August 1, begins the Dormition Fast in the Byzantine Catholic Church. This particular fasting season is only 2 weeks long (ending on the Feast of the Dormition, August 15) but is a wonderful time for us to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition through prayer, fasting, and the reception of the Holy Mystery of Repentance. This feast is very important for Catholics because it shows us that we, like the Theotokos, are given the opportunity after death to be resurrected, body and soul, and live forever in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity. The Church encourages you to participate this year in the Dormition Fast to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Dormition of the Theotokos has often been called “pascha in the summer.” It celebrates the victory of life over death—or of death as a translation into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Dormition Fast is our spiritually vigilant preparation leading up to that glorious celebration. “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
“Pray. Fasting without praying is called ‘the Fast of Demons,’ because demons never eat, but they never pray. We fast as a means of drawing closer to God. Your fasting and your prayer should be balanced as much as possible.”
Fr. Stephen Freeman, Glory to God for All Things