Official 2012 Lenten and Easter Observance
- February 2012
- Deacon Silvio Mayo, Chancellor
- By order of: Most Reverend John C. Wester
THE SEASON OF LENT BEGINS ON ASH WEDNESDAY, February 22, 2012. It is a time of baptismal renewal and preparation for the Easter celebration of the Lord's death and resurrection. Personal, family and small group prayer, daily Mass, fasting, acts of mortification and works of charity and service are highly recommended ways of observing the Lenten season. So, too, is greater reflection on the Word of God.
FAST AND ABSTINENCE
All Catholics 14 years and older are to abstain from all meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent, unless a particular Friday is a solemnity.
All Catholics who are between the ages of 18-59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. (Canon #1252)
Fasting permits one full meal and two lesser meals, which combined are not greater than the full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted.
A spirit of fasting is recommended during all of Lent in anticipation of the great feast of Easter. In this way, Christians express their hunger for God, their responsibility to the poor and their recognition of the Kingdom of God as the answer to all human hungers.
"Pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance." (Canon #1252)
PRIVILEGES - PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
Airport workers, travelers and others while on board ships or airplanes are dispensed from the laws of fasting and abstinence for the duration of their journey (except Good Friday). However, it is desirable that those so dispensed should perform some pious work in compensation.
Every Catholic is to receive Holy Communion at least once between the First Sunday of Lent, February 26, 2012, and Trinity Sunday, June 3, 2012, unless a just cause would warrant some other time of year. (Canon #920)
Those marrying during Lent are to abstain from "excessive festivity", and are to take into account the special character of the liturgical season.
According to a response from the Congregation for Divine Worship (Jan. 1985), other persons may assist the priest in the imposition of ashes, e.g., deacons, special ministers of communion and other lay persons, when there is a true pastoral need.
Deacons and extraordinary ministers of communion may bring blessed ashes to the sick and those confined to their homes. If a minister is not available, a member of the family or another person may bring blessed ashes to a shut-in, using one of the formulas in the Sacramentary (also printed in missalette) to impose the ashes. (BCL Newsletter, Jan. 1980).