Nativity Fast

The Nativity Fast begins on November 15 and runs through Christmas Eve Liturgy. This fast is one in which we should abstain from a minimum of fleshmeats and dairy as we are able. If you have any questions about personalizing your fast please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Chris.

The below fasting guidelines have been taken from all the Holy Canons and Interpretations found in The Rudder (Pedalion), which contains the Sacred and Divine Canons of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church — The Orthodox Christian Church.

On Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

Abstinence of: Meat, Meat Products, and Dairy Products.
No Abstinence of: Fish, Shellfish, Vegetables and Vegetable Products, and Fruit.

On Wednesdays and Fridays

Abstinence of: Meat, Meat Products, Dairy Products, Fish, Olive Oil and Wine.
No Abstinence of: Shellfish, Vegetables and Vegetable Products, and Fruit.

On Wednesdays and Fridays during the Nativity Fast, Orthodox Christians regulate both the amount of food they consume and the number of times per day they eat. In other words, no food should be eaten between meals, and at meal time, only a small portion of food should be eaten.

Note: From December 13th 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. Also, December 24th is a very strict fast day.


Dairy Products: butter, eggs, milk, cheese, etc.
Shellfish: oysters, shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, etc.
Fish: tuna, trout, dolphin, grouper, etc.

The purpose of this outline is to educate us about fasting and abstinence during Advent. Also, the above guidelines are strict and according to the “letter of the law”, representing the height of fasting to which we must aspire. It is important for you and your family to participate fully in the “spirit of the law”, controlling the desires of the flesh, fasting to the best of your ability, working this all out within your family and in consultation with your spiritual father. Remember, in addition to fasting, November 15th – December 24th is a time during which we should prepare ourselves to receive the Incarnate God and Savior Jesus Christ, and avail ourselves to increased prayer, scripture reading (and lives of saints), and almsgiving.