from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The habit of living on dry food, especially a form of abstinence, as in the early church, in which only bread, herbs, salt, and water were consumed.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun Among the primitive Christians, the living on a diet of dry food in Lent and on other fasts.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A
restrictive diet(of breadand water, for example) as a punishmentor religiousform of discipline.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
In the Greek Church the law of abstinence is designated by the term xerophagy in contradistinction to monophagy, signifying the law of fasting.
Goar (Euchologium, Venice, 1730, 175) says that the Greeks of his day were allowed by an unwritten law to eat fish, eggs, snails, and such-like viands on xerophagy days.
Some of the Greeks, especially the Melchites, hold that xerophagy does not bind from
In the beginning of the ninth century St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople, states that all are obliged to observe xerophagy during those seasons
The xerophagy of Major Lent is likewise of ancient growth.
Fridays, or on days during their various Lenten seasons (Wednesdays and Fridays excepted), a complete or partial suspension of xerophagy takes place.
Custom has made the use of vine and oil legitimate on xerophagy days.
No doubt the practice of keeping xerophagy during these seasons originated in monasteries and thence passed to the laity.
From Ash Wednesday until Easter Day they keep xerophagy except on Saturdays and Sundays, when milk diet is allowed.
In their partial suspension of the xerophagy the Greeks maintain the obligation of abstaining from flesh meat, but they countenance the use of such other viands as are ordinarily prohibited when the law is in full force.