Ash Wednesday is coming up on February 22, 2023.
Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, however, it is stongly advised to attend Mass to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent.
Lent continues until the Easter triduum, which begins with evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday, April 6, and runs through Easter Sunday, April 9.
The current Church regulations on fasting and abstinence remind us that fasting is required of all Catholics age 18-59 on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days only one full meal is allowed, with two smaller meals as needed. Eating solid food between meals is not allowed. Abstinence from meat is required of all Catholics over the age of 14 on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all of the other Fridays of Lent. Those who are illl, pregnant, on medication or special diets for health concerns, or those who must work at extremely physical jobs may be exempt from these regulations.