In the discipline of the Christian Church abstinence is the term for a less severe form of Fasting.
A nearly vegetarian diet and a complete abstinence from alcoholic stimulants is the ideal in such cases, but it must be modified to suit individuals, as sometimes very strict limitations prove injurious.
With the growth of the Oxford Movement in the English Church, the practice of observing Lent was revived; and, though no rules for fasting are authoritatively laid down, the duty of abstinence is now very generally inculcated by bishops and clergy, either as a discipline or as an exercise in self-denial.
The ritual includes features found on other holy days, sacrifices, abstinence from work, &c.; and also certain unique acts.
In the above countries, therefore, abstinence from matrimony may be said to have been a factor of some importance in the decline.