The days of both Fast and Abstinence during Lent are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily His Resurrection. The other Fridays of Lent are days of Abstinence.
- On a day of Fast, only one (1) full meal is permitted, and two (2) smaller meals, which, if added together, would not exceed the main meal in quantity.
- Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast.
- On a day of Abstinence, no meat may be eaten. Those who have reached the age of 14 are obliged by the law of abstinence.
The obligation to observe the laws of Fast and Abstinence “substantially,” or as a whole, is a serious obligation.
The Fridays of the year, outside of Lent, are designated as days of penance, but each individual may substitute for the traditional abstinence from meat some other practice of voluntary self-denial as penance.
The time for fulfilling the Pascal Precept (Easter Duty*) extends from the First Sunday of Lent, February 21, to The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, May 30, 2021.
*Canon 920,§1. All the faithful, after they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year.
January 25, 2021
Office of the Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia