Some Basics of Catholic Life

Fasting and Abstinence

Lent is the traditional time for penance and self-denial, as is every Friday throughout the year. During Lent and on Fridays Catholics should practise some form of self-denial, the form of which is left to the individual. After all, what is sacrificial for one person is not for another.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are to be observed as special days of Fasting and Abstinence. Fasting means reducing the amount of food which we would normally eat. Abstinence means not eating meat. The law of Fasting binds all those who are between eighteen years of age and sixty years of age. The law of Abstinence binds everyone (except for the frail and the sick) once they have reached their fourteenth birthday. Parents are urged to foster the spirit and practice of penance among those who are too young to be subjects of either law.