Eucharistic Fasting Guidelines

  • If a Liturgy is earlier than noon, we fast from midnight on.
  • If a Liturgy is in the afternoon or evening, we should fast from midnight, if possible, but we MUST fast completely from food and water from noon or for 6 hours (whichever is longer) before receiving Holy Communion.
  • If we arrive late to an evening Presanctified because of work or traffic, but have prepared yourself by fasting, prayer, and recent Confession, we may receive Holy Communion despite arriving late.

Children should be included in lenten meals. Parents may need to supplement the lenten meals with non-lenten foods, but our children can and should participate in the

lifestyle changes that Lent brings, so that might learn from an early age. If in doubt about how to modify these guidelines, see the priest.

Holy Week – Intense Fasting

  • On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, we fast as strictly as we can without sickness or endangering ourselves & others.
  • We should eat as simply as possible on these days: many people practice Xerophagy, like during Clean Week (xerophagy, which means ‘dry-eating’, means eating foods which require little-to-no preparation, like nuts, raw vegetables, fruits, bread, etc.). This helps us spend less time on food prep.
  • Easier food prep means more time for prayer and worship!
  • On Holy Thursday, a Wine & Oil day, our fasting is lessened and we may eat more, cook with oil, and celebrate our Lord’s Supper by consuming wine and liquor.
  • Holy Friday, when our Lord died upon the Cross, should be our strictest day of fasting throughout the year. We should struggle to fast completely until after the afternoon Vespers service, and then eating as simply and as little as possible.
  • On Holy Saturday, we should fast from midnight until receiving Communion at the Vesperal Liturgy, and then from 6 PM for the midnight Paschal Service.
  • For our meal on Holy Saturday after the Vesperal Liturgy, the Typikon (the book which lays out all our fasting and feasting rules) appoints a large piece of bread, six figs or dates, and a cup of wine. Following the spirit of this, many people limit this meal to bread, fruits, and wine, though in less austere quantities.

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