Honey while fasting

Honey is an animal product like milk and eggs are. As we all know, anything with milk or eggs are not fasting foods. So if we abstain from milk and eggs because they are animal products as we abstain from meat. So can we eat honey while fasting? If we can, why can we have honey and not milk or eggs?


  • Because Christ wants you to be sweet.
  • edited November 2017
    As a convert, I have found those who concentrate on the semantics of an issue tend to forget the actual meaning of it. 

    There are people on here and Facebook who know every detail about all Christian history,  the councils, every single part of the Diving Liturgy, what Abouna should and should not be doing during a Liturgy, how we should dress in the church and even how we should be praying.

     Unfortunately, when you ask the last time they went to the Diving Liturgy or Confession, they have no response because they rarely attend or confess. It's like trying to play American football without knowing how to tackle. 

    We should be focusing on our fasting by changing a number of things, and incorporating others in to our daily lives. Our eating habits are certainly a part of it. So, maybe no fast food if possible? Have some home made food? Eating less or no animal products, increase our prayer, sing the hymns of the season, and have more of an awareness of Christ in our daily lives. These should be the key points to focus on during a fast. 

    The idea is not to focus on what we can't or can eat, but how we can improve ourselves and become more Christ-like. Also, be practical. Honey is a valuable source of vitamins and energy for those in certain climates. Egypt fits into that. Many of these rules were put in place not knowing that the church would be international like it is today. Honey was used as medicine -- and still is -- for centuries. If you look at it for the perspective of those who set out the guidelines of fasting in our church, it makes sense. 
  • I agree, Christ wants us all to be as sweet as honey.

  • edited November 2017
    You hit on an important point. Guidelines are different in different areas. We have Egyptian guidelines, which I try to follow personally. But in the end, the spirit of fasting is just as important as the literal. If you’re not doing what is associated with fasting, which is your spiritual well-being, you fast in vain. So ask yourself, what comforts of the world are you willing to sacrifice, and connect that with food. Then you will gain a much greater appreciation of the practice of fasting than merely focus on the foods you have to avoid.

    PS just yesterday someone was asking why we are not allowed to eat fish in Wednesday’s and Fridays. My answer: Judas was acting fishy. :-P
  • I was just curious. This might be funny but I don't even like honey so go figure. But still, no body answered the question. That being said, I can assure I haven't forgotten the actual meaning of fasting and I attend liturgies on a regular basis and I confess on a regular basis.
  • edited November 2017
    Well, if you hate it, maybe you should have it :-P

    The answer to your question is an answer of custom, not doctrine.  So ItalianCoptic is probably correct in that the restrictions are understandable in an Egyptian context.
  • @Girgisantony, how is honey an animal product? 
    Oujai qen P[c
  • certainly we can eat honey, i checked with several people (including a priest) and it is definitely allowed in the fast.

    european vegans class honey as an animal product as it is made by bees.
    bees are not plants, so they are animals.
    so be careful not to include honey if you are cooking fasting food for your fully vegan friends.

    honey is found naturally, though, as was commonly eaten in asia and africa by people who followed ascetic practices (for example, john the baptist).
    i think that people who avoid animal products in african societies still eat honey.
    however, as far as i know, we don't follow saint john's habit of eating locusts.

    please restrain yourself from eating locusts until 7th january!
  • Thanks @mabsoota
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • FWIW, I read online that the Armenian Church abstains from honey, but the Syriac Church like the Coptic Church does not.
  • @Girgissntony

    I wasn't assuming you don't take communion and go to confession. My bad if I came off as an A**hole. I was trying to make a point, but as my wife usually says, "Stop lecturing me and make the point." :-p
  • Bees are insects.
  • @mabsoota darn, I meal prepped for next week already :((
  • Only love is sweeter than honey.
  • But then is fish not considered an animal?
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • Only on Wednesdays, Fridays, Paramouns, Jonah's Fast, and Lent  :P
  • funny memory; as a new orthodox Christian i asked my friend if honey is 'sayami' and she said; why are you worried about honey? i am still trying to give up milk!
    it was several months before I found out the answer!
  • @ItalianCoptic, don't worry man, thats not how it came off at all. 
  • During a fast like that of the Advent, 
    are we permitted to eat Fish (seafoods)
    on Wednesdays and Fridays ?

  • Hi @Jojo_Hanna,

    Not on Wednesdays or Fridays, or baramoun days, as those are considered first degree fast days. 

    oujai qen P[c

  • That's nothing to mention @Jojo_Hanna
    Oujai khan ebshois
Sign In or Register to comment.