Abstinence: Lenten Preparation

Catholic Abstinence and Fasting Guidelines – LENT

Canon Law Prescriptions

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.

For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal.

The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

Our fasting and abstaining from meat are common penitential practices for the Penitential Season of Lent.  Other acts of charity and almsgiving are also encouraged as we prepare our hearts for the celebration of the resurrection.

Where fasting is not possible for medical reasons other acts of penance may be substituted.


Find more resources below from our US Bishops: