Days of Fast and Abstinence

Days of Fast

Catholics between the ages of 21 and 59, inclusive, may have but one principal or full meal, and meat may be eaten at this meal only. They may have two other light meals with no meat. Days of FAST are the weekdays of LENT including HOLY SATURDAY; the Ember Days and the Vigils of PENTECOST, ALL SAINTS (Oct. 31), the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (December 7), and of CHRISTMAS (December 24), or the day before if the vigil falls on a Sunday.

Days of Partial Abstinence

Partial abstinence on the ordinary weekdays of Lent applies only to those between the ages of 21 and 59. This is indicated by the asterisk (*) shown on these days. Those under 21 and those having attained the age of 60 may eat meat more than once on these days.

Abstinence is partial on Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the Vigils of PENTECOST and ALL SAINTS (Oct. 31). All above the age of 7 are obliged to partial abstinence on these days. This means meat only at the principal meal.

Days of Complete Abstinence

On days of COMPLETE ABSTINENCE all Catholics 7 years of age and older may NOT take meat, meat gravy, or meat soup at any time.

Abstinence is complete on all FRIDAYS, ASH WEDNESDAY, HOLY SATURDAY, and the Vigil of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (December 7), and the Vigil of CHRISTMAS (December 24).