Lent is a period of self-reflection and spiritual discipline that is observed by many Christians, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church.
This 40-day period leading up to Easter is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving and is seen as an opportunity to grow closer to God through sacrifice and spiritual discipline.
Abstaining from Meat on Fridays during Lent
One of the most well-known practices of Lent is abstaining from meat on Fridays. This tradition is a form of sacrifice and self-discipline that is meant to symbolize the suffering of Christ and to promote a spirit of solidarity with those who are less fortunate.
In the Roman Catholic Church, individuals between the ages of 14 and 59 must abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent.
However, there is no strict obligation for individuals over the age of 60 to follow this practice.
Exceptions to the Meatless Rule
While abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent is a traditional form of sacrifice, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, if an individual has a serious health issue that requires a meat-based diet, they are exempt from the rule.
Similarly, if an individual is traveling and unable to find meatless options, they may be exempt from the rule. Additionally, if an individual is engaged in heavy physical labor requiring a meat-based diet, they are exempt from the rule.
It’s worth noting that while there may be exceptions to the meatless rule, the practice of self-discipline and sacrifice is still an important aspect of the Lenten season.
Individuals exempt from the rule are encouraged to find other forms of sacrifice and meaningful spiritual discipline that help deepen their faith.
Other Forms of Sacrifice during Lent
While abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent is a common form of sacrifice, it is not the only way to observe the Lenten season. Individuals may choose to give up other indulgences or activities, such as sweets or alcohol, or to take up new spiritual practices, such as prayer or meditation.
Additionally, individuals may choose to engage in acts of service and charity during Lent, such as volunteering at a local food bank or donating to a charitable organization.
These acts of service and charity are a way to live out the message of the Gospel and to promote a spirit of compassion and empathy for those who are less fortunate.
The Importance of Self-Discipline and Spiritual Growth
Regardless of whether an individual chooses to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, practicing self-discipline and spiritual growth is an essential aspect of the Lenten season. This period of reflection and sacrifice is an opportunity to deepen one’s faith, grow closer to God, and live out the values of the Gospel in one’s daily life.
By engaging in acts of self-discipline and sacrifice, individuals can learn to resist temptation and to live a more virtuous and compassionate life.
This practice of self-discipline and spiritual growth is a lifelong journey that can bring meaning and purpose to one’s life and can help to foster a deeper sense of connection to God and to others.
If you are over 60, can you eat meat on Fridays during lent?
While there is no strict obligation for individuals over 60 to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent in the Roman Catholic Church, practicing self-discipline and sacrifice is still an important part of the Lenten season.
Whether an individual chooses to abstain from meat on Fridays or engage in other forms of spiritual discipline and sacrifice, the most important thing is to make a meaningful sacrifice that helps deepen one’s faith and connection to God and to others.
Monday 27th of February 2023
Dear Writer: Roman Catholics must fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, February 22, 2023 and Good Friday, April 7, 2023. Additionally, they must abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent.
Ash Wednesday is one of two yearly days of obligatory fasting and abstinence for Roman Catholics, along with Good Friday. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the norms of fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59.
The rule of abstinence from meat is binding upon Catholics aged 14 and onwards [even those who are older than 59].
THOSE THAT ARE EXCUSED FROM FAST AND ABSTINENCE OUTSIDE THE AGE LIMITS INCLUDE THE PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY ILL INCLUDING INDIVIDUALS SUFFERING FROM CHRONIC ILLNESSES SUCH AS DIABETES. ALSO EXCLUDED ARE PREGNANT OR NURSING WOMEN. IN ALL CASES, COMMON SENSE SHOULD PREVAIL, AND ILL PERSONS SHOULD NOT FURTHER JEOPARDIZE THEIR HEALTH BY FASTING.
This information comes from the following article which cites Canon Law: https://www.thecatholictelegraph.com/refresher-on-the-rules-of-fast-and-abstinence-during-lent/21603
Blessings, Barbara Hayes