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Bishop's Message/Blog

Faithful of 14 years, above should abstain from meat, favourite dish, drink on Ash Wednesday

A few thoughts on Lent

As we begin the season of Lent, may I remind everyone of the following practices regarding the season:


All the faithful who have reached 14 years of age and above are required to abstain totally from meat or favourite dish or drink on Ash Wednesday, February 14, Good Friday, March 29 and all the Fridays of Lent.


All the faithful between the ages of 18 and 60 years are obliged to fast. In practice, fasting involves limiting oneself to a single full meal or two smaller meals a day. The sick, pregnant women or nursing mothers or those whose health would be adversely affected by fasting should not consider themselves bound by this norm.

Parents and teachers

Parents and Teachers are responsible for helping young persons, who are not bound by the norms regarding fasting and abstinence to recognise the genuine sense of penance and self-denial. We are required to also pray fervently for catechumens who will receive the Sacraments of Initiation during this period. Please find below some of the other ways we can observe this period of Lent so as to benefit from the graces of the season:

Avoid Sin: Keep yourself away from all occasions that could lead to sin. Repent and return to God by a good sacramental confession and do appropriate penance if you fall into sin.

Practice self-control: Be more generous especially in giving to the poor and needy and in contributing to the works of the Church, remission of debts and payment of just wages.

• Pursue and achieve reconciliation with anyone with whom you are not at peace.

Read the Scriptures in order to deepen your intimacy with God, spread the kingdom of Christ and help others to know and return to Christ.

Pray before the Blessed Sacrament, go to Mass often, if possible, daily, taking time to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

Stations of the Cross: Be regular at the stations of the cross on Wednesdays and Fridays and do it every day if you can.

Lenten Programmes and Retreats: Take part in the Lenten programmes and retreats that will be organised in your parish. Take full part in the Holy Week ceremonies.

Rosary recitation: Pray your Rosary daily. Bear in mind that all other Fridays of the year remain Days of penance in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.

• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.



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