Great lent - Abstinence from food


During the weekdays of the Great Fast, we’re supposed to abstain from food for a longer period. For example until 1 or 2pm or even more.
Does that include abstinence from water as well?



  • Yes, water and food. 

    Also, the goal is to get to fast until sundown (6-7pm). So that's why there are lent liturgies done 4-7pm
  • Thank you Minatasgeel.
  • thanks minatasgeel,
    also that is an abouna question - 
    each person needs to discuss how much to fast at confession.
    if your priest is too busy to confess soon, then start small and then increase it a little and check it out with your priest as soon as you can.
    fasting should be part of abtaining from all evil and praying, giving to the poor, attending Holy Commnunion and studying the Bible and the writing of the orthodox church fathers / mothers.

    if a person is new to fasting (new to the orthodox church, or didn't fast much in childhood and now just starting), the person should start slow (e.g. just cut out meat, eat everything else and abstain from eating till 10am) and then increase slowly once he/she can keep this up regularly.
    for example, when i joined the church, it took me a few years to cut out animal products on wednesdays and fridays, once i had slowly started keeping the 4 main fasts.
    i am still working on the rest of it - not ready to live in a cave eating beans at 6pm yet!
  • When does the abstinence from food stops? After the last Friday of the Great Fast or after the Great Friday of Holy Week?
  • after the holy resurrection feast.
    bright saturday (in less than 2 weeks :) !) is the only weekend day that we are allowed to fast by abstaining from food.
    so you can take Holy Communion early in the morning, have a small drink of water and then continue fasting till the feast.
    don't worry, it is not compulsory!
    as i said above - build up slowly (i am not great at fasting, just telling you the rules about it).

    several people in my church avoid eating all sweet things during holy week (again, this is optional) - it is the week where we all try to abstain from food as much as we can (age and health allowing), at least till mid day.
    please note that small children and pregnant and breast feeding women should not be abstaining from food and drink like that (as this is a public site, i am making sure no one makes that mistake, not that i think yoan is pregnant!)
  • Thank you Mabsoota :)
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