Q. 1. What does the word "abstinence" mean?
A. 1. The word "abstinence" has a number of meanings in the Catholic Church.
Most Catholics know the word because of its association with the Friday observance of not eating meat or other foods prepared with meat. Days of abstinence include Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of the year that are not solemnities. The rules of abstinence may vary from country to country. Please consult your local Bishop to find out what applies in your country.
The Church stipulates that those who are fourteen years of age and above, they are bound by these regulations.
Abstinence is also associated with "sexual abstinence." In observance of the Sixth Commandment, single persons and couples whose marriage are not recognized by the Catholic Church, they should abstain from sexual activities.
For the purpose of regulating conception by natural means, married couples will implement periodic abstinence as agreed by both parties.