The Catholic Church has specific regulations for fasting during Lent. Here are the guidelines:
- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. Fasting means that Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 should eat only one full meal and two smaller meals that together do not equal the full meal. Abstinence means that Catholics who are 14 years and older should abstain from eating meat on these days.
- All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence. Catholics who are 14 years and older should abstain from eating meat on these days.
- Fasting is a form of penance and self-denial. Catholics are encouraged to fast in other ways during Lent, such as giving up a favorite food or activity, or performing acts of charity.
It’s important to note that these regulations apply to healthy Catholics. Those who are pregnant, nursing, elderly, or have health conditions that require them to eat more frequently or avoid certain foods are exempt from these rules.
Additionally, while these regulations are a traditional way of observing Lent, the Catholic Church encourages individual reflection and personal sacrifice during this time, so individuals may choose to fast or abstain in other ways that are meaningful to them.