In his pastoral message at the beginning of the Dormition Fast, Metropolitan Ioan of Banat urged much prayer, almsgiving and care for the sick and lonely.
“Let us not forget, my dear spiritual sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters on the bed of suffering, in hospitals and at home, as well as the medical staff who care for them with love, dedication and self-sacrifice, mentioning them as well in our prayers to the Compassionate God and to the Holy Mother of God.”
The Metropolitan appealed to the clergy and the faithful to travel on the path of fasting “with peace of mind and spiritual joy” and recommended “multiplying good deeds, increasing prayer to Christ the Lord and His Holy Mother, while renewing our souls through the Holy Mysteries of Confession and the Eucharist.”
“In this blessed fasting season, we urge you, in the words of a Church Father, to abstain from all sin, so that, as we fast with our bellies, we may also fast with the tongue. Let us not gossip, let us not lie, let us not speak in vain, let us not denigrate others, let us not be angry and, in a word, let us not sin with our tongue.”
Metropolitan Ioan asked all the church ministers in the diocese, “in the spirit of brotherly love”, that, “in addition to the liturgical program, to officiate, in the evening of each day, at 19:00, the Akathists or Supplicatory Canons of the Mother of God.”
Established in the fifth century, the Dormition Fast was generalized and standardized in the twelfth century, when it was decided to be held between 1-15 August.
Photography courtesy of the Basilica.ro Archive
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