One of the longest established disciplines of the numan body is that of fasting. Even among the pagans, fasting was considered important in religious observances. Fasting is, literally, the total abstention from certain foods for a specified period of time. It also means abstaining from certain pleasures and/or iniquities (i.e., vices). The origin of fasting as a moral discipline is obscured in history. It was known to the pagans, and the Jewish people slowly developed a system of hygienic fasting as an act of devotion and protection against "unclean" foods. However, even in the early Church fasting was practiced by many as a work of reverence towards God.
The following pages are trying to teach our contemporary faithfull the importance of fasting in both our spiritual and material life. The fast recomended by the Holy Orthodox Church addresses man as a whole, body and sould, and proves to be beneficial to both.