[quote=Tantum ergo]The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday, this year March 1, 2006, according to the Latin Rite, AKA Roman Catholics along with Eastern Catholics such as Maronites.
Ash Wednesday is a day of both FAST and abstinence. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence (unless your particular bishop says otherwise). GOOD Friday is another day of both FAST and abstinence. During the period from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, Catholics typically also, in a spirit of penitence, “give up” something they like, like candy, (except onSundays, which are NEVER fast or penitence days; all Sundays are considered “little Easters”); or else they ADD something extra, like saying the rosary daily.
Some people do more; the Orthodox I believe have a more stringent fast involving much more fasting and abstinence from more than just meat. And many Catholics fast or abstain (or both) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and/or Saturdays in addition to the Fridays. . .especially if they belong to a third order, secular institute, or other lay group.
God bless you in your loving penance this Lent!
For some “Eastern Catholics such as Maronites” Lent begins on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.