| Rules for fasting and abstinence
Ash Wednesday, March 5, marks the beginning of Lent. The following regulations regarding fasting and abstinence are observed in the United States:
Catholics ages 14 and over are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent.
Individuals between 18 and 59 are also obliged to fast — eat one full meal — on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Eating two smaller meals is permitted to maintain strength, but eating between meals is not.
These obligations, however, do not apply to those whose health or ability to work would be seriously affected.
Catholics are also encouraged to do penance in other ways, such as prayer, acts of self-denial, almsgiving and works of kindness and compassion.
back to top