In accordance with the guidelines released by Our Maronite Patriarch, His Eminence and Beatitude Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, Lenten Penitential Practices for Maronites are summarised below:

  • Fasting from midnight to midday on all weekdays from Ash Monday to the Saturday of Light (8 April): no food or drink is to be consumed, with the exception of water;

  • Abstaining from consuming meat and dairy on the Fridays of Lent; and throughout the first and last week of Lent (Holy Week);

  • Fasting and abstinence on Saturdays and Sundays are not an obligation, with the exception of the Saturday of Light (Easter Saturday), where fasting and abstinence are to be observed. However, it is always recommended to practice abstinence during the Saturdays and Sundays of Lent;

  • In 2023, the following feast days fall within the Lenten Season: St John Maroun (2 March), The Forty Martyrs (9 March), St Joseph (19 March), St Rafqa (23 March), The Annunciation (25 March). We do not fast or abstain on these feast days.

Please remember that food and water are always permitted when needed to take medicines or in case of illness or old age or school children. A person who cannot fast or abstain may choose another form of penance.

May we, through the discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving acquire a new heart and a new spirit. May we be nurtured by the love of God and persevere in our journey from death to life.