Lenten fasting and abstinence guidelines

Jim Wogan News

Ash Wednesday Masses and penance services are held at all parishes throughout the Diocese of Knoxville. Please remember that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence for most Catholics.  Please continue reading for additional information.

Fasting and Abstinence

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 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, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.  Besides those outside the age limits, the sick, the frail, the pregnant and nursing women are excused from fasting and abstinence.

If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.