The Diocese of Nashville is dispensing the obligation to abstain from eating meat as required under Lenten Regulations in recognition of the celebration of the feast day of St. Patrick on Friday, March 17, 2017. Those who do not abstain from eating meat under this dispensation are encouraged to substitute another penitential, sacrificial or charitable act.
The following Lenten times of penance are in accordance with the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and with the directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. These regulations bind all Latin Rite Catholics of the United States of America except as noted.
• All are obliged by law to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, March 1, all Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday, April 14, from the age of 14 years throughout life. The law forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk, or condiments made of animal fat.
• All are obliged by law to fast – limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals in the course of the day – on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, from the day after their 18th birthday until the day after their 59th birthday. The combined quantity of food at the two light meals should not exceed the quantity of food taken at the full meal. The drinking of ordinary liquids does not break the fast.
• All are generally obliged to do penance during the entire season of Lent. In addition to fast and abstinence, the obligation may be discharged by other good works, such as voluntary abstinence, prayer, self-denial, almsgiving and acts of charity.