Fasting and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is a day of universal
fasting and abstinence. The following church regulations are observed throughout the season of Lent:
- Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays during Lent by Catholics 14 years of age and older.
- All Catholics who are at least 18 years of age but not yet 59 years of age observe fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Those bound by this rule may eat only one full meal.
- Two smaller meals (that together are not equal to a full meal) are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to personal needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
- Those who are sick, pregnant, nursing, or with compromised health would be adversely affected by fasting or abstinence should not consider themselves bound by these norms.
No Flowers in Church
During the holy season of Lent, the church and adoration chapel should be marked by simplicity. The altar and sanctuary should not be decorated with flowers (Ceremonial of Bishops, no. 252). Please do not place flowers anywhere in the church during Lent. This includes the altar, near the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Jude, or the tabernacle area.