Friday, March 2, 2012

Ember Friday in Lent

Today is Ember Friday.  I have posted on Ember Friday previously.  Ember days are no longer enforced in the post-conciliar Church, but there is nothing wrong in observing them.  I don't know the reasoning for dropping these days, at last not officially.  Before Vatican II, the Church required much more of the laity, which would seem to be a good thing for their souls.  Fasting was done all 40 days of Lent - meaning one meal a day, with 2 snacks (not enforced on Sundays, which are "of" Lent and not "in" Lent).  We were required to fast at least 3 hours before receiving Communion, and not too long ago, Catholics were required to fast from midnight on.  Holy days were never abandoned, as they often are now if they fall on a Saturday or Monday.  For some reason, the Church felt that if they made the requirements "easier" people would be holier and more devoted to the Church.  Well, surprise, surprise, just the opposite has happened. 

Ember Days are fast days - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - observed 4 times a year, coinciding with the change in the seasons.  One of those times is this week in Lent.  But whether you observe Ember Friday or not, you are absolutely obligated, even here in the United States, to abstain from meat and meat products on Fridays in Lent. 

Enjoy that fish sandwich today!

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