Norms for Fasting and Abstinence During the Season of Lent

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence.

Fasting is to be observed by all 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.

Abstinence is observed by all 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence, no meat is allowed. Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, Church law does not oblige. When in doubt concerning fast and abstinence, the Parish Priest should be consulted.

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful, Candidates for Full Communion, and Catechumens are encouraged to undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for Initiation into the Church or the renewal of Baptismal Promises at Easter.