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August 1-14 is the fourth fasting season of the Church year: the Dormition Fast, so named because it ends with the Feast of the Dormition (lit., falling-asleep) of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, celebrated on August 15. The Dormition Fast became customary in the Orthodox Church for two reasons: 1) it recalls the life of the Mother of God herself prior to her earthly end, namely, a life of prayer and fasting; and 2) it participates in a genuine Christian response to overcoming the hostilities and maladies of life in this world, to fast and pray for God's help and deliverance. As such, the short but meaningful Dormition Fast reminds us of the sobriety and self-control necessary for a life of faith, hope, and love looking always to the Kingdom of God as our ultimate goal.
During the Dormition Fast, we generally abstain from meats, dairy products, olive oil, and alcoholic drinks. Not only is a physical effort required, controlling our bodily urges to eat and drink less, but our mental and spiritual faculties are challenged in important ways. Mentally we are challenged to accept the Fast in simple obedience without rationalizing about dietary needs. Spiritually we are challenged to focus mind and heart on God without needless distractions from external stimuli. To this end, reading the Word of God, quiet prayer, and keeping God's commandments become the food of our soul as we lay aside earthly cares. May God help us by His grace.
If you are interested in the Orthodox Faith, we welcome you to come and meet with us and pick up many interesting and informative pamplets that are available for you! If you should have any questions please feel free to call me at the Church at (330) 372-3895.
Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to seeing you soon!
During times of inclement weather, especially snow and ice, we do not cancel services scheduled at St. John's. Use your best judgment as to whether or not you can travel from and to your home to attend.