What are the various Holy Days and fasting obligations incumbent upon the members of the UGCC? I have the calendar from my parish so I think I know when the Holy Days are but every Friday they have a little fish on the calendar. Does that mean to abstain from all meat, or all non-fish meat? Other details like the Eucharistic Fast would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Can. 114 (CCEO cc. 880 §3, 881 §4) Besides Sundays, the faithful are obliged to observe the following Holy Days:
- The Nativity of Christ;
- The Theophany of our Lord;
- The Ascension of our Lord;
- The Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God;
- The Dormition of the Holy Mother of God;
- The Feast of the holy apostles Sts. Peter and Paul;
On these days, the faithful are obligated to take full part in the Divine Liturgy, to hear the homily, and not to engage in strenuous physical labour.
The synod of bishops encourages all the faithful to take part in the Divine Services during the traditional holy days on the Church calendar.
Can. 115 (CCEO c. 882) On the days of penance, the faithful are obliged to observe the fast, especially the 40-day fast, or other periods of fast, according to the customs of the place in which the faithful reside.
includes notes and basic instructions on fasting regulations
There’s some text regarding this in the book Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship which outlines the “days of obligation” and the fasting rules.
To abstain from meat every Friday except on Feast Days and the zahalnytsi (the weeks after certain Feasts like the week after The Nativity, week after Pascha, week after Pentecost).
Abstain from meat and dairy on the first day of Lent and Good Friday.
Abstain from meat (but not dairy) the eve of Christmas and Theophany, on the day of the Exhaltation of the Holy Cross and on the day of the beheading of St. John the Baptist.
That is all. The 4 fasting periods in the Orthodox calendar is mentioned as “traditional periods of fasting” but it is just encouraged to fast during these times and not “mandated” like those above.
Also not mentioned in this book but practiced in our Eparchy is that Wednesdays of Lent is also a day of fasting aside from the usual Friday. But again the fast is not the strict fast we would have expected from an Eastern Church.
Do they mean from all meat, or is fish excluded?
It’s pretty much the RC discipline except when clearly stated that dairy is to be fasted as well, which is only the first day of Lent and Good Friday.
So you can still have fish.