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Great Fast Information 2024

THE FULL BYZANTINE FASTING TRADITION

Traditionally, along with increased prayer and almsgiving, the full extent of the Byzantine fasting rule is to abstain from all meat, sea creatures with vertebrae, dairy, other animal byproducts like eggs and broth, oil, and wine, for all Wednesdays and Fridays during the Great Fast, with relaxations of varying degrees on other days and feasts. 

Most of the faithful, however, are not monastics.  The following regulations were published by the Archbishop and are obligatory for all who receive the Eucharist, with the exception of:

* Those under the age of 12 or over the age of 65

* Those with a medical condition managed by a specific diet

* Those pregnant or breastfeeding

Those who are not part of these groups but have concerns about the fast should discuss the matter with their priest or spiritual director. 

All the faithful are encouraged to speak with their priest or spiritual director about additional sacrifices, prayers, and almsgiving to tailor the Great Fast to your particular spiritual needs. 

 

REGULATIONS FOR THE SEASON

The fasts of the Liturgical year are to be kept in accordance with the

Norms of Particular Law of the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh.

 

SIMPLE ABSTINENCE

* The law of simple abstinence forbids the use of meat, but permits the use of eggs and dairy products.
* All faithful of the Archeparchy who receive the Eucharist are obliged to observe simple abstinence when prescribed. Simple abstinence is obligatory on all Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Fast.

 

STRICT ABSTINENCE

* The law of strict abstinence (fasting) forbids the use and consumption of all meat, eggs and dairy products.

* All faithful of the Archeparchy who receive the Eucharist are obliged to observe strict abstinence when prescribed.

* Strict abstinence (fasting) is to be observed in 2021 on Pure Monday, Feb. 15 (the first day of the Great Fast), and on Great and Holy Friday, April 2.

DISPENSATIONS

* Priests and parents are to ensure that minors are educated in the authentic sense of penance.

* Pastors and administrators, with just cause and taking into account acceptable reasons due to personal circumstances, may grant to the individual faithful as well as to individual families, dispensations, transversals, or commutations of abstinence and strict fast into other pious practices. Superiors of religious houses or clerical institutions enjoy these same faculties relative to their constituents.

 

LITURGICAL SERVICES

* The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts takes precedence over all other Lenten Devotions.

* The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts only is to be celebrated on Wednesdays and/or Friday evenings of the Great Fast and also on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week.

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