Lenten Regulations for 2024

Painting called "The Libyan desert" by  Carl Hasch
Lenten Regulations for 2024

In a letter to the faithful of our diocese, Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., outlines the requirements for Lent: 

Here is what the Catholic Church in the United States requires of us as baptized Catholics:

1.  The days of FAST (only one full meal) and ABSTINENCE (no meat) are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  No dispensations are granted on these solemn days except for reason of sickness or those provided in canon law below.  ALL OTHER FRIDAYS OF LENT are days of ABSTINENCE.

The pastor of a parish has the faculty to give a dispensation to individual parishioners in his parish and the Diocesan Bishop alone has the authority to dispense groups of Catholics but only for a serious reason.

2.  Those who are automatically dispensed from fast and abstinence regulations outside the age limits noted below include: the physically or mentally ill, especially individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes.  Also included in the dispensation are women who are pregnant or nursing.  In all cases, common sense should prevail, and ill persons should not further jeopardize their health by fasting.

3.  Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to FAST (only one full meal) as noted above.  From the age of 14, people are also obliged to ABSTAIN: this obligation prohibits the eating of meat, but not eggs, milk products or condiments of any kind, even though made from animal fat.

4.  The obligation to observe the laws of fast and abstinence is a serious one for Catholics.  Failure to observe one penitential day in itself is not considered a serious sin.  It is the intentional failure to observe any penitential days at all, or a substantial number of penitential days, that must be considered a serious matter.

5.  The obligation, the privilege really, of receiving the Eucharist at least once a year --- often called “Easter duty” --- for those in the state of grace should still be fulfilled during the period from the First Sunday of Lent, February 17-18, 2024, to Trinity Sunday, May 25-26, 2024. However, the Church’s law does permit this precept to be fulfilled at another time during the year when there is a just cause.

You may find a link to the full letter below.