The Copts rigorously observe complete abstinence from food or drink from the previous evening until Holy Communion is celebrated. This is not a regular fast in the sense of abstaining from certain categories of nutritious elements, but a complete rejection of any solid or liquid material from touching the mouth. On the same principle, this fast is equally observed on the occasion of baptism, ordination, dedication, and penitence.
SOZOMEN states that the early Egyptian Christians sometimes celebrated Holy Communion after eating, but adds that that was not a general practice and was probably followed in the case of the celebration of mass twice in the morning and in the evening of the same day.
The DIDASCALIA, among canonical works, prescribes this category of fasting in the East.
- Dearmer, P. The Truth about Fasting with Special Reference to Fasting Before Communion. London, 1928.
- Frochisse, J. M. “A propos des origines du jeûne eucharistique.” Revue d’histoire écclesiastique 28 (1932):594-609.
- Puller, F. W. Concerning the Fast before Communion. London, 1891.