How to Observe Lent as a Catholic


Catholic Lenten traditions have been observed by Catholics throughout the world for 2,000 years. As you observe Lent as a Catholic, offer up your sufferings and draw closer to God. Grow spiritually as you observe Lent as a Catholic. Here are some basic ideas for Catholic Lenten practices.

  • Observe Ash Wednesday. Attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, and receive the ash cross on your forehead after Mass. Do not eat any meat, and have only a main meal and two smaller meals with no snacking in between.

  • Give something up for Lent. You can choose to avoid sweets, stop listening to your favorite music, give up lengthy showers or some other pleasure in favor of self-mortification. Unite yourself with Jesus' sufferings on the cross during your Lenten sacrifices.

  • Grow in virtue as you observe lent as a Catholic. Decide to work on one virtue, such as charity, chastity or honesty, as part of your Lenten journey.

  • Observe the Church's rules for fasting and abstaining from meat during Lent. The Church requires that you abstain from meat on all Fridays in lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Traditional Catholics may also abstain from meat on Saturdays as per the older traditions. Ash Wednesday and Good Fridays are both days of fasting during Lent.

  • Attend Mass each Sunday and as often as possible during the week while observing Catholic Lenten practices.

  • Make a humble meal (basic soup and bread) once a week and donate the money you would have spent on meat and dessert to the poor box at your Catholic church.

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