Meatless Fridays Lent Ireland


I understand that it is necessary to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent.

Does anyone know if this applies in Ireland.



It “applies” but is not the only legitimate practice. There are other options. The Irish Bishops have stated the following:

In accordance with the mind of the universal Church, the Irish Bishops remind their people of the obligation of Friday penance, and instruct them that it may be fulfilled in one or more of the following ways:
i) by abstaining from meat or some other food;
ii) by abstaining from alcoholic drink, smoking or some form of amusement;
iii) by making the special effort involved in family prayer, taking part in the Mass, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or praying the Stations of the Cross;
iv) by fasting from all food for a longer period than usual and perhaps by giving what is saved in this way to the needy at home and abroad;
v) by going out of our way to help somebody who is poor, sick, old or lonely.
6. While the form of penance is an option and doesn’t have to take the same form every Friday, the obligation to do penance is not. There is a serious obligation to observe Friday as a penitential day. We are confident that the Irish people as a whole will take this obligation to heart. We recommend that each person should choose some form of penance for Fridays in memory, as was Friday abstinence, of the Passion and Death of Our Lord.


Do any other obligations exist during the Fridays in Lent as distinct from ordinary Fridays e.g.a. In the US there is an obligation to abstain from meat during the Fridays of Lent but another form of penance may be substituted on ordinary Fridays.

Reading the document linked to in the prior post. Yes. You need to abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent. I think the best thing to do is confirm this with your pastor locally. We do not live in Ireland so we are going by a document on a website. There may be other directives we are not aware of.

From the document

Lent is the traditional season or renewal and penance in the Church. The new Code reaffirms this. It also prescribes that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are to be observed as days of fast and abstinence. Fasting means that the amount of food we eat is considerably reduced. Abstinence means that we give up a particular kind of food or drink or form of amusement. Those over 18 are bound by the law of fasting until the beginning of their 60th year, while all over 14 are bound by the law of abstinence. Priests and parents are urged to foster the spirit and practice of penance among those too young to be the subjects of either law.

I have done some online research, and I think Catholics in Ireland do not have to abstain on Fridays, even in Lent.

Except that all Catholics in the Latin Rite have to fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday (well, that was yesterday :slight_smile: ) and also Good Friday. That, AFAICT is a universal law.



That’s what I thought.

Ah, yes, I did read that incorrectly. Ash Wednesday (yesterday, so water under the bridge) and Good Friday, for sure.

Saved my caveat to ask the local pastor!

Thanks. This can be very confusing!

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