Thoughts on Easter fasting

Being that Orthodox Lent is approaching (and Catholic Lent season has already started), I find myself contemplating the subject of Easter fasting.

Last year (2015) marked the third time that I completed the Easter fasting for Lent. For Christians, Lent refers to the period of 40 days prior to Easter, during which you restrict yourself from various pleasures—be they dietary and/or lifestyle—with the intent of purifying yourself and turning to God as we recall the ordeal Jesus went through for us. I find that it can serve as both an intense and rewarding learning experience, provided you approach it with the right set of mind (and isn’t that true of everything in life! 😉 )

Doing the actual fasting usually means not having any meat or dairy for that time period, which basically leaves you vegan. With that said, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that the various church specifics of Christian fasting can vary. For instance, the Catholic fasting may differ from the Orthodox fasting… and even the Orthodox churches themselves (Greek, Russian, etc.) may each do things their own way! For example, some allow fish 1-2 times during the Lent period; others say it’s ideal to do a total fast (aka no eating at all) on Good Friday, and maybe have some fruits and wine on Saturday… and so on, and so forth. So if things seem confusing—and inconsistent—on that front, it’s because they are!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Christians face troubles in the Old City during Easter 2013 festivities

Some pretty disturbing videos showing some of the tension during Easter 2013 celebrations in the Old City, Jerusalem.

Christians denied entry at the New Gate. Violence erupts:

The clip below shows an Orthodox priest being roughly handled by Israeli soldiers in the Old City. It speaks for itself:

This one is from Al Jazeera and is in Arabic, but definitely conveys some of the chaos:

A drama-free one, showing Christian Palestinian celebration in Bethlehem:

Happy Orthodox Easter 2013!! And memories of Easter in Jerusalem

Some videos I took from my 2011 Easter experience in Jerusalem. I’ll never forget the intensity of the crowds, how frighteningly packed it was, the energy all around… Definitely an experience to say the least!

This clip below on the Ethiopian lighting of the fire doesn’t have great resolution, but it still conveys the energy and vibe of the moment!