Fasting and Abstinence Requirements
Roman Catholic Church Requirements for Fasting and Abstinence from Meat:
- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. (Canon 1251)
- All Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. (Canon 1250)
- All Fridays of the year are obligatory days of abstinence (Canon 1250) with the option in the United States of America (USA) to substitute the obligatory abstinence with some other penance to be done that day. (Canon 1253 and in the USA USCCB Fast & Abstinence)
- Any Solemnity (including the Octaves of Christmas and Easter) that falls on a Friday (or any day of abstinence except Ash Wednesday or Good Friday) supersedes/cancels the obligatory abstinence in order to celebrate the Solemnity. (Canon 1251)
- In the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter: Bishop Lopes has decreed that for all Ordinariate Members, all Ember Fridays (except for Ember Friday in the Octave of Pentecost) are obligatory days of abstinence.
FASTING: For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until after the age of 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.
ABSTINENCE: The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
SOLEMNITY: Is in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite, a feast day of the highest rank celebrating a mystery of faith such as the Trinity, an event in the life of Jesus, his mother Mary, or another important saint. The observance begins with the vigil on the evening before the actual date of the feast. Unlike feast days of the rank of feast (other than feasts of the Lord) or those of the rank of memorial, solemnities replace the celebration of Sundays outside Advent, Lent, and Easter (those in Ordinary Time).
EMBER DAYS in the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter:
- Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of first week of Advent
- Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of first week of Lent
- Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of Octave of Pentecost (Whitsun Week)
- Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
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