Sundays interrupting Lent


#1

I am 21 years old. If I’m not mistaken, Lent is of 40 days from Ash Wednesday onwards; the Sundays are however not counted as they are Feasts all throughout the calendar. My questions are:

Do we abstain from meat on these Sundays?

Are all Lenten meditations to be set aside to joyfully celebrate the Sunday Eucharist?

Also, I live away from my family, with two other Protestant Christian boys of my age. They’ve always been silent about my Friday abstinence. Often they’ve had to give away meat that they’d cooked for me and I went red in embarrassment.
Since we share a kitchen and cook together, it is going to be a difficult Lent for me. Please suggest something!
Thanks!


#2

If you are Catholic, you are not required to abstain from meat on Fridays, although it is a wholesome practice. Now that your roomies know that you don’t eat meat on Friday, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Make it pizza night. CHEESE pizza. :slight_smile:

During Lent, Sundays are Sundays. Your devotions may take on the fragrance of Lent (as in the custom of praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary on Sundays in Lent) yet you needn’t fast or abstain from meat. Temperance and common sense should rule. Perhaps a confessor or spiritual director could guide you on what would be a reasonable plan of life for your Lent.

Maybe you could volunteer to cook on Fridays.


#3

It’s easier for me, because I give up meat for all of Lent. OK, make that harder.


#4

You can find answers to all those questions about Lent here

jimmyakin.org/2005/02/annual_lent_fig.html


#5

Actually, yeah… we ARE required to abstain. Canon Law says the following:

"Canon 1251 – Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This canon is taken from Poenitemini, part III, 112. Poenitemini exempted holy days of obligation from Friday abstinence; this canon extends that exemption to all solemnities whether they are of obligation or not. The Code also gives the conference of bishops the power to substitute another penance to be observed on Fridays in place of abstinence from meat".

There has been so much misunderstanding within the Church, regarding abstinence from meat on Fridays (seemingly, since Vatican II). But the above is pretty clear.

To the OP… Do you guys have a freezer? I always keep a good stock of “Morningstar Farms” frozen vegetarian foods on hand. They are really delicious… especially the veggie CORN DOGS. :wink:

Please don’t be embarrassed about living your Catholic Faith. Just tell your buddies… that you’re a practicing Catholic and you can’t eat meat on certain days. No biggie. If they give you any flack about it… hey, it’s their problem! Not yours. Jesus is the ONE Friend… you do NOT want to lose. :slight_smile:

Hope this helps in some way. God bless.


#6

Point well taken.


#7

A good source of information on Lent is here: americancatholic.org/Features/lent/faqs.asp


#8

That is what they did. They allow a substitute penance to be done. Abstaining from meat on Fridays outside Lent is not a requirement.


#9

If you are Catholic, you are not required to abstain from meat on Fridays, although it is a wholesome practice.


You are if you’re Eastern Catholic of one of the Byzantine churches.


#10

Yes, it is a requirement. Please see my post on Canon Law… above.

You wouldn’t believe the number of good, practicing Catholics… who simply think “we don’t have to abstain from meat on Friday anymore”… but they DO NOT do a substitute penance. :nope: They simply leave out the “substitute penance”… or they aren’t aware of that stipulation. I have spoken to many of these people… and I myself, wasn’t aware of the “substitute penance”… for a long time.

There seems to be a major misunderstanding about this, since Vatican II. That is the point, I was trying to make. We are required to abstain from meat on ALL Fridays of the year… OR do a substitute penance, as stated in Canon Law (above).

God bless.


#11

aw man, now my lunch and dinner are ruined :frowning:

i guess there’s the “substitute penance”, but which ones do the USCCB allow? :confused:


#12

Pssst dude(ette?)… did you ever try “Morningstar Farms” vegetarian Corn Dogs? AWESOME. Oh, but I live in the southeast now… so, not sure if you can get them in California.

But there’s lots of different types of goooooood frozen “vegetarian” foods! We stock up, for Lent! :wink:


#13

It is a requirement that was dispensed with by the Bishops. You do NOT have to abstain from eating meat on Fridays outside Lent. You may choose any form of penance you want.


#14

I’ve been going to Catholic school all my life, and I have never heard that you have to abstain from meat on all Fridays. My religion teacher told us that you used to before Vatican II, but not anymore. If you want to, I think that’s great.

Just putting in my 2 cents.

-Jeanne


#15

“thistle”… this is Canon Law we’re “debating”. I’m not misreading it, or making it up as I go along. Here it is… (if you are in doubt, you can look it up for yourself). But here is the text of Canon 1251:

"Canon 1251 – Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops IS TO BE OBSERVED on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This canon is taken from Poenitemini, part III, 112. Poenitemini exempted holy days of obligation from Friday abstinence; this canon extends that exemption to all solemnities whether they are of obligation or not. The Code also gives the conference of bishops the power to substitute another penance to be observed on Fridays in place of abstinence from meat".


I know there are things that can be “dispensed” with… by the conference of bishops. (If so, perhaps this practice has been dispensed with… by your bishop?); But one thing I’m quite certain of, is that they do not “re-write” Canon Law. If anyone knows the answer to this, please… correct me. :shrug:

The point I’m trying to make… is that many Catholics do not know that we must still abstain from meat on Fridays… UNLESS some other “substitue penance” is done, in its place. This stipulation wasn’t made clear, or was lost on many people. So, many Catholics… simply think… “I CAN eat meat on Friday”. And they leave it right there! They don’t know, that they can ONLY eat meat on Friday… IF they do another form of penance.

God bless.


#16

This might also be of help. Taken from “Paenitemini” (Apostolic Constitution on Penance) by Pope Paul VI - issued on 2-17-66 <link for full text, to follow>

In order that all the faithful, however, may be united in a common celebration of penitence, the Apostolic See intends to establish certain penitential days and seasons63 chosen among those which in the course of the liturgical year are closer to the paschal mystery of Christ64 or might be required by the special needs of the ecclesial community.65

Therefore, the following is declared and established:

I. 1. By divine law all the faithful are required to do penance.

  1. The prescriptions of ecclesiastical law regarding penitence are totally reorganized according to the following norms:

II. 1. The time of Lent preserves its penitential character. The days of penitence to be observed under obligation through-out the Church are all Fridays and Ash Wednesday, that is to say the first days of “Grande Quaresima” (Great Lent), according to the diversity of the rite. Their substantial observance binds gravely. (See note at end.)

  1. Apart from the faculties referred to in VI and VIII regarding the manner of fulfilling the precept of penitence on such days, abstinence is to be observed on every Friday which does not fall on a day of obligation, while abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday or, according to local practice, on the first day of ‘Great Lent’ and on Good Friday (see note at end).

III. 1. The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat.

  1. 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.

IV. To the law of abstinence those are bound who have completed their 14th year of age. To the law of fast those of the faithful are bound who have completed their 21st year and up until the beginning of their 60th year. As regards those of a lesser age, pastors of souls and parents should see to it with particular care that they are educated to a true sense of penitence.

V. All privileges and indults, whether general or particular, are abrogated with these norms, but nothing is changed either regarding the vows of any physical or moral person or regarding the constitutions and rules of any approved religious congregation or institute.

VI. 1. In accordance with the conciliar decree “Christus Dominus” regarding the pastoral office of bishops, number 38,4, it is the task of episcopal conferences to:

A. Transfer for just cause the days of penitence, always taking into account the Lenten season;

B. Substitute abstinence and fast wholly or in part with other forms of penitence and especially works of charity and the exercises of piety.

  1. By way of information, episcopal conferences should communicate to the Apostolic See what they have decided on the matter (See note at end.)

VII. 1. While the faculties of individual bishops of dispensing, according to the decree Christus Dominus, number 8b, remain unchanged, pastors also for just cause and in accordance with the prescriptions of the Ordinary may grant to individual faithful as well as individual families dispensation or commutation of abstinence and fast into other pious practices. The superior of a religious house or clerical institute enjoys the same faculties for his subjects.

In the Eastern rites it is the right of the patriarch, together with the synod or supreme authority of every rite, together with the council of hierarchs, to determine the days of fast and abstinence in accordance with the conciliar Decree on the Eastern rites, number 23.

IX. 1. It is strongly desired that bishops and all pastors of souls, in addition to the more frequent use of the sacrament of penance, promote with zeal, particularly during the Lenten season, extraordinary practices of penitence aimed at expiation and impetration.

  1. It is strongly recommended to all the faithful that they keep deeply rooted in their hearts a genuine Christian spirit of penitence to spur them to accomplish works of charity and penitence.

X. 1. These prescriptions which, by way of exception, are promulgated by means of L’Osservatore Romano, become effective on Ash Wednesday of this year, that is to say on the 23rd of the present month.

  1. Where particular privileges and indults have been in force until now—whether general or particular of any kind—“vacatio legis” [suspension of the law] for six months from the day of promulgation is to be regarded as granted.

We desire that these norms and prescriptions for the present and future be established and effective notwithstanding—inasmuch as is necessary—apostolic constitutions and regulations issued by our predecessors and all other prescriptions, even if worthy of particular mention and revocation.

ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6PAEN.HTM

Hope this helps. God bless.


#17

Yup and on Wednesday too .


#18

You are agreeing with me. I said there is no requirement for not eating meat on Fridays outside Lent if some other form of penance is done so why are we arguing?


#19

“thistle” I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to be an argument. :hug1: Please forgive me.

But, what I have been saying… is that there IS a requirement for NOT eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent. You have been saying there is “no requirement” (as in quote, above). But, the requirement to abstain from meat on Friday… DOES still exist. The requirement is not nullified… simply because we have been given another option (i.e., can substitute a different penance).

This is where many Catholics have been confused. As I said in my last response… many Catholics simply think… “We can eat meat on Friday”… and they leave it… right there. (without doing another form of penance).

They don’t know that the “No meat on Friday” penance DOES still exist. So…they go ahead, and eat meat. And do NO other form of penance. There are many folks in my parish, who are not aware of this. I’ve talked to many of them.

I’m truly not arguing with you, “thistle”. :o Just trying to clarify something that has been confusing to many.

On Friday… we ARE required to do ONE of the following:

1.) Abstain from meat…

OR

2.) Some other form of penance… (if you will be eating meat, I’d recommend asking your priest for another suitable form of Friday penance).

God bless. :flowers:


#20

I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean arguing in a bad sense anyway. However, I think we are still talking at cross purposes.

What we are required to do on Fridays outside Lent is to do some form of penance of which abstaining from eating meat is one of the choices.
If abstaining from meat was required then there would be no choice for other things. We would be obliged not to eat meat.


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