How to Fast in the Orthodox Church
If you’re looking to fast in the Orthodox Church, there are a few things you need to know. First, you must abstain from all food, including alcohol and dairy products. In addition, you should avoid any oils. In the Orthodox Church, fasting is a time for self-reflection.
Abstain from all food
The rules that Orthodox Christians follow in regard to food and drink may seem quite strict to those who are not accustomed to them. But these rules were originally devised with all the faithful in mind. For instance, meat-eating is forbidden for monks. But the rules were not formulated with monks in mind; rather, the circumstances at the time of their formulation were completely different from those of modern Orthodox Christians. The spirit of these rules is more important than the letter.
Fasting is another Orthodox Christian practice. Orthodox Christians typically fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, in commemoration of Christ’s betrayal and death on the cross. Fasting also involves avoiding meat and other animal products. During this time, the diet is primarily plant-based. It is also high in fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
In the Orthodox Church, fasting is a way to achieve spiritual concentration. It may be for a whole day, or only part of a day, but the goal is the same. The practice is usually performed before a crucial spiritual event, such as the feast of the nativity. For example, the fasting of Great Lent takes place six weeks before Pascha. The fasting of Great Lent is followed by the fasting of Holy Week.
Alcohol is prohibited during fasting in the Orthodox church. This is a controversial issue, as the Bible teaches that alcohol consumption should be avoided during fasting. While the Church Fathers generally advise against drinking alcohol during fasting, some have argued that it is permissible to drink alcohol if it is part of a medication or other medical treatment.
The Orthodox church also emphasizes a person’s spiritual life and faith. It believes that fasting is a foundation of all good and can help believers focus on prayer. During fasting, a person should repeat the prayer of Jesus a number of times in order to strengthen his or her faith.
According to Orthodox beliefs, fasting is a form of spiritual communion between a Christian and God. This fasting tradition dates back to the beginning of human history. Adam and Eve were given the commandment to fast, but chose to disobey God and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Today, believers must correct the damage done to the human race by honoring the commandment to fast.
Avoid dairy products
Orthodox Christians may want to avoid dairy products when fasting. The Pan-Orthodox Preparatory Committee recommends abstaining from meat and dairy products during the Great Lent and Holy Week. However, the committee also provides a dispensation for the use of dairy and eggs during these holy weeks.
Fasting is an important part of Orthodox Christian life. This means voluntarily abstaining from certain foods for 180-200 days a year. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, eating meat is considered an abomination of the fast. However, there are medical reasons for not eating meat.
While fasting in the Orthodox Church, it is customary to refrain from meat, dairy products, and fish. However, certain exceptions are made on Sundays and on some days during Lent. However, the rules are not strictly adhered to by every layman. For example, on Wednesday and Friday, two full meals are permitted. However, nothing is allowed after Wednesday evening.
Another reason to abstain from meat is because meat inhibits self-control and helps us to suppress passionate desires and pleasures. Meat consumption, then, would be a distraction from the spiritual life, and it would hinder the abstinence from the inborn sexual appetite.
During a fast in the Orthodox church, you should not eat or drink oil. Olive oil, wine, and animal products are prohibited on fast days. However, shellfish and bony fish are allowed. Usually, you can eat a primary meal around three in the afternoon. Some Orthodox fasters delay their primary meal until three in the evening.
Orthodox Christians usually fast on Wednesday and Friday, and avoid oil during these days. In addition, they should avoid meat and dairy products during Holy Week and on most Wednesdays and Fridays. Depending on the year, they may vary their fasting, but it is still a good idea to follow the fasting guidelines to the letter.
Oil can make it difficult for your body to digest food. Therefore, it is recommended to take digestive enzyme supplements. In addition, you can include certain foods that help your body digest food. For instance, beans, raw apple cider vinegar, and lacto-fermented vegetables are good options. Other foods that aid digestion include Swedish bitters and ginger. However, these foods may not be relevant if your meals also include oils.