Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fasting and No Meat of Fridays

No meat is eaten on Ash Wednesday and Fridays that follow during Lent in the United States of America.  Elsewhere, every Friday of the year may be a day of abstinence from meat.  The rules of fasting and abstinence are as follows:



The Code of Canon Law prescribes (Canons 1250-1252):

Can. 1250: The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251: Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252: The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.


Abstinence from Meat - Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent and/or every Friday of the year
Those ages 14 and older

Fasting - Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
Those ages 18 to 59


Each diocese or conference of bishops may have different rules, so be sure to check with your local diocese. Those with medical conditions are exempt.  



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