A vibrant parish is one that truly lives the Great Fast because it sees the Fast as an opportunity to grow in the faith. Members of a vibrant Parish voluntarily embrace ascetical practices. The Great Fast begins in just eight days. It starts on Monday, March 3rd. Here are some thoughts for observing this special time.
Recommended Minimal Effort
- Abstain from meat and dairy products on the first day of the Fast (March 3) and Good Friday (April 18)
- Abstain from meat on All Fridays of Lent and Holy Saturday (April 19)
In order to enter into the spirit of Lent this minimal effort is highly recommended.
A Strict Lenten Tradition
- Abstain from meat and dairy products all the days of the Fast, even on weekends, from March 3 until after Easter services (April 20)
- Meat eliminated beginning the day after Meatfare (February 24)
- Dairy Products eliminated the day after Cheesefare (March 2)
Modified Strict Lenten Tradition
A modified version of the strict tradition calls for us, in addition to the minimal effort suggested, to abstain from meat on all Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent and all the days of Great and Holy Week.
What is Really Important
What is really important about the Great Fast is that we live it. The Church urges us to incorporate fasting into our efforts since she has found, over the centuries, that it can be an extremely helpful tool to help us focus our attention on our spiritual growth. What is more important, however, is that we voluntarily elect to engage in some definite activities that can support our spiritual growth and prepare us for the celebration of Easter. We should do whatever we think can encourage personal change! If fasting is not something that will help, then don’t fast BUT find something you can consistently do during the 40 days to help you grow in your awareness of God within you. You are encouraged to attend at least one Presanctified Liturgy.