Lenten Resources » Penitential Practices

Penitential Practices

The following practices are to be observed by Catholics in the Diocese of Orange in their penitential practices:



In the dioceses in the United States, Catholics aged 18 through 59 are bound to fast on both Ash Wednesday (February 22, 2023) and Good Friday (April 7, 2023).

To fast means a person is permitted to one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. Food and drink between meals (excepting water and medicine) is not permitted on fast days.



Catholics aged 14 and up are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday.

To abstain means refraining from eating beef, veal, pork, or poultry at least, although eggs and milk products are acceptable. The consumption of fish and shellfish is permitted, though the penitential character of the abstinence should be kept in mind.



All the faithful, after they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year. This precept is to be fulfilled during the Easter Season unless it is fulfilled, for a just cause, at some other time during the year. This period is extended to include all the weeks of Lent and the Easter Season up to Pentecost Sunday (May 28, 2023).