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- 逢星期五守小齋，除非當日為特別慶節。守小齋的規定，適用於所有 14 歲以上的人士。
- 每年聖灰瞻禮日及耶穌受難日守大小齋。守大齋的規定適用於年齡在 18 歲以上及 60 歲以下的人士。
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The True Meaning of Fasting and Abstinence
- Help us remember the passion of Jesus who died for the atonement of our sins. In observing fasting and abstinence, we do a little sacrifice in our meals to remind ourselves of Jesus who suffered and died for us. This little discomfort and denial make us realize the great discomfort and denial of Jesus during His great sacrifice; it prompts us to always thank Him for His saving grace.
- By observing fasting and abstinence, we learn to curb our wants in a penitential way to make up for the sins we committed. These deeds can also be considered as some works of piety that cleanse our souls, enhance our spiritual growth and perpetuate our love for God.
The Rules for Fasting and Abstinence
One of the foremost duties of a Christian is to profess his faith through repentance and sacrifice. Repentance is an action to show one's love and belief in God, for belief without action is, like what Jesus has once criticized the Pharisees, only outward appearance alone.
The Code of Canon Law prescribes:
- The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
- Abstinence from meat is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year.
- Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their eighteenth year, until the beginning of their sixtieth year.
Traditionally, abstinence forbids the use of meat of warm blooded animals. Fasting includes abstinence and taking only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening - depending on when a person chooses to eat the main or full meal. The sick, the weak and the pregnant are not bound by the law of abstinence and fasting.