Fasting, abstinence and penance: Lenten observances

Fasting, abstinence and penance: Lenten observances

For Confession times being offered at St. Maurice during Lent, please click here

During the liturgical season of Lent, we are invited to reflect, repent and transform our hearts as we draw closer to God. The following are guidelines of Lenten observance for the faithful in the Archdiocese of Ottawa:

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence.  Fridays are days of abstinence.

Fasting binds all persons from 18 to 59 years old unless prevented by poor health. On days of fast, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s own needs. Eating between meals is not allowed although fluids may be taken.

Abstinence from meat binds all persons who are 14 and older unless prevented by poor health. In the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the consumption of meat is not allowed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays of Lent. The Archbishop mandates this observance for the spiritual well-being of the faithful.

Penitential Season:  Lent is a penitential season and, as such, religious practices such as daily Mass, the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Stations of the Cross, works of charity and justice, and acts of self-denial are highly encouraged.