Δευτέρα, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2015

«Un sì dolce morire...» • Αθήνα


«Σὲ μιὰ στιγμὴ ἡ καρδιὰ σβήνει
ἡ γλώσσα σιγεῖ, βουβὴ
καὶ κάθε αἴσθηση σὰ σαστισμένη
ἀφουγκράζεται νὰ νοιώσει
ἔναν θάνατο τόσο γλυκύ...»

29 Νοεμβρίου • Πάτρα (bit.do/unsidolce-patra)
1 Δεκεμβρίου • Αθήνα (το παρόν)
5 Δεκεμβρίου • Θεσσαλονίκη (bit.do/unsidolce-thessaloniki)

Μαδριγάλια του Philippe Verdelot (1480/5–1530/2)
σε μεταγραφή του Adriaan Willaert (1490–1562)
κ΄ μουσική για λαούτο του Francesco da Milano (1497–1543)

Ιάσων Μαρμαράς • τραγούδι
Paul Beier • αναγεννησιακό λαούτο

Ήταν μια ζεστή μέρα του Αυγούστου. Στην εξοχή της Τοσκάνης, η μοναδική ταβέρνα του μικρού χωριού της Chiusure είχε μόλις ανοίξει για το μεσημέρι. Ήταν η δεύτερη φορά που ένας κοινός μας φίλος μάς έφερνε εκεί να γευτούμε τις απλές απολαύσεις, το φαΐ και το κρασί της τοσκανικής εξοχής. Φρέσκα σύκα, καντουτσίνι και γλυκό βινσάντο είχαν πάρει τη θέση του μεσημεριανού μας φαγητού στο τραπέζι όταν ο Paul άρχισε να κουρδίζει το αναγεννησιακό του λαούτο. Τραγουδήσαμε μερικά μαδριγάλια στη μικρή μας παρέα και σε μερικούς ντόπιους που άκουγαν σαν υπνωτισμένοι τον Πετράρχη στους γλυκούς τόνους του λαούτου και της φωνής. Στην αγκαλιά της γλυκειάς καλοκαιρινής ραστώνης ελευθερώθηκαν γάργαρα στολίδια που ανακαλούσαν μια άλλη εποχή – ή μήπως τ’ ανακαλούσε αυτή;

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Θέατρο Πόρτα
Λεωφόρος Μεσογείων 59, ATHINA

Προπώληση εισιτηρίων:
www.viva.gr • τηλ. 11876 • Public • Παπασωτηρίου • Seven Spots • Ιανός • Reload • Media Markt • Θεάτρο Πόρτα

https://www.facebook.com/events/914780091923905/

Όπερα Νέων‎ - Cosi Fan Tutte


Συναυλία Αγάπης για την στήριξη του Φιλανθρωπικού Σωματείου “Κοινωνική Μέριμνα Μοσχάτου - Διονύσιος Θεοφιλάτος”
at 8:00pm  




                                                                                                          
Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο Μοσχάτου
Κωνσταντινουπόλεως & Σολωμού, 18345 Athens, Greece
Η Όπερα Νέων σε συνεργασία με την Chamber Symphony Orchestra παρουσιάζουν την όπερα του W. A. Mozart, Cosi fan tutte, σε λιμπρέτο του Lorenzo Da Ponte, μια ξεκαρδιστική όπερα στα Ιταλικά με Ελληνικούς υπερτίτλους.

Είσοδος με προσκλήσεις που θα διατεθούν από το σωματείο “Κοινωνική Μέριμνα Μοσχάτου - Διονύσιος Θεοφιλάτος” (Κοραή 40, Μοσχάτο)Τηλ. 210 9418193 – 210 9415663
Πληροφορίες www.operanewn.gr | www.pianoplusfestival.gr

Μουσική διεύθυνση ΝΙΚΟΣ ΑΘΑΝΑΣΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ
Σκηνοθετική επιμελεια ΜΑΡΙΑ ΛΥΜΠΕΡΑΚΟΥ 
Fiordiligi Μαρία Λυμπεράκου 
Dorabella Κάλλυ Λαμπαδίτη 
Ferrando Αναστάσιος Στέλλας 
Guglielmo Κωνσταντίνος Ραφαηλίδης
Despina Μαριάντζελα Χατζησταματίου
Don Alfonso Αναστάσιος Λαζάρου
Γηραιός Don Alfonso Βασίλης Μουτσόπουλος
Συνοδεία πιάνου - μουσική προετοιμασία Μαριλίνα Τζελέπη 

Γραφιστική επιμέλεια Ανδρέας Ξενόπουλος
Οργάνωση παραγωγής ΟΠΕΡΑ ΝΕΩΝ

https://www.facebook.com/events/150690011956119/

Σάββατο, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2015

Hommage an Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


"Hommage an Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart"

Prof. Justus Frantz, Klavier
Dr. Dariusz Mikulski, Horn und Dirigent 
Ksenia Dubrovskaya, Violine
Maria Yavroumi, Klavier
Niederschlesische Philharmonie Jelena Góra (Hirschberg)


W. A. MOZART
• Ouvertüre zu Figaros Hochzeit
• Hornkonzert Nr.3 Es-Dur, KV447
• Violinkonzert Nr.4 D-Dur, KV218

• Klavierkonzert Nr.23 A-Dur, KV488
• Konzert für 2 Klaviere Nr.10, Es-Dur KV 365


Am 9. November 2014, zum 25. Jahrestag des Mauerfalls, war Justus Frantz zum ersten Mal in Reini- ckendorf zu Gast. Neben seiner herausragenden Musik unterhielt er das Publikum auch mit seinen ganz persönlichen Erinnerungen an den 9. November 1989. Am Ende des Konzerts versprach er wie- derzukommen. Zum Nikolaustag ist es nun soweit: Erneut trifft der unermüdliche Musikvermittler und Visionär des Klassik-Musiklebens mit Dariusz Mikulski zusammen. Zusammen mit dem Philhar- monischen Orchester aus Jelena Góra und den Solistinnen Ksenia Dubrovskaya und Maria Yavroumi widmen sie sich dem umfangreichen Schaffen Mozarts, zum Teil auch vierhändig am Klavier.
Justus Frantz ist seit Jahrzehnten ein international erfolgreicher Pianist, Dirigent hervorragender Klangkörper und künstlerischer Leiter der 1995 von ihm gegründeten und von Leonard Bernstein so- wie Yehudi Menuhin inspirierten Philharmonie der Nationen. Ksenia Dubrovskaya, in Moskau geborene Geigerin, ist regelmäßig auf großen Festivals zu Gast, Preisträgerin des Tschaikowsky-Wettbewerbs und leidenschaftliche Kammermusikerin. Maria Yavroumi ist eine
der talentiertesten griechischen Pianistinnen der jungen Generation. Dariusz Mikulski wurde in Polen, Deutschland und Österreich als Hornist und Dirigent ausgebildet. Er ist ein immer wieder gern gesehener Gast in Reinickendorf.


https://www.facebook.com/events/719674601495192/

Πέμπτη, 19 Νοεμβρίου 2015

ΣΕ Α' ΠΡΟΣΩΠΟ Φωτεινή Τομαή

Φωτεινή Τομαή

Είναι ωραίο να μαθαίνει κανείς την Ιστορία με γιώτα κεφαλαίο! Ανόθευτη, μέσα από τις πηγές της και ανεπεξέργαστη, μακριά από υποκειμενικές αξιολογήσεις, πολιτικές ή άλλες σκοπιμότητες. Η σοφή, κατά την άποψή μου, παρατήρηση Ευρωπαίου φιλοσόφου ότι η Ιστορία διδάσκει αλλά δυστυχώς δεν βρίσκει συχνά μαθητές, αναβιώνει το ερώτημα που έχει βασανίσει αρκετούς: επαναλαμβάνεται, λοιπόν, η Ιστορία; Προσωπικά, πιστεύω πως ναι. ΙδιαίτεραΑΝ σταθούμε ελληνοκεντρικά και παρακολουθήσουμε τα βήματά της στο σύγχρονο γίγνεσθαι. Κανενός άλλου λαού της Ευρώπης, για να σταθούμε στην ήπειρο όπου ανήκουμε, η Ιστορία δεν έμοιασε με ατελείωτο requiem. Γεμάτη εκκωφαντικές νίκες και οδυνηρές ήττες. Και όμως! Ελάχιστα φάνηκε πως διδαχθήκαμε από αυτήν, τόσο ως λαός όσο και οι κυβερνήτες του τόπου μας.
Αυτή την Ιστορία θέλησα ν’ αποκαλύψω μέσα από μακρόχρονη έρευνα στα διπλωματικά έγγραφα της χώρας συγγράφοντας επί εννέα ολόκληρα χρόνια πάνω από 500 δοκίμια, κατανεμημένα σε τέσσερις εκδόσεις. Συχνά χρειάστηκε να βγω έξω από τα σύνορα, να ανατρέξω σε πηγές τής πέραν του Ατλαντικού υπερδύναμης, να διασταυρώσω στοιχεία και θέσεις για τη χούντα της Αθήνας ή το μέγα ζήτημα της Κύπρου. Στον τέταρτο τόμο, που μόλις κυκλοφόρησε, με τίτλο ο οποίος παραπέμπει στον Χίτλερ και την τακτικίστικη στρατηγική του καθυπόταξης της Ευρώπης, ο αναγνώστης θα διαπιστώσει μέσα από ιστορικά παράλληλα της εποχής ομοιότητες που τρομάζουν και ανησυχούν τον κόσμο σήμερα. Το θεματολόγιο είναι ευρύ και εξαιρετικά επίκαιρο με όσα συμβαίνουν γύρω μας την τελευταία πενταετία: από τους διά σπάθης αποκεφαλισμούς των φανατικών στον χώρο της Μ. Ανατολής, το ασταθές πολιτικό σκηνικό στο εσωτερικό με τις επαναλαμβανόμενες εκλογές, τον κυλιόμενο εξωτερικό δανεισμό της χώρας που ακολούθησε μετά τη Μικρασιατική Καταστροφή μέχρι και τη σχεδιαζόμενη δολοφονία Καραμανλή, του γηραιότερου, από πράκτορες της Intelligence.
Ιστορίες συναρπαστικές, που γοητεύουν για τον λόγο ότι τόσο η οικεία γραφή όσο και οι μικρές ιστορίες των ανθρώπων της εποχής, που ξεπηδούν μέσα από έγγραφα και ενημερωτικά σημειώματα προοριζόμενα για τα μέλη της κυβέρνησης, έρχονται στο φως και γίνονται κτήμα όλων μας.
Κακούργα Ιστορία και... ο Χίτλερ ήθελε κούρεμα! Φωτεινή Τομαή Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση
Κακούργα Ιστορία και... ο Χίτλερ ήθελε κούρεμα!
Φωτεινή Τομαή
Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση
465 σελ.
Τιμή € 21,30
Ενδιαφέρον όμως έχει και η ματιά των Ελλήνων διπλωματών για γεγονότα που συντάραξαν τον κόσμο, όπως η ανατροπή του Σάχη. Ανάμεσα στους πέντε φοιτητές που εισέβαλαν στην Αμερικανική Πρεσβεία τότε ήταν και ο σύγχρονός μας, τέως πρόεδρος του Ιράν, Αχμαντινετζάντ. Τα κεφάλια όλων ζητούσε τότε ο Χομεϊνί από το Παρίσι και μόνο όταν η επανάσταση εδραιώθηκε, οι εξεγερμένοι μετατράπηκαν σε ήρωες.
Ιστορίες συναρπαστικές, που γοητεύουν για τον λόγο ότι τόσο η οικεία γραφή όσο και οι μικρές ιστορίες των ανθρώπων της εποχής, που ξεπηδούν μέσα από έγγραφα και ενημερωτικά σημειώματα προοριζόμενα για τα μέλη της κυβέρνησης, έρχονται στο φως και γίνονται κτήμα όλων μας. Μένει να δούμε πόσοι από εμάς θα αποδειχθούμε καλοί μαθητές της Ιστορίας, επαναλαμβάνω με γιώτα κεφαλαίο.
Το κέρδος του αναγνώστη, είτε πρόκειται για επιστήμονες ιστορικούς, είτε ανθρώπους που τους απασχολούν θέματα της σύγχρονης Ιστορίας του τόπου μας, άμεσα συνδεόμενα με τη δυσάρεστη πραγματικότητα που βιώνουμε σήμερα, είναι ότι αποκομίζει απαντήσεις σε δεκάδες ερωτήματα μέσα από συμπυκνωμένες δόσεις πληροφόρησης, που ξεπηδούν αβίαστα και χωρίς επεξεργασμένες πολιτικές και άλλες σκοπιμότητες, μέσα από αδημοσίευτες και πρωτόλειες πηγές, όπως αυτές κατεγράφησαν στην εποχή τους. Για τον λόγο αυτό, το βιβλίο διαβάζεται απνευστί και, με τη βοήθεια του καταλόγου των κύριων ονομάτων, αλλά και την κατηγοριοποίηση των θεμάτων, βοηθά στην επιλογή της σειράς ανάγνωσης του συνόλου του.
diastixo.gr

Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau - Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)


Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)
Under the Jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

National Newswatch reports on "Advice for PM Trudeau in advance of visit to Turkey: An Open Letter"

Toronto, ON
11/14/2015

National Newswatch, Canada's pre-eminent and most comprehensive site for political news reported on "Advice for PM Trudeau in advance of visit to Turkey: An Open Letter" by Evagelos Sotiropoulos.



Advice for PM Trudeau in advance of visit to Turkey: An Open Letter

Dear Prime Minister:

Congratulations on your historic election win. The peaceful transition of power when your Cabinet was sworn-in is something all Canadians can be proud of. It was an illustration to both infant and precarious democracies of how an incumbent leader, regardless of his grip on power, should cede authority to political opponents.

As you and your team transition from campaigning to governing, including by making ministerial mandate letters public, I am reminded of the wise and discerning aphorism by the late Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo: You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.

Nowhere will this be more apparent than in international affairs. I recall shortly after he became Prime Minister, Stephen Harper remarked how surprised he was by the amount of time taken up by issues outside Canada’s borders; I suspect this will be the same for you.  Just this week, we saw the deadly Beirut bombings, as well as the tragic shootings and hostage taking in Paris.

Your schedule for the next two months is already full of foreign trips and summits.  You will attend the Paris Climate Conference next month and have invited other federal party leaders as well as your provincial counterparts to join you, a magnanimous move.

Before then, you will be in the Philippines for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting – and a sit down with U.S. President Barack Obama – which comes on the heels of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Following Manila, your travels will take you to Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting where you will meet Queen Elizabeth.

Things kick off in Turkey next week, however, with the G20 Leaders’ Summit, during a critical time in that country’s history. You should know that your official counterpart, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, is a proxy for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan, the former Prime Minister, has stage-managed the power structure in Turkey to preserve political control. His unabashed objective, which was helped by his party’s surprise victory in recent national elections, is to change the constitution to create an executive presidency – a system of governance most scholars agree is generally inferior to parliamentary democracies.

Erdogan’s unrelenting and adversarial strategy has created deep divisions in Turkey – including the possibility of a civil war according to critics – and threatens regional stability.

The government’s persecution of political opponents, crackdown and imprisonment of journalists and its resumption of armed conflict against its Kurdish minority (indirectly assisted by ISIS according to media reports) are three areas of concern chronicled by observers such as Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Another area where Turkish policy is notoriously harmful – and completely counter to the fundamental freedoms enjoyed in Canada – is in freedom of conscience and religion.

The U.S. Department of State’s annual report on religious freedom, in addition to other foreign government departments and international think tanks, make note of the significant restrictions and violations religious minorities – from Christians and Jews to non-Sunni Muslims – face in Turkey.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, is located in the Phanar district of Constantinople (Istanbul) and often treated as a second-class citizen by Turkish authorities, as he famously told the late Bob Simon on 60 Minutes.

His humble headquarters, known as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is denied its full freedom to lead the faithful (according to the most recent Statistics Canada National Household Survey, there are almost 600,000 Orthodox Christians in Canada).

For example, Turkey continues to deny the Patriarchate’s ability to train clergy, with the famed Halki Seminary shuttered since 1971. In June 2010, the House of Commons unanimously supported a motion tabled by former Liberal MP John Cannis that expressed support for reopening Halki and recognized its significance to world culture.

Moreover, President Obama traveled to Turkey shortly after his first inauguration and during his address to Parliament urged lawmakers to reopen Halki; he also met with Patriarch Bartholomew during his visit.

Prime Minister, I encourage you to make time to also meet with His All-Holiness. As you may know, he is the leading religious leader on the issue of climate change and care for creation. His efforts on the environment earned him the title of “Green Patriarch” by then U.S. Vice President Al Gore. During your stay at the Patriarchate, the two of you could discuss environmental issues in advance of the Paris summit – a gathering that the Patriarch will also attend.

Before you know it, you will be hosting G7 leaders in Canada in 2018 and show the world how a healthy democracy handles differences and dissent and treats all of its citizens, regardless of religion.

Yours sincerely,

Evagelos Sotiropoulos

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)

The Significance of Fasting from New Testament Examples

Saint Gregory Palamas: “While Christ was fasting in the wilderness, He defeated our tempter by force and took away his power against mankind.+ Having at last put down his tyranny, He set our natureFREE and handed him over for sport to all those willing toLIVE according to the Gospel.”*
The Scripture says, “Whenever ye are fasting, cease being as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they artificially disfigure their faces, in such a manner that they might appear to men fasting. Verily I say to you that they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head and wash thy face, so that thou mightest not appear to men fasting, but to thy Father Who is in secret; and thy Father, Who seeth in secret, shall reward thee in the open [Mt. 6:16-18].” Saint Gregory Palamas: “Those who live for vainglory and not for Him, He will definitely say, ‘Be mindful that thou didst have rendered to thee thy good things in thy life [Lk. 16:25],’ just as Abraham said to that rich man in the flames. Those who look toward God as they practice virtue He shall reward openly, which means that in the sight of the whole world He will give them in return His blessing, an inheritance, pleasure, and pure joy forever and ever. He makes clear that those who despise glory that comes from men are sons of God. For He says that ‘thy Father, Who seeth in secret, shall reward thee in the open [Mt. 6:18].’ Those who are disdainful of the empty glory that comes from men He will make and proclaim His own adopted sons and heirs. He tells us to anoint our heads and wash our faces, that is, we should not make a point of looking pale, nor should our heads be unwashed and dried up so that it seems that we are suffering from long drawn out fasting and contempt for our bodies, and that we are looking for praise from other people. The Pharisees acted like this for the sake of appearances, which is why they were estranged from Christ’s Church.
“Now we can refer to the mind metaphorically as the head of the soul, since it is the soul’s guiding force, and we can refer to the imaginative aspect as its face, as this contains the permanent center of the senses’ACTIVITY. So it is good to anoint our heads with oil when we fast, namely, to render our minds merciful. It is good to wash our faces, our imaginations, clean from shameful and impure thoughts and anger and everything evil. Such a fast carried out in this way banishes and puts to shame all the evil passions, together with the demons who are their makers and guardians. It also enlists those who fast to be among good angels, turning these angels toward them, accustoming them to be their guardians and moving them to help and assist them.”
Saint Gregory Palamas exhorts, “Please do not let us give up calling upon the Lord with fasting, vows, tears, and every other means, until He should draw near and heal us. We should show by our deeds that we have Christ as our Bridegroom and we wait for Him in hope, although He is farAWAY from us for the present and hidden in the realms of heaven. It is written that He said: ‘The sons of the bridechamber are not able to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, are they? But days will come, whenever the bridegroom shall have been taken away from them, and then shall they fast [Mt. 9:15].’ Clearly, those called by Christ’s name must pass their whole lives in self-control and fasting, looking forward with good hope to His terrible coming again. Let us fast particularly at this time, preparing ourselves in every possible way while we await the yearly commemoration of Christ’s resurrection. Thus, being cleansed, we may glorify His Passion with all purity and attain the blessed immortal life which He achieved for us by fasting.”

+Mt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:13; cf. Lk. 4:1-13.

*Saint Gregory Palamas, “Hom. 6,” & 13, The Homilies, I:72.

Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, Triodion. Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado.

On Fasting - An Interview with His Grace Bishop Christoforos

By Evagelos Sotiropoulos* November 28, 2011
Thank you, Your Grace, for taking the time to discuss the issue of fasting. Let me begin by asking, for those who may not know, how did the practice of fasting begin?
I appreciate your interest in this important topic, especially as we find ourselves in the period of the Christmas fast.
We have to remember that one commandment given by God to Adam and Eve was about fasting:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gen. 2:16).
Furthermore, we read in the Old Testament that Moses – and all thePEOPLE as well – fasted for 40 days before receiving the Ten Commandments from God.
After His Baptism, Jesus Christ Himself fasted for forty days and forty nights in the dessert (Matt. 4:2) before beginning His mission for the salvation of mankind.
Because of the examples of both Christ and Moses, we refer to the length of fasting asTessarakosti-Sarakosti in Greek.
We have to also remember that Christ specificallyINSTRUCTED the Apostles to fast, especially before His Crucifixion and Glorious Resurrection:
The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is takenAWAY from them, and then they will fast (Matt. 9:15).
There are additional references to fasting in theNEW Testament such as Luke 2:37, Mark 9:29, Acts (13:2, 14:23 and 27:9) and in II Cor. (6:5 and 11:27).
So, it is in these examples where the tradition of fasting is rooted.
Given the foundation of why we fast that you just outlined, can you briefly summarize the benefits, particularly spiritually, of fasting?
The benefits of fasting are many. To begin with, fasting is one way weEXPRESS our love for the Lord and obedience to His commandments.
With fasting, we assist the soul to control the body and its desires because the body resists the spirit:
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Gal. 5:17).
So, the practice of fasting helps toFREE ourselves from passions and desires which enables our will to become stronger. In addition, the mind/nous is cleansed, the body becomes humbled and our prayerLIFE develops easier.
What do the Church Fathers tell us about fasting, Your Grace?
The Holy Fathers of the Church talk about the need for and benefits of fasting. I will highlight two examples among them.
But first we have to keep in mind that fasting is not the goal in and of itself but serves to assist the development of our spiritual life and should also be accompanied by good works.
Saint John Chrysostom says that fasting is not just abstaining from certain foods but it is actually abstaining from sin itself. St. John says to show your fasting through your actions. If you see a poor person, for example, give themMONEY, food or clothes (almsgiving); if you see an enemy, forgive them; or, if you see a person doing well, do not be envious or jealous of them. What do you gain if you fast from food while at the same time you “eat” and “bite” your brother?
Similarly, Saint Basil the Great says that the true fast is toREMOVE yourself far from sin. Like an athlete who trains before a competition to discipline himself, the fasting person gets self control and is better equipped to stay far away from sin.
Can you outline the fasting periods throughout the year?
Let me begin by mentioning the five fast-related food groups: meat; dairy; fish; oil; and, non-oil. Depending on the fasting period, one or more of these food groups are not consumed.
With a few exceptions, we fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. We fast Wednesdays in honour of the Theotokos and in remembrance that this was the day Our Lord was betrayed and arrested; and, we fast on Fridays because this was the day of the Crucifixion of Christ.
The first and major fast is that before Pascha which begins on Clean Monday and concludes on Lazarus Saturday. This is a 40-day period and helps prepare us for the Holy Week. SomePEOPLE (and particularly monastics) fast from all food, including water, from Palm Sunday evening until the Pre-sanctified Divine Liturgy on Holy Wednesday – this is calledΤρίηµερον (3 days). During the Paschal fasting period, meat, dairy and fish are not consumed while oil is on certain days. There are two exceptions to the eating of fish though: on the Annunciation (March 25) and on Palm Sunday.
The Christmas fast, which we find ourselves in today, begins on November 15 and ends on the eve of the Nativity of Our Lord, December 24. During this period, meat and dairy are not allowed while fish is on certain days (not on Wednesdays and Fridays) until the feast of Saint Spyridon the Wonderworker on December 12.
There is also the Apostles’ Fast beginning on the Monday after the Sunday of AllSAINTSand concluding on June 28 with the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The beginning date fluctuates, however, depending on the date of Pascha. We eat fish throughout this fast except on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Finally, we fast between August 1-14 in honour of the Theotokos and in anticipation of her Dormition. We don’t consume meat, dairy or fish with the exception of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (August 6) when fish is permitted.
I should mention here that in the Orthodox Church each day of the week is dedicated as follows:
MondayHoly Archangels andANGELS
TuesdaySAINTJohn the Baptist
WednesdayThe Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary and the betrayal and arrest of Christ
ThursdayHoly Apostles and Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra
FridayThe Crucifixion of Christ
SaturdayPreparing for the Resurrection
SundayThe Resurrection of Our Lord
Regardless of the day of the week, there is a strict fast (no oil) on September 14 (the Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross); January 5 (Eve of the Epiphany of Our Lord); and, August 29 (Beheading of Saint John the Baptist). Note, we can consume oil if the above days are on Saturdays or Sundays.
The following are fastFREE periods, however:
  • The first week of the Triodion (between the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and the Sunday of Prodigal Son);
  • The week immediately following Pascha (Brightweek);
  • The week immediately following Pentecost; and,
  • Ten days following Christmas (two days before the Epiphany).
Finally, we can consume fish on the following feasts even if they are on a Wednesday or a Friday:
January 7Synaxis of Saint John the Baptist
February 2The Presentation of Our Lord and Saviour in the Temple
June 24Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist
June 29Peter and Paul, the Holy Apostles
August 6Transfiguration of Our Lord
August 15The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary
September 8The Nativity of the Theotokos
November 14PHILIPthe Apostle (because on November 15 the Christmas Fast begins)
November 21The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple
Given this information, should everyone fast the same or does it depend on the individual?
Fasting should be practiced by all Orthodox Christians unless there are reasons preventing it. Factors that may influence fasting include one’s age, health and way ofLIVING (e.g., occupation). In such cases,PEOPLE follow the instructions of their spiritual father.
When we fast we should not over-consume any food even if the food itself is permitted. Overall, fasting is a very important part of one’s spiritualLIFE and a personal matter we keep secret from others as the Lord says:
And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matt. 6:16-18).
Finally, people who fast should not judge those who do not fast. As the Apostle Paul says:
Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats, for God has accepted him (Romans 14:3).
I hope and pray for a Blessed Christmas to All!
Thank you very much, Your Grace. Your blessings.
The blessings of the Lord.
*This interview was conducted in Greek. Any errors or omissions in the translation are mine alone.