Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fasting For Lent

On the observance of lent
The Syriac Orthodox Church in the Middle East and its disaspora
follows the Julian calendar in observing Easter and the great lent
prior to it. The Syriac Orthodox Church in India and its diaspora
observes Easter according to the Gregorian calendar (the switch
happened in 1953). This year Easter falls on April 16th according to
the Gregorian calendar and a week later according to the Julian. The
Great Lent in the Gregorian calendar starts on the seventh Monday
prior to Easter (In 2006, Julian - Mar 6, Gregorian - Feb 27th). (To
learn more about the Syriac Orthodox calendar, go to
http://sor.cua.edu/Calendar).

Traditionally, the Church observes fasting from food from dawn until
late afternoon and practises abstinence from all animal products
(diary, poultry, fish and meat) during lent. Certain relaxations were
permitted in the middle of the last century. This makes it an
obligation for the faithful to observe strict fasting only on the
first 10 and last 10 days as well as all Wednesdays and Fridays.
During other days in between fish is permitted in the diet.

Thomas Joseph

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