Thursday, April 5, 2012

Further Clarifications on the Next Three Days

I point to these things not to be a Pharisee but because I think many people are wanting to know - "how do I approach these next few days?"

1) Through conversations/research since yesterday's homily, I've learned that today (Holy Thursday) is basically the one solemnity that doesn't start until the evening. The Church says Lent ends "at the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper." The Office of Readings and Morning Prayer for today are taken from the "Thursday of Holy Week" (not from "Holy Thursday") so basically you can't partake of whatever you gave up for Lent until AFTER the Holy Thursday Mass. A friend told me there is a tradition for some in Rome that spend Thursday evening traveling around visiting various altars of repose and so forth while also enjoying food and ice cream (gelatto) and other things to celebrate the end of Lent and the gifts of the priesthood and the Eucharist.

Some would probably say it is pretty weak to take Thursday evening to enjoy your lenten sacrifices for a few hours. I think it kind of makes Good Friday even more pointed because you had a chance to "enjoy things" again for a few hours and then at midnight a fast starts again.

2) The Good Friday fast actually extends through until Saturday around 4 pm. This was something I've really found helpful because it always felt weird to wake up Saturday morning and have a big breakfast or whatever when it wasn't Easter yet either. The Church actually says in the Missal that the Good Friday fast should be extended to Saturday "where possible" and again, I've actually found this to be a great aid to my prayer. 1.5 days of fasting is a lot different than 1.

1 comment:

  1. Little Church mouseApril 5, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    On Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday) and, if appropriate, also on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil, the sacred Paschal Fast is everwhere observed (#20 of the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, The Roman Missal, 2011). The USCCB's website has a further clarification on fasting for Catholics by going to:

    For the canon law fans, go to: