Lent is a season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In order to see that our preparation for Easter has a communal, and not just an individual dimension, the Church gives us certain norms for a common Lenten observance. The Lenten guidelines for the Archdiocese of Atlanta are as follows:
– Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday (February 26), Good Friday (April 10) and all the Fridays of Lent by all Catholics 14 years of age and older.
– Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59 years of age. Those bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
– Those who are sick, pregnant or nursing, or whose health would be adversely affected by fasting or abstinence should not consider themselves bound by these norms.
During the season of Lent, we are all called to embrace penances and to perform works of charity that reflect our desire for conversion of heart. Let us all pray fervently for those catechumens and candidates who will celebrate the Easter sacraments with us this year. May this Lent lead us all to a deeper union in Christ and with one another.