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Lenten Observances

Lenten Dinners are served Fridays of Lent in the Parish Hall at 6 p.m.

Stations of the Cross are held on Fridays of Lent. Gather in the Church at 7 p.m. to make the Way of the Cross.

Lenten Regulations

The practice of penance is part of our faith and Christian life.  When we do penance, we imitate Jesus who himself recommended it as necessary to his followers and gave them the example of his prayer and fasting.  Church canon law considers every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent as penitential time (CIC can. 1250). 

The law of fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday.  The law of abstinence from meat is to be observed on Ash Wednesday, on all the Fridays of Lent, and on Good Friday (can. 1251).  Abstinence from meat or another food, or some other penance, is to be observed on all Fridays of the whole year, unless the day is a solemnity (can. 1251).  It is recommended that the Good Friday fast and abstinence be kept until the Easter Vigil Mass. 

Who must fast?
All Catholics who are between the ages of 18 and 59.  The obligation ceases when one begins his/her 60th year.

Who must abstain?
All Catholics who are 14 years and older.

What does fasting mean?
The observance of fasting means that those obliged may take only one full meal on the day of fast.  Two lighter meals (not equal to another full meal) are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs.  Eating solid foods between meals is not permitted on fast days.

What does abstinence mean?
Voluntary abstinence refers to refraining from lawful pleasures in a spirit of penance.  During Lent the law of abstinence forbids the eating of meat on a day of abstinence.

When do we fast?
On Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday (continuing until the Easter Vigil Mass).

When do we abstain from meat?
On Ash Wednesday, on all Fridays of Lent, and on Good Friday (continuing until the Easter Vigil Mass).

Can anyone be dispensed or excused from fast and/or abstinence?
Individuals with just cause may be dispensed by the Pastor (can. 1245) if it would injure one’s health or deprive an individual of the necessary strength for daily work.  Those who are ill or have a similar serious reason are excused from the observance of fast and abstinence.  Catholics are reminded that they should not lightly excuse themselves from this obligation.  If there is legitimate and compelling reason for a dispensation, the person should compensate with prayer and other voluntary penance.  As regards minors who are not technically bound by the laws of fast and abstinence, they are still encouraged to practice the same penitential practices where possible, and pastor and parents should see that they are formed in a true sense of penance (can. 1252).  Failure to observe a required fast and/or abstinence is something that should be confessed.