Ash Wednesday/Good Friday Fasting


Coming from a Jewish background, fasting for Yom Kippur was no food from sunset to sunset. Is this the same for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? Basically, no food from the sunset of that day before (Shrove Tuesday or Holy Thursday) to that sunset, or is from sunrise to sunset of that day?


Sorry, I don’t know what the official Church teaching on this, but I always fast from all food at 12pm midnight until 12pm midnight the following day. For Ash Wednesday, I will be fasting for the whole 24 hours. I don’t think you are required to do this, but this is what I do.


Fasting for those days involves at most only one full meal with two smaller “snacks” not to exceed the amount of the one full meal. The times are from midnight to midnight.



‘Full meal’ of course means a moderate sized meal - no supersizing :wink:

As you might know, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday you also abstain - meaning you can’t eat flesh meat (seafood is OK). Which also applies to EVERY Friday during Lent.


From what I learned, you are allowed one modest meal, and 2 light snacks. No meat, though. From midnight to midnight. People under 18 and those who have medical reasons to eat (diabetics, pregnant women, what have you…) do not have to fast.


Grace and Peace,

Personally I think your Jewish observance seems pretty devout. I don’t see why you couldn’t observe such a fast during Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Before the Church began to put aside any real semblance of mortification of the body we would fast every day of Great Lent… :getholy:

Back then every Wednesday and Friday were penitential days which also included Fasting. We were a religious Church back then. Some how along the way we started living like everyone else. :shrug:

I try to Abstain from meat throughout Lent and Fast on Wednesdays and Fridays (one meal only enough to fill me up but I walk away not completely full) and bread or a salad later in the day. Cutting out dairy is also a traditional food to cut out if you want to turn up the spiritual rigor.

If Fasting starts to impact your duties, you should not allow them to fall unto others. Break your Fast before to shirk your own personal duties, to your co-workers, friends and family.

Keep it secret and keep it safe and it should really make Sundays pretty special. During Lent I always break my abstinence and fasts on the Lord’s Day. During Holy Week turn up the heat and Triduum will be amazing.

God Bless.


I think it is 18 for fasting, but 14 for abstaining (my children were really irritated when they figured this “rule” out – Lenten fasting/abstenance had been part of their lives from the time they were old enough to understand!) . . . And the obligation ceases for those over 59 – although I don’t know anyone who stops except for health reasons!


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