Lent and Fasting

Just what are the rules of fasting and abstinence during Lent?  The regulations certainly are difficult to remember since we are only required to practice them once a year.  Here are the basics:

FASTING is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by everyone 18 years of age and older, who has not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals—enough 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 consuming liquids, including milk and juice, is allowed.

In addition,

ABSTINENCE is observed on Ash Wednesday and ALL Fridays of Lent by everyone 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence no meat is allowed. Note that when one’s health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to health or other serious reasons, other suitable forms of self-denial are encouraged.