Lent and Parental authority

2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family.

Does this apply to lenten penance? For example: if a parent feels that a child’s chosen penance detracts from family time, would it be in their authority to make the child change it?

If this is not the formal Lenten penance of abstaining from meat on Fridays and Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, then for a non-adult child who is living with his/her parents, yes, they have the right to trump the chosen Lenten penance with “family time”. A different penance should be chosen, of it should be arranged by the penitent to do it at another time.

Just a note…the voluntary Lenten penance is not mandatory (giving up coffee, or sweets or doing a new devotion during Lent, etc…). The only required acts are the fasting and abstinence mentioned above.

Yes, it applies to chosen penance.

Also, it is good to remind here that if you are under 14, the abstinence concerning Friday or Ash Wednesday is not bound by law and would be voluntary. It is not bound under age 18 for fast on Good Friday or Ash Wed. I do not mean the communion fast. That is different.

Well, I’m 19, but I’m perfectly happy to fast and abstain. Thanks for the info y’all.

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