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Lenten Fasting Guidelines

The Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness
The Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness

Below are the guidelines for the Lenten Fast according to the Canons of the Orthodox Church.

Several things we must consider:

  • Fasting rules are not laws, but disciplines. They are a guide, not a commandment.
  • We do not fast from foods to the detriment of our health. If you are sick, do not fast. If you need some foods that are not prescribed, eat them but in moderation. The guidelines represent the ideal but not everyone can meet the standards of the ideal.
  • Fasting is given to us because it is a very good way to learn how to discipline our hearts and minds. Fasting only works with increased prayer and worship. In fact, fasting can compel us to pray more. The Church offers those occasions for increased prayer and worship.
  • We should practice the fasting guidelines to the best of our ability.

If you have questions about the most appropriate way to observe the fast in your particular circumstances, please talk to Fr. Hans

Learn more about fasting here:

Frederica Here and NowFrederica reflects on fasting and the rigor involved in all ascetic practices.

A Voice From the IslesFr. Gregory Hallum asks: When did fasting begin? Did Jesus start the whole thing off? The righteous and the repentant fasted in the Old Testament. Well, what about Abraham then? The fact is, humankind was taught to fast right from the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden.

Download and print the guidelines below for easy reference.

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