The Church asks us to give ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving of alms during the Lenten season. The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and possessions and through work of many kinds for a just world.
FASTING means that anyone between the ages of 18 and 59 may eat only one full meal (with the other 2 meals being distinctly smaller). One may, however, enter more into the spiritual element of fasting and not partake of any meals at all. One fasts for a spiritual reason - (an end to sin, a reconciliation in one’s life or family, an end to war or other disturbance, or for the spread of the Gospel or personal/corporate conversion) than for a personal dietary goal. The Church requires all between the ages of 18 and 59 to observe the fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fridays and Wednesdays are also traditional fast days, but are not mandatory.
ABSTINENCE is the discipline for those age 14 or older to forego the eating of any meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent.
ALMSGIVING Is the foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on "almsgiving," which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is "a witness to fraternal charity" and "a work of justice pleasing to God."
The EASTER DUTY is the obligation to receive Holy Eucharist between the First Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an obligation for all those who are conscious of grave sin. A frequent celebration of Reconciliation is encouraged for all, especially during the Lenten Season. A Lenten Penance Service with opportunity for individual confession and absolution will be held on Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 PM at Sacred Heart Church in Laconia.