Friday Pennance

I have never remembered to do a Friday Pennance in my entire time as a catholic since Easter Vigil 2013 is that a mortal sin or is friday pennance binding under pain as sin. Not using not remembering as an excuse . now that I know I will be doing it and mentioning to my priest the times I didnt do it. Is going to adoration on Friday for a hour a pennance?

If you honestly forgot then I don’t think it would be considered a sin. Whenever I’m unsure if something was a sin I ask the priest when I go to Confession. As for Friday penance, try to focus on making 2014 a year of constancy in prayer and penance. One really great book I recommend is Spirit of Penance Path to God by Dom Hubert Van Zeller.

Hope this helps. God bless. :slight_smile:

I also went a few years before I found out the Friday penance was still in effect, as an ill-informed religious instructor in my Parish said it was no longer an Obligation, and I foolishly believed them. Now I know better. Although I do other penances, since I love fish, I can always eat fish or macaroni and cheese, or an egg and cheese omelet on Fridays to meet the Friday Penance Obligation. Other Penances I do on Friday are in addition to that. Yes, I would think that going to Adoration would count as a spiritual work, so does an act of Charity – such as giving something to the poor, or to someone in need. Any spiritual or charitable act can replace the meatless Friday, including saying an extra Rosary.

The specific practice of abstinence from meat on Fridays is no longer binding, except Fridays in Lent (and Ash Wednesday), plus fasting (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). However, ALL CATHOLICS are encouraged to abstain from meat on every Friday, or they should substitute some other equivalent practice. “Many Catholics don’t realize that Church still recommends abstinence on all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent. In fact, if we don’t abstain from meat on non-Lenten Fridays, we’re required to substitute some other form of penance.” There are sites that summarize the Fasting Rules.

However, Adoration is more a devotion than a penance, so it would probably not be an equivalent. Prayer is not really a penance, and should not be seen as a penance.

You might consider such things as not watching television, not drinking alcohol, or giving up some other legitimate good.

with all due respect if Prayer is not a pennance why are almost 99 percent of pennances given by priest’s in the confessional a prayer of some sort?

something I do, is trying to help people, even if its with knowledge, after all some people is not hungry of food but other stuff, which i think counts as a charitable act, like giving good advice, making feel better someone who is depressed, and stuff like that.

You cant sin by accident. At least not if you sin in ignorance or forgetting something. I would still bring it up at your next confession if it will give you peace of mind. I just abstain from meat on Fridays even though it is not required to abstain from meat. The last time I think I forgot to abstain, I prayed the rosary as a penance instead. I know I should have prayed it anyway, but I did not plan to that day and I actually did not want to. That is until I started, then I was very glad that I did. So, I don’t see how it would not count as a penance in that case.

You do have a valid point–and there are those who argue that such penances should be rare at best, since it encourages people to see prayer as a form of punishment or reparation. Perhaps it is needed, since too often most of us Catholics have too little prayer time in our lives.

But there is also the tradition of the three pious practices that we see in Matthew 6: Alms, prayer, and fasting. All are needed in a fully Christian life. Prayer is included in the required attendance at Sunday Mass (First precept of the Church). Alms is included in the requirement to help support the Church (and its works–the Fifth precept of the Church). and Fasting is part of the Second precept–the call to observe the days of fasting and abstinence. To make this observance into another form of prayer seems to me to neglect the aspect of self-denial even of good and allowed things to remind ourselves in a very visceral way that there are better and higher good things we need as well.

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