Liturgical Calendar Regulations
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Lenten Observances

Lent is the season which runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord's Supper exclusive.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of total fast and abstinence. The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.

In keeping with the spirit and meaning of the Lenten fast, Catholics are encouraged to observe the Good Friday fast through Holy Saturday and until the celebration of the Easter vigil.

The law of fasting binds persons from the completion of their 18th year to the beginning of their 60th year, i.e., from the day after their 18th birthday to the day after their 59th birthday.

The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing as far as quantity and quality are concerned, approved local custom. The order of meals is optional; i.e., the full meal may be taken in the evening instead of at midday. Also: 1) The quantity of food taken at the two lighter meals should not exceed the quantity taken at the full meal; 2) The drinking of ordinary liquids does not break the fast.

The law of abstinence binds persons from the completion of their 14th year, i.e., from the day after their 14th birthday throughout life.

The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat. It does not forbid the use of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat. Also permissible are soups flavored with meat, meat gravy and sauces.