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Fast and Abstinence

Fasting and Abstinence

The Season of Lent affords us the opportunity to engage in preparation for the celebration of the Lord's Resurrection at Easter by engaging in works of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The discipline of fasting, that is, "giving up," allows us to turn our attention from creature comforts and focus on these more spiritual works that lead us to closer union with God and neighbor. 

The discipline of abstinence means that one abstains from eating meat and all meat products, including fowl, on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent. This applies to persons aged 14 and above. Fridays outside of Lent remains days of penance, but each individual may substitute another penance for the traditional abstinance from meat.

The law of fast means that a person consumes only one regular-sized meal and two smaller meals that together are less than the main meal. Adults aged 18-59 are expected to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.