Fasting For Lent Rules And Guidelines
Fasting for lent is a practice of the whole community. According to Christian scripture, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and he fasted forty days and forty nights. The season of Lent is a commemoration of his fast, which he undertook. Christians believe that through fasting they are united in their action through Jesus Christ. Their united fast and abstinence are their prayers to the Father through Jesus. Lent fasting regulations are as follows…
Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent by all Catholics 14 years of age and older. Poultry and meat derived from the butchering of mammals is considered "meat". Therefore, chicken, pork, beef, and lamb are considered "meat" and are not allowed to be consumed. However, cold blooded animals like fish, eggs, and shellfish and are allowed to be eaten.
Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59. Those who have decided to fast during this period bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to one's needs, but eating solid foods is not permitted.
A word of caution to those observing lent, both fasting and abstinence are applicable only those individuals who will not be harming their health in any sort of way. There should be no modifications to their diet if it is detrimental to their well being. If people who are suffering from diabetes or low blood sugar and need to intake a certain amount food they should not go through this fast and adhere to these rules. However, the Church does support daily attendance during this time and do indulge in community work, sharing, and charity work for the needy.
For children younger than 14 years should refrain from fasting and abstinence, instead if they wish they can be encouraged to observe the spirit of the Lenten fast by assuming a penance suitable to their age.
Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who have celebrated with 18th birthday and who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. Older people over the age of 59 should take more care while fasting. They can forego the fasting if they feel it might not be good for their health.
If you are fasting for the first time, trying and rope in a friend to fast with you. This will provide good support and help you stay on track for your Lenten fasting regulations. Good luck!
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