Friday, 23 February 2007

But What About Sundays...?

Ok, now I'm confused. I found Jimmy Akin's blog and his posts on Lent, and in particular what constitutes fasting and abstinence...

If Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, and lasts until the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday, then there are clearly more than 40 days. Someone, somewhere, at some time told me that Sundays and Solemnities are supposed to be "feast days" and if they occur during Lent then those days are considered to be days "off" from whatever penance one has undertaken.

Now, I like this idea...

...I like this idea a lot...

...but I'm beginning to notice that this view is not universally accepted. I've been happily assuring my friends that we can, with a clear conscience, feast on Sundays, (in fact, one year I saved all my Sundays up and celebrated them in one week so that I could enjoy a pilgrimage to Lourdes) but I am now a little confused...

Anyone care to comment?

7 comments:

northern cleric said...

If you total the 5 Sundays, The Chair (See) of Peter, St Joseph, (St Patrick), The Annunciation and any other feastday that takes your fancy .....I always think it is sensible to be sensible about these things. Suppose it all depends if we want to observe an easier Lent or a more rigorous version.
Having read about the Carthusian observation of Lent - all in addition to their 'normal' round of penances, I feel a bit of a whimp when it comes to what I do by way of penance.
Then, I have known children who have denied themselves chocolate, sweets etc. for the whole of Lent (birthdays included!) and then ask after the Easter Vigil if it is ok to have some!

aggiecatholic said...

I heard roughly the same. I always thought it was up to the individual whether or not they observed weekends.

On another note, where did you get the waving papal flag?

Mark said...

Mac,

I'm not an expert at all, but I have been consistently told that the Sundays which fall during the period of Lent are not days of Lent, and do not share the same penitential character. I was even told that by an Anglican cleric, so I take it as true because he was pro-Rome, but pro-Rome-as-it-was (i.e. pre-Vatican II).

I think it is a personal decision whether to use that to "let yourself off", though, like Northern Cleric.

Personally, I find breaking the pentitential nature distractive... (i.e. I'm doing "Old Skool"--Wednesdays and Fridays! Otherwise I'll just forget.)

Mark said...

P.S. Mac, see Fr Dwight here.

Mac McLernon said...

Aggie... can't remember where I got the flag. It's a GIF file, so feel free to copy it!

Ttony said...

Mac: see http://shoutsinthepiazza.blogspot.com/index.html#6207074088783261842 for a wonderful explanation.

Simon-Peter said...

Being stupid I try to keep it simple: no meat til THE Sunday, no beer, no chocolate either, and one *small* meal per day in the evening, every day. Or, you can try to make it really complicated.

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