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Lenten Observances for Fast and Abstinence

January 25, 2018 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.