Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When do we fast, according to the Orthodox Tradition?


A faithful Christian is required to fast, according to tradition, following the example of Jesus Christ and the Saints. The Church has set various days and periods where we are reminded of our faith to Christ and His Church, pointing therefore the importance of these days. Here is the list of fasting days, in order to remind us all of these days.

The Vigil of Epiphany, 5th January.

There is no fasting prescribed for the first week of the Triodion.

Fasting is prescribed for the second Wednesday and Friday of the Triodion.

Fish and dairy products are permitted throughout the last week before the Great Lent.

During the Great Lent, fish is allowed on Annunciation Day (25th March) and on Palm Sunday.



No fasting is prescribed for Easter Week, also known as Diakainisimos or Bright Week.

No fasting is prescribed for the week following the Sunday of Pentecost.

Fasting is prescribed during the Lent of the Apostles Peter and Paul, apart from the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24th June) when fish may be consumed.

Fasting is prescribed during the Lent of the Dormition of the Mother of God (1st-14th August), apart from the Feast of the Transfiguration (6th August) when fish may be consumed.

The Beheading of St. John Baptist (29th August) is a day of fasting.

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14th September) is a day of fasting.

Fasting is prescribed during the Christmas Lent (15th November – 24th December).

No fasting is prescribed for the period 25th December – 6th January, apart for 5th January (first point)

Wednesdays and Fridays, except for the ones listed here, are days of fasting. Oil and wine are permitted on all Saturdays and Sundays, apart from the Great Saturday, being the Vigil of Easter. If the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God (8th September), St. Philip (14th November), the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist (7th January), the presentation of Christ (2nd February), Saints Peter and Paul (29th June) and the Dormition (15th August) fall on a Wednesday or Friday, fish is permitted, as well as on the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin (21st November), the Wednesday of Mid-Pentecost and the Leave –Taking of Easter.

Source of list: Ημερολόγιο 2012, Αρχιεπισκοπής Θυατείρων και Μεγάλης Βρετανίας. 

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