Guidelines for Lenten observance
February 22, 2011
The liturgical season of Lent begins March 9. The following are guidelines of Lenten observance for the faithful in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
• Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence.
• Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
Fasting binds all persons who have completed their 18th birthday through those who have completed their 59th year, unless prevented by poor health. On days of fast, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s own needs. Eating between meals is not allowed although fluids may be taken.
Abstinence binds all persons who have completed their 14th birthday, unless prevented by poor health. On days of abstinence, the consumption of meat is not allowed. The Church strongly encourages the observance of Friday abstinence, but failure to do so is not regarded as sinful.
Lent is a penitential season and as such religious practice such as daily Mass, reception of the Sacrament of Penance, the devotion of the Stations of the Cross, works of charity and justice, and acts of self-denial are highly encouraged. †