Abstinence from eating meat is obligatory for all Catholics 14 years of age and older on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent.
Fasting is obligatory for all Catholics from ages 18 to 59 on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The law of the fast means that only one full meal may be eaten. Two smaller meals are permitted, but they should not equal one full meal.
The fourth precept of the Church states: “You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.” According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this precept “ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.”
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