How Should I Fast?

Great Lent

The following are some suggested guidelines for Great Lent this year.

  • If you currently do not fast regularly or at all… abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays

  • If you currently fast from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays… abstain from meat every day during Great Lent

  • If you currently fast… increase your fasting one “level” this year following the example above beginning with Wednesdays and Fridays.

Suggested Fasting Levels in the Orthodox Christian Tradition

1.       Abstain from meat

2.       Abstain from meat and dairy products

3.       Abstain from fish

4.       Abstain from wine and oil

5.       Abstain from cooked foods

It has always been the understanding of the Church that fasting is forbidden for those who have a medical condition requiring food for medications or other requirements such as pregnant and nursing mothers. We must remember that fasting is a spiritual discipline and not meant to cause physical harm. These suggestions are for your spiritual growth, and are not meant to obligate you in any way. You should speak with your spiritual father about your specific fasting situation.

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