The Fasting Seasons
The Fasting Seasons
A. Special Days of Fasting
1) The eve of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord (Dec. 24)
2) the eve of the Feast of Theophany (Jan. 5)
3) Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist (Aug. 29)
4) Feast of the Exaltation of the Honorable Cross (Sep. 14)
5) All Wednesday and Fridays throughout the year, with the exception of the following weeks and days when fasting is relaxed:
a. the week following the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
b. Cheese Fare Week (meat and meat products not permitted)
c. Paschal Bright Week (the week after Pascha)
d. the week after Pentecost
e. the Nativity Season (Dec. 25 – Jan. 5)
f. the 50 days after Pascha (strict fasting is relaxed; consult your Father Confessor about fasting during this period)
g. the Leave-taking of Pascha
On the fast days mentioned above Orthodox Christians abstain from all meat, meat products, dairy products, fish, olive oil and alcoholic beverages. Shellfish is traditionally permitted. We also moderate the amount of food we consume on these days. We should not eat between meals. We should also eat smaller portions at our regular meals. Under the advice of a Spiritual Father some people may only eat one (1) meal per day during fasting periods. Please remember that all fasting in under the direction of the Pastor. In certain circumstances he may relax the traditional fast at his discretion.
B. Special Seasons of Fasting
1) The Nativity Fast (Advent): Nov. 15 – Dec. 24
2) The Fast of the Holy Apostles (Ss. Peter and Paul Fast): Sundown of the Sunday of the Fathers through June 28.
During these two fast periods Wednesdays and Fridays are strict fast days as usual. On other days of the week, we abstain from meat, meat products and dairy products; but fish, wine and olive oil are permitted. Eggs are not permitted on any days. During the final weeks of the Nativity fast, Dec. 13 – 24, the fast is stricter and no fish is permitted. Olive oil and wine are permitted on Saturday and Sunday only.
3) Theotokos Fast: Aug. 1 – 14
We abstain from all meat, meat products, dairy products, fish, olive oil, wine and eggs. Shellfish may be eaten. Olive oil and wine are permitted on Saturday and Sunday, only. On the Feast of the Transfiguration, Aug. 6, fish, olive oil and wine are permitted. If the Feast of the Dormition falls on a Wednesday or a Friday we may use fish, wine and oil on that Feast also, but not meat, dairy products or eggs.
4) The Great Fast: The Great Fast (Great Lent) is from sundown on Cheese Fare Sunday through Great Holy Saturday.
a. Meat Fare Week – this is a normal week except that oil and wine are not permitted on Wednesday or Friday.
b. Cheese Fare Week – We abstain from all meat and meat products.
c. The Great Lent and Holy Week – This period is a strict fast. We eat with great moderation and abstain from: all meat, meat products, dairy products, eggs, fish, olive oil and wine. On certain days however olive oil and wine as well as fish are permitted on Feasts as follows:
*On all Saturdays and Sundays, except Great and Holy Saturday, wine and oil are permitted. Great and Holy Saturday is a strict fast day.
*On the Feasts of the Annunciation and Palm Sunday fish, wine and oil are permitted.
ONCE AGAIN: All fasting in the parish is done under the supervision of the Pastor. Priests are advised to be very careful in directing the PRAYER LIFE AND FASTING DISCIPLINE of their parishioners.