Lenten guidelines

The Catholic Church's guidelines for the observance of Lent

The holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. During Lent, the Christian faithful are to do penance through prayer, fasting, abstinence, and by performing works of piety and charity. All Fridays during Lent are penitential days. 

Abstinence: All those who have reached their 14th birthday are to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays during Lent. 

Fasting: All those who are 18 or older, until their 59th birthday, are to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Only one full meal is allowed on days of fast. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one's needs; but together, they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not allowed, but drinking liquids is allowed. The obligation does not apply to those whose health or ability to work would be seriously affected. 

Those who have doubts or questions about fasting or abstinence should consult a parish priest or confessor.