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Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection and fasting, which prepares us to celebrate Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ashes are a symbol of penance and they help develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

Lenten practices of fasting and abstinence: During the season of Lent, Catholics take on or add to their practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as a way to deepen our spiritual connection to God and widen our solidarity with our neighbor.

Catholics aged 18 to 59 are obliged to fast and abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting allows one full meal and two smaller meals that do not equal to one full meal. Catholics 14 years and older must abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent. Let us support (and remind) one another as we observe Lent through fasting and abstinence.

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