« « Altered Office Hours – February 2017 Lenten Sacrament and Prayer Opportunities » »

Lenten Observances for Fast and Abstinence

February 16, 2017 by Heather

Lenten Observances for Fast and Abstinence

The Catholic Church asks each member to preserve the penitential character and purpose of Lent. For this reason:

  • Catholics who have celebrated their 14th birthday are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and each Friday of Lent.
  • Catholics who have celebrated their 18th birthday, in addition to abstaining from meat, should fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Hence, on those days they should eat only one full meal. Smaller quantities of food may be taken at two other meals, but no food should be consumed at other times during those two days. The obligation of fasting ceases with the celebration of one’s 59th birthday.

Catholics should not lightly excuse themselves from these prescribed minimal penitential practices.

March 17, 2017 Dispensation Decree
Each year, Catholics throughout the world are expected to abstain from meat and meat products on Fridays during Lent. Once or twice a decade, we are faced with a quandary: when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday during this time of penance, maywe eat the corned beef?

After careful consideration, Archbishop Jerome Listecki has decided this year that Catholics in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee can take part in this tradition with a clear conscience. He has granted a dispensation which allows the consumption of meat on Friday, March 17th, 2017.

Although Archbishop Listecki has waived the rule for this St. Patrick’s Day, Catholics who choose to make use of this dispensation are encouraged to engage in another sacrificial or charitable act that day.