Dormition Fast

(August 1 through 14)

The Dormition Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, wine and oil) is observed during the fast which lasts from August 1st through 14th. There is dispensation for wine and oil on Saturdays and Sundays, and for fish, wine and oil on the Transfiguration which is August 6th. Here are the guidelines:






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)



(except on August 6th, the Transfiguration)

(on Saturdays and Sundays, and on the Transfiguration.)

(on Saturdays and Sundays, and on the Transfiguration.)

Abstinence includes refraining from the food and drink mentioned above as well as smoking. The Eucharistic Fast means abstaining from at least the previous midnight for communing at a morning Liturg.


The Purpose of Fasting

The purpose of fasting is to focus on the things that are above, the Kingdom of God. It is a means of putting on virtue in reality, here and now. Through it we are freed from dependence on worldly things. We fast faithfully and in secret, not judging others, and not holding ourselves up as an example.

•  Fasting in itself is not a means of pleasing God. Fasting is not a punishment for our sins. Nor is fasting a means of suffering and pain to be undertaken as some kind of atonement. Christ already redeemed us on His Cross. Salvation is a gift from God that is not bought by our hunger or thirst.

•  We fast to be delivered from carnal passions so that God's gift of Salvation may bear fruit in us.

•  We fast and turn our eyes toward God in His Holy Church. Fasting and prayer go together.

•  Fasting is not irrelevant. Fasting is not obsolete, and it is not something for someone else. Fasting is from God, for us, right here and right now.

•  Most of all, we should not devour each other. We ask God to “set a watch and keep the door of our lips.”


Do Not Fast

•  if you are pregnant or nursing a newborn;

•  during serious illness;

•  without prayer;

•  without alms-giving;

•  according to your own will without guidance from your spiritual father.