The season of Lent is upon us and that means no meat on Fridays, but did you know that rule does not apply to all Catholics?
According to www.AmericanCatholic.org, there are specific rules of Lent pertaining to fasting, abstinence, and penance.
- Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
- In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.
- Fasting as explained by the U.S. bishops means partaking of only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening—depending on when a person chooses to eat the main or full meal.
- Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat.
- Does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat.
- Also not forbidden: chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat
- What is allowed: use of margarine and lard. Even bacon drippings which contain little bits of meat may be poured over lettuce as seasoning.
Each year in publishing the Lenten penance requirements, the U.S. bishops quote the teaching of the Holy Father concerning the seriousness of observing these days of penance. The obligation to do penance is a serious one; the obligation to observe, as a whole or "substantially," the days of penance is also serious.
Wondering where you could have dinner on Fridays? Check out our list of area restaurants that serve non-meat options during Lent.