Thursday, February 11, 2016
WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY DID HOLY MOTHER CHURCH EMASCULATE HER LAWS ON FAST AND ABSTINENCE?
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast. This applies to those 18-59. One full meal is permitted and two other snacks which combined are less than a full meal. No eating between meals.
Each Friday of Lent beginning at the age of 14 one must abstain from flesh meat (pork, beef, chicken and meat products) on Ash Wednesday and each Friday of Lent. (Canon Law has this weak codicil, that Catholics must do some form of penance each Friday of Lent--how many of us do?)
But this was Church Law when Catholics were Catholic:
Laws of fast apply to those 21 to 59 inclusive. Each day of lent is a fast day except for Sunday. One full meal and two smaller snacks which combined are less than a full meal.
Laws of Days of Abstinence apply starting at age 7. Complete abstinence all Fridays of the year and Ash Wednesday.
To be sure, dispensations were granted to people to observe a more relaxed fast during lent. This especially applied to pregnant women, those who did manual labor and a variety of others.
Today, we hear absolutely nothing about fasting and abstinence from the Magisterium. It would seem to me that both would have been a wonderful match for the Year of Mercy and the penance we must do for our sins.
Perhaps the Eastern Orthodox will open the eyes of the pope and bishops in union with him when they have their Great Council later this year. One of the main topics for this Council is fasting.
I find it unfortunate that our pope and bishops do not realize the great community builder it was for all Catholics to abstain all Fridays of the year with special dispensations for those Fridays that were solemnities or held special secular significance as far as food is concerned. It helped to solidify our Catholic identity even with nominal Catholics.
And fasting each day of Lent, except for Sundays, really made lent a pungent season of penance!
Deacon Kandra contrasts the wimpy Latin Rite's fast during Lent to that of the Orthodox. WOW! WE ARE WIMPS!
Great Lent is the longest and strictest fasting season of the year.
Week before Lent (“Cheesefare Week”): Meat and other animal products are prohibited, but eggs and dairy products are permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday.
First Week of Lent: Only two full meals are eaten during the first five days, on Wednesday and Friday after the Presanctified Liturgy. Nothing is eaten from Monday morning until Wednesday evening, the longest time without food in the Church year. (Few laymen keep these rules in their fullness). For the Wednesday and Friday meals, as for all weekdays in Lent, meat and animal products, fish, dairy products, wine and oil are avoided. On Saturday of the first week, the usual rule for Lenten Saturdays begins (see below).
Weekdays in the Second through Sixth Weeks: The strict fasting rule is kept every day: avoidance of meat, meat products, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil.
Saturdays and Sundays in the Second through Sixth Weeks: Wine and oil are permitted; otherwise the strict fasting rule is kept.
Holy Week: The Thursday evening meal is ideally the last meal taken until Pascha. At this meal, wine and oil are permitted. The Fast of Great and Holy Friday is the strictest fast day of the year: even those who have not kept a strict Lenten fast are strongly urged not to eat on this day. After St. Basil’s Liturgy on Holy Saturday, a little wine and fruit may be taken for sustenance. The fast is sometimes broken on Saturday night after Resurrection Matins, or, at the latest, after the Divine Liturgy on Pascha.
Wine and oil are permitted on several feast days if they fall on a weekday during Lent. Consult your parish calendar. On Annunciation and Palm Sunday, fish is also permitted.
Face it. Relatively speaking, when it comes to fasting, we’re wimps.