Fasting Again (Apostles’ Fast)!? Yes, and the World Keeps Proving It Lengthens Your Life

Apostles_Fast

Are you serious! We’re fasting again already!? That’s the somber realization that most of us have after being spoiled with no fasting for a single day for 50 days straight after the resurrection feast, considering especially that most of us toiled so much in fasting for so long during the Great Lent and Holy Week. This time of year, here is a typical dialogue among friends:

“Why are we fasting again?”

“Apostles’ fast.”

“I’m not going to fast it. We have too many fasts as it is.”

“But you should, at least out of obedience to your mother, the Church, and for the sake of joining the rest of your brothers and sisters in this fast.”

“No. Just can’t do it. Maybe I’ll fast near the end of it. My parents don’t even fast this fast. Lots of people skip it. Besides, this fast is something new that the Church put together more recently than not. It wasn’t around in the early Church.”

“Actually, not only is it a very ancient fast, fasting in general has proven to be of great value beyond even just the spiritual aspect; it can actually increase your lifespan.”

Allow me to explain:

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Why and How We (Copts and Eastern Orthodox) Fast Before Nativity (Christmas)

WhyFastForChristmas

As Americans approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many Orthodox Christians openly or secretly grumble about how the Nativity (a.k.a. Christmas/Advent) fast interferes with their holiday eating plans. So let’s take a moment to understand why and how we (should) fast before celebrating the incarnation of our divine Lord, taking flesh and living among us.

Basics 

How many days do we fast before Christmas?

  • 40
  • (and if you are Coptic Orthodox, add an additional 3 days [reason explained below])

Spiritual basis for length of fast 

The Coptic Church as well as the Eastern Orthodox agree regarding the spiritual basis for the length of the fast. Continue reading