Fasting Exemptions

Below are listed answers to frequently asked questions regarding fasting requirements for those who, for a serious reason, must abstain from fasting.

Q: I am unable to follow the Church's laws for fasting due to a health reason. How may I receive a dispensation?

One who genuinely cannot fast due to a grave risk to health may request a dispensation from a priest, who may suggest that individual substitute another act of penance instead, although this is at the discretion of the priest. However, if no priest is available, the faithful are not required to observe any fasting or abstinence laws that they know would be injurious to their health. For, after all, each of the faithful are duty-bound to safeguard the safety of the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is his own physical body.

Examples of health reasons that would exempt one from fasting. This list is non-exhaustive: hypoglycemia, a thyroid condition, diabetes or prediabetes, anorexia or any other nervous disorder, et cetera.

Q: I am pregnant or am breastfeeding. What should I do?

Pregnant and nursing mothers are dispensed automatically from fasting regulations.

Q: I am an elderly person. Must I fast?

Catholics under the age of 21 and over the age of 59 are not strictly bound to fast. A person over the age of 59 may choose to fast, but it is not required.