A time of preparation prior to the feast of the
Dormition of our Most Holy Theotokos
Every year the Orthodox Church sets aside the first fourteen days of August in honor of the Virgin Mary. This fasting period ends on August 15, when the Church gathers to celebrate the much-beloved Great Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.
The mother and bearer of God was "blessed among women," and she was chosen "to bear the Savior of our souls." Orthodox Christians consider her to be the queen of all the saints and angels. Knowing that she is eternally present at the throne of God interceding for mankind, we pray for her love, guidance, and protection.
These guidelines are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father. If you have any specific questions about how the fasting discipline applies to you, you should consult your spiritual father.
The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:
WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish, fowl, wine, and oil.
SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Wine, and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish, and fowl.
The one exception to these general guidelines is that the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (August 6), which always falls during the Dormition Fast, is celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. On this great feastday, the fast is relaxed to permit fish in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.
Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.