Is it preferable to not say Mincha early on a fast day?
On a fast day during Shacharit (the morning prayer), individuals do not say עננו / Aneinu (a special fast-day prayer), in case they don't complete the fast, and instead say it during Mincha (the afternoon prayer).1
Personally, I tend to say Mincha rather early - opting for Mincha G'dolah (around one to two in the afternoon) over Mincha K'tanah, since during the later part of the afternoon I'm often not available. Although this applies less on fast days, I'm used to saying Mincha early.
On a fast day, however, since if you say Mincha early there's still the chance that you'll end up breaking your fast (and it's clear that this is... less than ideal after saying Aneinu), is it preferable to not say Mincha early and to wait until later? Or is saying Mincha G'dolah on a fast day fine?
Quoting from the Rabbinical Council of America Artscroll Siddur, 1987 edition, page 104: "The individual, however, recites עננו only during Mincha, and then not as a separate blessing, but incorporated into the blessing of קבלת תפילה, Acceptance of Prayer. He does not recite עננו at Shacharis lest he become ill and not complete the fast." ↩