Today is Ash Wednesday.

Ash WednesdayCatholics around the world recognize Ash Wednesday as the beginning of Lent. If you wish to follow the fasting and abstinence rules of Lent they are:

  • Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and Good Friday, April 14, 2017 are days of Fast and Abstinence.
  • Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
  • Fasting is to be observed by all 18 years of age and older, who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. On a fast day, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.
  • Abstinence is observed by all 14 years of age and older. On days of abstinence no meat is allowed.
  • Note that when health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

When In doubt concerning fast and abstinence, the parish priest should be consulted. (CCL. 1251-1252) Exceptions for those who are not bound by the law include women who are pregnant and persons who are sick

Fasting, alms giving, and prayer are the three traditional disciplines of Lent. The faithful and catechumens should undertake these practices seriously in a spirit of penance and of preparation for Baptism or of renewal of Baptism at Easter.

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