Age to begin fasting/ giving up for Lent

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Age to begin fasting/ giving up for Lent
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 5:26pm

I know I should know this, but I don't! At what age are children supposed to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Lenten Fridays? At what age are they expected to give something up / do something positive as a part of their Lenter commitment?

Hope everyone is having a great 2009 so far! I've been swamped so I haven't been posting as much but I do check in on the board to see what's being discussed. :) Barb

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2006
Wed, 02-11-2009 - 6:16pm

Some may say once children are confirmed, early teens.

I our home, it's a family thing so it doesn't matter if they are confirmed or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2008
Wed, 02-11-2009 - 5:58pm
Great thread!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 02-11-2009 - 5:13pm

I think the most important thing with kids is to make sure there is a good spiritual reason for what they give up. As a kid, I never could understand why giving up candy during Lent was supposed to be good for me. I had a vague idea that it had to do with suffering a bit, but even as an 8yo, I could see that it was ridiculous to compare giving up candy to Jesus suffering on the cross. In fact, it took me well into my 30s to get my arms around the idea of solidarity with others in sacrifice, and well into my 40s to be able to draw a relationship between fasting and the triumph of love of God over self-indulgence - and to this day, neither of those concepts comes instinctively to me and I have to remind myself of what they mean on a daily basis.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2005
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:00pm

FAsting is age 18 through 59 and abstinence is from age 14 and up. As far as children giving anything up for Lent, there are no set rules but children could be encouraged even at a young age to do either that or choose some positive "good deeds".


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2007
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 9:44pm

Found two links via a google search for "lenten fasting"

this one was specific to participation by children

Hope that helps. If your diocese has a website, perhaps you can search it for any guidelines or rules.


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
--old Irish blessing

Irish siggy courtesy beaches59


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 7:13pm

I'm pretty sure that the age for abstaining from meat on Fridays is 14, and the age for fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is 18.


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