March 29, 2015 News
Good Friday is a day of both fasting and abstinence. Failure to “substantially” keep these penances is grave matter (e.g., potentially a mortal sin). The law of abstinence requires that no meat may be eaten on this day, and binds all Catholics who are 14 years old or older. No other penance may be substituted. The law of fasting binds those who are between the ages of 18-59. The Church defines “fasting,” for this purpose, as having only one full meal a day, with two aditional smaller meals permitted, but only as necessary to keep up strength and so small that if added together they would not equal a full meal. Snacking is forbidden, but that does not include drinks that are not of the nature of a meal. Even though these rules do not bind all age groups, all are encouraged to follow them to the extent possible. Children in particular learn the importance of penance from following the practice of their older family members. The sick, pregnant or nursing mothers, and other folks with special physical circumstances may be partially or totally exempt from these rules- use good judgement and take care of yourself.