Eastern Orthodox/Friday lent

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Question
I was wondering whether skimmed 0% milk and yogurt (completely fat-free) are allowed in small quantities during lent days such as Fridays?

Thank you in advance for your time and help.

Answer
Eastern Orthodoxy is very strict on fasting during the Lenten season, which is not only from certain kinds of foods but also means fasting from certain normal pastimes that bring enjoyment. We are supposed to turn our minds away from earthly things to focus more on independence from them and dependence on the Divine. Catherine Mandell has written a very well known work (St Vladimir's Seminary is the publisher) called When You Fast...: Recipes For Lenten Seasons. It discusses for Orthodox believers how to achieve fasting in line with foods Orthodox recommends and turns away from in Lenten repentance.

In specific answer to your question on dairy products during the Lenten season I would have to answer that they should be avoided. The goal in mind is moving from sense pleasures and enjoyment to the more spiritual realities of existence and fasting (as Christ Himself fasted 40 days in the desert), is a means towards that end. It provides us greater control over what we must never let control us, and is correctly seen as a discipline of the soul and body for higher things.

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Chrysostomos Robert Geis

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I am academically and canonically qualified to answer all questions on ethics, ritual, and questions of philosophy as it regards Eastern Orthodoxy. I see that some questions answered here in the site on Eastern Orthodoxy are given a black and white tone. My approach is more [pastoral, which would acknowledge that the human situation does not always come in answers of black and white.

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I am a Prelate Protosyncellus in the Eastern Church, and oversee a community of Priests in the Society of Saint Basil, an autocephalous congregation established and approved under Russian Orthodox Primate in the US in 1917.

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I have published thirteen books on Philosophy and Theology (see Robert Geis at Barnesandnoble.com or Amazon.com) and have published in scholarly journals

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BA, MA, and PhD, as well as DD

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