Fasting & Abstinence:

When a solemn feast falls on a day of abstinence is one required to abstain?

When a solemnity falls on a Friday, the obligation to abstain from meat (or some other penance in the US) does not hold.  (Code of Canon Law, Can. 1251)

The current laws of fasting and penance are as follows:

 

Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. (Code of Canon Law, Can. 1251)

 

Abstinence is defined as refraining from eating meat.  For Fridays outside of Lent, the USCCB has allowed some other penitential act to be substituted for abstinence.  However, “we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat.We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law.” (Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, USCCB, 1966)

 

“The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, one full meal per day is allowed, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening” (Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini, 1966)

 

Individual members of the faithful who wish to observe older rules regarding fasting and abstinence are free to do so.  However, no one is obliged to do so, regardless of the form of the Mass they attend.

“A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.” (Code of Canon Law, Can.  919 §1.)

Individual members of the faithful who wish to observe a stricter Eucharistic fast are free to do so.  But no one is obliged to do so, regardless of the form of the Mass they attend.

What laws of fasting and abstinence apply to Catholics?

What is the law of the Church for the Eucharistic fast?

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