Question about Friday Penance


Hello all,

For Friday Penance I normally abstain from meat, but yesterday I went out to lunch with friends and decided I will pray the rosary in the evening instead. I ended up going to a nearby Abbey for Compline and Confession, came home to spend time with the wife- and then by the time I prayed the rosary I made it through a decade and fell asleep. My evening was filled with Penance, but I didn’t get to pray the rosary before falling asleep? Was this bad on my part?


Pax Christi!

Compline, confession and a partial Rosary? Sounds like you made every good effort and did well by the Lord. If anything you may be a little too scrupulous!

God bless.


I agree completely.


Indeed, the Bishops want us to abstain from meat on Fridays during the Year of Faith. So, you should do this. Also, they want us to fast as well as pray on these days.

As far as falling asleep during prayer, that’s not a choice of yours, so don’t fault yourself too much.


Oh I didn’t know they did? I do it because that was the traditional requirement.


Here is a link to the US Bishops’ site about this.

I didn’t know this either until the other day. Someone on this forum had been talking about “our Friday obligation” and I was pretty sure the Universal Church had no such requirement on Fridays except during Lent, so this confused me until I saw an online reference to it.


You’re fine.


Read it carefully. Abstaining from meat is recommended but NOT required. Any form of penance on Fridays outside Lent is permitted in most countries, including the US.


Although in England abstaining from meat is a requirement again. I hope the Church goes back to this as the norm- by providing a choice the Bishops basically have opened the door for most Catholics to not do anything all year. A lot of Catholics I talk to do not even know it is a penance is a requirement during the year.


Just to clarify; the bishops of England and Wales have stated that failure to abstain from meat is not a mortal sin. Another penance can be substituted. It is not a requirement to abstain from meat as in the old days, but a request to do so if at all possible.


That’s not what it looks to be:

The sources in that blog speak otherwise.


I read the entire article and it does NOT state that eating meat on Fridays in England is a mortal sin. The answer is that they do not know.


Actually, in the Briefing Notes issued with the Press Release, the Bishops categorically stated that abstinence or not was not a matter of mortal sin. I read it online at the time, but today I have searched the Catholic bishops of England and Wales’ website without success. Perhaps someone with more time and patience than me will be more successful.
It not being a mortal sin was certainly announced from the pulpit in our parish at the time.


I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m simply saying in the article that was linked for us does not say either way. It basically talks about the confusion.
Personally, I think they are probably saying that abstaining from meat is the recommended penance but its not a sin of grave matter if a person chooses an alternative.


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