Fasting During Lent – What Can I Eat?
There has been some question about fasting and dietary requirements during lent and how fasting is related to piety.
First, sin proceeds from man and not from what we consume. Gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins. Gluttony, is a sin related to our uncontrollable desire of satisfying the flesh.
Fasting during Lent is reflective of the penitential posture that we assume corporately. As a discipline, we restrict and deny ourselves “earthly pleasures” for a time.
Foods that are forbidden by the Armenian Church during Lent and Holy Week are quite simply, any and all animal products such as Meat, fish, lamb, milk, butter, eggs, cheese of any kind, dairy, Jello (made with animal cartilage) , etc. (substitutes ie. Margarine are really also not allowed)
While this is understandably very difficult, we should try as much as possible to follow this at Church and in our homes as much as possible. However, at church, we must follow this strictly. There shall be NO meat or dairy items allowed during church fellowship, gatherings or meetings at any group events during the period of Lent. The ONLY exception to this rule from now on will be milk for coffee, although for our church, this too is considered a great concession and has never officially been sanctioned.
Some suggested “Church Fellowship” foods:
Peanut Butter (watch for allergies); halva; hummus, lentils, pasta (not egg noodles), fruit, Itch, any/all Armenian Lenten dishes and anything VEGAN.
Finally, Lent and fasting is NOT about giving up soething as some churches teach, but about LETTING IN! We deprive the earthly in order to allow space for the HEAVENLY, a closer communion with the Almighty.
The hunger in our bellies, is replaced with the hunger for God, the Love for His