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Lenten regulations 2021

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MIAMI | Following are the regulations for the observance of Lent in the archdiocese, issued by the Office of Worship:

Fast and abstinence

The altar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church as seen during Lent 2018.


The altar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church as seen during Lent 2018.

Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics in good health 14 years old and older on Ash Wednesday and on all the Fridays of Lent. Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday by all Catholics in good health who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound by this may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. The special Paschal fast, as well as abstinence, are prescribed for Good Friday and encouraged for Holy Saturday.

Easter Vigil

Holy Saturday is celebrated April 3 this year. The entire Easter Vigil celebration is to begin after nightfall (8 p.m.) and end before the dawn of Easter Sunday. This rule is to be strictly observed in order to manifest the full meaning of the rites. The Easter Vigil is not to be celebrated at the time of the day that is customary to anticipated Sunday Masses.

Liturgical notes

Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The Easter Triduum is celebrated from Holy Thursday evening until evening prayer on Easter Sunday. Alleluia is not said or sung from the beginning of Lent until the Easter Vigil, nor is the “Te Deum” sung at or on Sundays of Lent.

During Lent, the altar should not be decorated with flowers, and musical instruments should be used to support the community singing while respecting the need for silence and reflection during other moments in the liturgy. On the fourth Sunday of Lent (“Laetare”) and on solemnities and feasts, musical instruments may be played and the altar decorated with flowers.

If marriages take place in Lent, couples are to be reminded that wedding plans should respect the special nature of this liturgical season in their simplicity.

It is recommended that during the Lenten season parishes should provide penitential celebrations that allow for the faithful to celebrate the mystery of forgiveness. These celebrations should take place before the Easter Triduum, and should not immediately precede the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Where there is genuine pastoral need, the sacrament of penance may be celebrated on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

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