Although Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, we will offer several opportunities for the faithful to be signed with ashes. All Masses and services on Ash Wednesday will include the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes
Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence (Canon 1251).
Fasting binds all persons who have completed their 18th birthday through those who have completed their 59th year, unless prevented by poor health. On days of fast, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals sufficient to mantain strenght, may be taken according to one's own needs. Eating between meals is not allowed althought fluids may be taken. (Canon 1252)
Abstinence binds all persons who have completed their 14th birthday, unless prevented by poor health. On days of abstince during Lent, the consumption of meat of mammals or fowl is not allowed. The Church strongly encourages the observance of Fridayabstibence throughout the year, but failure to do so is not regarded as sinful. ( Canon 1252)
Penitential Days: The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, … (Canon 1249). The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent (Canon 1250).