Fast and abstain day tomorrow?
#11
I think it really, really important to point out that it is only the present law of the Church which binds under pain of sin.

That means no matter which calendar you use for private recitation of the Breviary, or your parish uses, or you prefer, if 7 Dec is a day where the 1983 Code (as amended up to today) binds you to fast and abstain, then you must. If it does not, you need not.

It does not, so you need not.

The Immaculate Conception did formerly have a vigil before 1955. Not all vigils were days of penance by means of fasting and abstinence. Some were. Some were not.

If one wants to do some penance and prepare for the feast by fasting and abstaining, this is a laudable thing to do. It is your own personal choice to do this, however, and that is the key.

If we are going to try to be better than what the 1983 Code obliges us to do, and we should, then trying to determine which days were fast and abstinence days is a bit silly, because clearly we should just fast and abstain on appropriate days, since we're already doing something by means of personal choice, and not because of an obligation in Church Law.
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#12
(12-07-2020, 03:27 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: I think it really, really important to point out that it is only the present law of the Church which binds under pain of sin.

That means no matter which calendar you use for private recitation of the Breviary, or your parish uses, or you prefer, if 7 Dec is a day where the 1983 Code (as amended up to today) binds you to fast and abstain, then you must. If it does not, you need not.

It does not, so you need not.

The Immaculate Conception did formerly have a vigil before 1955. Not all vigils were days of penance by means of fasting and abstinence. Some were. Some were not.

If one wants to do some penance and prepare for the feast by fasting and abstaining, this is a laudable thing to do. It is your own personal choice to do this, however, and that is the key.

If we are going to try to be better than what the 1983 Code obliges us to do, and we should, then trying to determine which days were fast and abstinence days is a bit silly, because clearly we should just fast and abstain on appropriate days, since we're already doing something by means of personal choice, and not because of an obligation in Church Law.

If we follow the 1962 calendar, though, would it not make sense to also follow the 1962 days of fasting and abstinence if only for the sake of consistency/continuity?  We don’t need any forensic projects to figure out the details, 1962 wasn’t that long ago.

On abstaining and fasting on Fridays in particular, were are currently only obliged to do so on Fridays during Lent, but if we do not fast and abstain on the other Fridays, we are to do some other penance.  In practice, how many people do some other penance?  I agree that the 1983 code is the bare minimum we need to abide by, but there is something beautiful about doing more than required out of love and respect, and that ties us to our history.  I felt that was spirit of this question, but again, that’s only my opinion.
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#13
(12-07-2020, 03:59 PM)Pandora Wrote: If we follow the 1962 calendar, though, would it not make sense to also follow the 1962 days of fasting and abstinence if only for the sake of consistency/continuity?

Yes and No.

Firstly, no as regards any obligation. The liturgical calendar does not set any obligations on the laity, Canon Law does. Canon Law obliges certain penitential disciplines, and the only law that obliges is the present one, not the one in 1962.

I have heard many priests explain this because people will show up in the confessional and say they failed to fast on this vigil or that Ember Day, and they think they committed a mortal sin as a result. In fact they committed no objective sin, and yet they subjectively are guilty of moral sin.

Secondly, yes. We should try to align our penance with the liturgy, so it is fitting that, beyond what Canon Law obliges, we choose to match our daily actions with the spirit that flows from the liturgical day. We do not need to know whether people were fasting in 1962, though, to understand this. We simply need to ask if they day ought to be penitential, and if so, then add some penance of our choice, since it is a voluntary penance anyway.

Whenever the question comes up as to whether this or that day was in 1962 a day of fast, we are already tending towards asking if it was an obligatory day. Even if it were, it probably is not obligatory now, and so if we voluntarily choose to do penance, then it is almost pointless to ask if it was obligatory in 1962, or 1955 or some previous period, except as a little factoid of history.

If the day seems like it ought to be penitential in the liturgy we usually attend, then if possible we should act in a penitential manner, but as much as I agree with you that it is beautiful and better to do this, we also have to clearly distinguish between what bind us (and thus must be confessed as a sin if violated), and what we ought to do as Catholics (which is a matter of doing the more perfect, and not strictly a matter of moral obligation). This is all I am saying.

I would encourage the keeping of the old days of penance, strongly, but also be careful to understand these are "former" days where there was some obligation, not present days.
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#14
It's the same with Holy Days of Obligation. Prior to the motu proprio of 2 July 1911, Supremi disciplinae by Pope Pius X, there were 36. He reduced them to eight, and the 1917 Code established the 10 that still exist. I've seen pre-Conciliar prayer books that listed the suppressed days as 'Days of Devotion'. It is praiseworthy to hear Holy Mass on those days, but there is no obligation to do so. The same with Holy Days that have been suppressed in certain countries. For instance, at least since the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, the Church in the US has observed only the six that are listed in any standard US prayer book. 

Now, of course, in most US Dioceses, there are only five, because the Feast of the Ascension has been transferred to a Sunday, unless you live in the ecclesiastical province of BostonHartfordNew YorkNewarkOmaha, or Philadelphia, or you are a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.

But, if you live in Hawaii, you only have two, the Immaculate Conception and Christmas.
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