Diocese of Honolulu 2023 Lenten Regulations


  • In the dioceses in the United States, Catholics aged 18 through 59 are bound to fast on both Ash Wednesday (February 22, 2023) and Good Friday (April 7, 2023).
  • To fast means to consume one full meal a day at most, although taking of other, smaller quantities of food at the other customary mealtimes is permitted. Food and drink between meals (excepting water and medicine) is not permitted on days of fasting.


  • Catholics aged 14 and up are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday.
  • To abstain means refraining from eating beef, veal, pork, or poultry at least, although eggs and milk products are acceptable. The consumption of fish and shellfish is permitted, though the penitential character of the abstinence should be kept in mind.


  • All the faithful, after they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year. This precept is to be fulfilled during the Easter Season unless it is fulfilled, for a just cause, at some other time during the year. This period is extended to include all the weeks of Lent and the Easter Season up to Trinity Sunday (June 4, 2023).


  • The faithful are encouraged during Lent to attend daily Mass, receive Holy Communion, participate in penance services, and receive sacramental absolution; to take part in public and private exercises of piety, give generously to works of religion and charity, perform acts of kindness toward the sick, aged, and the poor; to practice voluntary self-denial, especially regarding food, drink, and worldly amusements; and to pray more fervently, particularly for the intentions of the Holy Father.
  • Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, falls this year on February 22nd. Ashes are to be blessed as a sign of our entry into a season of conversion, repentance, and reconciliation. Ashes are to be blessed by a bishop, priest, or deacon. Others may be associated with the clergy in the distribution of ashes.
  • Funeral Masses may not be celebrated on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday, nor on the Sundays of Lent. When pastoral reasons require that a funeral be celebrated on these days, only a Funeral Outside of Mass may be held.
  • To afford the faithful opportunities to participate in Lenten prayer services, pastors are encouraged to have such prayer services at least twice a week, including the Way of the Cross on Fridays, Exposition and Benediction, Evening Prayer, and evening Masses. A homily or instruction should be included.


  • In order to allow participation of Catholics throughout the islands, the Sacred Oils will be blessed during the Chrism Mass to be celebrated in several locations. All are encouraged to join in one of the following celebrations:
    • Kauai: Tuesday, March 14th at 7 p.m., St. Theresa Church, Kekaha.
    • Maui-Lanai: Thursday, March 23rd at 7 p.m., St. Joseph Church, Makawao.
    • Big Island: Thursday, March 30th at 6:00 p.m., St. Michael the Archangel Church, Kailua-Kona.
    • Oahu-Molokai: Tuesday, April 4th at 7 p.m., Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, Honolulu.


“Since Christ accomplished his work of human redemption and of the perfect glorification of God principally through his Paschal Mystery, in which by dying he has destroyed our death, and by rising restored our life, the sacred Paschal Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord shines forth as the high point of the entire liturgical year” (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, #18). Three major liturgical principles may be of help here:

  • The Triduum may be viewed a single liturgical action that occurs over a period of three days.
  • The Triduum is not part of Lent, but in its entirety, celebrates the Easter event.
  • The entire focus of the Triduum is on the Triumph of the Cross and the Resurrection.

NOTE: The above directives should be published in parish bulletins for the benefit of the faithful, adding any specific parish or vicariate events. What follows pertains only to clergy and liturgy planners and need not be published for parishioners.


  • Priests should consider using the two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation from time to time during the season of Lent.


  • “The Paschal candle should be prepared, which for effective symbolism must be made of wax, never be artificial, be renewed each year, be only one in number, and be of sufficiently large size, so that it may evoke the truth that Christ is the light of the world. It is blessed with the signs and words prescribed in the Missal or by the Conference of Bishops (from the 1988 Circular Letter on the preparation for Easter published by the Congregation for Divine Worship).”

[Note: Since the Paschal candle is to be lit for all liturgies during the Easter season and during baptisms and funerals, it often happens that the candle burns down so much that it no longer is a sign that clearly proclaims Christ’s victory over the darkness of sin and death. To prevent this from happening, parishes are encouraged to purchase candles that will be able to be proper symbols until the following Easter Vigil. In the Diocese of Honolulu, if the pastor judges that the Paschal candle blessed at the Easter Vigil is no longer able to be the sign it is meant to be, the parish should replace it with a new Easter candle. However, there is no special ceremony for blessing the second candle. It should simply be prepared in the sacristy with the proper date, then placed in the candle holder.]

  • A glass chimney is recommended to shield the flame of the Paschal Candle at the Easter Vigil liturgy from the time it is lit until it is safely standing in its place in the church.


  • The dismissal, from the Easter Vigil through the Octave of Easter, ending with the Second Sunday of Easter, inclusive, should be followed by a double Alleluia! preferably sung. The same is true for the liturgies of Pentecost Sunday and its Vigil. The double Alleluia is not added at other liturgies during the Easter season.

When pastoral necessity requires it, the local Ordinary may allow duplicate liturgies on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, but not the Easter Vigil.

Please feel free to contact me at the Office of Worship, 808-585-3342 or [email protected], should you have any questions.