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Fast and Abstinence Rules for Lent

posted Feb 6, 2020, 6:17 AM by Nettie Pell   [ updated Feb 6, 2020, 6:25 AM ]

Abstinence:  All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence.

Fast:  All adults are bound by the law of fast from the beginning of their nineteenth year up to the beginning of their sixtieth year.

Explanation:  The law of abstinence means that a person is bound to abstain beginning the day after one’s fourteenth birthday.

The law of fast means that adults are bound to fast from the day after their eighteenth birthday until the end of the day of the fifty-ninth birthday.

Application:  The law of abstinence forbids the eating of meat and foods prepared with meat or meat by-products.

The law of fast allows only one full meal and two lighter meals in the course of a day, and prohibits eating between meals.

In the United States, Ash Wednesday (February 26, 2020) and Good Friday (April 10, 2020) are days of fast and abstinence.  All other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence only.

Exceptions:  Women who are pregnant and persons who are sick are not bound by the law of fast.