When Does The Friday Fast End?

This question might have already been asked, so forgive me if I am repeating a question.

When does the Friday fast from meat end? Does it go from sunrise to sunset, or is it from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday?

Thanks for the help.

Scout :tiphat:

This is one of those (few) areas where I think it’s the intention that counts. My wife works nights, so she ended up fasting from about dawn Wednesday morning to dawn Thursday morning. I personally went midnight to midnight. (of course that doesn’t mean I fired up the BBQ at midnight, either) I think you should just be looking to fast in the spirit of sacrifice.

(By the way, the only Friday fast we’ll have is Good Friday. Are you concerned about ‘abstinence’ on Friday’s? I wouldn’t think that would be as hard to prolong a little longer than a strict 24 hours.)

From the Code of Canon Law (1983)-

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

I don’t think you can necessarily grant yourself a dispensation from the Friday abstinence. Now, if you forgot or something that is one thing but I really don’t think you can just designate some other day for yourself.

Also, I’m pretty sure it is from midnight to midnight-from early Friday morning until early Saturday morning.

Also from the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 200 Unless the law provides otherwise, time is to be reckoned in accordance with the following canons.

Can. 202 §1 In law, a day is understood to be a space of twenty-four hours, to be reckoned continuously and, unless expressly provided otherwise, it begins at midnight; a week is a space of seven days - a month is a space of thirty days, and a year a space of three hundred and sixty-five days, unless it is stated that the month and the year are to be taken as in the calendar.

However: Personally, I reckon my fasting and abstinence according to my rising and sleeping (and if ever I am up all night, who knows?). In light of the above canons, I cannot recommend the same to you, but I pray the Lord is merciful to me in this regard.


However: Personally, I reckon my fasting and abstinence according to my rising and sleeping (and if ever I am up all night, who knows?). In light of the above canons, I cannot recommend the same to you, but I pray the Lord is merciful to me in this regard.

For all practical purposes, it would be reckoned as rising and sleeping as you cannot be held accountable for eating meat in your sleep! If you go to bed at 10:00pm on Thursday and wake up at 9:00am Friday and then go to bed at 10:00pm on Friday and did not eat any fleshmeat during the time when you were awake then you have fulfilled your abstinence requirements. However, the Church sets it up in a particular to make it clear. When it is technically Friday, don’t eat meat.

So what your saying is,one should not fire up the grill at 11:50 PM and be digging into a big fat double cheese burger at 12:01 AM? :smiley:

franksv: You probably shouldn’t, but technically it would be ok. Up here in Canada the bishops are extremely soft on us. The Fridays of Lent are not mandatory days of abstinence. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are, however, still mandatory days of fasting here.

I was only joking,but I did think about it.I ll make it till morning LOL.Everytime I get really hungry I just think of what Jesus went through for us and that helps.Going to the Stations of the Cross tonight really helped also. :thumbsup:

The 1983 Code states that the ecclesiastical day is to be reckoned from midnight to midnight - not, as hitherto, from 6 p.m. on day A to 6 p.m. on day B.

So, “midnight” is the answer :slight_smile:

Whether the 1991 Code - which is for the Eastern Catholic Churches - contains this provision, I don’t know: I’m assuming you are a Latin Rite Catholic. ##

Usually it is a Steak for me :o


STOP,now you got me thinking 16" meat lovers pizza. :smiley:

In reality,if you ve come this far,something just don’t seem right about a midnight binge(atleast to me).Besides,is’nt it unhealthy to eat after 8:00 Pm or so?

Well, that’s the easy case, isn’t it?

But I typically retire after midnight. That’s differenter.

I have known people who binge just prior to or just after the appropriate midnight. I cannot say they are wrong to do so. Only that it does not “feel” right for me to do so.


Canon 1543
Time is computed according to the norms of the following canons unless otherwise expressly provided by law.

Canon 1545

  1. In the law, a day is understood as a period of time consisting of 24 continuous hours, and it begins at midnight; a week is a period of seven days, a month is a period of 30 days and a year a period of 365 days, unless the month and the year are said to be taken as they appear in the calendar. 2. If the time is continuous, a month and a year are always to be taken as they appear in the calendar.


When I was a child, and my mother worked nights while my fahter worked days, she used to wait for midnight, so she could go to the corner hot dog stand and have a Chicago dog all the way. In the alternative, she had a sausage pizza delivered at one minute after midnight- as did a lot of other people.

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of you helping me with this issue. Now I know that the Church considers the fasting period as a 24-hour period. Evidentally, I was confusing it with Muslims who only fast from sun-up to sun-down. At least, that’s what Fr. told me when I went to Confession yesterday. I think I heard him chuckle behind the screen when I told him. :slight_smile:

Scout :tiphat:

prudentially it is during the hours that you are awake, conducting business, studying, and eating your meals. If you are a shift worker, abstain during whatever your usual mealtimes. If you are fasting, fast. That does not mean if you wake up in the middle of your sleep cycle hungry you can eat meat. If you ask yourself the reason for and spirit of fast and abstinence, you will have no difficulty applying this discipline to your own circumstances.

This issue was dealt with in another thread last year, and the bottom line conclusion was pretty much as annie states it–if it feels like Friday, it probably ought to be treated like Friday, for conscience’s sake.

I am “beyond the age,” so technically these practices don’t apply to me. I don’t abstain during the year; rather, I choose the option for an extra penance of another category. However, I am abstaining during Lent, “beyond the age” or not. Because of my job, Fridays are particularly long for me, lasting from whenever I get up in the morning (usually about 0900) to 0630 Saturday morning. However, substituting mac-and-cheese and veg-veg soup for my usual meat fixes is not a problem. Good Friday last year was not a problem, because I took the entire weekend off, so I could concentrate on my confirmation. This year will be another matter.