Lenten Guidelines for Fasting and Abstinence
According to the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the guidelines for fasting
and abstinence during Lent are as follows:
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.
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.