The season of Lent begins on March 6, 2019 with Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of universal fast and abstinence. Fasting is obligatory for all who have completed their 18th year until the beginning of their 60th year. Fasting allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Abstinence (from meat) is obligatory for all who have completed their 14th year of age (c. 1252). If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus and to prepare to share more fully and celebrate more readily his Resurrection (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, 109). Fridays in Lent are obligatory days of abstinence (from meat) for all who have completed their 14th year. As always, anyone for whom fasting or abstinence would pose a health risk is excused.
Archbishop Broglio has dispensed anyone in combat from the obligation of fast and abstinence. Because no one, however, can be dispensed from Lenten penance, all those in combat are encouraged to use their hardships as penance.
“Through fasting and praying, we allow him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depth of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.” (Pope Benedict XVI)