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Full Version: No Expectation to Follow Pre-VII Traditions
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Moved from thread on Christmas Eve Dinner:


(12-09-2020, 11:01 AM)yablabo Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-08-2020, 11:34 PM)Pandora Wrote: [ -> ]I get a little disheartened when people no longer want to follow tradition.  I feel like we shouldn't do the bare minimum just because it's all we are required to do, and there's beauty and wisdom to be gained in trying to accomplish things that are a little difficult.  That is why people drive themselves crazy with 12 dishes, and keeping carp alive in the bathtub, and sending someone outside to put the baby Jesus in the manger when the first star is out.  If we decide to forget all these things just because they don't make us "feel" anything, we've lost a great deal of our inheritance.

To get the train back on the tracks for this topic, I could order a pizza and crab Rangoons and technically fulfill the Christmas Eve tradition.  Where's the richness in that, though?  I'd lose just about all the symbolism and I'd definitely lose any connection to the past.

You can’t expect everyone to follow Eastern European, Italian, German, French or Irish catholic customs.  Not everyone belonged to those traditions prior to Vatican II, either.  If you like to keep the customs of your ancestors, that is laudable.  I do the same with mine.  However, the things which were law that are no longer, are also no longer universal customs.


Well, unless people were dropped onto the earth after 1960, these were and are the traditions of the universal Church.  If you were Catholic in Kenya or Chile or Korea, it would have been required to follow the rules of fasting and abstinence.  People may have been eating sekihan instead of colcannon, but everyone still did it.  It is more important, to use an nit-picky point of grammar, that tradition is Catholic rather than catholic.

Your position, if I am understanding correctly, is that we only must do what is binding upon sin.  That position is fair enough.  It is, to reiterate, the bare minimum we need to do.  I think what others are saying is we should not dismiss these good and beautiful traditions just because they are technically not required or don’t give us the warm fuzzies.   We aren’t so much concerned about Grandma and Aunt Sue making the feast of the 12 fishes, but for showing the love and respect we have for our Lord on the vigil of His birth by keeping fast and abstinence.
I wasn't following the thread, but small "t" traditions do change overtime. Sometimes slowly and for practical reasons, sometimes abruptly and arbitrarily and so new ones come to replace some and some of the older ones are restored to their proper place. Small t traditions are fun and significant, but can be hard to figure them all out on your own and execute them on your own when many involve more than just your immediate family. When the wider Catholic culture is hollow of small t tradition, you can often times feel like an island unto yourself. I think it's admirable for all of us to do when we can and what we'd like to restore what's been abruptly and arbitrarily lost. I dunno if Gaudete Sunday was much of a celebration day in the past, but we're trying to make it a think for us that we have lots of friends over for Gaudete Sunday in order to better embrace the "joyfulness" of the day.
(12-09-2020, 01:52 PM)Some Guy Wrote: [ -> ]I wasn't following the thread, but small "t" traditions do change overtime. Sometimes slowly and for practical reasons, sometimes abruptly and arbitrarily and so new ones come to replace some and some of the older ones are restored to their proper place. Small t traditions are fun and significant, but can be hard to figure them all out on your own and execute them on your own when many involve more than just your immediate family. When the wider Catholic culture is hollow of small t tradition, you can often times feel like an island unto yourself. I think it's admirable for all of us to do when we can and what we'd like to restore what's been abruptly and arbitrarily lost. I dunno if Gaudete Sunday was much of a celebration day in the past, but we're trying to make it a think for us that we have lots of friends over for Gaudete Sunday in order to better embrace the "joyfulness" of the day.

It was a big “T” in this instance, fasting and abstinence on prescribed vigils.  I agree small t’s can support big T’s, but it’s the big T’s that matter.
I truly do not understand what Pope Paul VI could have been thinking when he suppressed nearly all of the fasting and abstinence days (please do not provide any snarky responses to this point). What did he think this would accomplish? Were not the words of Our Lady of Fatima "Penance... penance... penance"?

I can get that some modifications can be suitable. Take the former Communion fast that went from midnight until reception. Doesn't really fit with evening Masses, which were formerly not an occurrence. Three hours is better than one, though from what I have been told, beverages such as coffee do not break a fast, which I think is quite silly.

Frankly, there is no suitable "substitute penance" to good old fashion fasting and abstinence as far as I can see, because these address one of the base passions of the flesh: hunger. The most uncontrolled, lacking in self-discipline people I have seen are those who cannot control their appetites and keep from snacking all the time. If they're never forced to do so by ecclesial law, then what will ever bring them under submission instead of letting their passions control them?
(12-09-2020, 02:10 PM)Pandora Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-09-2020, 01:52 PM)Some Guy Wrote: [ -> ]I wasn't following the thread, but small "t" traditions do change overtime. Sometimes slowly and for practical reasons, sometimes abruptly and arbitrarily and so new ones come to replace some and some of the older ones are restored to their proper place. Small t traditions are fun and significant, but can be hard to figure them all out on your own and execute them on your own when many involve more than just your immediate family. When the wider Catholic culture is hollow of small t tradition, you can often times feel like an island unto yourself. I think it's admirable for all of us to do when we can and what we'd like to restore what's been abruptly and arbitrarily lost. I dunno if Gaudete Sunday was much of a celebration day in the past, but we're trying to make it a think for us that we have lots of friends over for Gaudete Sunday in order to better embrace the "joyfulness" of the day.

It was a big “T” in this instance, fasting and abstinence on prescribed vigils.  I agree small t’s can support big T’s, but it’s the big T’s that matter.

Fair, it didn't really seem that's what you were talking about. Admittedly, my entire life Christmas Eve has been a feasting day rather than a fasting day. I don't think I plan on going out of my way to fix that until the Church makes it the law of the land. I am not against it, but I'd be fighting every single family member I have when I tell them I am not eating their food or drinking their drinks.
(12-09-2020, 02:49 PM)NSMSSS Wrote: [ -> ]I can get that some modifications can be suitable.  Take the former Communion fast that went from midnight until reception.  Doesn't really fit with evening Masses, which were formerly not an occurrence.  Three hours is better than one, though from what I have been told, beverages such as coffee do not break a fast, which I think is quite silly.

When I did RCIA at the NO parish, even they said only water and prescribed medications did not break the fast.  They also said there could be allowances for extreme medical cases, like a diabetic urgently needing orange juice after passing out, but they were so infrequent as to be almost not worth mentioning and that people could plan around those necessities if they weren’t emergencies.  In practice to people have coffee during the one hour fast and think nothing’s wrong?  I can guarantee it.

I agree with you.  I prefer to fast from midnight prior to Mass, but if Mass is after 9AM I’ll definitely have water, and if it’s after 1PM, I’ll have some food and keep the 3 hour fast.  It is true that the physical hunger and thirst can magnify our desire for Christ.
(12-09-2020, 02:10 PM)Pandora Wrote: [ -> ]It was a big “T” in this instance, fasting and abstinence on prescribed vigils.  I agree small t’s can support big T’s, but it’s the big T’s that matter.

It's not a 'big "T"'. Abstinence on Christmas Eve is not of divine origin, but imposed by the Church. Which has the power to bind and loose.

(12-09-2020, 02:10 PM)NSMSSS Wrote: [ -> ]I truly do not understand what Pope Paul VI could have been thinking when he suppressed nearly all of the fasting and abstinence days (please do not provide any snarky responses to this point). What did he think this would accomplish? Were not the words of Our Lady of Fatima "Penance... penance... penance"?

He said it in Paenitimini. While he discusses the value and tradition of fasting, I'm sure the media (and liberal bishops) heard what they wanted to and pushed the view 'you can eat meat on Friday now'. The same as happened with veils.

https://www.papalencyclicals.net/paul06/p6paen.htm

Quote:The preeminently interior and religious character of penitence and the new wondrous aspects which it assumes “in Christ and in the Church” neither excludes nor lessens in any way the external practice of this virtue, but on the contrary reaffirms its necessity with particular urgency and prompts the Church — always attentive to the signs of the times — to seek, beyond fast and abstinence, new expressions more suitable for the realization, according to the character of various epochs, of the precise goal of penitence.

Against the real and ever recurring danger of formalism and pharisaism the Divine Master in the New Covenant openly condemned — and so have the Apostles, Fathers and supreme pontiffs — any form of penitence which is purely external.
(12-09-2020, 05:04 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]I'm sure the media (and liberal bishops) heard what they wanted to and pushed the view 'you can eat meat on Friday now'.

The saddest thing is that is actually how the law is on the books in Canada. Abstinence is not required any Friday of the year, not even during Lent; but "some form of penance" is acceptable all Fridays of the year "unless otherwise instructed by your bishop". Thankfully, ours at least requires Friday abstinence be followed on the Fridays of Lent by the faithful in the archdiocese.
I know I'm nitpicking, but as long as errors continue, so must nitpicking to correct them...

Fasting and abstinence rules are canonical, and particular to the church that issues them.  There are no small t traditions that are universally binding.  Cultural practices that have become a wide-spread tradition are not big T traditions.
(12-09-2020, 05:04 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-09-2020, 02:10 PM)Pandora Wrote: [ -> ]It was a big “T” in this instance, fasting and abstinence on prescribed vigils.  I agree small t’s can support big T’s, but it’s the big T’s that matter.

It's not a 'big "T"'. Abstinence on Christmas Eve is not of divine origin, but imposed by the Church. Which has the power to bind and loose.

So, I still don’t think we essentially disagree.  No one claimed this was Sacred Tradition or disputed this situation in particular couldn’t be “bound and loosed.” You are correct.

The essence of this discussion is not are we actually bound, but what benefits have we reaped from being loosed?  Christmas isn’t a holly, jolly, hedonistic free-for-all, or at least it shouldn’t be for people who actually, literally believe that Christ was born for us.

Unless you’re just having fun be overly pedantic, in which case, go for it.
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