On Monday, May 31, we begin the Apostles’ Fast, one of the four canonical fasting periods of the Church year. The Apostles’ Fast always begins the Monday following All Saints Sunday and ends on June 29, the feastday of Ss. Peter and Paul, Chiefs of the Apostles. The duration of this fast varies each year depending on the date of Pascha (which determines the date of All Saints).
This post will provide you with the fasting guidelines for the Apostles’ Fast for this year, according to the general practice of All Saints parish and as approved for publication by Fr. Nicholas Sorensen.
The guidelines in this post 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 Apostles’ Fast are as follows:
MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and FRIDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.
TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS 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.
SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Fish, Wine, and Oil Days. On these days the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.
This year there is one exception to these general rules: Friday, June 4, the feastday of St. Metrophanes, first patriarch of Constantinople. This commemoration is observed as a Wine and Oil Day even thought it falls on a Friday.
- 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.