Fasting With The Church

When it comes to fasting, the primary rule is to “keep your eyes on your own plate.” Fasting, like all spiritual disciplines is given to us as a gift to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ our Lord God and Savior. We fast because our Lord fasted and encouraged us to do the same; the apostles fasted and encouraged us to do the same; and the mothers and fathers of the church fasted and encouraged us to do the same.

The following guidelines are consistent with the way the church has fasted together throughout our history and still does today. Join as you are able.

Weekly Fasting Throughout The Year
Wednesdays & Fridays
one of the following fasting guidelines is recommended
• total fast until 3pm
• fasting from meat, dairy, olive oil & wine (alcohol) all day

There is no fasting during the following times:
Christmas to Epiphany
Easter Week
Pentecost to Trinity

Lenten Fast
meat, fish, dairy, eggs, olive oil, wine (alcohol)

Saturdays, Sundays & Annunciation (March 25th)
no fasting (you may choose to continue fasting from from meat and dairy)

Holy Week
2 meals a day under regular lenten fast guidelines

Good Friday & Holy Saturday
1 meal a day under regular lenten fast guidelines
(this is the only Saturday of the year in which a Saturday fast includes oil & wine)


Here are some other helpful resources regarding fasting and Lent:

Three Helpful Principles Of Fasting
This is a letter to a new Christian that simplifies fasting and helps to uncover the heart of why we fast. It has some excellent points.

Simple Tips For Keeping Lent In Our Families
Some great ideas from a mom on how to keep a lenten fast in ways that form our children.

Lent and Fasting
A straight-talking post about fasting and that it should not be replaced by other lenten practices no matter how good they also may be.

A Lenten Journey To Love
A simple story of a man who came into a full appreciation of the life, liturgy and disciplines of the church and how they lead us into the fullness of love who is Christ our Lord.


And if you just can’t get enough on fasting, there are these:

The Fasting Rule
Living An Orthodox Life: Fasting
The Meaning of The Great Fast
Fasting & Great Lent