Hi Fr. Johnson I have two questions that I would like clarification on.  

Is there a sabbath day that the Catholic Church abide by?  A late Holy Ghost Father had once told me that the sabbath is from 6pm Saturday evening to 6pm Sunday evening.  Recently my fiancee is disputing this saying it's not true and the Church does not have a sabbath as other churches.  

Each year I enjoy fasting which brings me deeper to God, but again, it was brought to my attention by my fiancee that the church's documents does not indicate a time frame to fast (e.g. as Muslims 6am - 6pm) for the 40 days (except Sundays)or indicated days the church request of us.  (see the excerpt below on fasting):

The Catholic Disciplinary Laws of Fast and Abstinence

•   Fasting During Lent – The Church requires its members to fast on two days each year — Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The Bishops in the United States have defined the minimum requirement of the fast for U.S. Catholics to be one full (but not excessive) meal plus other food not to exceed the full meal which may be taken in part at breakfast, noon or evening, depending on when one decides to take the “one full meal”. This law applies to Catholics between the age of 18 and 59.
•   Abstinence From Meat on Fridays – The Church requires its members to abstain from eating meat on Fridays as an act of penitence.  In the United States, Catholics are permitted to substitute another form of penance on Fridays outside the season of Lent. This law applies to all Catholics who are over the age of 14.
•   The Holy Communion Fast – Catholics must also fast for a minimum of one hour before receiving Holy Communion.
The entire season of Lent is a penitential time and our attitude and behavior during this season should be marked by some sort of self-denial.  The season of Advent is also a penitential season, but of less severity, and we should also mark this season with some form of self-denial, even if it is less than that practiced during Lent.

Is it that there is no time frame for fasting?  Additionally, for a selected day of fast should one just consume one full meal throughout the day?  

Please explain and I await your response.


Thanks for the questions.

SABBATH: The Church abides by the LORD's DAY which is SUNDAY... It includes precepts such as rest like on the Sabbath described in the old Jewish ritual law.
It is probably more accurate to say that in most locations, the "Lord's Day" (Sunday) is observed from about 4:00pm Saturday evening until about like 11:59pm Sunday night.
Nevertheless, I happen to know of the case of one Australian Catholic Diocese that indicates it may be observed from as early as 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon...
Certain liturgical SOLEMNITIES, and FEASTS of OUR LORD observe a time of anticipation or vigil, as well.  This vigil is considered typically to begin after about 4:00pm.

FASTING: You are correct that no times of the day are specified in the Church's Fasting Regulations; therefore, since no other indication is given, fasting for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday would be from 12:00am (midnight) of the beginning of the day through the very end of the day, or 11:59pm...

I hope this is helpful.
I am very edified by the fact that you are even concerned about wishing to fast, and to do the best, most proper fast that you know how to do and are able.
+ God bless you!

Fr. Timothy Johnson


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