Did I break Ash Wednesday fast?


So I had a normal-sized breakfast (banana and pastries, plus some potato chips), and then had a sizable lunch, but I’m skipping dinner, and am not eating anything after lunch. I was told that we’re supposed to eat 2 small meals and one normal-sized meal on Ash Wednesday. Did I break the fast? Thanks in advance!


Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t think you did. It is not the nitpicky little exacts such as this that make all that much difference. Ask yourself: What is the purpose of fasting? What should I have achieved and gotten out of fasting? Did I? If not, try again tomorrow instead.


Or, if you want to…
you could count whichever your smaller meal was today as the “two small meals that don’t add up to a full meal”.


As long as neither of them contained any meat as far as you are aware, you’re fine. (And if you did eat meat, it was because you forgot that today is a day of abstinence from meat, not because you were rebelling against it, so don’t worry about that, either.)

Drink juice or water when you feel hungry again.


Glad to know I didn’t break the fast. Thanks all!


Potato chips for breakfast?


Just add a beer and you have the perfect meal:thumbsup:


And maybe a couplea slices of cold pizza :smiley: - breakfast of champions! :thumbsup:


I once had a young coworker who would arrive at work in time to run across the street and get a big double burger “with everything” plus a big soft drink. Her explanation was "It is not what you eat for breakfast, but whether you eat."
It is now 11:56 p.m. PST, and the bowl of beans and a “caserole” of eggs, tomatoes, and chilis (plus a lot of coffee:D ) is strting to get mighty thin, especially after an “unofficial fast” yesterday. I’ll be off to the kitchen to see what’s available.


Yea, it was on my desk at work, and instead of having it tempt me all day, I had to eat it!


Normally, it’s supposed to be ONE regular meal OR (not AND) TWO small meals that do not add up to more than one regular meal.

If you were not aware of the rules, you probably did not break them.


According to EWTN this is the Church’s definition of fasting:

Fasting The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday [Canon 97] to the 59th Birthday * to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. **The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. ***Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem contrary to the spirit of doing penance.

So I always thought it was the one meal AND two smaller meals.:shrug:


It’s a little ambiguous. One regular meal for one person could be very different than for another. I think they should make this more specific. Normally breakfast and lunch are smaller meals anyway, so how is it different except about not snacking, which I rarely do? :confused:

True fasting implies that you will be hungry.


Well, you think about things a bit. ‘Regular’ doesn’t necessarily mean what YOU’RE accustomed to eating, rather what a regular person would eat.

So if a normal meal for you is three huge courses, then you might want to rethink the dessert or the portion size on a fast day, for example, because it’s highly IRregular for most people (except in the US and other lardo nations like mine, Australia) to eat three huge courses for a meal.

And then you remember that your TWO other meals TOGETHER have to be LESS than the main meal, not equal to it. Now that’s not normal for most people - they tend not to have such small breakfast AND lunch, for example, that together they’d be less than their dinner.

So you’d have a less-than-appetiser-sized meal for one of them (which is less than most people eat for any mea and will leave them hungry for the most partl) and a less-than-entree-sized meal for the other. Most people would be hungry on this unless they’re restaurant sized portions.

If you normally eat in a restrained way such that the fasting guideline is no hardship, then you’re in the same position as someone who is vegetarian would be on a day of abstinence.

You have the option of obeying the letter of the law and eating as per normal, or entering into its spirit and imposing other restrictions on your eating, or performing some other penance, in order to get into the spirit of the day.


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