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David Salazar wrote:

Hi, guys —

Please help clarify the Lenten fasting regulations for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

  • Are liquids such as coffee, tea, juice, soda, etc. permitted between the three meals, meaning during the obligated days of fasting? (one large meal, two smaller)
  • Or is water the only liquid that can be consumed?

Thank you for your response,

David

  { What liquids are allowed for the obligated days of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? }

Mike replied:

Hi David,

Thanks for the question.

You said:

  • Are liquids such as coffee, tea, juice, soda, etc. permitted between the three meals, meaning during the obligated days of fasting? (one large meal, two smaller)
  • Or is water the only liquid that can be consumed?

Yes, those drinks are permitted but as the regulations states ... enough to maintain strengthen, so drinking one quart of coffee, juice, soda, or whatever, would not be permitted.

You may find these postings helpful as well:

Mike

Eric replied:

David,

According to the document Paentimini III.2,

"The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing — as far as quantity and quality are concerned — approved local custom."

("Quantity" in the U.S. is generally defined as two smaller meals as needed to maintain strength that don't add up to a single regular meal.)

I don't think there is any formal restriction on liquids, although I'd be careful not to attempt to defeat the fast by legalistic interpretations of liquids, say, drinking large quantities of pureed vegetables or what have you.

Here is another take on the topic. Jimmy's conclusion: The law doesn't cover beverages but use common sense.

This document doesn't cover the definition of fasting but it is still useful —

[PDF] {Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence - A Statement Issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 18, 1966

Eric

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