The current discipline of Penance for the United States, in addition to the general character of the Lenten season, may thus be summed up:

a)             Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of abstinence from meat and also days of fast, that is, limited to a single full Meal.  With regard to Good Friday, the teaching of the Second Vatican Council should be recalled:  “Let the paschal fast be kept sacred.  Let it be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday and, where possible, prolonged throughout Holy Saturday, so that the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection may be attained with uplifted and clear mind” (Constitution of the Liturgy, no.110)

b)             The other Fridays of the season of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.

c)              The Fridays of the year, outside of Lent, remain days of penance, but each individual may substitute for the traditional abstinence from meat or some other practice of voluntary self-denial or personal penance: this may be physical mortification or temperance or acts of religion, charity or Christian witness.

d)             All those who are fourteen years old are bound to the law of abstinence.  The law of fast binds all who are eighteen years old and not yet fifty-nine years old.