Ash Wednesday Prayer, Fasting And Abstinence

All over the world Catholics will be praying, fasting and abstaining to begin Lent.

Fasting means; I normal meal and 2 small meals.

Abstinence means; NO MEAT (beef or chicken).  Only fish, beans, cheese for protein.

Ash Wednesday 2012“It is mentioned as of general observance for both clerics and faithful in the Synod of Beneventum, 1091 (Mansi, XX, 739), but nearly a hundred years earlier than this the Anglo-Saxon homilist Ælfric assumes that it applies to all classes of men.
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“We read”, he says,

in the books both in the Old Law and in the New that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast.

And then he enforces this recommendation by the terrible example of a man who refused to go to church for the ashes on Ash Wednesday and who a few days after was accidentally killed in a boar hunt (Ælfric, Lives of Saints, ed. Skeat, I, 262-266).” 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia