Catholic fasting - what are the rules?

I'm not a Catholic but I want to fast and pray for the election - that's alright, isn't it? I've got the prayers down and I have my Rosary beads to keep track/count, but what are the rules for my fast? No liquids? Just water? Water and juice? I have no Catholic friends to ask.

Our nation can use all the help it can get.

Thanks for serious responses only.

15 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Catholic Church follows the Biblical practice of Jesus Christ and the Jews in setting aside days where the entire Church fasts and prays as one in a attitude of constant renewal.

    The Days of Penance are described in the Code of Canon Law (1249-1253):

    Divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way.

    In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence.

    The penitential times are every Friday and the season of Lent.

    Abstinence from meat is to be observed on all Fridays.

    Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

    In the United States of America, the bishops, with the permission of the Pope, for Catholics to substitute a penitential Practice or even a charitable practice of their own choosing on the Fridays outside of Lent.

    Many U.S. Catholics just continue to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM

    http://www.usccb.org/lent/2007/Penance_and_Abstine...

    With love in Christ.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Catholic Fasting Rules

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Lent Fasting Rules Roman Catholic

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence (which means no meat save for fish) -- not fasting. The days of fasting in the liturgical calender are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, however all Catholics are called to fast, if able (not under 15, over 65, or nursing/pregnant and in good enough health) and willing all the days of Lent. But it's not a hard rule, it's just a suggestion for the pious. Fridays outside of Lent are not days of Abstinence. Meaning most Catholics do eat meat on Fridays throughout the year. However some, and some families: fore-go meat on Fridays as a matter of piousness. Fasting for Catholics means eating two small meals: that if combined would not make one full meal. Then a full meal at dinner. Only water in between. No snacking. Food should be simple and not made from lobster or other delicacies.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    For Roman Catholics, fasting is the reduction of one's intake of food to one full meal (which may not contain meat during Fridays in Lent) and two small meals (known liturgically as collations, taken in the morning and the evening). Eating solid food between meals is not permitted. Fasting is required of the faithful on specified days. Complete abstinence is the avoidance of meat for the entire day. Partial abstinence prescribes that meat be taken only once during the course of the day. To some Roman Catholics, fasting still means consuming nothing but water.

    Pope Pius XII had initially relaxed some of the regulations concerning fasting in 1956. In 1966, Pope Paul VI in his apostolic constitution Paenitemini, changed the strictly regulated Roman Catholic fasting requirements. He recommended that fasting be appropriate to the local economic situation, and that all Catholics voluntarily fast and abstain. In the United States, there are only two obligatory days of fast - Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence: those observing the practice may not eat meat. Pastoral teachings since 1966 have urged voluntary fasting during Lent and voluntary abstinence on the other Fridays of the year. The regulations concerning such activities do not apply when the ability to work or the health of a person would be negatively affected.

    Prior to the changes made by Pius XII and Paul VI, fasting and abstinence were more strictly regulated. The church had prescribed that Roman Catholics observed fasting and/or abstinence on a number of days throughout the year.

    In addition to the fasts mentioned above, Roman Catholics must also observe the Eucharistic Fast, which involves taking nothing but water and medicines into the body for one hour before receiving the Eucharist during the Mass. The ancient practice was to fast from midnight until Mass that day, but as Masses after noon and in the evening became common, this was soon modified to fasting for three hours. Current law requires merely one hour of eucharistic fast, although some Roman Catholics still abide by the older rules.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Catholic fasting - what are the rules?

    I'm not a Catholic but I want to fast and pray for the election - that's alright, isn't it? I've got the prayers down and I have my Rosary beads to keep track/count, but what are the rules for my fast? No liquids? Just water? Water and juice? I have no Catholic friends to ask.

    Our nation can use...

    Source(s): catholic fasting rules: https://shortly.im/piyFB
  • 1 decade ago

    Since you are fasting on your own, and not for any prescribed days such as in Lent, I don't believe that there are exact rules. However, fasting in Lent usually consists of this:

    From EWTN: Fasting The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday [Canon 97] to the 59th Birthday [i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday] to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 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.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not a Catholic, but would like to share something with you to take in account when fasting.

    Matthew 6:16–18

    16 "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."

    17 "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face"

    18 "so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

  • 1 decade ago

    What imacatholic2 writes is correct.

    Concerning prayer and fasting: both these are very good. When praying and fasting, it is important to keep the teachings of the Lord's Prayer. Offer thanksgiving to God, commend your own will to the will of the heavenly Father, and pray for God's mercy and salvation. You mention that you want to pray and fast "for the election." Yes, pray that God provides the U.S. with a leader who follows the teachings of the Lord, but when you pray, do not pray for the election of the candidate you think best or most God-fearing, but instead pray that God's will be done.

    On prayer and fasting itself, while there are fast days and prescribed limits, it is quality that matters over quantity. God wants our hearts turned towards him in repentance. If you can abstain from meat on Fridays, very good. If you lower your intake the other days, even better. Whenever you eat, thank God. When you pray and fast, don't think "I have to do this for God to listen to my prayers." Instead, when you pray and fast, do so joyfully, or at least with a positive intent. If you accidentally eat meat, no fear, just return to your practice. If you become seriously ill, you can sustain yourself. If you've never fasted before, it's okay to take baby steps. Prayer and fasting should be gradual developments.

    On drinks: you abstain from meat but continue to drink luxuriously, does this make sense? What do you enjoy drinking most? Cut back on drinking that. If you enjoy drinking beer, stop drinking that. If you think you cannot live without Carbon Water, stop that. Spring Water? Drink tap instead. In the Byzantine tradition of fasting, people fast from all animal products--including butter and all dairy products. So they do not drink milk, eat cheese, ice cream or any baked item that has butter in it. This may be a little too much to start out with fasting, but it may not be a bad idea to cut out luxury foods such as ice cream, milkshakes and Starbucks.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Fasting is pretty subjective, at least individual fasting is. You probably know all the rules for church fasting before Mass, on Good Friday, Ash Wednesday, etc. But to fast for a personal purpose, the goal is to feel deprived, but not unhealthily weak or sick. A fast could consist of one meal a day, only consuming water for a day, eating merely bread and water, anything you like. I would probably limit myself to 600-800 calories worth of bread and water, and eat them whenever I felt a little hungry.

    Editing to add on--please don't go a day without liquids! Always get in your daily water.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.