Lenten Fasting Guidelines

Lenten Fasting Guidelines

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. What does that mean for you?

What is fasting and abstinence?

Fasting means limiting what you eat and drink to one regular meal and two smaller meals (that together do not equal the regular meal in size). In the spirit of it, we typically also avoid any sweets or treats, like dessert or alcohol, and don’t snack between meals.

Abstinence means to cut out particular food items or drinks, specifically meat. While all Fridays are meant to be days of abstinence, in Canada the CCCB has decreed that Catholics can substitute special acts of charity or piety on this day“.

Who has to fast and abstain?

If you are 14 or older, you must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. If you are between the ages of 18 and 59, you must also fast on those days.

What if I have a medical condition?

Not everyone can fast in the same way! Some people have medical conditions that make fasting dangerous. If this is the case, look for another way to fulfill the spirit of fasting while still taking care of your body. You could fast from desserts or rich food and drink, or eat simple meals that day.