On Friday, August 15, we will celebrate the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. In preparation for this great feast of the Mother of God, we observe a two-week period of fasting from August 1-14.
Following are the fasting guidelines for the Dormition Fast for this year, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.
Note that these fasting guidelines are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father. In the case of All Saints parishioners, your spiritual father is Fr. Nicholas.
The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:
WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.
SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.
The one exception to these general rules is that the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (August 6), which always falls during the Dormition Fast, is celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. On this great feastday, the fast is relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.
When Holy Dormition falls on a Friday (as it does this year), the normal Friday fasting discipline is relaxed and this feastday is also celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day.
- Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
- If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
- Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.