It would be best if we abstained from all food and drink from midnight, even if we’re not taking Communion on the Liturgy, so we could take some blessed bread, antidoron. If you must take some medicine, take it, and if you drink a little water by accident when brushing teeth, don’t worry.
Once you return from the church, you should try to do your best not to waste Lord’s Day. One of the easiest things how to do it is not to turn on the TV, or in some cases (like mine), the computer. Spend time with your family, help with lunch (if you’re not in the charge of making it), do something. The best thing you can do is do some charity work, like volunteering. You may ask your parish priest if his church has some kind of group to help the needy. A place where a hand is surely needed is hospital chapels. They need not to be Orthodox – but the priest/minister there might know someone who is alone and needs some company, comfort or sympathy.
It is common knowledge that one shouldn’t work on Sunday (or “red letters”, as we call feast days here in Serbia.) Care must be taken here what is understood by ‘work.’ Easily put, working is doing anything that distracts us from God, virtue or our service to Him. Many people take ‘not working on Sunday’ as an excuse to be plain lazy. That is wrong. If you’re having issues with laziness, do something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. But if you work like a slave throughout the whole week, take some needed rest.
However, some people seem to enjoy picking Sunday as a perfect day to do some major domestic chore (like, vacuuming the entire home, painting the fence, whatever.) That is what Sunday’s shadow is for, former Sabbath – Saturday. It is truly a great blessing that we have that day where we can prepare everything so we would spend Sunday the way we should. If that is not the case (you work from Monday to Saturday, for example), don’t despair. We must constantly remember that, while God is just, He is not a merciless tyrant. He will understand if we simply MUST do something on Sunday, however big it is. This especially goes for students who usually have to study for upcoming tests and finals.
It is important to remember the first demon’s temptation from the vision of Abba Hillarion. Not working on Sunday doesn’t mean we can indulge in sinful forms of entertainment. Spending time in pious silence during Liturgy in the morning and then screaming while drunk in disco is just not going to cut it. We can only serve one master, and if we are serving two, we are most probably serving the one we shouldn’t serve. In the case you absolutely should go to a party (for example, dear friend’s birthday); remember that St. Lot was saved even while he was in Sodom. Try to be the best Christian you can without being prudish.
One final note. Even if Sunday is the Lord’s Day, it doesn’t mean that other days are not Lord’s days. If we devote it to charity, it doesn’t mean that we’re allowed to be penny pinchers on other days. As Patriarch Paul of Serbia would say: “Be child of God for 6 days and confirm it on 7th day in the church.”
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