Laws of Fast and Abstinence
and Ember Days

1. Everyone over 7 years of age is bound to observe the law of ABSTINENCE.
2. On ABSTINENCE days the faithful are obliged to abstain from flesh meat, and soups and gravy made from meat.
3. Everyone ages 18 to 59 inclusive is also bound to observe the law of FAST.
4. On the days of FAST, only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one's needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted; but liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed.
5. Meat may be taken at the principal meal on a day of FAST, except on days of FAST and ABSTINENCE.
6. The current days of FAST and ABSTINENCE are: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. These must be observed as such under pain of mortal sin unless one is dispensed.
7. The current days of ABSTINENCE-----besides Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
-----are all Fridays of Lent.
8. Formerly all Fridays of the year except those which fell on a holy day of obligation were days of ABSTINENCE. Today, Fridays remain a day of penitential observance but one is not obliged to abstain from meat other than on the Fridays of Lent. Formerly all weekdays of Lent were days of FAST.
9. EMBER DAYS are days of voluntary fasting and prayer for the special sanctification of the four seasons and for obtaining God's blessings on the clergy and religious. The propers of the Masses reflect the Season in which they occur and include additional Lessons said before the Gospel.

Source: TRADITIONAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS, by the St. Benedict Center:


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