Why Only No Meat During Cheesefare Week?

Source: Mystagogy. The Weblog Of John Sanidopoulos

    

Cheesefare Sunday received it's name because the previous week we did not eat meat, but only dairy products, such as milk, cheese, etc., as well as eggs and fish.

Many find this rule of the Church to be "unreasonable", saying: "How is milk of a lamb allowed but not the meat of the lamb, since milk is produced by the lamb? How are eggs allowed and not chicken, since the first are produced by the second?"

Of course these people would have a point, if we maintained that the meat of the lamb or fowl was tainted and for this reason we do not eat it. Then we should not eat what is produced by them, since these also would be tainted. But through our Church no food is tainted. This is what is taught by the apostle Paul in his First Epistle to Timothy (4:3-5). Rather the Church simply divides food into greater or lesser consumption towards self-restraint and, at certain times, allows the one and forbids the other.

An accurate response towards those who say the above has been answered by Athanasios of Parios, a wise and important teacher of the Church, when he writes to a certain doctor:

"You criticize your friend because during Cheesefare he eats eggs, yet does not eat the chicken which gives birth to the egg...? But what similarity can be made between an egg, which is not alive, and a chicken, which is alive? The egg is much lower than the fowl. And as proof I appeal to your own opinion, that is, the opinion of a doctor. To whomever is sick and begins to approach the stages of recovery you prescribe as food small and delicate chicks and not tough fowl. For what reason do you do this? Because, you say, the fat and greasy foods will harm him who now begins to recover from his sickness, since his stomach does not have the strength to endure and digest heavy foods. If therefore there is a difference between a small chick and a big chicken and the chick is, as a food, much lower in strength than the chicken, and no doctor has ever said that the egg of a chick or chicken is the same food or equally suitable for the sick, is it not clear that unreasonable are those who criticize us for eating eggs and not fowl?... They criticize us also that we eat olives, but not olive oil, even though inside the olives is the olive oil. But within grapes is wine also. Yet however many grapes we eat we will not get drunk; at most we will become stuffed in our stomachs...."

Besides this, it is well-known that with olive oil we are able to cook innumerable and delicious foods, though olives are considered xerophagy (dry foods). Xerophagy is to not eat cooked foods, but unprepared ones, such as bread with olives or dry fruit, etc.

See also
Homily on Cheesefare Sunday Homily on Cheesefare Sunday
St. Tikhon of Moscow
Homily on Cheesefare Sunday Homily on Cheesefare Sunday
Patriarch Tikhon (Bellavin)
Unfortunately, brethren, we do not like to acknowledge our transgressions. It would seem natural and easy for a person to know his own self, his own soul and his shortcomings. This, however, is actually not so. We are ready to attend to anything but a deeper understanding of ourselves, an investigation of our sins. We examine various things with curiosity, we attentively study friends and strangers, but when faced with solitude without extraneous preoccupation even for a short while, we immediately become bored and attempt to seek amusement.
Cheesefare Week Cheesefare Week
Fr. Seraphim Holland
Cheesefare Week Cheesefare Week
Fr. Seraphim Holland
Cheesefare week, the last full week before Great Lent begins, is an “in between” week liturgically in the Orthodox Church. Each day is “kind of like” Great Lent and “kind of like” outside of Great Lent. This is to provide a transition into Great Lent.
How To Spend Cheesefare Week How To Spend Cheesefare Week
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
How To Spend Cheesefare Week How To Spend Cheesefare Week
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
Cheese Fare Week is the threshold and the beginning of the fast. That is why for the true children of the Church it is necessary to act all the more temperate in Cheese Fare Week than in the previous days, although they should always do so. However, will the Christian listen to the sweet odes of his loving mother?
A Lenten Primer A Lenten Primer
Fr. Evan Armatas, John Maddox
A Lenten Primer A Lenten Primer
Fr. Evan Armatas, John Maddox
How did the Church arrive at such a season and structure of services? And whether you've been through Lent before or this is going to be your first season, you will see that this is a rather complicated season; there is a lot going on, a number of services you haven't seen. There are new names and phrases for things. Certain spiritual disciplines are highlighted that you may not be aware of, or at least you don't typically them see during the rest of the season.
You Gluttonous Orthodox Worm You Gluttonous Orthodox Worm
Rod Dreher
You Gluttonous Orthodox Worm You Gluttonous Orthodox Worm
Rod Dreher
I was starting to feel sorry for my gluttonous self in advance when I came across this passage the other day from historian Robert K. Massie’s Peter The Great: His Life And World. It concerns the habits of Tsar Alexis, the father of Peter.
Sermon on Cheese-Fare Sunday, the Remembrance of Adam’s Expulsion from Paradise Sermon on Cheese-Fare Sunday, the Remembrance of Adam’s Expulsion from Paradise
Archimandrite John (Krestiankin)
Sermon on Cheese-Fare Sunday, the Remembrance of Adam’s Expulsion from Paradise Sermon on Cheese-Fare Sunday, the Remembrance of Adam’s Expulsion from Paradise
Archimandrite John (Krestiankin)
This judgment of ourselves will tear a living, saving cry from our hearts that will reach the heavens: “Lord! Have mercy on me. O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” And the miracle of our salvation will begin. The Lord will console our repentant souls and hearts with peace, calm, and love. In the words of our dear elder, St. Seraphim of Sarov, “Acquire the spirit of peace, and thousands will be saved around you”—transformation will begin in life around us.
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