Monday, 20 February 2012

Traditional Lenten Discipline

Giving stuff up for Lent is a great discipline. But have you ever wondered how our grandparents and forefathers observed Lent?

All weekdays of Lent: Fasting and Partial Abstinence
Wednesdays and Fridays: Fasting and Full Abstinence (also for Ember Saturday)

Abstinence = no meat.
Partial abstinence = meat allowed once a day at principal meal.
Fasting = Only one full meal, and two snacks or 'collations' that don't equal the one large meal.

"Note that in following these disciplines designed to make one mindful of Christ's sacrifice, to put the world into perspective, and to discipline the body, true charity trumps every other law; Catholics are not Pharisees. In other words, if you are asked to a sit-down dinner at a Protestant's house on Friday, and the host, unaware of Catholic practices, has worked hard to prepare a huge roast beef, eat the beef and shut up (unless you believe this person, upon learning of the discipline, would, say, see your having eaten the meat as a sign of Catholic weakness or hypocrisy and it would cause scandal or something. In other words, weigh the situation and show the Love of Christ)."

Thanks to Beati Mundo Corde who pointed out that we had originally put up the American disciplines - this has now been corrected.