Regulations for Lent and the Easter Triduum

From parish bulletin of Saint Andrew Parish.

1. Lent is the principal season of penance in our Catholic calendar.  Everyone is urged to develop and follow a program of voluntary self-denial, attentiveness to prayer, and especially to works of charity and mercy.

2. Everyone of 14 years of age or over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and all the Fridays of Lent.

3. Everyone of 18 years of age and under 59 years of age is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and Good Friday, April 14, 2017.

4. On these two days of fast and abstinence, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed.  Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each ones needs, but together they cannot equal another full meal.  Eating between meals is not permitted on days of fast, but liquids are allowed.  When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

5. To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is a serious matter.

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3 Responses to Regulations for Lent and the Easter Triduum

  1. Foxfier says:

    #4 is technically not correct– Jimmy Akin does a yearly post on it. Short version: the wording is “some food.”

    http://www.jimmyakin.org/2006/04/the_law_of_fast.html

    The “adding up to less than one full meal” might be a very handy rule of thumb for folks who have relatively equal sized meals, but for someone like me– breakfast is usually very small (an egg with coffee, sometimes some sidemeat or bacon), lunch and dinner alternate which is bigger depending on the day– it’s just a source of angst about being technically correct on a technicality that doesn’t exist.

    On the flipside, I could meet the technical requirements by only drinking (meal replacement drinks, etc) but violate the spirit of the law– this one’s a problem when I’m not pregnant or nursing, because I’ll often have nothing but coffee for breakfast, with meal replacement powder used like creamer. Then “breakfast” WAS my one normal meal of the day, so it was very tempting to keep drinking bulked up coffee.

    • I understand what Jimmy Akin is saying, but the “two smaller meals” is actually on the USCCB’s website – http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/lent/catholic-information-on-lenten-fast-and-abstinence.cfm

      “For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.”

      So, I would LIKE to be able to trust the USCCB on what the regulations are 🙂

      • Foxfier says:

        I would like to, as well, but if you look at the authority they cite it’s the same ones that Jimmy looks at in detail, and we have no way to know who put the page together– it wouldn’t be the first time that an “everybody knows” turned out to be wrong.

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