Holy Week of Your Passion and praise Your work (of redemption).” Liturgically, then, the Great Fast ends on the Friday before the Saturday of Lazarus and is exactly forty days long.
In the Roman Rite, Holy Week was included in the Lenten season and the Lenten season was of six-week duration. But later, when the Sundays in Lent were exempt from fasting in the West, Lent became only thirty-six days long. This situation was remedied in the seventh century by adding four more days of fasting at the beginning of the Lenten season with the first day of Lent on Ash Wednesday. This is the reason for the difference in the first day of Lent between the Byzantine Rite and the Roman Rite.
SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary Light is requested to burn the week of
February 25 – March 4 by Paul & Marian Rose in memory of brother Michael
BUILDING FUND: Our thanks to Nannas, Haines & Schiavo, P.A. and David/Margaret Cecoro for their donations to our Parish Building Fund in memory of Florence Kloap.
FIRST DAY OF GREAT LENT: The First day of Lent begins Monday, February 27th. The first day of The Great Fast and Good Friday are days of strict abstinence for Ukrainian Catholics – we are not permitted to eat any meat or dairy products all day long, and we should try to limit our consumption of food. All Fridays during The Great Fast are days of mandatory abstinence from all meat products. Wednesdays are also suggested as days of voluntary abstinence from meat products. Our fasting regulations are optional only for persons older than 59 and younger than 7. Everyone else is obliged to follow the rules of abstinence of our Church.