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THE GREAT FAST IN THE BYZANTINE CHURCHES A Joyful Fast : Sessional Hymn t.2 Let us begin the all-holy season of fasting with joy; Let us shine with the.

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Presentation on theme: "THE GREAT FAST IN THE BYZANTINE CHURCHES A Joyful Fast : Sessional Hymn t.2 Let us begin the all-holy season of fasting with joy; Let us shine with the."— Presentation transcript:

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2 THE GREAT FAST IN THE BYZANTINE CHURCHES

3 A Joyful Fast : Sessional Hymn t.2 Let us begin the all-holy season of fasting with joy; Let us shine with the bright radiance of the holy commandments of Christ our God: with the brightness of love and the splendour prayer, The strength of good courage & the purity of holiness! So, clothed in garments of light, Let us hasten to the holy third day Resurrection,// That shines on the world with the glory of eternal life!

4 The Great Fast: the time of Alleluia Themes The Bright Sadness Return to Paradise 1 st & 2d Sections Repentance Journey back to Christ Solidarity with Christ Journeying WITH Christ Com-passion

5 St John of the Ladder: Put aside Worldly grief to embrace Godly grief The blessed joy-grief of holy compunction Christ, by the light of the fear of You, renew my soul, which is in darkness and burning with bitterness; show me the light of salvation so that I may glorify You forever. Having despised the fullness of passions, my humble soul, be nourished by food of good deeds. Take joy in the sweetness of fasting, avoiding the woe of sweetness, and be enriched forever.

6 Penitential Practice 1. Prayer 2. Fasting 3. Helping the Poor

7 Focus and Flavour The WONDERFUL penitential practices of the Great Fast (so much beloved by converts) Focus & Flavour our days and nights On all levels & in all aspects Spiritual, Psychological & Physical By prayer, fasting, and almsgiving A total “adrenaline Rush”

8 Prayer Private prayer: eg the Prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian 聖義範的祈禱 ( 四旬期內每天誦念 ) 主,我生命的主宰!求你從我身上除去懶惰、 冷淡、爭權及空談的心,但賜我潔德、謙遜、 忍耐和愛情之神。 是的,我的主和君王,求你使我看見自己的錯 誤,而不是判斷我的弟兄。因為你堪當常受讚 美,從今日至永遠,及世之世。亞孟!

9 Liturgical Prayer Presanctified Gifts Liturgy The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete –In the 1 st Week (in 4 parts) –In the 5 th Week in its entirely –Plus the Life of St Mary of Egypt Soul Saturday Parastas

10 Liturgical Prayer II Great Fast Vespers & Matins –In parishes, they replace Eucharist Akathist to the Theotokos –Laudation of the Theotokos Saturday

11 Fasting: Amount: reduction Abstinence: from all alcohol, olive oil, vertebrates = meat, fish, dairy, eggs (Sat & Sun: oil & wine allowed) Traditionally the Latin rite set the low mark Byzantine Churches set the high mark

12 Helping the Poor: the Byzantine Churches have an long and ancient tradition of Helping the Poor Cf. St John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria individual level of charity: Diakonia Systemic Social Justice: Makro-Diakonia

13 St Clement of Alexandria The aged, the orphans, the widows, the men who wear the uniform of love, These select to be your spiritual bodyguard, unarmed, unstained with blood, your sure defence against shipwreck or disease or robber's attack or demon's might.

14 St John Chrysostom: For St John Chrysostom, the poor actually represent the person of Christ. "Because he is a poor man," Chrysostom argues, "feed him; because Christ is then fed, feed him." Do you really wish to pay homage to Christ's Body? Then do not neglect him when he is naked. At the same time that you honour him here [in church] with hangings made of silk, do not ignore him outside when he perishes from cold and nakedness. For the One who said "This is my body"...also said, "When I was hungry you gave me nothing to eat.". For is there any point in his table being laden with golden cups while he himself is perishing from hunger? First fill him when he is hungry and then set his table with lavish ornaments. Are you making a golden cup for him at the very moment when you refuse to give him a cup of cold water? Do you decorate his f table with cloths flecked with gold, while at the same time you neglect to give him what is necessary for him to cover himself?...I'm saying all this not to forbid your gifts of munificence, but to admonish you to perform those other duties at the same time, or rather before, you do these. No one was ever condemned for neglecting to be munificent: for the neglect of others hell itself is threatened, as well as unquenchable fire,...The conclusion is: Don't neglect your brother in his distress while you decorate his house. Your brother is more truly his temple than any church building.

15 St John Chrysostom: Christ says to us: It is such a slight thing I beg....Nothing very expensive....Bread, a roof, words of comfort. [If the rewards I promised hold no appeal for you] then show at least a natural compassion when you see me naked, and remember the nakedness I endured for you on the cross....I fasted for you then, and I suffer hunger for you now; I was thirsty when I hung on the cross, and I thirst still in the poor, in both ways to draw you to myself and to make you humane for your own salvation.

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