Monday, March 12, 2007

Fasting Rules for St. Petroc Monastery, usus Cascadae

To tie in with our discussion of Orthodox fasting rules, here originally posted on Ari Adams' blog:

I have this, from the back of the calendar put out by the 'English Orthodox' of ROCOR Down Under, Saint Petroc Monastery (used also by their parishes and missions.) Julian Calendar, Western Rite - as in all the British world before 1745, and as it still is on Skellig Michael in Ireland.


The Advent Fast is for forty days, through to the eve of the Holy Nativity, during which period fish may be eaten. The exception to this is the Feast of Saint Finnian, Skellig Michael Monastery and Orthodox Monasticism in the West (25th of December) on which day the fast is entirely relaxed.

Lent begins on the Monday of the fifth week before Holy Week, and continues through Holy Week. Abstention from meat, fish and dairy products is observed, except on Palm Sunday and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 7th of April, when fish may be eaten. On Saturdays and Sundays of Lent, wine, oil and fish may be eaten. This selection of foods is applied to the other fast periods mentioned below, except when indicated otherwise.

The Fast of the Holy Apostles starts on Monday after of All Saints Day and ends on the celebration of Apostles Peter and Paul. The Fast of the Dormition runs for a fortnight up to the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Wednesday and Friday of every week throughout the year.

The day before the Epiphany.

The day of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.

Prescribed days of Prayer and Fasting

Ember Days. Four groups of three days each. Where these fall inside a more extensive fast, they are observed as strict days.

  1. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the Feast of Saint Lucy (27th of December).
  2. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the first Sunday of Lent.
  3. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following Whitsunday
  4. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (27th of September).

Rogation Days. The Major Rogation is the 25th of April and the Minor Rogations are the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Feast of the Ascension. On such days, as well as fasting, the Great Litany shall be sung in the church. This practice dates from about AD470.

And commentary from Fr. Hieromonk Michael [about the Church in England, on whose practices St. Petroc is based, not necessarily in all of the West - BJ]:

Originally, the western Church kept an Advent of six Sundays before the Nativity. Some date the change to the shorter Advent (in England) to the Norman Conquest...

...In the first millennium, Advent was begun from the feast of Saint Martin (11 Nov).

The fast before the Feast of Saint Peter and Paul - as it anciently was up until the reformation in England and as John Cosin wanted to restore (see his Durham Prayer Book) is added here.

...the relaxation of the fast for the major festival of Saint Finnian, Skellig Michael and monasticism in the west is deliberately elevated in order that divided families may celebrate together on the 25th [of December-BJ] without problems for anyone."


Ari adds, "I believe the rules I have posted are for the parishes and missions under their care or associated with them, and not the rules of the monastery itself."

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