Fast, Abstinence, And Self-Denial In Lent

from the February 22, 1998 bulletin of St. Patrick's Church, Mount St. Patrick, Ontario, Canada.

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During this Lent season, you might be interested in reading (perhaps following?} the lenten regulations from 111 years ago.

From the Parish Announcements of February 12,1888

The regulations for the keeping of Lent which begins next Wednesday are as follows:

Persons obliged to fast must fast every day in Lent except Sundays. They can eat meat once a day except Wednesdays and Fridays, Ember Saturday and Holy Saturday.

So -- persons obliged to fast can eat meat as often as they like on Sundays, once on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays except Saturday of Ember Week and Holy Saturday, but not at all on Wednesdays, Fridays, Ember Saturday or Holy Saturday.

Persons fasting may take tea or coffee and a piece of bread in the morning, a full meal about noon, and eight ounces in the evening -- eight ounces is a pretty fair allowance -- but they should not drink milk in the morning except what they use in their tea, nor is it allowed to eat fish and meat at the same meal. They can use grease, lard and drippings in cooking fasting food.

Persons under 21 and over 60 are not obliged to fast, neither are persons working so hard that they could not do their work fasting, nor women bearing or nursing their children. Persons not obliged to fast may eat meat as often as they like on the days that persons fasting are allowed to eat it once … but they are not allowed to eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays.

During Lent self-denial may be practiced in many little acts but particularly in the avoidance of dangerous occasions of sin; such as, reading novels, attending dances, close company-keeping, glib-tonguedness about one's neighbor and excessive use of liquor.

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