Lenten fast conflicting with celebration

Good afternoon everyone. I was hoping to get some input about a situation I find myself in. Today is my anniversary, and my wife and I are wanting to celebrate. We’re not going to eat meat or anything like that, but I know that the Lenten fast prohibits snacking or really eating anything outside of your two small bits and one standard meal.

My question is, would it be licit for me to have a nice dessert with my wife to celebrate, even if it would fall under the prohibition against snacking? Would forgoing the two smaller bits through the day offset the dessert? I want to honor God with my fast, but I also want to celebrate with my wife.

Thank you for any input you can give me. :smiley:

My understanding is that the fast is only binding on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. All other Fridays in Lent require abstaining from meat (every Friday in most places outside the US), but not fasting. If one chooses to fast, that’s fine, but it’s personal and a person can choose to lift it or any other Lenten penance without sinning.

Happy anniversary!

Exactly! Today is not a fast day, it is a day of abstinence.

And I know that there is the opinion that in the spirit of the day one should avoid rich meals and so on, I would say that a lobster dinner with fancy dessert is completely appropriate! Happy anniversary.

That is great to know. Thank you both for your responses. I’m honestly a little surprised, I thought that fasting was required on all Fridays during Lent, not just abstinence. I guess my dad always did it, so I just assumed it was required. Oh well, it’s a good practice, so I shall continue it. ^^

Tis yes a good practice. Good to keep in itself and in following your Dad’s practice :slight_smile:

But in light of your celebration - one that can be set aside for the “feast” while observing of course the normal abstinence of Fridays of Lent.

The other posters answered you well, so I just wanted to say happy anniversary. :slight_smile:

Indeed it was required at one point…and it still is in many Eastern Catholic jurisdictions. The Latin Church has greatly reduced fasting requirements over the years. Of course the Church strongly encourages us to do far more than the bare minimum required under canon law - so your practice is definitely commendable and in line with the spirit of the season of Lent.
That being said, for your anniversary I think you can make an exception.

What about a few beers?

Beers are fine. Beefs are not. :smiley:

Don’t drink them, though we will have some wine :stuck_out_tongue:

Did you know it says in the catechism that we are not bound to fast on Sundays -even sundays during lent we are not obliged to fast, we can if we want but sundays are not included in the 40 days of lent because they are Jesus resurrection Sabbath day celebration, no fasting is demanded on sundays, even lent sundays,
You can have your anniversary dinner desert etc on Sunday no problem.

Also if your country included st patricks day as one of your holy days of obligation (like ireland), then lent fasting does not have to be followed on st patricks day either.

The one meal and two small meals only is binding on ash Wednesday and Good friday.

Nothing wrong with going to a nice dinner on your anniversary

No meat on friday during lent though.

What did you give up for lent?

I didn’t so much give up something as take up something. I’ve never been good about my Bible reading, and have been trying to do some each night for Lent. I’ve succeeded most nights, but we’ve been moving so there have been a couple of misses >_> I also gave up a couple of small things that have been pretty beneficial.

What is the “controlling document” (for lack of a better term) in which Church requirements for Lent, etc., are found?

I found this paragraph at the USCCB site, which appears to indicate that fasting is to be done on ALL Fridays of Lent.

“During Lent, the Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. **The fasting that all do together on Fridays **is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection.” (emphasis mine)

However, I found this paragraph on a different page at the USCCB web site, which clearly states that fasting is only required for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday:

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.” (emphasis mine)

Either the first one is poorly worded, or I’m reading it wrong, but it’s confusing. I’m a convert, and though I have been Catholic for 30 years, it seems that every year my wife (a cradle Catholic) and I have a disagreement about this. I keep thinking that fasting is to be done every Friday, and she says it’s only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

So, what **official Church document **is the definitive source for the Lenten requirements (as well as others throughout the liturgical year)?

Here are the canons:

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

Note that under canon 1253, the US bishops have substituted “other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety” for the abstinence from meat on Fridays.

Thanks, SuscipeMeDomine!

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