Fasting Rules For the Orthodox Church

fasting rules for orthodox church

When fasting in the Orthodox church, it is important to follow rules that do not cause harm to your body. While fasting, you should avoid taking food or drinks that will damage your body or make you ill. However, there are some exceptions to these rules, such as when you are traveling, are sick, or are receiving hospitality. In these cases, you should accept the hospitality with thanksgiving. If you are visiting a non-Orthodox family, you must modify your fasting rules. You should consult with your priest to determine what modifications you need to make.


The Orthodox Church supports physical fasting, which involves refraining from certain types of food for a period of time. It is an effective tool in limiting sin and is possible only with the help of God. Fasting diminishes the pleasure we derive from food and helps us curb our passions, including gluttony.

Orthodox fasting rules are not rigid, but they do set a high standard for fasting. They are not meant to be a straight-jacket for believers, nor a source of pharisaical pride. They are rather a standard of practice, a spiritual medicine to combat self-reproach, and a source of spiritual benefit for the person who follows the fasting discipline.


Orthodox Christians are expected to follow certain fasting rules. These rules can be a bit strict, but they are designed with the whole church in mind. Married clergy and monks are exempt from some of these rules. However, very few laymen follow all of them. Hence, it is important to consider these rules with a certain amount of humility.

The first rule is that a person should refrain from eating a full meal until noon. According to the Typikon of the Monastery of St. Sabbas, a person should abstain from all meat, dairy products, eggs, and olive oil. Hard liquors like wine and beer are also not allowed during this period.


In the Orthodox Church, fasting is a part of the faith. The rules vary depending on the day of the week and the patronal feast, but the basics remain the same. Fasters are supposed to refrain from eating meat, dairy products, eggs, fish with backbones, and any other animal products for a period of four or five days. During this time, they should also not watch television or movies.

According to the Orthodox Church, physical fasting – a period of not eating certain kinds of food – is a necessary tool for limiting sin. This practice enables believers to control gluttony and other passions by diminishing the pleasure we derive from eating.

Moderate consumption

Moderate consumption during fasting rules for the orthodox church include the following days. Weekdays, inclusive of the second, third, fourth, and fifth weeks, are allowed for one meal a day. This one meal should take place after Vespers. Oil and wine may also be consumed on certain Patronal Feasts.

Moderate consumption during fasting is also allowed during the Great Lent. During this time, the Orthodox church advises its faithful to refrain from eating meat or dairy products. The exception is during Holy Week, where dairy and eggs are allowed in moderation.

Saturdays and Sundays

Fasting rules for the Orthodox Church on Saturdays and Sundays are based on the commandment of God to abstain from certain kinds of food for a period of time. This commandment is an essential tool in the struggle against sin and a means of discipline. This practice helps control gluttony and other passions.

Orthodox Christians may relax the rules of fasting if the fast does not affect their health. Orthodox Christians are also allowed to relax the rules of fasting if they are travelling, ill, or when they are receiving hospitality. However, they are not allowed to fast in a way that will harm their health or sour their devotion. To ensure that they are able to fast safely and fully, Orthodox Christians should seek guidance from a priest before embarking on a fasting regimen.

Variable-length fast

The Orthodox Church follows various flexible fasting rules, depending on the length of the fast. Some fasts last longer than others, and the rules vary by season and patronal feasts. To determine whether a particular fast is appropriate, a Christian should consult a fasting calendar. One such calendar is the Saint Herman Calendar. The fasting period for a Christian typically lasts between two and seven days. A Christian should consume only clean, uncontaminated foods during the fasting period, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

The Apostles’ Fast begins the second Monday after Pentecost and ends on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. During this time, a person may choose to fast for eight days or more.

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