Rules for Lenten Fasting in the Orthodox Church
In order to help in your Lenten Fasting, the following is a brief description of the Lenten Fast in terms of categories of food and times of abstinence of foods from the various categories. The purpose of this outline of the regulations on fasting is to help educate you on fasting and abstinence in general. This is the "letter of the law" on fasting. It is important for you and your family to participate in the "spirit of the law", working this out with your family and even your priest for your salvation.
Categories of Foods
Category I: Meat and Meat Products (includes beef, pork, chicken, etc., as well as items which have beef gelatin [such as some commercial brands of gelatin], lard [some commercial breads and crackers], etc.)
Category II: Dairy Products (includes butter, eggs, milk, cheese, etc., as well as items containing dairy whey, milk extracts, etc.)
Category III: Fish (includes sardines, tuna, bass, trout, shark, pike, etc. but not shell fish such as lobster, shrimp, crab, oysters, scallops, clams, mussels, etc.)
Category IV: Olive Oil (according to some, this would extend to all oil) and Wine (which i