• In the Western Catholic Church, on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday one is supposed to fast, not just abstain from meat; that is have only one meal. Some food (not equaling another meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening—depending on when a person chooses to eat the full meal. One abstains from meat not only on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday but on every Friday during Lent, the 40 days pror to Easter. The purpose of Lent is to prepare the believer, through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial,for the commemoration during Holy Week ( the week before Easter) of the Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, culminating in Easter. People between 14 and 59 are to fast and abstain during Lent, there are some exceptions for people whose health or the proper performance of essential work would suffer. Abstaining, fasting, and pennance date back to the earliest days of Christianity and beyond in other cultures and religions. Over the years the Church standadized, adapted, and required various refinements on Lenten Practices. Prior to the late 1960's (I think, that's when it changed) meat was to be abstained from during all of Lent and fasting was to be on every Friday during the Season as well as Ash Wednesday. Eastern Rite Churches have some other determinations of when Lent starts, how long it lasts and when Easter occurs, as well as some differences in abstaining and fasting. Some Protestants assume some of the requirements for Lent on a purely personal basis.
  • A long time ago! Biblical!

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