Byzantine Basics - Fasting Seasons
Quick! How many fasting seasons does the Byzantine calendar have? I'm not talking Fridays, I'm talking the multi-day fasting periods.
That's right, 4! The fasting seasons are the Great Fast (Lent), the Apostle's Fast (leading up to the fast of Sts Peter and Paul), Dormition Fast, and Philip's Fast (Advent). If you've been on these pages for a full liturgical calendar, you'll know that we highlight the beginning of each fast and sometimes the end of them because we're so excited.
Why do we fast? We fast for many reasons. We can use the fasting period to rely more on God instead of focusing on food and drink. We can help train our bodies self-denial, which in turn can train us to not give into temptation and deny sin. We can focus on prayer and sacrifice. Fasting can be a way of reminding us that earth is not our home, heaven is our home, and as excited as we get to have dairy back in our lives think of how much more excitement we'll have in heaven.
Have you noticed graces in your life after a fasting season?