Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VI/Peter of Alexandria/Canonical Epistle/Canon XV
No one shall find fault with us for observing the fourth day of the week, and the preparation, on which it is reasonably enjoined us to fast according to the tradition. On the fourth day, indeed, because on it the Jews took counsel for the betrayal of the Lord; and on the sixth, because on it He himself suffered for us. But the Lord’s day we celebrate as a day of joy, because on it He rose again, on which day we have received it for a custom not even to bow the knee.
Balsamon. Conformably to the sixty-fourth Apostolical canon, which decrees that we are not to fast on the Sabbath, with one exception, the great Sabbath; and to the sixty-ninth canon, which severely punishes those who do not fast in the Holy Lent, and on every fourth day of the week and day of preparation. Thus also does the present canon decree.
Zonaras. Always, says he, are the fourth and sixth days of every week to be kept as fasts; nor will any one find fault with us for fasting on them; and the reasons he subjoins. But on the Lord’s day we ought not to fast, for it is a day of joy for the resurrection of the Lord, and on it, says he, we have received that we ought not even to bow the knee. This word, therefore, is to be carefully observed, “we have received,” and “it is enjoined upon us according to the tradition.” For from hence it is evident that long-established custom was taken for law. Moreover, the great Basil annexes also the causes for which it was forbidden to bend the knee on the Lord’s day, and from the Passover to Pentecost. Read also the sixty-sixth and sixty-ninth Apostolical canons.
- The sixth day, the day before the Hebrew Sabbath.—Tr. [The Parasceve.]
- [Stationary days. See Vol. ii. p. 33, note 6.]
- [Vol. v. pp. 382, 571, the notes.]
- [So called. Vol. viii., this series. Elucidation II.]