Fasting Rules & Regulations
In order to receive Holy Communion , a person has to fast at least three days or one week; there are circumstances that we fast 40 days like before Easter, before Christmas or 15 days before August 15th or before Christmas starting December 12th.
There are also days that the Church asks from her faithful to fast one day only to honor the feast day or the eve of a feast day.
The fasting is not to receive anything that comes from animals that have blood, meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
In the Orthodox Church fish is not a fasting item that can be consumed during fasting, except some feast days that fall in the fasting period. The fasting period is split in two parts the first 3 days oily products and the other 2 or 3 without oil and also depends the health condition of the faithful.
Another theory is that as long as you are spiritually clean you can fast all the Wednesdays and Fridays of the year and the fasting seasons of the Church and receive Holy Communion.
In the morning that you are going to receive Communion, you should have been to Holy Confession from before and the first thing that has to go to your stomach is the Holy Communion.
This means that you do not brush your teeth, you do not take breakfast, and you do not drink milk or water. Except if, for your health, you have to receive medicine in the morning and that medicine requires to be taken with food in that case you are allowed to put food into your mouth and take your medicine. Shellfish is allowed because there is no blood in it.
DAYS OF FASTING IN THE ORTHODOX FAITH
- Jan 5th (One Day)
- Every Wednesday and Friday
- The Week of Cheesefare Sunday only dairy no meat
- 4- From Clean Monday to the Saturday of Lazarus, strict fast of the Great Lent. March 25th Annunciation Feast Day and Palm Sunday fish is allowed.
- Holy Week: from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday.
- Holy Saturday is the only Saturday of the year that boiled Fasting is allowed the rest of the year is oily products are consumed on Saturdays.
- No fasting the whole Bright week Easter- to 1st Sunday After Easter.
- From All Saints Sunday to June 29th. Fast of the Disciples. This period can be 0 day to 30 days, depends when is All Saints Day which, is always 57th days after Easter.
- August 1st to 15th. Dormition or Assumption of Virgin Mary.
- August 29th, One Day Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.
- September 14th, One Day. Elevation of the Holy Cross.
- November 15th to December 25th. Christmas Fast. Also this fast can start from December 12th to Christmas.
- No Fasting from Christmas to January 5th. (The 12 festal days of Christmas).
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE RECEIVE COMMUNION?
First Children need to start fasting when they are 8 years old only two or three days, not strict. They are allowed to receive Holy Communion since their Baptism and the fasting regulations do not apply to children up to 8 years old.
A person in clear conscience. A person who received absolution of his/her sins through Confession. Can fast and receive Holy Communion. The theory of receiving 3 times a year is wrong, also to receive it every week is not necessary. It will be nice a Christian person to be united with the Lord once or twice a month in order to live a good and active spiritual live. It is a grave sin not to receive for many years Holy Communion, except if the spiritual Father has put a restriction of a period time. This period time the maximum according to the Canon Law is two years, in the extreme conditions.