FAST 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 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, 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 Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards. A Reflection on Lenten Fasting 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. For a Lenten Calendar click here: NO DISPENSATION ON VALENTINE’S DAY This year Ash Wednesday falls on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Unlike a Friday in Lent, when a dispensation is sometimes given from fast and abstinence on St. Patrick’s Day, Ash Wednesday is a more solemn and universal day of prayer and penance for Catholics and many other Christians as well. So there is no dispensation from fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday, February 14, in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Catholics may wish to anticipate St. Valentine’s Day the day or evening before, on February 13.
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