1. Ash Wednesday (March 5, 2014) and Good Friday (April 18, 2014) are days of abstinence from meat and also days of fast, that is, only one full meal is allowed; no solid food between meals. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one's needs but they together should not equal another full meal.
2. The other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
3. The obligation to abstain from meat commences at fourteen years of age.
4. The obligation to fast commences at eighteen years of age and ends at fifty-nine years of age.
5. Although the faithful enjoy freedom in conscience to excuse themselves for a just cause from these mitigated laws of fast and abstinence, the obligation to do penance is a serious one and no Catholic should lightly excuse himself/herself from this obligation in the Lenten season.
Practices of Lenten penances and acts of mortification, increased devotion and prayer, and acts of mercy and charity are worthy elements of our Lenten tradition.
Catholics should avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, receive Holy Communion worthily, and renew their commitment to live a life of integrity in fidelity to the Church's teachings and disciplines. We pray for and make sacrifices for those who are preparing to enter the Church at Easter.