Lenten Regulations on Fast and Abstinence

The following fasting and abstinence regulations are observed during Lent:


  1. Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Friday of Lent by all Catholics 14 years of age and older.

  2. Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 60 years of age. Those bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs.
    Note: If a person is unable to observe the above regulations due to ill health or other  serious reasons, other suitable forms of self-denial are encouraged.

  3. The special Paschal fast and abstinence are observed on Good Friday and where possible on Holy Saturday. One these days, Christians prepare themselves by these disciplines in anticipation of the renewal of their baptismal commitment on Easter.


From its earliest days, the Church has urged the baptized and the catechumens to observe the threefold discipline of fasting, almsgiving and prayer as a preparation for the celebration of Easter.


During Lent, the Church encourages attendance at daily Mass, reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, self-imposed times of fasting and personal prayer, and generosity to local, national and worldwide programs of sharing.