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Lenten Observance

February 24, 2012   gary

In accordance with the provisions of Canon Law (cf. Canons 1249-1253) as implemented by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for the United States, the following regulations are to be observed by Catholics in the Diocese of Orange in their penitential practices. It is to be noted fi rst of all that it is by Divine Law that the faithful are bound to do penance and, as a specifi cation of this obligation by the Church, some form of mortifi cation by those 14 years of age and older is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year. This obligation is in itself a serious one.

Everyone 14 years of age and older is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent. If for some serious reason a person must eat meat on a Friday in Lent, some other form of self-sacrifi ce should be performed. Everyone who is at least 18 years of age and not yet 60, is bound also to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these two days of fast only one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals on these days is not permitted but liquids are allowed. Where health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

In order that our love for Christ and identifi cation with Him may be deepened, all Catholics during the period of Lent are encouraged to participate at daily Mass and to receive Holy Communion often; to participate in the devotional life of the Church; to give generously to religious and charitable works; to assist the sick, the aged and the poor; to practice voluntary fast, penance and self-denial, especially regarding alcoholic drink and social entertainment; and to pray more fervently, particularly for the intentions of the Holy Father. Lent is an admirable time to preach the Gospel message of reconciliation and for pastors to make available frequent communal celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this way the social and ecclesial aspects of sin and reconciliation may be underscored.

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