Lenten Season Guidelines

THE LENTEN SEASON

A distinction is to be made between Lent and

the Easter Triduum. Strictly speaking, Lent ends

with the beginning of the Triduum on Holy

Thursday. The Ordo notes: “Lent runs from Ash

Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper

exclusive on Holy Thursday.”

FASTING AND ABSTINENCE

Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good

Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age

but not yet 59. Those who are bound to fast may

take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are

permitted if necessary to maintain strength

according to each one’s needs, but eating solid

foods between meals is not permitted.

Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all

Catholics 14 years or older on Ash Wednesday,

Good Friday and on all Fridays of Lent. The

determination of certain days as obligatory days

of penance should not be understood as limiting

the occasions for Christian penance.

MAINTAINING THE SPIRIT OF THE

SEASON OF LENT

The Spirit of the season of Lent should be

maintained throughout the weeks of Lent. The

obligation to observe penitential days of the

Church is a very important part of our spiritual

life. Individual circumstances must be taken

into account, but in general, people should seek

to do more rather than less, since fast and

abstinence on the days prescribed should be

considered a minimal response to the Lord’s

call to penance and conversion of life.