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A list of other Lenten practices Catholics are asked to observe

While public worship was reinstated at Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Erie beginning in June, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains in effect. Those who choose to attend Mass are asked to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and sanitize their hands regularly.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021, and concludes when the Paschal Triduum of the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord at the start of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, as well as other forms of self-denial, are recommended most warmly by the church. Daily Mass is particularly encouraged. A listing of Masses available by livestream in the Diocese of Erie can be found at

• Ash Wednesday, all Fridays in Lent except March 19 and Good Friday are days of abstinence from eating meat for those 14 years of age and older. Because the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19) falls on a Friday of Lent, and solemnities are never days of penance, the faithful are not obliged to abstain from meat on that day.

• Ash Wednesday and Good Friday also are days of fasting for those ages 18 to 58 inclusive. On these days, those bound by the law of fasting may take one full meal. Two smaller meals, sufficient to maintain strength according to one’s needs, also are permitted. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids including milk and fruit juices are allowed. When health or work is seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

If the COVID situation requires modifications to these practices, they will be communicated as they develop.

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