Blessed Trinity Catholic Church recently shared this special guide on Lenten Fasting & Abstinence. Lent is an important season for Christians that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. It is a period of fasting, special prayer, and penance.
Many people will give up something for lent. Usually someone will attempt to give up a habit like swearing, or watching TV, or using social media, or eating ice cream, etc. It’s a personal choice and it’s meant to be a sacrifice that one makes for God.
Catholics practice some traditions like replacing meat for fish on Fridays during lent. This guide is intended to help catholics understand what fasting and abstinence should look like:
Fasting should be practiced on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting practices are intended for adults between 18 – 59 years old.
What does fasting mean in the Catholic Church?
When fasting, a person is allowed to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals taht together are not equal to a full meal.
Of course, lent is a season of sacrifice. If you can fast without a meal and without any medical issues, that’s good, too.
If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.
Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
Fasting and Abstinence Exceptions
Anyone who is physically or mentally ill including those suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes are excused. Pregnant or nursing women are not required to follow Catholic Fasting and Abstinence.