Ash wednesday fast and abstinance


hi all i’m still pretty new at this my question is how do you fast and abstain? :shrug:


Different people have different habits, but usually it means you don’t eat meat and have only one big meal that day.
some people eat only bread and water.


Abstaining means not eating meat.

Fasting means eating a lot less than your normal three meals.


General canon law says that all Fridays are days of abstinence – no meat – but if you want to eat meat, you should substitute some other form of penance.

The rules for abstinence from meat includes all Fridays during Lent; Fast (small meals, no snacks) + Abstinence (as in universal rules – no meat) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Below Canon Law

Canon 1250 All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
**Canon 1251 ** Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Canon 1252 All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.
Canon 1253 It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.


Abstainence - No meat. Yes, chicken and other birds are meat :smiley: On Ash Wed and the Fridays of Lent, stick to a vegetarian meal plan. You can also have fish or shellfish or shrimp or other things that live in the water (personally, I have a hard time seeing how a shrimp and lobster dinner is any kind of a sacrifice… but, that is my opinion).

Fasting - for a healthy adult, one meal (not a stuff yourself feast kind of meal) and two small meals/large snacks. No eating between meals.

For instance, I might have a boiled egg and a slice of whole grain toast with out any butter or jelly for breakfast.

For lunch I may have a cup of veg soup and half a grilled cheese or half an apple.

Supper would be my main meal, I might have a piece of baked fish, a half cup of rice and some veg. Maybe I’d have a bean burrito and some corn chowder. A simple meatless meal.



Abstaining means not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. It can also mean giving up soda, candy, junk food, booze, or smoking during Lent.

Fasting is required for all catholics 18 and over on Ash Wedensday and Good Friday. The elderly, children, and those with a medial reason do not have to fast. Typically, you eat one meal a day, and have 2 smaller “snacks”. The quantity of food for your snacks should not be more than the amount of food for your big meal. No eating between meals, though water is allowed.

Hope this helps



Is it a requirement that you eat only one meal on Ash Wednesday?


Yes. One normal-sized meal. You are excused (exempt) if you are “under” or “over” age, or have a medical/health condition such as diabetes, pregnancy, etc.-- any condition requiring frequent nutrition to maintain sufficient health and stay out of the danger zone.

And two smaller meals, as was said.


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