Good Friday and Abstinence


I guess I never realized this, but Lent is said to end at the Beginning of Mass on Holy Thursday. I thought that Lent went all the way till Easter Sunday.

My question is that if Lent ends at the Beginning of the Holy Thursday Mass, then are we still obliged to observe the practice of fasting and ABSTINENCE (no meat) on Good Friday?

Any thoughts are welcome.



This is from the USCCB:

Let us offer a reminder on the Church’s fasting and abstinence teachings:

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of universal fast and abstinence. Fasting is obligatory for all who have completed their 18th year and have not yet reached their 60th year. Fasting allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Abstinence (from meat) is obligatory for all who have reached their 14th year.

If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.

Fridays in Lent are obligatory days of complete abstinence (from meat) for all who have completed their 14th year.

We encourage you to make use of the site. Through our works of prayer, fasting, and abstinence, let us heed the prophet Joel’s exhortation to return to God with our whole heart (2:12). Source]

Not only is Good Friday a day of abstinence, it is one of the two days of the year when we are required to fast. And the Triduum is a most sacred time when we are encouraged to continue to fast.


What about drinking? I’m fasting today with food, but what about beverages? Are they included in fasting too:shrug: ? I just got back from working out and the first thing I did was come in and get online to find out…im a little thirsty. If it is okay to drink somthing, what is okay? Sorry if this seems like a overly scrupulous question:o


According to EWTN:

The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem contrary to the spirit of doing penance. Source]


Those who are excused from fast or abstinence Besides those outside the age limits,
those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need
for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need,
guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense
or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility
to observe the penitential discipline.

People who cannot fast from food due to illness eg. insulin dependant diabetics, or other legitimate medical reasons, can find other ways to fast.


I’m so glad that you broke this down. Because I know people who are on medication. They should eat. They are making themselves sicker by taking meds and not eating.


JR :slight_smile:


Your replys are helpful, thanks!


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