“This year, we will celebrate the first Lent Friday on Feb. 16, the centennial of Lithuania’s independence. The anniversary of our statehood is very important to the Church, as well. Independent Lithuania was built by free and believing people. In light of the festive and significant anniversary of our state, bishops of Lithuania invites all people to join the prayer of gratitude for the gift of freedom, dismissing religious people from the duty to refrain from meat on the first Lent Friday, Feb. 16,” the secretariat of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference said.
According to the communique published earlier this week, the duty to refrain from meat remains on all other Fridays of the year, especially during Lent.
Special instructions were issued by bishops in December, as this year Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday. Believers were invited to not eat meat on that day, although meat is usually allowed on Sundays.
According to the latest census of 2011, 77 percent of Lithuania’s population are Roman Catholic.