Lent Regulations 2023
Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It is a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter.
The following fasting and abstinence regulations are observed:
- FASTING is to be observed on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22, 2023) and Good Friday (April 7, 2023) by all Catholics over 18 years of age to the beginning of their 60th year. On days of fasting, one full meal is allowed. Two smaller meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s needs, but together should not equal another full meal, unless dispensed or excused.
- ABSTINENCE from meat is to be observed by all Catholics who are 14 years of age or older. Ash Wednesday, all of the Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday are days of abstinence.
During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
Lent is a penitential season. It is a time to seek forgiveness, to look inward, and to admit our shortcomings and failures. All faithful of the Diocese of Scranton are reminded of Diocesan Statute No. 41, which addresses the penitential aspect of Lent:
“The season of Lent is penitential in nature and during Lent penance should be not only internal and individual, but also external and social (Sacrosanctum Concilium, No. 5, 109). Pastors are obliged to avoid scheduling activities in the parishes which in any way could possibly detract from the external and social penance required by Lent.”
How can you spend your time during Lent?
- By “giving up” things you hunger after, such as sweets or alcohol; or activities you desire, such as vacations, concerts or movies.
- By “doing” things to help others, such as offering an extra donation to the poor or helping those in need by providing food or clothing.
- By “adding” to our normal routine, such as going to daily Mass, praying the Stations of the Cross and going to confession.
One of the greatest opportunities given by the Church to assist us in our response to the Lord’s invitation to conversion is found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Once again, the Diocese of Scranton is participating in “The Light Is ON for You.” Beginning on the first Monday of Lent, Feb. 27, and continuing through Monday of the last full week of Lent, March 27, confessions will be heard in every parish from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., unless a parish already has a different established weeknight tradition.