- Monday | November 15, 2021 to Friday | December 24, 2021
- 6:00 am
Guidelines for the Nativity Fast
(Nov. 15 th – Dec. 24th
The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods: The 1st period is November 15 through December 19th , when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays . There is dispensation given for fish , wine , and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays and Sundays. The 2nd period is December 20th through the 24th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is strictly observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period. A chart is provided below:
|beef, chicken, pork, turkey, elk, veal, lamb, deer, rabbit, buffalo, and so forth||milk, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, cream, and so forth||fish with a backbone (not including shrimp, octopus, shellfish, squid, or other seafood)||(some include all types of alcohol in this category)||(some include all types of oil in this category)|
|Abstain.||Abstain.||Permitted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays before December 20||Permitted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays before December 20||Permitted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays before December 20|
The Purpose of Fasting
The purpose of fasting is to focus on the things that are above, the Kingdom of God. Through it we are freed from dependence on worldly things. We fast faithfully and in secret, not judging others . Fasting in itself is not a means of pleasing God. Fasting is not a punishment for our sins , n or is fasting a means of suffering and pain to be undertaken as some kind of atonement. Christ alr eady redeemed us on His Cross. We fast to be delivered from carnal passions so that God’s gift of Salvation may bear fruit in us.
Most of all, we should not devour each other. We ask God to “set a watch and keep the door of our lips.”
THANKSGIVING DAY — The faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese in the USA may relax the fast entirely to observe the Thanksgiving Day national celebration, which falls on November 25th this year.
From December 20th through the 24th inclusive
(The Nativity Fast becomes more strict)
During these final days of the Nativity Fast, olive oil and wine are permitted only on Saturdays and Sundays. Fish is not permitted on any day during this period.