Ash Wednesday Fasting -- Tea and Coffee?

Hey everybody— Have a blessed Ash Wednesday and a blessed Lent!! I just have a question… While we’re fasting today, are we allowed to drink tea and coffee? Especially if we add milk (or soy milk) to it?

Thanks everybody!!!
God bless.

Drinks are fine, dairy is fine. I would just stay away from heavy, “liquefied foods”, like milkshakes and smoothies. Unless you are counting them as your food for the day.

Well said (and I just had a coffee). :smiley:

Thank you both!! Glad to hear I can have my tea. :slight_smile:

God bless!

Pope Clement VIII was asked to condem coffee as Satan’s drink, as it came from the Islamic infidels.

Pope Clement VIII gave it his blessing stating: “This Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it.”


Thank you for this. I love my coffee and have been drinking my black coffee today.

Giving it up is not a requirement, but it make a good practise!

(Hypocrite that I am, already had tea today)

That’s funny. :smiley:

Doesn’t it depend on your local diocese?

A guy I know fasts on Lent “Fish Days” (Ash Wednesday & Fridays) from food altogether, he drinks coffee to get him through the days. I had previously wondered about this as well but defer to the no meat standard, liquids are a differnet story.

This is not explicitly to you, Kenny, but your post provides an appropriate lead in to what I’m about to say…

True liquids, those without “weight” or “substance” such as a milkshake or heavy smoothie, would not count as breaking a fast. This is because over the years as hunter gatherers, we did not have liquid which contained calories (water only). As a result, our bodies have adapted to consider any true liquids as non-energy… in other words, drinking a cup of coffee, milk, soda, tea, etc, will not do anything to satisfy hunger. In fact, out of those, coffee and tea have almost no calories anyway… they’re nothing more than flavored/“dirty” water.

The point of fasting is not to punish onesself, it is to promote penance by inducing a SLIGHT discomfort… a SLIGHT sense of hunger throughout the day that serves as a constant reminder to consider Christ’s sacrifice and discomfort, and thus to tie more deeply into the passion of our Lord. We can CHOOSE to inject aesthetic practices as well, but that’s not the sense interpreted by the church as the ultimate goal here.

As to what liquids WOULD seem to violate a fast, anything with substance which the stomach might interpret as food, and thus reduce the slight since of discomfort would obviously accomplish that. Another shady area that I would say violates the basic principle of fasting would be to consume diet pills or liquids which supress the sense of hunger and thus eliminate that condition which provides our constant reminder.

Remember, lent is not a game to score points by just how much aestheticism you take on, or by how much you give up. The goal is to promote a more constant state of spiritual meditation and communion with Christ by removing something that gives us comfort so that its absence serves as a reminder to ponder the spiritual.

The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing—as far as quantity and quality are concerned—approved local custom. [emphasis added]


So would that not mean that local custom decides whether something is considered food that breaks the fast…? :confused:

I think such needs to be looked at again. I think even one of the older manuals points out that milkshakes are not in the catagory of milk…

Icecream (what one makes the milkshake out of) and Fruit (what the smoothie is made out of) would break the fast in my book…no matter how one blends it…

such is my thought on the matter (as the person noted above …unless it is part of what is permitted meal-collation)

My grammatically confusing sentence… I meant that smoothies and milkshakes have weight and substance and therefore are NOT true liquids and WOULD count as breaking the fast… perhaps I missed a comma or something in there…


(dang it …here I was hoping to be wrong…Just kidding ;))