Although our Church traditionally prescribed abstention from meat and dairy products in days gone by for the entire duration of the Great Fast, the following are the minimal Lenten regulations today:
Abstinence from meat and all dairy products on the First Day of the Great Fast and on Good Friday.
Abstinence from meat only on all Fridays of the Great Fast as well as Holy Saturday. It is also traditional to abstain from meat on Wednesdays during the Great Fast.
Reception of the Holy Mysteries of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist during the period from the onset of Great Fast to the Wednesday before Ascension Thursday.
The Fasting and Abstinence regulations are not binding on persons 60 or older, the very poor, sick, nursing or pregnant women, children below the age of 14, and those who engage in physically very hard labor. However, all are urged, if able to do so, to observe the fasting and abstinence regulations.
All the faithful are urged to attend the Lenten services such as the Presanctified Liturgy and the Commemoration of the Deceased (Sorokousty).
Such good deeds as almsgiving, visitation of the sick, Bible reading and praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life are most earnestly recommended to all the Faithful.
Great Fast Liturgical Guidelines
The weekdays of the Great Fast are aliturgical meaning no Divine Liturgy, even for funerals, should be celebrated except for the Feast of the Annunciation. On Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Fast, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is to be celebrated. Typika may be used the other days. For funerals, the liturgical text used by the New Jersey Protopresbyterate or St. Michael Church in Frackville may be utilized. The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is to be celebrated for Sunday Liturgies during this time.
During Holy Week, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is to be celebrated Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There is no Divine Liturgy celebrated on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. On Holy Thursday evening, Vespers with Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great should be celebrated. On Holy Saturday evening, Vespers with the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is to be celebrated.