The season of Lent begins this year on Ash Wednesday, March 1, and ends just prior to the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 13, when the Paschal Triduum begins. Lent is the principal penitential season of the church year.
All of the Christian faithful are urged to develop and maintain a voluntary program of self-denial (in addition to the Lenten regulations which follow), serious prayer, and the performing of deeds of charity and mercy, including the giving of alms.
- Abstinence: Everyone 14 years of age and over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.
- Fast: Everyone 18 years of age and under age 59 is required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these two days of fast and abstinence, only one full meatless meal is permitted. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength may be taken according to a person’s needs, but together these two meals should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids (including milk and fruit juices) are allowed.
- To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is seriously sinful.