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Ash Wednesday Fasting Rules: What You Need to Know

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Catholics fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Ash Wednesday is observed like a Friday of Lent, with no meat consumption. In addition, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the two times during Lent that involve a fast.

The rules for fasting apply to Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59. In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must refrain from the consumption of meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.

Although no meat is to be eaten, eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat are permissible.

American Catholic outlines what fasting entails:

Fasting as explained by the U.S. bishops means partaking of only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening—depending on when a person chooses to eat the main or full meal.

The fasting originates from The Bible, where Jesus is said to have fasted for 40 days in the dessert.

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