Fasting for Lent

Rob Banks

Pelican
I have been observing the traditional rules for Lent, which was fasting every day and no meat eating except Sundays.

Actually, to be honest, I've beem doing the no meat eating but not the fasting. I have chronic stomach ulcers, so I guess I've been using that as an excuse.

And yes, I know the Novus Ordo Church only requires fasting/abstaining from meat on Fridays. But the old Church required fasting every day during Lent (except Sunday) and every Friday during the whole year.

Anyone else fasting for Lent? How has it been going?
 

Augustus_Principe

Woodpecker
Yes, I've been Abstaining from meat and Fasting every single day (including Sundays) since Lent began. It was a bit tough the first few days, but now that we are on week 2, it's gotten much easier with the Lord's help. I have a drink with oil in the morning (100 calories) and wait till after 3PM to eat my main meal, which consist of Plants and oil dressing. As I mentioned, my main meals usually consist of Plants, carbs like Potatoes and Bread. This is my first real Lent and I hope in the future I will be able to give up Oil like the Orthodox do, but for now, this current diet will suffice.

As far as your stomach ulcers go, since you cannot have meat, I would suggest these two products for now:



When Lent is over, You should look into incorporating Tripe soup into your diet, along with bones that contains a lot of collagen(chicken feet, bone marrow, etc). If you cannot make bone broth yourself, I would suggest the Collagen product below. It will go a long way in repairing your stomach, along with Tripe that is the stomach lining of Cows (or sheep). Do not buy collagen powders as they are ineffective. Ideally, you would make your own collagen bone broths at home.


May your Lent be fruitful and Dominus Vobiscum.

 

Cervantes

Woodpecker
Yes, I've been Abstaining from meat and Fasting every single day (including Sundays) since Lent began.

Since the early church fasting has been forbidden on Sundays. It represents a mini Easter - a celebration of the risen Christ. That is why there are 46 days in Lent. The idea is that you fast for 40 days like Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert, but skipping the 6 Sundays when fasting is forbidden.

My normal practice during the year is to fast until noon and to abstain from meat on Fridays. I have been doing this also for Lent. So I really have not increased my Lenten observation. I could probably do better.
 

Mortay

Sparrow
This is my second Lent since returning to the church. I have been fasting and abstaining from meat on Fridays as well as the Ember and obligatory days. However, I am incorporating fish. I have been doing a small meal in the afternoon like lentil soup and I will add some mackerel. I'll have my principal meal in the evenings which will be either salmon or a pasta dish. I plan to incorporate some 24-hour fasts periodically as well.

Since I already practice intermittent fasting I've had no issues but I've learned that we don't want to just fast from food because that would be considered dieting. We should also seek to fast from other vices and engage in more active prayer. I have been doing things like driving in silence, working out with no music, and praying more intently throughout the day. Reducing the noise has been quite helpful.
 

BasedBaker

Sparrow
I am currently on the Ember Fast and abstaining from meat, but eating fish on Fridays although, I have been doing this for awhile now on Fridays. First Lent as a Catholic. I have a meager meal for breakfast and lunch then a normal sized dinner on the fast days. I sadly have not been fasting for the other week days other than the Ember Days and Ash Wednesday.
 

DeFide

Robin
I’m following the traditional, pre-Vatican II rules:
-Only one full meal may be taken. Two other light meatless meals may be taken, but which together do not constitute the quantity of a full meal. On Friday no meat may be taken at all. No solid food may be eaten between meals. According to the traditional law, those who have achieved their 21st birthday are bound, and those who have achieved their 59th birthday are no longer bound. All, from seven years on up, are bound to the abstinence (partial or full, depending on the day) on the Ember Days of Lent. There is no fasting on Sundays, or on St. Patrick’s Day. The fast ends at 12:00 noon on Holy Saturday.

-The two light meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs; together they may not equal another full meal.

-Eating between meals is forbidden. Liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed. Malted milk and milk shakes are forbidden. Ordinary chocolate milk, however, is permitted. The use of egg and milk foods is permitted on all days of both fast and abstinence. Alcoholic drinks are permitted. In order that a drink may not be injurious, a small quantity of food may be taken with it (e.g., two small cookies with a cup of coffee).

-When health or the ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. One who is not obliged to fast may eat meat as often as he wills on days when fasting alone is prescribed. In Lent, there is a special law of abstinence, apart from that of the fast, on the following days: Ash Wednesday, the Ember Days, and Fridays. This law of abstinence applies to all from age seven until death.

-To interrupt the principal meal for more than a half an hour without reason would be a venial sin; should the interruption last more than one hour — without reason — it would constitute a mortal sin.

-In determining the amount which one may take at the light meals, the following things must be considered: a person’s physical constitution, the kind of work he does, the length of the fast, and the severity of the climate. In general, a person may eat anough to enable him to do his work well and to continue the fast without considerable detriment to himself.

-If one — deliberately or by mistake — has eaten two full meals on a fast day, one can no longer observe the fast and therefore may eat to satiety again.

-Soup with meat stocks or gravies made from meat are forbidden whenever one must abstain from meat. (In restaurants, always ask if the soup has a meat stock).

-He who has once eaten meat on a day of abstinence may still observe the law, and is therefore not free to eat meat again that day. On a day, however, on which only the fast obliges, the eating of meat outside of the main meal constitutes a break in the fast, and therefore one would be free to eat meat again for the rest of the day, even if the violation was deliberate.

-The laws of fast and abstinence have been always binding under grave sin. However they do admit of slight violations, which are only venial. It would not be mortally sinful to eat, for example, two ounces of food outside of the meal times. More than four ounces (total during the day) would constitute grave matter. Two ounces of meat would constitute a grave violation of the abstinence law.

-Reasons excusing from the law of fasting: (1) Those who are ill or convalescent persons in delicate health; (2) those subject to significant headaches or lack of sleep from fasting; (3) pregnant and nursing women; (4) the poor, if they lack enough to eat at one time to satisfy their hunger; (5) people who do manual labor, e.g., farmers, millworkers, stone masons, etc., provided that they actually work a great part of the day; (6) professors, teachers, students, preachers, confessors, physicians, judges, lawyers, etc., are excused if fasting would hinder them in their work; (7) those who must make a strenuous journey on foot or by car. Traveling by train or airplane does not excuse, unless it becomes impossible to observe the normal order of meals, e.g., on a long flight or series of flights. One may not undertake manual labor purely in order to avoid the law of fast.

-Other counseled practices in Lent: To attend Mass daily, to receive Holy Communion often, to take part frequently in exercises of piety, to give generously to the works of religion and charity, to perform acts of kindness towards the sick, the aged, and the poor, and to practice voluntary self-denial with regard to alcoholic drink and worldly amusements, to pray more fervently.

-Public festivities during Lent (and Advent) are forbidden by the law of custom. In determining the sinfulness of these one must consider the time (e.g., Good Friday), the kind of entertainment, the opinions of conscientious Catholics, and the possibility of scandal.

-By custom in the United States, there is no fast or abstinence on St. Patrick’s Day, and parties would be permitted on this day.
As a sedevacantist, all of the old rules of fast & abstinence are still in force under pain of sin. I find that this is a good thing and helps me stick to the disciplines. Before, when I was just a semi-traditional Catholic, I was never really successful at keeping the old rules of fast & abstinence because, after all, they don’t really apply any longer... So, I would end up “cheating” whenever following the old rules would cause an inconvenience for me, and I would simply revert to the “Novus Ordo” rules which are practically non-existent. Knowing that the old rules of fast/abstinence are still binding upon Catholics under pain of sin I think is Holy Mother Church’s way of supplying her children with the strength & that may be lacking in our own willpowers.
 

DeFide

Robin
I'm fasting on Fridays. I may kick it up to both Wednesdays and Fridays.

Where's a good place to look the rules up, @Rob Banks? I remember
that there is fasting on the ember days as well.

I didn’t even know about Ember Days until last fall. The law of fast & abstinence is also obligatory on Good Friday, Holy Saturday until noon (I think) and on the vigils of Pentecost, All Saints, Immaculate Conception, and Christmas.

I usually check St. Gertrude the Great’s weekly bulletins to keep up with this stuff; they are good about announcing ahead of time the days where fast and/or abstinence are required and giving reminder of the specific rules for specific cases. It can be somewhat tricky to keep up on one’s own, because certain universal Church disciplines were modified or relaxed for specific countries like the United States before Vatican II. They’re possibly the most liturgically competent Catholic Church that follows the pre-1955 liturgical rubrics in the entire world.
 

Callixtus

Robin
I've given up red meat/mammal meat for Lent. I'll eat bird, fish or cold blooded amimals during the week and Saturday, full abstinence on Fridays, but I've permitted myself to break my red meat abstinence on Sundays.
 

tractor

Robin
As a soon-to-become Orthodox Christian, I decided to do the Great Lent (old calender). Today is the first day. Numerous Orthodox sources advise to avoid any food on the first day. Moreover:

Only two full meals are eaten during the first five days, on Wednesday and Friday after the Presanctified Liturgy. Nothing is eaten from Monday morning until Wednesday evening, the longest time without food in the Church year. (Few laymen keep these rules in their fullness). For the Wednesday and Friday meals, as for all weekdays in Lent, meat and animal products, fish, dairy products, wine and oil are avoided.


Not sure I'll be able to live on two full meals in the first five days considering those are mostly raw veggies and bread.

Maybe, it's only in Russia but the general rule is:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday - one full meal: raw veggies, bread (also fermented stuff is allowed, i.e. kim chi); cooked food is avoided
Tuesday, Thursday - one full meal: Monday-Wednesday-Friday menu plus cooked veggies
Weekend - two full meals: all allowed foods from the weekdays plus oil and wine.

I think, I'll snap and eat raw herings 1-2 times a week. But I'm pretty sure I can avoid meats, dairy and eggs on all days. Oil and booze - no big deal.

This is my second Lent since returning to the church. I have been fasting and abstaining from meat on Fridays as well as the Ember and obligatory days. However, I am incorporating fish. I have been doing a small meal in the afternoon like lentil soup and I will add some mackerel. I'll have my principal meal in the evenings which will be either salmon or a pasta dish. I plan to incorporate some 24-hour fasts periodically as well.

Since I already practice intermittent fasting I've had no issues but I've learned that we don't want to just fast from food because that would be considered dieting. We should also seek to fast from other vices and engage in more active prayer. I have been doing things like driving in silence, working out with no music, and praying more intently throughout the day. Reducing the noise has been quite helpful.

What are these "obligatory days"? Aren't all days during the Great Lent meat-free or do Catholics eat differently?
 

paninaro

Pelican
This Friday is the feast day for St. Joseph. Am I correct in my understanding that a feast day overrides a typical Lenten day so that eating meat is permitted? I haven't really found a clear answer on this.
 

DeFide

Robin
This Friday is the feast day for St. Joseph. Am I correct in my understanding that a feast day overrides a typical Lenten day so that eating meat is permitted? I haven't really found a clear answer on this.
@paninaro Yep, that’s correct. The Lenten fast is also traditionally dispensed in the United States this Wednesday, the feast of St. Patrick ☘️
 

DeFide

Robin
Where's a good place to look the rules up, @Rob Banks? I remember that there is fasting on the ember days as well.

From http://www.sgg.org/for-newcomers/fast-and-abstain/

Fast and Abstain

Rules of Fast​

The laws of fast apply to persons between the ages of twenty-one and fifty-nine. On a fast day one may eat one full meal and two light meatless meals, which together would not equal the main meal. Meat may be taken at the principal meal, except on days of complete abstinence. Liquids such as water, milk, and fruit juices may be taken between meals.

Rules of Abstinence​

The laws of abstinence apply to everyone seven years of age and over. On a day of complete abstinence no meat, meat gravy or soup made from meat may be taken. On a day of partial abstinence meat may be taken once.

Traditional Days of Fast​

All the days of Lent up till noon on Holy Saturday, Ember Days, the Vigils of Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas, and All Saints.

Traditional Days of Complete Abstinence​

Every Friday of the year, Ash Wednesday, Holy Saturday (until noon), the Vigils of All Saints, the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas.

Traditional Days of Partial Abstinence​

Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Vigil of Pentecost

Local Custom in the USA​

In many places in the United States before Vatican II, it was customary to dispense from the fast on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) and from abstinence on the Friday following Thanksgiving.

And here: http://traditionalcatholic.net/Tradition/Information/Laws_of_Fast_and_Abstinence.html
Church Laws of Fast and Abstinence
The uniform norms for fast and abstinence adopted in 1951 by the bishops of the United States were somewhat modified at their November 1956 meeting. The regulations on this matter now reads as follows:
ABSTINENCE​
1. Everyone over seven years of age is bound to observe the law of abstinence.
2. Complete abstinence is to be observed on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, Holy Saturday, and the Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and Christmas. On days of complete abstinence, meat and soup or gravy made from meat may not be used at all.
3. Partial abstinence is to be observed on Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays and on the Vigil of Pentecost. On days of partial abstinence, meat and soup or gravy made from meat may be taken only once a day at the principal meal.
FAST​
1. Everyone over 21 and under 59 years of age is also bound to observe the law of fast.
2. The days of fast are the weekdays of Lent, including Holy Saturday, the Ember Days and Vigils of Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception and Christmas.
3. On days of fast, only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one's needs; but together they should not equal another full meal.
4. Meat may be taken at the principal meal on a day of fast except on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, Holy Saturday, and the Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and Christmas.
5. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juces, are allowed.
6. Where health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. In doubt concerning fast or abstinence, a parish priest or confessor should be consulted.
* There is no obligation for fast or abstinence on a holy day of obligation, even if it falls on a Friday.
The New Eucharistic Fast Laws
(Motu Proprio of Pope Pius XII of March 19, 1957)

1. Priests and faithful before Mass or Holy Communion respectively - whether it is the morning, afternoon, or evening or Midnight Mass - must abstain for three hours from solid foods and alcoholic beverages, and for one hour from non-alcoholic beverages. Water does not break the fast.
2. The infirm, even if not bedridden, may take non-alcoholic beverages and that which is really and properly medicine, either in liquid or solid form, before Mass or Holy Communion without any time limit.
His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, earnestly exhorts priests and faithful who are able to do so to observe the old and venerable form of the Eucharistic Fast (from foods and liquids from midnight) before Holy Communion. All those who will make use of these concessions must compensate for the good received by becoming shining examples of a Christian life and principally with works of penance and charity.
 

Mortay

Sparrow
What are these "obligatory days"? Aren't all days during the Great Lent meat-free or do Catholics eat differently?

For me it's no meat on Fridays, partial abstaining on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Other days it is ok to eat meat. Sunday is considered a feast day.
 
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