Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food,
drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast or dry fasting
is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a
defined period, usually 24 hours, or a number of days. Water fasting
allows the drinking of water, but nothing else, although black coffee
and tea may be consumed. Other fasts may be partially restrictive,
limiting only particular foods or substances, or be intermittent.
In a physiological context, fasting may refer to the metabolic status
of a person who has not eaten overnight, or to the metabolic state
achieved after complete digestion and absorption of a meal. Several
metabolic adjustments occur during fasting. Some diagnostic tests are
used to determine a fasting state. For example, a person is assumed to
be fasting once 8–12 hours have elapsed since the last meal.
Metabolic changes of the fasting state begin after absorption of a
meal (typically 3–5 hours after eating).
A diagnostic fast refers to prolonged fasting (from 8–72 hours,
depending on age) conducted under observation to facilitate the
investigation of a health complication, usually hypoglycemia. Many
people may also fast as part of a medical procedure or a check-up,
such as preceding a colonoscopy or surgery.
Fasting may also be part
of a religious ritual.
1 Health effects
1.1 Medical application
1.3 Mental health and psychiatry
1.4 Weight loss
2 Other effects
3 Political application
4 Religious views
4.1 Bahá'í Faith
4.3.1 Roman Catholicism
4.3.3 Eastern Orthodoxy
220.127.116.11 Fast days
18.104.22.168 Fast-free days
4.3.5 Oriental Orthodox Churches
4.3.6 Church of the East
4.3.7 Lutheran and
Pentecostalism and Charismatic Movement
4.3.9 The Church of
Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
5 In alternative medicine
6 See also
8 External links
Starvation response and Intermittent fasting
See also: Preoperative fasting, Body cleansing, and Nothing by mouth
Fasting is often practiced prior to surgery or other procedures that
require general anesthesia because of the risk of pulmonary aspiration
of gastric contents after induction of anesthesia (i.e., vomiting and
inhaling the vomit, causing life-threatening aspiration
pneumonia). Additionally, certain medical tests, such as
cholesterol testing (lipid panel) or certain blood glucose
measurements require fasting for several hours so that a baseline can
be established. In the case of a lipid panel, failure to fast for a
full 12 hours (including vitamins) will guarantee an elevated
Fasting is of no help in either preventing or treating cancer. In
American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society recommended that people undergoing
chemotherapy increase their intake of protein and calories. There is
some evidence that a short-term period of fasting may have benefits
Mental health and psychiatry
Fasting can help alleviate some symptoms of depression. However the
psychological effects may also include anxiety and depression.
Although fasting for periods shorter than 24 hours have been shown to
be effective for weight loss in obese and healthy adults and to
maintain lean body mass, some researchers argue that using
fasting for weight loss is unnecessary.
See also: Category:
Food and drink appreciation
It has been argued that fasting makes one better appreciate
In rare occurrences, fasting can lead to refeeding syndrome.
Fasting is often used as a tool to make a political statement, to
protest, or to bring awareness to a cause. A hunger strike is a method
of non-violent resistance in which participants fast as an act of
political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt, or to achieve a
goal such as a policy change. A spiritual fast
incorporates personal spiritual beliefs with the desire to express
personal principles, sometimes in the context of a social
The political and religious leader
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Mohandas K. Gandhi undertook
several long fasts as political and social protests. Gandhi's fasts
had a significant impact on the
British Raj and the Indian population
In Northern Ireland in 1981, a prisoner, Bobby Sands, was part of the
1981 Irish hunger strike, protesting for better rights in
prison. Sands had just been elected to the British
Parliament and died after 66 days of not eating. His funeral was
attended by 100,000 people and the strike ended only after 9 other men
died. In all, ten men survived without food for 46 to 73 days.
César Chávez undertook a number of spiritual fasts, including a
25-day fast in 1968 promoting the principle of nonviolence, and a fast
of 'thanksgiving and hope' to prepare for pre-arranged civil
disobedience by farm workers. Chávez regarded a spiritual
fast as "a personal spiritual transformation". Other progressive
campaigns have adopted the tactic.
It has been suggested that this section be split out into another
article titled Religious fasting. (Discuss) (February 2016)
Main article: Nineteen Day Fast
In the Bahá'í Faith, fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset
during the Bahá'í month of 'Ala' (March 1 or 2 – March 19 or
Bahá'u'lláh established the guidelines in the
Kitáb-i-Aqdas. It is the complete abstaining from both food and drink
during daylight hours (including abstaining from smoking). Consumption
of prescribed medications is not restricted. Observing the fast is an
individual obligation and is binding on Bahá'ís between 15 years
(considered the age of maturity) and 70 years old. Exceptions to
fasting include individuals younger than 15 or older than 70; those
suffering illness; women who are pregnant, nursing, or menstruating;
travellers who meet specific criteria; individuals whose profession
involves heavy labor and those who are very sick, where fasting would
be considered dangerous. For those involved in heavy labor, they are
advised to eat in private and generally to have simpler or smaller
meals than are normal.
Along with obligatory prayer, it is one of the greatest obligations of
a Bahá'í. In the first half of the 20th century, Shoghi Effendi,
explains: "It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of
spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make
the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and
reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance
and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character.
Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and
The Buddha emaciated after undergoing severe ascetic practices.
Gandhara, 2 – 3rd century CE. British Museum.
Buddhist monks and nuns following the
Vinaya rules commonly do not eat
each day after the noon meal. This is not considered a fast but
rather a disciplined regimen aiding in meditation and good health.
Once when the Buddha was touring in the region of Kasi together with a
large sangha of monks he addressed them saying: I, monks, do not eat a
meal in the evening. Not eating a meal in the evening I, monks, am
aware of good health and of being without illness and of buoyancy and
strength and living in comfort. Come, do you too, monks, not eat a
meal in the evening. Not eating a meal in the evening you too, monks,
will be aware of good health and..... living in comfort.
Fasting is practiced by lay Buddhists during times of intensive
meditation, such as during a retreat. During periods of fasting,
followers completely stray away from eating animal products although,
they do allow consumption of milk. Furthermore, they also avoid eating
processed foods and the five pungent foods which are; garlic, welsh
onion, garlic chives, asana, leeks. The Middle Path refers to
avoiding extremes of indulgence on the one hand and self-mortification
on the other. Prior to attaining Buddhahood, prince Siddhartha
practiced a short regime of strict austerity—following years of
serenity meditation under two teachers—during which he consumed very
little food. These austerities with five other ascetics did not lead
to progress in meditation, liberation (moksha), or the ultimate goal
of nirvana. Henceforth, prince Siddhartha practiced moderation in
eating which he later advocated for his disciples. However, on
Uposatha days (roughly once a week) lay Buddhists are instructed to
observe the eight precepts which includes refraining from eating
after noon until the following morning. The eight precepts closely
resemble the ten vinaya precepts for novice monks and nuns. The novice
precepts are the same with an added prohibition against handling
Vajrayana practice of Nyung Ne is based on the tantric practice of
Chenrezig. It is said that
Chenrezig appeared to an Indian
nun who had contracted leprosy and was on the verge of death.
Chenrezig taught her the method of Nyung Ne in which one keeps the
eight precepts on the first day, then refrains from both food and
water on the second. Although seemingly against the Middle Way, this
practice is to experience the negative karma of both oneself and all
other sentient beings and, as such is seen to be of benefit. Other
self-inflicted harm is discouraged.
Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness (Jésus tenté dans le désert), James
Tissot, Brooklyn Museum
Further information: Christian dietary laws
Fasting is a practice in several Christian denominations and is done
both collectively during certain seasons of the liturgical calendar,
or individually as a believer feels led by the Holy Spirit. In
Western Christianity, the
Lenten fast is observed by many communicants
of the Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, Methodist Churches,
Anglican Communion, and the Western Orthodox
Churches and is a forty-day partial fast to commemorate the fast
Christ during his temptation in the desert. While
some Western Christians observe the
Lenten fast in its entirety, Ash
Good Friday are nowadays emphasized by Western Christian
denominations as the normative days of fasting within the Lenten
In the traditional Black Fast, the observant abstains from food for a
whole day until the evening, and at sunset, traditionally breaks the
India and Pakistan, many Christians continue to
Black Fast on
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, with some
fasting in this manner throughout the whole season of Lent.
Partial fasting within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (abstaining from
meat and milk) which takes place during certain times of the year and
lasts for weeks.
Fasting and abstinence in the Roman Catholic Church
For Roman Catholics, fasting, taken as a technical term, is the
reduction of one's intake of food to one full meal (which may not
contain meat on
Ash Wednesday and Fridays throughout Lent) and two
small meals (known liturgically as collations, taken in the morning
and the evening), both of which together should not equal the large
meal. Eating solid food between meals is not permitted.
required of the faithful between the ages of 18 and 59 on specified
days. Complete abstinence of meat for the day is required of those 14
and older. Partial abstinence prescribes that meat be taken only once
during the course of the day.
Meat is understood not to include fish
or cold-blooded animals.
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII had initially relaxed some of the regulations concerning
fasting in 1956. In 1966,
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI in his apostolic constitution
Paenitemini, changed the strictly regulated Roman Catholic fasting
requirements. He recommended that fasting be appropriate to the local
economic situation, and that all Catholics voluntarily fast and
abstain. In the United States, there are only two obligatory days of
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The Fridays of
Lent are days
of abstinence: eating meat is not allowed. Pastoral teachings since
1966 have urged voluntary fasting during
Lent and voluntary abstinence
on the other Fridays of the year. The regulations concerning such
activities do not apply when the ability to work or the health of a
person would be negatively affected.
Prior to the changes made by Pius XII and Paul VI, fasting and
abstinence were more strictly regulated. The church had prescribed
that Roman Catholics observe fasting or abstinence on a number of days
throughout the year.
In addition to the fasts mentioned above, Roman Catholics must also
observe the Eucharistic Fast, which involves taking nothing but water
and medicines into the body for one hour before receiving the
Eucharist. The ancient practice was to fast from midnight until Mass
that day, but as Masses after noon and in the evening became common,
this was soon modified to fasting for three hours. Current law
requires merely one hour of eucharistic fast, although some Roman
Catholics still abide by the older rules.
Colloquially, fasting, abstinence, the Eucharistic Fast, and personal
sacrificial disciplines (such as abnegation of sweets for
Lent or the
like) are altogether referred to as fasting.
Catholic Church has also promoted a Black Fast, in which in
addition to water, bread is consumed. Typically, this form of fasting
was used only by monks and other religious individuals who practice
mortifications and asceticism, but all Catholics are invited to take
part in it with the advice and consent of their Spiritual Director.
Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer prescribes certain days as days for fasting
and abstinence, "consisting of the 40 days of Lent, the ember days,
the three rogation days (the Monday to Wednesday following the Sunday
after Ascension Day), and all Fridays in the year (except Christmas,
if it falls on a Friday)":
A Table of the Vigils, Fasts, and Days of Abstinence, to be Observed
in the Year.
The eves (vigils) before:
The Nativity of our Lord.
The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin.
St. John Baptist.
St. Simon and St. Jude.
All Saints' Day.
Note: if any of these Feast-Days fall upon a Monday, then the
Fast-Day shall be kept upon the Saturday, and not upon the Sunday next
Days of Fasting, or Abstinence.
I. The Forty Days of Lent.
II. The Ember-Days at the Four Seasons, being the Wednesday, Friday,
and Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent, the Feast of Pentecost,
September 14, and December 13.
III. The Three Rogation Days, being the Monday, Tuesday, and
Wednesday, before Holy Thursday, or the Ascension of our Lord.
IV. All the Fridays in the Year, except
Saint Augustine's Prayer Book defines "Fasting, usually meaning not
more than a light breakfast, one full meal, and one half meal, on the
forty days of Lent." Abstinence, according to Saint Augustine's
Prayer Book, "means to refrain from some particular type of food or
drink. One traditional expression of abstinence is to avoid meat on
Lent or through the entire year, except in the seasons of
Christmas and Easter. It is common to undertake some particular act of
abstinence during the entire season of Lent. This self-discipline may
be helpful at other times, as an act of solidarity with those who are
in need or as a bodily expression of prayer."
In the process of revising the
Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer in various
provinces of the
Anglican Communion the specification of abstinence or
fast for certain days has been retained. Generally
Lent and Fridays
are set aside, though Fridays during Christmastide and Eastertide are
sometimes avoided. Often the
Ember Days or
Rogation Days are also
specified, and the eves (vigils) of certain feasts.
For Eastern Orthodox Christians, fasting is an important spiritual
discipline, found in both the
Old Testament and the New, and is tied
to the principle in
Orthodox theology of the synergy between the body
(Greek: soma) and the soul (pneuma). That is to say, Orthodox
Christians do not see a dichotomy between the body and the soul but
rather consider them as a united whole, and they believe that what
happens to one affects the other (this is known as the psychosomatic
union between the body and the soul). Saint Gregory Palamas
argued that man's body is not an enemy but a partner and collaborator
with the soul. Christ, by taking a human body at the Incarnation, has
made the flesh an inexhaustible source of sanctification. This
same concept is also found in the much earlier homilies of Saint
Macarius the Great.
Fasting can take up a significant portion of the calendar year. The
purpose of fasting is not to suffer, but according to Sacred Tradition
to guard against gluttony and impure thoughts, deeds and words.
Fasting must always be accompanied by increased prayer and almsgiving
(donating to a local charity, or directly to the poor, depending on
circumstances). To engage in fasting without them is considered
useless or even spiritually harmful. To repent of one's sins and
to reach out in love to others is part and parcel of true fasting.
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant
discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this
article by introducing citations to additional sources. (January 2016)
There are four fasting seasons, which include:
Lent (40 days) and
Holy Week (7 days),
Nativity Fast (40 days),
Apostles' Fast (variable length), and
Dormition Fast (2 weeks)
Wednesdays and Fridays are also fast days throughout the year (with
the exception of fast-free periods). In some Orthodox monasteries,
Mondays are also observed as fast days (Mondays are dedicated to the
Angels, and monasticism is called the "angelic life").
Other days occur which are always observed as fast days:
The paramony or Eve of
Christmas and of Theophany (Epiphany)
Beheading of John the Baptist
Exaltation of the Cross
Fasting during these times includes abstention from:
oil (interpreted variously as abstention from olive oil only, or as
abstention from all cooking oils in general), and
red wine (which is often interpreted as including all wine or
sexual activity (where fasting is pre-communion)
When a feast day occurs on a fast day, the fast is often mitigated
(lessened) to some degree (though meat and dairy are never consumed on
any fast day). For example, the Feast of the
always occurs within the Great
Lent in the Orthodox calendar: in this
case fish (traditionally haddock fried in olive oil) is the main meal
of the day.
There are two degrees of mitigation: allowance of wine and oil; and
allowance of fish, wine and oil. The very young and very old, nursing
mothers, the infirm, as well as those for whom fasting could endanger
their health somehow, are exempt from the strictest fasting rules.
On weekdays of the first week of Great Lent, fasting is particularly
severe, and many observe it by abstaining from all food for some
period of time. According to strict observance, on the first five days
(Monday through Friday) there are only two meals eaten, one on
Wednesday and the other on Friday, both after the Presanctified
Liturgy. Those who are unable to follow the strict observance may eat
on Tuesday and Thursday (but not, if possible, on Monday) in the
evening after Vespers, when they may take bread and water, or perhaps
tea or fruit juice, but not a cooked meal. The same strict abstention
is observed during Holy Week, except that a vegan meal with wine and
oil is allowed on Great Thursday.
On Wednesday and Friday of the first week of Great
Lent the meals
which are taken consist of xerophagy (literally, "dry eating") i.e.
boiled or raw vegetables, fruit, and nuts. In a number of
monasteries, and in the homes of more devout laypeople, xerophagy is
observed on every weekday (Monday through Friday) of Great Lent,
except when wine and oil are allowed.
Those desiring to receive
Holy Communion keep a total fast from all
food and drink from midnight the night before (see Eucharistic
discipline). The sole exception is the Communion offered at the Easter
Sunday midnight liturgy, when all are expressly invited and encouraged
to receive the Eucharist, regardless of whether they have kept the
During certain festal times the rules of fasting are done away with
entirely, and everyone in the church is encouraged to feast with due
moderation, even on Wednesday and Friday. Fast-free days are as
Bright Week-the period from Pascha (
Easter Sunday) through Thomas
Sunday (the Sunday after Pascha), inclusive.
Afterfeast of Pentecost-the period from
Pentecost Sunday until the
Sunday of All Saints, inclusive.
The period from the Nativity of the Lord until (but not including) the
eve of the Theophany (Epiphany).
The day of Theophany.
In Methodism, fasting is considered one of the Works of Piety. The
Discipline of the Wesleyan
Methodist Church required Methodists to
fast on "the first Friday after New-Year's-day; after Lady-day; after
Midsummer-day; and after Michaelmas-day." Historically, Methodist
clergy are required to fast on Wednesdays, in remembrance of the
betrayal of Christ, and on Fridays, in remembrance of His crucifixion
and death. "The General Rules of the Methodist Church,"
written by the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, wrote that "It is
expected of all who desire to continue in these societies that they
should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, by attending
upon all the ordinances of God, such are: the public worship of God;
the ministry of the Word, either read or expounded; the Supper of the
Lord; family and private prayer; searching the Scriptures; and fasting
or abstinence." The Directions Given to Band Societies (25
December 1744) mandated fasting on all Fridays of the year. Wesley
himself also fasted before receiving
Holy Communion "for the purpose
of focusing his attention on God," and asked other Methodist
Christians to do the same. In accordance with Scripture and the
teachings of the Church Fathers, fasting in
Methodism is done "from
morning until evening". The historic Methodist homilies regarding
Sermon on the Mount
Sermon on the Mount also stressed the importance of the Lenten
fast. The United
Methodist Church therefore states that:
There is a strong biblical base for fasting, particularly during the
40 days of
Lent leading to the celebration of Easter. Jesus, as part
of his spiritual preparation, went into the wilderness and fasted 40
days and 40 nights, according to the Gospels.
Good Friday, which is towards the end of the
Lenten season, is
traditionally an important day of communal fasting for Methodists.
Rev. Jacqui King, the minister of Nu Faith Community United Methodist
Church in Houston explained the philosophy of fasting during
"I'm not skipping a meal because in place of that meal I'm actually
dining with God".
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Fasting and abstinence of the Coptic Orthodox
Church of Alexandria
All Oriental Orthodox Churches practice fasting; however, the rules of
each Church differ. All Churches require fasting before one receives
Holy Communion. All Churches practice fasting on most Wednesday and
Fridays throughout the year as well as observing many other days.
Monks and nuns also observe additional fast days not required of the
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church (with the exception of the Armenian
Patriarchate of Jerusalem) has followed the
Gregorian Calendar since
1923, making it and the Finnish Orthodox Church the only Orthodox
Churches to primarily celebrate
Easter on the same date as Western
Christianity. As a result, the Armenian Church's observation of Lent
generally begins and ends before that of other Orthodox Churches.
Main article: Coptic abstinence
With the exception of the fifty days following
Easter in the Coptic
Orthodox Church of Alexandria, fish is not allowed during Lent, or on
Wednesdays, Fridays, and Paramon days. Other than that fish and
shellfish are allowed during fasting days.
The discipline of fasting entails that, apart from Saturdays, Sundays,
and holy feasts, one should keep a total fast from all food and drink
from midnight the night before to a certain time in the day usually
three o'clock in the afternoon (the hour
Jesus died on the Cross).
Also, it is preferred that one reduce one's daily intake of food
(typically, by eating only one full meal a day).
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church generally follows the fasting
practices of the Coptic Church however in some cases it follows the
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has an especially rigorous
Fasting in the Ethiopian Church implies abstention from food and
drink. No animal products are consumed, including dairy, eggs and
meat, and utensils that have touched such products must be washed
before touching the strictly vegan foods that are consumed on fast
days. During fast periods, Holy Liturgy (Mass) is held at noon (except
on Saturdays and Sundays), and because no food can be consumed before
communion, it is traditional for people to abstain from food until
mass is over (around 2 to 3 in the afternoon). Every Wednesday and
Friday are days of fasting because Wednesday is the day that the Lord
was condemned and Friday is the day he was crucified (the Wednesdays
and Fridays between
Easter Sunday and
Pentecost Sunday are an
exception as well as when
Christmas or Epiphany fall on a Wednesday or
a Friday ). The fasts that are ordained in the canon of the Church of
Holy Week and the 10-day Fast of the Cross
proclaimed by Byzantine Emperor Hereaclus (known as Hudadi, Abiye Tsom
or Tsome Eyesus), 56 days.
2. Fast of the Apostles, 10–40 days, which the Apostles kept after
they had received the Holy Spirit. It begins after
Pentecost (known as
3. The fast of Assumption of the Holy Virgin, 16 days in August (known
as Tsome Filseta).
Christmas Eve (Gahad ze Lidet) and The Eve of Epiphany, (Gahad ze
5. Advent, 40 days (Known as Tsome Gena that begin with "Sibket" on
15th Hedar and ends on
6. The fast of Nineveh, commemorating the preaching of Jonah. (On the
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the third week before Lent.
7. All Wednesdays and Fridays of the year except the ones that fall
Easter Sunday and
In addition to these, there is the fast of repentance which a person
keeps after committing sin, it being imposed as a penance by the
priest for seven days, forty days or one year. There is also a fast
which a bishop keeps at the time he is consecrated. Also there are
fasts that are widely observed but which have not been included in the
canon of the church and which are therefore considered strictly
optional such as the "Tsige Tsom" or Spring Fast, also known as
"Kweskwam Tsom" which marks the exile of the Holy Family in Egypt.
All persons above the age of 13 are expected to observe the church
fasts. Most children over age 7 are expected to observe at least the
Fast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin. Dispensations are granted
to those who are ill.
The total number of fasting days amounts to about 250 a year. While
many observe the Coptic Church's allowance for fish during the longer
fasts, it has increasingly become practice in the Ethiopian Church to
abstain from fish during all fasts according to the canons of the
The observation of
Lent within the
Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church was once
very strict but now is comparatively lenient compared with how it is
observed in other Orthodox Churches.
Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East practices fasting during Lent, the
seven weeks prior to Easter, wherein the faithful abstain from eating
eggs, meat and any dairy or animal products. This is preceded by
The Church of the East strictly observes the Nineveh Fast (Som
Baoutha). This annual observance occurs exactly 3 weeks before the
start of Lent. This tradition has been practised by all Christians of
Syriac traditions since the 6th century. At that time, a plague
afflicted the region of Nineveh, modern-day northern Iraq. The plague
devastated the city and the villages surrounding it, and out of
desperation the people ran to their bishop to find a solution. The
bishop sought help through the
Scriptures and came upon the story of
Jonah in the Old Testament. Upon reading the story, the bishop ordered
a three-day fast to ask God for forgiveness. At the end of the three
days, the plague had miraculously stopped, so on the fourth day the
Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran Churches, held that fasting
served to "kill and subdue the pride and lust of the flesh". As
such, the Lutheran churches often emphasized voluntary fasting over
collective fasting, though certains liturgical seasons and holy days
were times for communal fasting and abstinence. Certain
Lutheran communities advocate fasting during designated times such as
Lent, especially on
Ash Wednesday and Good
Friday. A Handbook for the Discipline of Lent
delineates the following Lutheran fasting guidelines:
Ash Wednesday and
Good Friday with only one simple meal during
the day, usually without meat.
Refrain from eating meat (bloody foods) on all Fridays in Lent,
substituting fish for example.
Eliminate a food or food group for the entire season. Especially
consider saving rich and fatty foods for Easter.
Consider not eating before receiving Communion in Lent.
Abstain from or limit a favorite activity (television, movies, etc.)
for the entire season, and spend more time in prayer, Bible study, and
reading devotional material.
It is also considered to be an appropriate physical preparation for
partaking of the Eucharist, but fasting is not necessary for receiving
Martin Luther wrote in his Small Catechism "
bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training, but a person
who has faith in these words, 'given for you' and 'shed for you for
the forgiveness of sin' is really worthy and well prepared."
John Calvin, the figurehead of the
Reformed tradition (the Continental
Reformed, Congregational, Presbyterian, and
Anglican Churches) held
that communal fasts "would help assuage the wrath of God, thus
combating the ravages of plague, famine and war". In additional,
individual fasting was beneficial in that "in preparing the individual
privately for prayer, as well as promoting humility, the confession of
guilt, gratitude for God's grace and, of course, discipling lust."
As such, many of the Churches in the
Reformed tradition retained the
Lenten fast in its entirety. The
Reformed Church in America
describes the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, as a day "focused on
prayer, fasting, and repentance" and considers fasting a focus of the
Lenten season, as demonstated in the "Invitation to Observe
Lenten Discipline", found in the
Reformed liturgy for the Ash
Wednesday service, which is read by the presider:
We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance and
our need for the love and forgiveness shown to us in
Jesus Christ. I
invite you, therefore, in the name of Christ, to observe a Holy Lent,
by self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by
practicing works of love, and by reading and reflecting on God's Holy
Good Friday, which is towards the end of the
Lenten season, is
traditionally an important day of communal fasting for adherents of
Reformed faith. In addition, within the Puritan/Congregational
Reformed Christianity, special days of humiliation and
thanksgiving "in response to dire agricultural and meteororological
conditions, ecclesiastsical, military, political, and social crises"
are set apart for communal fasting.
In more recent years, many churches affected by liturgical renewal
movements have begun to encourage fasting as part of
sometimes Advent, two penitential seasons of the liturgical year.
Members of the
Anabaptist movement generally fast in private. The
practice is not regulated by ecclesiastic authority. Some other
Protestants consider fasting, usually accompanied by prayer, to be an
important part of their personal spiritual experience, apart from any
Pentecostalism and Charismatic Movement
Pentecostalism does not have set days of abstinence and
lent, but individuals in the movement may feel they are being directed
Holy Spirit to undertake either short or extended fasts.
Pentecostalism has not classified different types of fasting,
certain writers within the movement have done so. Arthur Wallis writes
about the "Normal Fast" in which pure water alone is consumed. The
"Black Fast" in which nothing, not even water, is consumed is also
mentioned. Dr. Curtis Ward points out that undertaking a black fast
beyond three days may lead to dehydration, may irreparably damage the
kidneys, and result in possible death. He further notes that
nowhere in the New Testament is it recorded that anyone ever undertook
a black fast beyond three days and that one should follow this
biblical guideline. Dr. Herbert Shelton advises that one should drink
water according to natural thirst. In addition to the Normal Fast
and the Black Fast, some undertake what is referred to as the Daniel
Fast (or Partial Fast) in which only one type of food (e.g., fruit or
fruit and non-starchy vegetables) is consumed. In a Daniel Fast,
meat is almost always avoided, in following the example of Daniel and
his friends' refusal to eat the meat of Gentiles, which had been
offered to idols and not slaughtered in a kosher manner. In some
circles of Pentecostals, the term "fast" is simply used, and the
decision to drink water is determined on an individual basis. In other
circles profuse amounts of pure water is advised to be consumed during
the fasting period to aid the cleansing of internal toxins. Most
Pentecostal writers on fasting concur with Dr. Mark Mattson who says
that sensible intermittent fasting with a sensible water intake can
strengthen the organism and assist thwarting degenerative
For charismatic Christians fasting is undertaken at what is described
as the leading of God.
Fasting is done in order to seek a closer
intimacy with God, as well as an act of petition. Some take up a
regular fast of one or two days each week as a spiritual observance.
Members of holiness movements, such as those started by John Wesley
and George Whitefield, often practice such regular fasts as part of
The Church of
Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
See also: Fast Sunday
For members of The Church of
Christ of Latter-day Saints,
fasting is total abstinence from food and drink accompanied by prayer.
Members are encouraged to fast on the first Sunday of each month,
designated as Fast Sunday. During Fast Sunday, members fast for two
consecutive meals. The money saved by not having to purchase and
prepare meals is donated to the church as a fast offering, which is
then used to help people in need. Members are encouraged to donate
more than just the minimal amount, and be as generous as possible. The
late LDS President
Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley asked: "Think ... of what would
happen if the principles of fast day and the fast offering were
observed throughout the world. The hungry would be fed, the naked
clothed, the homeless sheltered. … A new measure of concern and
unselfishness would grow in the hearts of people everywhere."
Fasting and the associated donations for use is assisting those in
need, are an important principle as evidenced by Church leaders
addresses on the subject during General Conferences of the Church,
e.g. The blessing of a proper fast in 2004, Is Not This the Fast That
I Have Chosen? in 2015
Sunday worship meetings on
Fast Sunday include opportunities for
church members to publicly bear testimony during the sacrament meeting
portion, often referred to as fast and testimony meeting.
Fasting is also encouraged for members any time they desire to grow
closer to God and to exercise self-mastery of spirit over body.
Members may also implement personal, family or group fasts any time
they desire to solicit special blessings from God, including health or
comfort for themselves or others.
See also: Vrata
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Fasting is a very integral part of the
Hindu religion. Individuals
observe different kinds of fasts based on personal beliefs and local
customs. Some are listed below.
Some Hindus fast on certain days of the month such as Ekadasi,
Pradosha, or Purnima.
Certain days of the week are also set aside for fasting depending on
personal belief and favorite deity. For example, devotees of Shiva
tend to fast on Mondays, while devotees of
Vishnu tend to fast on
Thursdays and devotees of
Ayyappa tend to fast on Saturdays.
Tuesday fasting is common in southern
India as well as northwestern
India. In the south, it is believed that Tuesday is dedicated to
Goddess Mariamman, a form of Goddess Shakti. Devotees eat before
sunrise and drink only liquids between sunrise and sunset. In the
North, Tuesday is dedicated to Lord
Hanuman and devotees are allowed
only to consume milk and fruit between sunrise and sunset.
Thursday fasting is common among the Hindus of northern India. On
Thursdays, devotees listen to a story before opening their fast. On
the Thursday fasters also worship Vrihaspati Mahadeva. They wear
yellow clothes, and meals with yellow colour are preferred. Women
worship the banana tree and water it.
Food items are made with
yellow-coloured ghee. Thursday is also dedicated to
Guru and many
Hindus who follow a guru will fast on this day.
Fasting during religious festivals is also very common. Common
Maha Shivaratri (Most people conduct a strict fast on
Maha Shivratri, not even consuming a drop of water ), or the nine days
Navratri (which occurs twice a year in the months of April and
Vijayadashami just before Diwali, as per the
Karwa Chauth is a form of fasting practised in some
India where married women undertake a fast for the
well-being, prosperity, and longevity of their husbands. The fast is
broken after the wife views the moon through a sieve. In the fifth
month (Shravan Maas) of the
Hindu calendar, many celebrate Shraavana.
During this time some will fast on the day of the week that is
reserved for worship of their chosen god(s), while others will fast
during the entire month.
In the state of Andhra Pradesh, the month of Kartik (month), which
begins with the day after Deepavali is often a period of frequent
(though not necessarily continuous) fasting for some people,
especially women. Common occasions for fasting during this month
include Mondays (for Lord Shiva), the full-moon day of Karthika and
the occasion of Naagula Chaviti.
Methods of fasting also vary widely and cover a broad spectrum. If
followed strictly, the person fasting does not partake any food or
water from the previous day's sunset until 48 minutes after the
following day's sunrise.
Fasting can also mean limiting oneself to one
meal during the day, abstaining from eating certain food types or
eating only certain food types. In any case, the fasting person is not
supposed to eat or even touch any animal products (i.e., meat, eggs)
except dairy products. Amongst Hindus during fasting, starchy items
such as Potatoes,
Sweet potatoes are allowed. The other
allowed food items include milk products, peanuts and fruits. It
should be noted that peanuts and the starchy items mentioned above
originate outside India.
In Shri Vidya, one is forbidden to fast because the Devi is within
them, and starving would in return starve the god. The only exception
in Srividya for fasting is on the anniversary of the day one's parents
Anushasana Parva (Book 13)
Yudhishthira asks Bhishma, "what constitutes the highest penances?"
Bheeshma states (in section 103) " ....there is no penance that is
superior to abstention from food! In this connection is recited the
ancient narrative of the discourse between
Bhagiratha and the
illustrious Brahman (the Grandsire of the Creation).
Bhagiratha says, The vow of fast was known to Indra. He kept it a
secret but USANAS first made it known to the universe. Bhagiratha
says, "In my opinion, there is no penance higher than fast."
Bhagiratha did many sacrifices and gave gifts and says "the present
that flowed from me were as copious as the stream of the Ganga
herself.(but ..) it is not through the merits of these acts that I
have attained this region."
Bhagiratha observed the vow of fasting and
reached "the region of Brahman"
Bheeshma advises Yudhishthira, "Do thou practice this vow (of fasting)
of very superior merit that is not known to all."
In section 109, of the same book,
Yudhishthira asks Bheesma "what is
the highest, most beneficial" and fruitful "of all kinds of fasts in
the world". Bheeshma says "fasting on the 12th day of the lunar month"
and worship Krishna, for the whole year.
Krishna is worshipped in
twelve forms as Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Vishnu, the slayer
of Madhu, who covered the universe in three steps, the dwarf (who
beguiled Mahabali), Sridhara, Hrishikesha, Padmanabha, Damodara,
Pundhariksha. and Upendra. After fasting, one must feed a number of
brahmans. Bheeshma says " the illustrious Vishnu, that ancient being,
has himself said that there is no fast that possesses merit superior
to what attach to fast of this kind." 
In section 106, of the same book,
Yudhishthira says, "the disposition
(of observing fasts) is seen in all orders of men including the very
Mlechchhas..... What is the fruit that is earned in this world by the
man that observes fasts?" Bheeshma replies that he had asked Angiras
"the very same question that thou has asked me today." The illustrious
Angiras says Brahmans and kshatriya should fast for three nights at a
stretch is the maximum. A person who fasts on the eight and fourteenth
day of the dark fortnight "becomes freed from maladies of all kinds
and possessed of great energy."
Fasting for one meal every day during a lunar month gets various boons
according to the month in which he fasts. For example, fasting for
one meal every day during Margashirsha, "acquires great wealth and
In some specific periods of time (like Caturmasya, Ekadashi fasting…
) it is said that one who fasts on these days and properly doing
spiritual practice on these days like associating with devotees
-sangha), chanting holy names of
Hari (Vishnu, Narayana, Rama,
Krishna...) (kirtanam) and similar (shravanam, kirtanam vishno…) may
be delivered from sins.
Main article: Sawm
Ending the fast at a mosque
Muslims believe that fasting is more than abstaining from food and
Fasting also includes abstaining from any falsehood in speech
and action, abstaining from any ignorant and indecent speech, and from
arguing, fighting, and having lustful thoughts. Therefore, fasting
strengthens control of impulses and helps develop good behavior.
During the sacred month of Ramadan, believers strive to purify body
and soul and increase their taqwa (good deeds and God-consciousness).
This purification of body and soul harmonizes the inner and outer
spheres of an individual. Muslims aim to improve their body by
reducing food intake and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
Overindulgence in food is discouraged and eating only enough to
silence the pain of hunger is encouraged. Muslims believe they should
be active, tending to all their commitments and never falling short of
any duty. On a moral level, believers strive to attain the most
virtuous characteristics and apply them to their daily situations.
They try to show compassion, generosity and mercy to others, exercise
patience, and control their anger. In essence, Muslims are trying to
improve what they believe to be good moral character and habits.
Fasting is obligatory for every Muslim one month in the year, during
Ramadhan. Each day, the fast begins at sun-rise and ends at sunset.
During this time Muslims are asked to remember those who are less
fortunate than themselves as well it bringing them closer to God. This
also helps to give the digestive system a break. Non obligatory fasts
are two days a week as well as the middle of the month, as recommended
by the Prophet Muhammad.
Although fasting at Ramadan is fard (obligatory), exceptions are made
for persons in particular circumstances:
Prepubescent children; though some parents will encourage their
children to fast earlier for shorter periods, so the children get used
Unconditional vomiting because the food leaves through an
unintentional part of the gut.
Serious illness; the days lost to illness will have to be made up
If one is traveling but one must make up any days missed upon arriving
at one's destination.
A woman during her menstrual period; although she must count the days
she missed and make them up later.
A woman till forty days after giving birth to child or miscarriage.
But she must count the day she missed in Ramadan or they should donate
the amount of a normal person's diet for each day missed to the poor
A woman who is pregnant or breast feeding. But she must count the day
she missed in Ramadan or they should donate the amount of a normal
person's diet for each day missed to the poor or needy.
An ill person or old person who is not physically able to fast. They
should donate the amount of a normal person's diet for each day missed
if they are financially capable.
A mentally ill person.
For elders who will not be able to fast, a lunch meal (or an
equivalent amount of money) is to be donated to the poor or needy for
each day of missed fasting.
Fasting is forbidden on these days:
Eid al-Fitr (1st Shawwal)
Tashriq (11th, 12th, 13th Dhulhijjah) in accordance with Sunni Islam.
Eid Al Adha (10th of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Hijri (Islamic calendar)).
(Not necessarily the belief of all sects and schools of thought within
the body of
Shia Islam as various Shi'ite sects have opposing views)
Fasting in Jainism
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (March 2018)
Main article: Ta'anit
Fasting for Jews means completely abstaining from food and drink,
including water. Traditionally observant Jews fast six days of the
year. With the exception of Yom Kippur, fasting is never permitted on
Shabbat, for the commandment of keeping
Shabbat is biblically ordained
and overrides the later rabbinically instituted fast days. (The
optional minor fast of the
Tenth of Tevet could also override the
Shabbat, but the current calendar system prevents this from ever
Yom Kippur is considered to be the most important day of the Jewish
year-cycle and fasting as a means of repentance is expected of every
Jewish man or woman above the age of bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah
respectively. This is the only fast day mentioned in the Torah
(Leviticus 23:26-32). It is so important to fast on this day, that
only those who would be put in mortal danger by fasting are exempt,
such as the ill or frail (endangering a life is against a core
principle of Judaism). Those that do eat on this day are encouraged to
eat as little as possible at a time and to avoid a full meal. For
some, fasting on
Yom Kippur is considered more important than the
prayers of this holy day. If one fasts, even if one is at home in bed,
one is considered as having participated in the full religious
The second major day of fasting is Tisha B'Av, the day approximately
2500 years ago on which the Babylonians destroyed the first Holy
Temple in Jerusalem, as well as on which the Romans destroyed the
second Holy Temple in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago, and later after
Bar Kokhba revolt
Bar Kokhba revolt when the Jews were banished from Jerusalem, the
Tisha B'Av was the one allowed exception.
Tisha B'Av ends a
three-week mourning period beginning with the fast of the 17th of
Tammuz. This is also the day when observant Jews remember the many
tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people, including the
Holocaust. The atmosphere of this fast is serious and deeply sad (in
Yom Kippur which is a day of atonement).
Tisha B'Av and
Yom Kippur are the major fasts and are observed from
sunset to the following day's dusk. The remaining four fasts are
considered minor and optional fasting is only observed from sunrise to
dusk. Both men and women can choose to observe them, and a
rabbi may give a dispensation if the fast represents too much of a
hardship to a sick or weak person, or pregnant or nursing woman.
The four public but minor fast days are:
Fast of Gedaliah on the day after Rosh Hashanah
The Fast of the 10th of Tevet
The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
The Fast of Esther, which takes place immediately before Purim
There are other minor customary fast days, but these are not
universally observed, and they include:
"Bahab," (literally an acronym for "Monday, Thursday, Monday") the
first two Mondays and first Thursday of the months
Cheshvan and Iyar
(postponed by a week if Monday is the first of the month)
Yom Kippur Katan," (literally "Little Yom Kippur") the day before
every Rosh Chodesh, moved back to Thursday if that day is Saturday
The Fast of the Firstborn, on the day before Passover, which applies
only to first-born sons; this obligation is usually avoided by
participating in a siyum and ritual meal that takes precedence over
It is an
Ashkenazic tradition for a bride and groom to fast on their
wedding day before the ceremony as the day represents a personal Yom
Kippur. In some congregations, repentance prayers that are said on Yom
Kippur service are included by the bride and groom in their private
prayers before the wedding ceremony.
Aside from these official days of fasting, Jews may take upon
themselves personal or communal fasts, often to seek repentance in the
face of tragedy or some impending calamity. For example, a fast is
sometimes observed if a sefer torah is dropped. The length of the fast
varies, and some Jews will reduce the length of the fast through
tzedakah, or charitable acts. Mondays and Thursdays are considered
especially auspicious days for fasting. Traditionally, one also fasted
upon awakening from an unexpected bad dream although this tradition is
rarely kept nowadays.
In the time of the Talmud, drought seems to have been a particularly
frequent inspiration for fasts. In modern times as well the Israeli
Chief Rabbinate has occasionally declared fasts in periods of drought.
Sikhism does not promote fasting except for medical reasons. The Sikh
Gurus discourage the devotee from engaging in this ritual as it
"brings no spiritual benefit to the person". The
Sikh holy Scripture,
Guru Granth Sahib tell us: "Fasting, daily rituals, and austere
self-discipline – those who keep the practice of these, are rewarded
with less than a shell." (
Guru Granth Sahib Ang 216).
Human mind requires wisdom, which can be achieved by contemplating on
word's and evaluating it, torturing body is of no use: "He does not
eat food; he tortures his body. Without the Guru's wisdom, he is not
Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 905)
If you keep fast, then do it a way so that you adopt the compassion,
well being and ask for good will of everyone. "Let your mind be
content, and be kind to all beings. In this way, your fast will be
Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 299)
Serve God who alone is your Savior instead indulge into ritual, he is
only one who will save you every where: "I do not keep fasts, nor do I
observe the month of Ramadaan. I serve only the One, who will protect
me in the end. 1" (
Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1136)
If you keep fast, to count everyday pledge yourself you will act
honest, sincere, controls your desires, mediate. This is a way how you
make yourself free of five thieves: "On the ninth day(naomi) of the
month, make a vow to speak the Truth, and your sexual desire, anger
and desire shall be eaten up. On the tenth day, regulate your ten
doors; on the eleventh day, know that the Lord is One. On the twelfth
day, the five thieves are subdued, and then, O Nanak, the mind is
pleased and appeased. Observe such a fast as this, O Pandit, O
religious scholar; of what use are all the other teachings? 2"
Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1245)
Goal of Human is to meet the Lord-groom, so
Guru Sahib Ji says: "One
who discards this grain, is practicing hypocrisy. She is neither a
happy soul-bride, nor a widow. Those who claim in this world that they
live on milk alone, secretly eat whole loads of food. 3 Without
this grain, time does not pass in peace. Forsaking this grain, one
does not meet the Lord of the World." (
Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 873)
Fasting on Ekadashi, adoration of Thakurs (stones) one remains away
Hari engaged in the Maya and omens. Without the Guru's word in
the company of Saints one does not get refuge no matter how good one
Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 7)
Main article: Bigu (avoiding grains)
The bigu (辟谷 "avoiding grains") fasting practice originated as a
Daoist technique for becoming a xian (仙 "transcendent; immortal"),
and later became a
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine cure for the sanshi
(三尸 "Three Corpses; the malevolent, life-shortening spirits that
supposedly reside in the human body"). Chinese interpretations of
avoiding gu "grains; cereals" have varied historically; meanings range
from not eating particular foodstuffs such as food grain, Five Cereals
(China), or staple food to not eating anything such as inedia,
breatharianism, or aerophagia.
Yoga principle, it is recommended that one maintains a spiritual
fast on a particular day each week (Monday or Thursday). A fast should
also be maintained on the full moon day of each month. It is essential
on the spiritual fasting day to not only to abstain from meals, but
also to spend the whole day with a positive, spiritual attitude. On
the fasting day, intake of solid food during the day is avoided and
only a light veggie meal around 5 o'clock is taken. Water can be taken
any time as needed. If health does not permit fasting for a whole day,
for example with Diabetes, careful planning is done to reduce or skip
The Bridegroom Fast – This fast was initiated by the leaders of the
International House of Prayer, and is observed on the first Monday,
Tuesday, and Wednesday of each month. Based on Matthew 9:15, its focus
is intimacy with Christ, who is described in the Bible as the
bridegroom of the Church. The fast is accompanied by services in
Kansas City, which are freely accessible by webcast. It is observed
largely in charismatic circles.
Jeûne genevois (lit. "fast of Geneva") is a public holiday and day of
fasting in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland, occurring on the
Thursday following the first Sunday of September.
In alternative medicine
Since the mid 1970s alternative medicine has perpetuated ideas of
"cleansing the body" through fasting.
List of ineffective cancer treatments
Taboo food and drink
Vegetarianism and religion
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Sheed & Ward Publishing p. 103
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struggle for justice in the 21st century University of California
^ Espinosa, G. Garcia, M Mexican American Religions:Spirituality
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^ Effendi, Shoghi (1973). Directives from the Guardian. Hawaii
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^ For further information, see The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions
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^ Bhikkhu, Thanissaro (2010-06-05). "Questions of Skill". Access to
Insight. John T. Bullitt. Retrieved 2011-06-07. Each time you're about
to act, ask yourself: "This action that I want to do: would it lead to
self-harm, to the harm of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful
action, with painful consequences, painful results?" If you foresee
harm, don't follow through with it.
^ Harris, Elizabeth J. (2010-06-07). "Violence and Disruption in
Society: A Study of the Early Buddhist Texts". Access to Insight. John
T. Bullitt. Retrieved 2011-06-07. If you, Rahula, are desirous of
doing a deed with the body, you should reflect on the deed with the
body, thus: "That deed which I am desirous of doing with the body is a
deed of the body that might conduce to the harm of self and that might
conduce to the harm of others and that might conduce to the harm of
both; this deed of body is unskilled (akusala), its yield is anguish,
its result is anguish.
^ David Grumett and Rachel Muers, Theology on the Menu: Asceticism,
Meat and Christian Diet (Routledge, 2010).
^ a b Chisholm, Hugh (1911). The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A
Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 428. The
Lenten fast was retained at
the Reformation in some of the reformed Churches, and is still
observed in the
Anglican and Lutheran communions. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ a b c Gassmann, Günther; Oldenburg, Mark W. (10 October 2011).
Historical Dictionary of Lutheranism. Scarecrow Press. p. 229.
ISBN 9780810874824. In many Lutheran churches, the Sundays during
Lenten season are called by the first word of their respective
Latin Introitus (with the exception of Palm/Passion Sunday):
Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, Laetare, and Judica. Many Lutheran
church orders of the 16th century retained the observation of the
Lenten fast, and Lutherans have observed this season with a serene,
Special days of eucharistic communion were set aside
on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. access-date= requires url=
^ a b c Ripley, George; Dana, Charles Anderson (1883). The American
Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary for General Knowledge. D. Appleton
and Company. p. 101. The Protestant Episcopal, Lutheran, and
Reformed churches, as well as many Methodists, observe the day by
fasting and special services. access-date= requires url=
^ a b Hatch, Jane M. (1978). The American Book of Days. Wilson.
p. 163. ISBN 9780824205935.
Special religious services are
Ash Wednesday by the Church of England, and in the United
States by Episcopal, Lutheran, and some other Protestant churches. The
Episcopal Church prescribes no rules concerning fasting on Ash
Wednesday, which is carried out according to members' personal wishes;
however, it recommends a measure of fasting and abstinence as a
suitable means of marking the day with proper devotion. Among
Lutherans as well, there are no set rules for fasting, although some
local congregations may advocate this form of penitence in varying
degrees. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ Stravinskas, Peter M. J.; Shaw, Russell B. (1 September 1998). Our
Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia. Our Sunday Visitor.
ISBN 9780879736699. The so-called black fast refers to a day or
days of penance on which only one meal is allowed, and that in the
evening. The prescription of this type of fast not only forbids the
partaking of meats but also of all dairy products, such as eggs,
butter, cheese and milk. Wine and other alcoholic beverages are
forbidden as well. In short, only bread, water and vegetables form
part of the diet for one following such a fast. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ Cléir, Síle de (5 October 2017). Popular Catholicism in
20th-Century Ireland: Locality, Identity and Culture. Bloomsbury
Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 9781350020603. Catherine Bell
outlines the details of fasting and abstinence in a historical
context, stating that the
Advent fast was usually less severe than
that carried out in Lent, which originally involved just one meal a
day, not to be eaten until after sunset. access-date= requires
^ Guéranger, Prosper; Fromage, Lucien (1912). The Liturgical Year:
Lent. Burns, Oates & Washbourne. p. 8. St. Benedict's rule
prescribed a great many fasts, over and above the ecclesiastical fast
of Lent; but it made this great distinction between the two: that
Lent obliged the monks, as well as the rest of the faithful, to
abstain from food till sunset, these monastic fasts allowed the repast
to be taken at the hour of None. access-date= requires url=
^ "Some Christians observe
Lenten fast the Islamic way". Union of
Catholic Asian News. 27 February 2002. Retrieved 28 February
^ Buchanan, Colin (27 February 2006). Historical Dictionary of
Anglicanism. Scarecrow Press. p. 182.
ISBN 978-0-8108-6506-8. In the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, there
is a list of "Days of Fasting, or Abstinence," consisting of the 40
days of Lent, the ember days, the three rogation days (the Monday to
Wednesday following the Sunday after Ascension Day), and all Fridays
in the year (except Christmas, if it falls on a Friday).
^ Gavitt, Loren Nichols (1991). Saint Augustine's
Prayer Book. Holy
Cross Publications. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
^ Daniel Cobb, Derek Olsen (ed.). Saint Augustine's
pp. 4–5. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ a b c d e Kallistos (Ware), Bishop; Mary, Mother (1978). The Lenten
Triodion. South Canaan PA: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press (published
2002). pp. 35ff. ISBN 1-878997-51-3.
^ a b Kallistos (Ware),
Bishop (1964). The Orthodox Church. London:
Penguin Books. pp. 75–77, 306ff. ISBN 0-14-020592-6.
^ Gregory Palamas, Letter 234, I (Migne, Patrologia Graecae, 1361C)
^ "Old Orthodox
Prayer Book" (2nd ed.). Erie PA: Russian Orthodox
Church of the Nativity of
Christ (Old Rite). 2001: 349ff.
^ "August 1991". Stjamesok.org. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
John Wesley and Spiritual Disciplines-- The Works of Piety". The
United Methodist Church. 2012. Archived from the original on 10
November 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
^ a b Crowther, Jonathan (1815). A Portraiture of Methodism: Or, The
History of the Wesleyan Methodists. T. Blanshard. p. 251,
^ Epps, David (20 February 2018). "Facts about fasting". The Citizen.
Retrieved 16 March 2018. In Methodism, fasting is considered one of
the “Works of Piety.” The Discipline of the Wesleyan Methodist
Church required Methodists to fast on certain days. Historically,
Methodist clergy are required to fast on Wednesdays, in remembrance of
the betrayal of Christ, and on Fridays, in remembrance of His
crucifixion and death.
^ a b c d Beard, Steve (30 January 2012). "The spiritual discipline of
fasting". Good News Magazine. United Methodist Church.
^ Abraham, William J.; Kirby, James E. (2009-09-24). The Oxford
Handbook of Methodist Studies. Oxford University Press.
pp. 257–. ISBN 978-0-19-160743-1.
^ "What does The United
Methodist Church say about fasting?". The
United Methodist Church. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
^ Chavez, Kathrin (2010). "Lent: A Time to Fast and Pray". The United
Methodist Church. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
^ a b c Gentilcore, David (19 November 2015).
Food and Health in Early
Modern Europe: Diet, Medicine and Society, 1450-1800. Bloomsbury
Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 9781472528421. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ Albala, Ken. 2003.
Food in early modern Europe. P.200
^  Archived November 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ What is the holiest season of the Church Year? Archived 2009-02-09
at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2010-02-03. Archived copy at the
^ Pfatteicher, Philip H. (1990). Commentary on the Lutheran Book of
Worship: Lutheran Liturgy in Its Ecumenical Context. Augsburg Fortress
Publishers. pp. 223–244, 260. ISBN 9780800603922. The Good
Friday fast became the principal fast in the calendar, and even after
the Reformation in Germany many Lutherans who observed no other fast
Good Friday with strict fasting. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ Jacobs, Henry Eyster; Haas, John Augustus William (1899). The
Lutheran Cyclopedia. Scribner. p. 110. By many Lutherans Good
Friday is observed as a strict fast. The lessons on Ash Wednesday
emphasize the proper idea of the fast. The Sundays in
their names from the first words of their Introits in the Latin
service, Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, Lcetare, Judica.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ a b Weitzel, Thomas L. (1978). "A Handbook for the Discipline of
Lent" (PDF). Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America. Retrieved 17
^ An explanation of Luther's Small Catechism: The Sacrament of the
Eucharist, section IV: Who receives the Sacrament worthily? (LCMS).
^ "The Liturgical Calendar".
Reformed Church in America. 2018.
Retrieved 13 March 2018.
^ a b "Ash Wednesday".
Reformed Church in America. 2018. Retrieved 13
^ Hambrick-Stowe, Charles E. (1 April 2013). The Practice of Piety:
Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England. UNC
Press Books. p. 100. ISBN 9781469600048. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ Poole, Kristen (2006-03-30). Radical Religion from Shakespeare to
Milton: Figures of Nonconformity in Early Modern England. Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-02544-7.
^ a b Wallis, Arthur, God's Chosen Fast, Christian Literature Crusade
^ Johnson, William, The
Fasting Movement, Bethesda Books, 2003
^ Shelton, Herbert, The Science and Fine Art of Fasting, American
Natural Hygiene Society, Incorporate; 5th edition (August 1978)
^ "Neurodegenerative Diseases and Fasting". Antiaging-europe.com.
Archived from the original on 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
^ Riley M. Lorimer. "Where Do Fast Offerings Go? - New Era May 2008
– new-era". Lds.org. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
^ Gordon B. Hinckley. "The State of the Church – Ensign May 1991 –
ensign". Lds.org. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
^ a b "First Presidency Letter: Testimonies in Fast and Testimony
Meeting – Church News and Events". Lds.org. Retrieved
^ "Shravan Month, Shravan Maas, Sawan Mahina 2015". Rudraksha Ratna.
^ "The Mahabharata, Book 13: Anusasana Parva: Section CIII".
www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
^ "The Mahabharata, Book 13: Anusasana Parva: Section CIX".
www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
^ "The Mahabharata, Book 13: Anusasana Parva: Section CVI".
www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
^ "Official Ramadan 2014 website". Ramadan.co.uk. Retrieved
^ Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At
Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 983-99902-0-9.
^ Prero, Yehuda. "The Fast of the Tenth of Teves, "Asara B'Teves"".
Project Genesis. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
^ Bar-Hayim, David (6 July 2009). "The Four Fasts: Halakha or
Minhagh". Machon Shilo. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
^ Bar-Hayim, David (15 July 2010). "The Four Fasts and their Halakhic
Status Today". Machon Shilo. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
^ Maheshwarananda, Paramhans Swami (2000). "Fasting".
Yoga in daily
Life - The System. Ibera Verlag - European University Press
Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H. p. 429. ISBN 3-85052-000-5.
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"Fasting". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). 1911.
"Fast". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
O'Neill, James David (1909). "Fast". Catholic Encyclopedia.