What is the “controlling document” (for lack of a better term) in which Church requirements for Lent, etc., are found?
I found this paragraph at the USCCB site, which appears to indicate that fasting is to be done on ALL Fridays of Lent.
“During Lent, the Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. **The fasting that all do together on Fridays **is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection.” (emphasis mine)
However, I found this paragraph on a different page at the USCCB web site, which clearly states that fasting is only required for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday:
“Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.” (emphasis mine)
Either the first one is poorly worded, or I’m reading it wrong, but it’s confusing. I’m a convert, and though I have been Catholic for 30 years, it seems that every year my wife (a cradle Catholic) and I have a disagreement about this. I keep thinking that fasting is to be done every Friday, and she says it’s only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
So, what **official Church document **is the definitive source for the Lenten requirements (as well as others throughout the liturgical year)?