Fasting during the Octave of Easter
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,050
    What say ye? Solemnities are exempt, and every day during Easter Octave is a Solemnity, is it not? (probably opening a can o worms... as usual)
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,612
    Well, there's no *fasting* during the Easter Octave under any traditional practice that I am aware of. In traditional practice, Easter Friday was a day of *abstinence* because it was not a day of precept. However, that law of abstinence has changed to broaden the exclusion to solemnities in general, of which Easter Friday is ranked as one along with the rest of the days of the week. (Taking the omission of the Creed and second reading during Easter Week as an indication it's not a solemnity is not a persuasive argument; it merely means that the Creed is not essential to the definition of a solemnity.)

    Never quite sure why people get worried about this. They are free to abstain if they wish; if others in good conscience with sufficient basis do not abstain, what's it to them?

    Btw, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart is another example.
  • Well, in Sarum custom, fasting was dropped throughout Christmastide and Eastertide. I don't remember where or when I learnt this. I believe it was told me many years ago by an Anglo-Catholic priest - who was amongst the first Anglican Use Catholic priests.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 726
    Christmas week and Easter week require neither fasting nor abstinence. Every day this week is Easter!
    (and I do abstain from meat on all regular Fridays of the year)
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,282
    Even if the abstinence rule applied: Chocolate Bunnies are not meat. (Well, maybe in the East.)
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Yes the 1983 ranking is a bit unique. It used to be semidouble, but it was still a specially privileged octave. That’s why Annunciation is moved out of both Holy Week and the octave. Now it is a solemnity according to the GIRM and canon law. Since canon law trumps, even in places following 1939 (and there are some) I would relax abstinence, and I would make note of it were I the pastor.

    The Pentecost Ember Days throw this off, since they are I class in 1962, but penitential, though less so than the other three. Precious Blood does as well, since it is put together with Corpus Domini, and St. Joseph the Worker was rightfully demoted, though unfortunately not moved, so it is double of the 1st class/1c in one calendar but not a solemnity. I am not familiar enough with the 1917 code (and prior law), but since not only are we on the 1983 code, there is something apt about expanding abstinence exceptions. Sts. John the Baptist & Peter and Paul, whichever is on Friday potentially, come to mind.

    @tomjaw will probably chime in under me (so I’ll prompt him!) because it is of import for those where abstinence is still mandatory. Of course if the Friday of the Christmas Octave is treated as a solemnity by the English bishops, when it is always the lesser of the two Fridays (of the Easter and Christmas octaves), then I see no reason to abstain under any obligation.

    It’s just crazy complicated.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,699
    Even if the abstinence rule applied: Chocolate Bunnies are not meat. (Well, maybe in the East.)


    Dark chocolate is allowed year round in the east, including Lent. Dark chocolate does not contain dairy so no one is required to abstain from it.
    Thanked by 2Salieri Liam
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    It probably helps, actually.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,699
    If it doesn't contain meat, dairy or eggs, it is allowed in the eastern Great Fast. However, fish is considered meat so it is also banned during Lent.
  • About fish.
    I always wondered how red snapper and other piscene delicacies counted as fast or abstinence. I've seen (and eaten) fish that was far more a treat, and far less a sacrifice, than a Salisbury steak would have been - or even a nice juicy hamburger.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,699
    In the east, all animals with spines are forbidden.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ...all animals with spines...

    Well, that sort of rules out cannibalism, doesn't it - at least with a lot of people I could think of.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 726
    About fish.

    Q. I've noticed that restaurants and grocery stores advertise specials on expensive types of fish and seafood on Fridays during Lent. Some of my Catholic friends take advantage of these deals, but somehow I don't feel right treating myself to the lobster special on Fridays during Lent.

    A. While fish, lobster and other shellfish are not considered meat and can be consumed on days of abstinence, indulging in the lavish buffet at your favorite seafood place sort of misses the point. Abstaining from meat and other indulgences during Lent is a penitential practice. On the Fridays of Lent, we remember the sacrifice of Christ on Good Friday and unite ourselves with that sacrifice through abstinence and prayer.
    -USCCB.org


    I've tried to explain this to people who prefer fish to meat, or those who think that having lobster dishes during Lent is in someway penitential. (Of course, I abhor fish of ANY sort, save tuna fish (not tuna... tuna fish), so that isn't a personal problem for me.)
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,612
    From the old (1910) Catholic Encyclopedia, some helpful background:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01067a.htm

    In historical reality, the ascetic practices required of the faithful were partly derived and modified from those developed by monastics (you can even see this with the length of Lent, too), and the monastic cultures of West and East were different.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    That and the point is abstaining from flesh meat as St. Thomas Aquinas lays out so well. This helps refute those who say it is a bad penance because of their preferences, and it steers conversation on eating things like expensive shellfish.

    There may very well be a spirit vs the letter of the law discussion when it comes to things considered delicacies, but is it our business?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,699
    Well, that sort of rules out cannibalism, doesn't it - at least with a lot of people I could think of.


    It means you could eat a number of the hierarchy without breaking the fast.
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 138
    Well in Canada now there is no law of abstinence on Fridays, even in Lent...

    My wife is Protestant and is the main cook in the house so I go with the flow. I'm retired and my penitential act on Fridays is cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming so we have a semi-neat house to enjoy the weekend. I tried doing some of the cooking (she still works) but she goes a bit nuts when I work in *her* kitchen...
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 726
    Fridays, even in Lent...


    Isn't the rule in the US just Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? Pretty sure...
    (While I do believe that this used to be the case, it isn't right now.)

    Kind of like how the fasting is just 1 hour before Mass, but those of us raised on the TLM do the 3-hour fast.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 726
    the point is abstaining from flesh meat...
    those who say it is a bad penance because of their preferences...


    So, vegetarians, by the fact that they don't eat meat, are already doing their "penance" by never eating meat?
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    I would say so. Eastern monks who follow the strict rule of St. Basil can’t eat fish. Mt. Athos does though. Norcia is vegetarian, af least during Lent.
  • I assume this thread is some kind of April Fool joke - why would anyone even consider a penitential practise during a season of rejoicing????
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Because only one Friday of Paschaltide is actually exempted from abstinence...
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,050
    yep... once.

    wound up eating tuna anyway. o well
    Thanked by 1eft94530