Christianity is usually fasted in the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter – Lent 2019 lasts from 6 March to 18 April. However, food is not completely abandoned here. What should be noted is shown in the following overview.
Fasting in Christianity: Remembering the Passion of Christ
During Lent , which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Eve, it is forbidden to eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. This rule is based on the fact that Jesus was betrayed on a Wednesday and crucified on a Friday. A path of suffering to which one should still remember today through the renunciation. Christians are preparing for Easter with this tradition. Fasting, however, is not a diet, but should serve as a time of reflection. In the Roman Catholic Church Lent is also referred to as the “Paschal atonement”.
The fasting in Christianity lasts 40 days in total – a time that is to remember the Lent of Jesus in the desert after his baptism. Strictly speaking, there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Saturday, but the six Sunday are excluded from fasting.
How fasting is implemented in Christianity
The amount of food in Lent is somewhat limited overall, limited to a large main meal per day and additionally consumed only two small snacks. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, only a main meal is allowed.
In the Catholic Church, believers between the ages of 14 and 60 should abstain from meat, alcohol, sweets, smoking, or other pleasures during Lent . In the Middle Ages, fat, eggs and dairy products were also banned; Today there are habits such as surfing the Internet, watching TV or playing computer games . This gives Lent a current reference. What is important here is a deliberately experienced renunciation that creates space for something new.
However, Sunday is exempted because Jesus is said to have risen on a Sunday. How strict the fasting is really exercised by the believers, is up to each one here.
Fasting is dependent on the strictness of faith
While strictly believing Christians adhere strictly to the guidelines, many limit themselves only to the renunciation of meat on Good Friday. Many faithful Catholics and Orthodox undergo four lentays a year, lasting several weeks. In these times, alcohol , fat and animal foods are completely eliminated.
Fasting in the Protestant church
In the Protestant Church, fasting is not as central as it is for the Catholic Church. The action “7 weeks without” calls in Lent instead to a waiver of various stimulants such as sweets, alcohol or even television consumption. In the Protestant church, change is more important than renunciation.
Religious fasting in other religions
In Islam, fasting is one of the five pillars of this religion. Fasting is in Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar year. For 30 days, Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or have sex during sunrise and sunset. Lent ends with the three-day festival of fast-breaking.
Yom Kippur is the great fasting day in Judaism. On this day may be eaten, drunk or smoked. Also wash, work and sexual intercourse are prohibited. On this day of Atonement between God and men, all sins committed before shall be atoned for.
Hinduism has no uniform Lent times. However, fasting in Hinduism plays a fundamental role in purifying the body and mind.