Getting ready for Lent

February 13, 2007

Every Friday of Lent is a day of Abstinence
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
are days of Fasting and Abstinence

ABSTINENCE – The Law of Abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat (beef, chicken, pork) on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and shellfish are permitted, as are animal-derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

FASTING – The Law of Fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th to 59th birthday to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. The fast is broken by eating meals and by drinks which would be considered food.

THOSE WHO ARE EXCUSED from fast and abstinence besides those outside the age limits – Those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity, and other situations or moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.


5 Responses to “Getting ready for Lent”

  1. Tracy said

    Thank you for posting this, Father! I was wondering (it’s probably a stupid question) if, on those days we’re required to fast, a cup of coffee would count as breaking the fast (I ask because coffee tastes quite good, and it actually gets rid of my hunger). The only reason I want to know is because I have a class on Wednesday nights, and some caffeine really helps. Thank you!

  2. rev fr lw gonzales said

    No eating between meals is allowed, but water, milk tea, coffee, and juices are OK.

  3. Anita Moore said

    And thank God for the coffee part.

    It would be a decided offense against charity for certain people not to have coffee.

  4. Sorka said

    Let me just add however, that diabetics must be careful about fasting and may have the need to have a “snack” of sorts to handle their blood sugars.

    Of course this can’t be used as a way to sneak a snack but just to be careful of ones health needs.

  5. Tracy said

    Thanks again, Father! 😀

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