Guidelines for Fasting

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and fasting with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.

- St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians

The fast for the forty days of Lent is indicated below, though many are not able to hold to the strict fast.

We offer the following guidelines to be considered prayerfully with the guidance of your spiritual father and in consideration of any medical conditions or dietary requirements.

One key to a more fulfilling life is prayer. For Orthodox Christians, the aim of prayer is to enter into conversation with God. Prayer is sometimes referred to as dialogue with God. Often it is a waiting on God in silence. In the church it is defined as the lifting of the mind and heart to God, and also as walking in the presence of God. We turn our mind and thoughts towards Him. We mentally gaze at Him and speak with Him in reverence, fear, and hope. At times we speak to Him with words and at other times we stand in reverent silence. Saying nothing, but being aware of His presence. In this dialogue with God we praise Him and thank Him. We ask Him for what we need. Our mind and our hearts are open to Him. Prayer is not only repeating words, it is trust in God that he hears and directs us in His Way involving spiritual growth and development.

Jesus’ Instructions on Fasting

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that you do not appear to men to be fasting but to your father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 6:16-18

Strict Fast

  • No Meat, Fish, Milk, Dairy Products, Oil, or Oil Products

  • Shellfish are permitted throughout Great Lent


  • MARCH 25TH

  • All day: Fish, Oil & Wine Permitted

Palm Sunday

  • Fish, Oil & Wine permitted

The Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

Read each weekday during Great Lent

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth,
despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions,
and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Present in all places and filling all things, The treasury of blessings and Giver of life: Come and abide in us.
Cleanse us from all impurity, and save our souls, O Gracious Lord


Do you fast? Give Me Proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him.
If you see a friend being honored,
do not envy him.
Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands
and all the members of our bodies.
Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast,
By disciplining them not to
glare at that which is sinful.
Let the mouth fast from foul words
and unjust criticism.
For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers? May He who came to the world to save sinners strengthen us to complete the fast with humility, have mercy on us and save us.