I’m still kind of a new Catholic, Easter will be my one year anniversary. Anyway, I was under the impression that you HAD to give something up for Lent, but I have came across things saying that you don’t have to. Sooooo, which one is it? lol. Thanks!

Here is a link to the US Council of Catholic Bishops that explains Lenten practices in the US. It discusses this topic, and many others.


If you can invest in a book or kindle…
Spirit of Penance, Path to God by Dom Van Zeller is excellent.

Thanks, I will look into it. :slight_smile:

We all need to do penance, and the Church prefers the Friday observance, but allows us to choose. We give witness of the faith in the Friday observance.

I’ve already decided what to give up for this year’s Lent. I’m not trying to get out of it, it is just that during RCIA last year it seemed like you HAD to give something up. I just wanted a clear cut answer as to what the Church thought. :slight_smile: I kinda got that answer with the link that was posted:
“That being said, such practices are not regulated by the Church, but by individual conscience”

One year for Great Lent I did not listen to music on the radio, or radio talk. It really can change the course of one’s thinking.

Other than what’s required to observe the laws of fast and abstinence, we do not HAVE to give up something for Lent. The Church says we are to perform “acts of penance” and categorizes these as fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. So to voluntarily NOT DO (give up) something is a traditional and admirable Lenten practice but there are also many things recommended TO DO.

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